501c3, Donors and Why It All Matters

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501c3, Donors and Why It All Matters

Categories: Blog, Newsworthy

Powell Gardens is a not-for-profit organization.  You hear many worthy groups pointing this out about themselves, but what does it mean?  

The IRS has given us a special tax-exempt status because we do something good for our community. In short, we enhance it by growing and teaching.  We are careful with our resources so that every dollar goes to growing and teaching – all populations.  All of our neighbors.

We strive to remember those people, perhaps confined in a more urban landscape, who need and wish for a day amongst our more than 900 acres of inspiring landscape.  This year, like others, we’ve provided a free shuttle service from our sister garden, The Kauffman Memorial Garden, in the heart of Kansas City.  On key weekends, you can ride to Powell Gardens for free. And many people do!  Some are struggling under the weight of the economy and the opportunity gives them escape.  Some are elderly and want a ride that leaves them idle to enjoy the passing terrain, rather than struggling with traffic.  Some think it’s a fun way to be green, meeting other friends and finding adventure.

No matter the reason, we think it’s another way Powell Gardens extends the love of nature, gardening and healthy lifestyles with our neighbors.  This season was one of our best years as interest and demand has grown.  On many weekends, we added buses to keep up with the ringing telephone reservations!

But part of being a tax-exempt organization means that we raise the funds that run our operations from donors and visitors who agree that our mission is of value.  We do not receive any ongoing public taxpayer funds.  In every instance where we provide a service, a network of giving individuals makes it all possible.  The shuttle is no exemption from the rule and our two donors who stepped up to make this year’s shuttle possible blow us away with their generosity!  

Our donors brought happiness and education to their neighbors such as The Shepherd’s Center of KC Central who said: 

Many of the older adults that attend the Adventures of Learning program offered at the Shepherd’s Center Central are on a fixed income and have limited resources and/or transportation issues.  This group of people truly enjoys learning and experiencing new things and greatly benefit from this wonderful offer. 

and the Singles for Christ Ministry at Wabash Avenue Church of God: 

Our singles group consists of men and women, mostly single moms.  The majority of our group really struggles just to make ends meet and do not always have the funds to attend events.  It is wonderful experience for them to see and possibly feel the wonderment.

These donor funds that produce services become ours to handle.  We make every effort to make good financial decisions, extending our reach as far as possible.  We are lucky to have EITAS -Developmental Disability Services of Jackson County, another not-for-profit, buses for our service.  While they are busy throughout the week moving the disabled around KC, their buses are largely idle during the weekend.  Because of this, they provide their service at a substantial discount to Powell Gardens, which works as another important partnership in the delivery of services. 

Thank you to all our partners, especially our donors, who realize that their treasure, entrusted in our hands, helps our neighbors.  It’s our special privilege to translate that generosity into good works.