Q: What is Wishlist Foundation? Who runs it?
A: Wishlist Foundation is a grassroots organization of Pearl Jam fans that incorporated in the state of Illinois that became a federally registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization on September 14, 2006.Wishlist Foundation was founded by a small group of passionate, like-minded Pearl Jam fans as a way to unite the Pearl Jam fan community from all over the globe to gather at preparties before Pearl Jam concerts. Inspired by the band's philanthropy, we wanted to add the element of fundraising and creating awareness to a variety of charities, both national and local, that the fans and band supported. Thus, the preparty fundraisers were born.
Our first preparty fundraiser was held in Saint Louis on October 5, 2004 for Pearl Jam's VFC tour. Preparty fundraisers were then held across Canada during the 2005 tour and $15,000 was raised by fans for the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of Canada. The Pearl Jam fan community was incredibly generous and there was a lot of money and items donated via the preparties that the organizers were personally responsible for.
Humbled by the respect and trust from the fan community, we decided to incorporate and apply for nonprofit status to legitimize what we were doing as a legal business entity, safeguarding both donors and organizers/volunteers alike. Our goal was to create an organization worthy of the trust the fans had placed in us. By becoming a nonprofit organization, we are able to provide tax receipts for donations and all of our business transactions are transparent to the public.
Wishlist Foundation is run by Pearl Jam fans as a labor of love. No one gets paid or receives any "cut" of anything we do. We are an entirely 100% volunteer organization run by passionate Pearl Jam fans from all over the globe. Wishlist is governed by a board of directors, guided by an advisory board and run by officers and team leaders. You can learn more about us here.
Since 2004, Wishlist Foundation has expanded globally to encompass a community of thousands. We have over 100 organizer volunteers, hundreds of volunteers, thousands of donors and almost three quarters of a million dollars raised for dozens of beneficiaries all over the world.
Q: What is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization?
A: To be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, an organization must be organized and operated exclusively for exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3), and none of its earnings may inure to any private shareholder or individual. In addition, it may not be an action organization, i.e., it may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.
Organizations described in section 501(c)(3) are commonly referred to as charitable organizations. Organizations described in section 501(c)(3), other than testing for public safety organizations, are eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions in accordance with Code section 170.
See the IRS website for more information.