How to establish nonprofit status for IR student interest groups

Student interest groups, or students of an organization who share similar interests and learn from one another, are increasingly important for interventional radiology (IR) residency hopefuls due to the field's competitive nature. However, the student interest groups may not always get institutional funding due to financial constraints.

So, what is the next best step? A new article in the Journal of the American College of Radiology suggests establishing nonprofit status for an IR student interest group as it can function with the help of donations.

“Under this designation, donations of any amount are tax deductible, encouraging faculty to donate money toward the student interest group, increasing social and networking events, and leading to increased awareness and interest in that specialty,” author Michael Boulous, BS, of the Indiana University Health University Hospital in Indianapolis, and colleagues wrote.

The authors detailed the three steps necessary to establish nonprofit status for an IR student interest group.

1. File articles of incorporation with the state of operation.

The application, found online, asks applicants to provide additional information on the purpose of the nonprofit, the incorporators and who retains the nonprofit’s assets if the company is liquidated.

2. Gain formal recognition from the IRS as a nonprofit.

The student interest group must file SS-4 and 1023 forms to get an employer identification number and nonprofit status, respectively. Post filing, any donations greater than $75 must accompany a statement of the total value of the donation. A receipt for donations greater than $250 must be provided.

3. File taxes.

"One way to file taxes is to simply refer to an accountant," the authors wrote. "However, the other way is to personally file a 990-EZ form."