Fort Mill Times

Fort Mill Art Guild hopes for nonprofit status soon

Marcia Buike will learn soon if the IRS plans to approve the Fort Mill Art Guild's application for nonprofit status.

Buike asked for an expedited review to speed the process along, hoping the art guild will be among the 18 percent of expedited requests that are approved each year. Gaining the 501(c)3 nonprofit status could be key to securing funding and a home for the guild.

"Come December, lots of people are looking for tax shelters," Buike said. "If we have 501(c)3 status, we'll find a way."

The guild has also applied for a grant from the Springs Close Foundation. Having the nonprofit status would help that application as well, she said.

So far, Buike has organized two meetings of the guild, both at the Spratt Building on Main Street in Fort Mill. More than 40 people attended the November guild meeting. Meetings are open to all.

Local businesses have been providing door prizes for the meetings, including salons Dulce Lusso and Belle Vive and Breadsmith. New Horizons Learning Center donated a day-long PhotoShop class for artists.

Township resident Kelly Lavallee, who runs the Web site www.myfortmill.com, is offering a four-page Web site as a door prize.

Buike wants the guild to help foster a renaissance in downtown Fort Mill and is already coordinating with other art guilds from around the region and plans to work with them in the future on coordinated events and fundraisers.

She also envisions a series of lectures and classes to be offered by the guild once it has a permanent home.

Buike registered the guild's Web site, www.fortmillartguild.com, with www.igive.org, which allows Internet users to register their computer with the site as well.

Once registered, the user can download an igive toolbar, similar to the Google toolbar, and every time someone searches for a product though the igive toolbar, igive.com donates 2 cents to the art guild, or another charity the user chooses.

Also, if the user purchases something through the igive toolbar, a small commission goes to the Fort Mill Art Guild. Simply registering with igive.com and setting the Art Guild as the charity nets the guild a $5 donation, Buike said.

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