August 30th, 2015

wood cat

update on Carl Brandon Society's tax-exempt status

Originally posted at Con or Bust by Kate Nepveu. All comments must be made there.

I administer Con or Bust as a project of the Carl Brandon Society, a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to increase racial and ethnic diversity in the production of and audience for speculative fiction. Questions about the Carl Brandon Society’s tax-exempt (501(c)(3)) status with the IRS were recently brought to my attention.


The Carl Brandon Society’s tax-exempt status was automatically revoked in August 2013; the CBS has today published an apology and an explanation on its blog. I apologize as well for inadvertently misleading donors to Con or Bust. I strive to run Con or Bust in as transparent and accountable a manner as possible, and I would never have represented that the CBS was a current 501(c)(3) organization if I had known that its status had been revoked.


As the CBS says in its statement, it will be applying for retroactive reinstatement soon and expects to be reinstated with no difficulty. Retroactive reinstatement means, effectively, that an organization will be considered to have been a tax-exempt organization all along, with no break in its status.


What does this mean for Con or Bust donors? If you’ve donated money to Con or Bust since August 2013, and you would like to be updated on the Carl Brandon Society’s reinstatement application, you can email con.or.bust@gmail.com with “tax status” in the Subject. I will add you to a mailing list that has the sole purpose of updating people on the CBS’s tax status. (No spam!) You can also keep an eye on the CBS’s website. So that future donors are aware, I am updating Con or Bust’s website with this information and will provide it in the thank-you emails to donors from now on. Unfortunately, if you’ve listed contributions to the Carl Brandon Society as itemized deductions on your tax returns in the past, either because you donated to Con or Bust or donated to support one of the CBS’s other projects, I cannot advise you on what, if any, steps you should take; please consult an appropriate professional.


Finally, I want to assure all donors that 100% of their donations are provided directly to fans of color/non-white fans to help them attend SFF cons. All administrative expenses are donated by me (principally web hosting, domain name, and postage) or the Carl Brandon Society (principally PayPal fees and postage), and everyone who helps with Con or Bust volunteers their time. I’m grateful for, and humbled by, all the support Con or Bust has received over the years, particularly the most recent outpouring of support thanks to John Scalzi’s donation drive, and I will continue to do everything I can to run Con or Bust in a manner worthy of that support.