The Chestnut Hill Community Association is investigating whether to change its tax-exempt status to help with fundraising.
Currently, the CCHA is registered with the State of Delaware as a non-profit corporation, a designation not recognized by the Internal Revenue Service. That means that contributions to the association are not tax deductible.
In addition to making contributions deductible, the federal non-profit status would make it easier to solicit grant funds.
For half a century, the CHCA has represented residents’ interests on everything from zoning to crosswalks.
But the CHCA reports that over the last year its membership has declined.
At Thursday night’s meeting, CHCA Board President Walt Sullivan proposed changing the non-profit status to help reverse that. He is forming a committee to quickly investigate the proposal.
Some CHCA members wonder whether the CHCA, which also publishes the Local newspaper, will have the same standing on zoning matters if it changes its designation.
“We may have a problem influencing zoning issues,” Board Member Tolis Vardakis said.
Sullivan said he thinks the association will ultimately make the change.
Does the Chestnut Hill Local need more oversight?
In another proposal, Sullivan suggested that a separate committee be formed to oversee the operation of the Local.
“We have people who overlook the job performance but they are not equipped to do it,” said Sullivan.
Several members agreed, saying that they lacked the expertise to manage a media operation.
“It creates micromanaging over the Local,” said Mike Chomentowski.
The motion was not passed, as several other members protested the idea of forming an additional committee for the Local, which has made progress over the years.
The board also started discussing the budget for the next fiscal year. Mark Keintz, interim treasure, broke down the discussion into two parts: the Local and the CHCA.
Keintz asked members to carefully consider where they want to be in 5 years, specifically in regard to the Local, which has a $1 million annual budget.
“We won’t have the subscriptions we have now,” said Keintz. “This next year’s budget should be used as an example to start a digital operation.”
Keintz went on to stress that the board needs to consider setting goals for the future of the organization before approving the budget.
The budget for the next fiscal year will be up for approval at the next CHCA meeting on March 24.