Farmers Market Application for Nonprofit Status Takes 2 Years

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August 23, 2014; Woodland Daily Democrat

NPQ followed the delays reported by new nonprofit journalism organizations for a few years while the IRS struggled to come to terms with the small influx of applications they were seeing for that field. The logjam seems to have eased up, but it has always been true that applications can linger awhile without active advocacy.

For instance, the Woodland Farmers Market in Woodland, California was founded in 1996 and has operated consistently in the subsequent 18 years, even expanding, but it only applied for nonprofit status two years ago. It has taken until now to approve the application. The status is retroactive to Oct. 9, 2012. It sounds like it should be a shoo-in.

Debbie and Robert Ramming of Pacific Star Gardens, affiliated with the Woodland Farmers Market, say, “The market provides an inexpensive way for farmers, local crafts people and other business minded residents to sell their wares, thus improving their economic viability and it keeps us all in touch with one another.”

Reportedly, this application took a lot longer than anticipated to be approved, even with the board secretary actively advocating for it, so in case other farmers markets are experiencing delays, 1) we would like to hear about it and 2) here is a resource from Maine to help you think about how to craft that application.—Ruth McCambridge