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About the Group Exemption Program

The following guidelines have been established for members who are interested in coverage by our federal group tax exemption ruling. Groups that are recognized by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code enjoy the following benefits, among others:

  1. No federal tax on income earned by or contributed to the group in furtherance of its exempt purposes (although taxes may be due on Unrelated Business Income);
  2. In some states, exemption from state income and sales taxes is automatically granted to groups that have been recognized as exempt by the IRS (however, in most states this requires organizations to apply for this exemption);
  3. Eligibility to receive donations that are tax deductible by their donors as charitable contributions;
  4. Special reduced postal rates for bulk mailings (requires an application to the US Postal Service);
  5. Eligibility for grants by public agencies and private charitable foundations;
  6. In some facilities, eligibility to rent space at below market rates; and
  7. Eligibility for services of arts councils and other service organizations.

A group affiliate seeking recognition of exemption may apply to the IRS for its own ruling independently of FAI by filing IRS form 1023. The organizational requirements are essentially the same, but joining the FAI group exemption is easier, quicker, and cheaper. It is, however, a serious undertaking. In this process you will warrant that your organization qualifies as a charitable organization and you undertake to complete annual reporting requirements to maintain this status.

Being part of FAI's Group Exemption Program does not exempt your organization from the requirements of any applicable agencies, including the IRS, INS, Department of Labor, or other federal or state entities with jurisdiction over non-profit organizations and operations.

You will have requirements to your state offices and the federal government (such as income tax filings) because you are considered to be your own freestanding organization for all of these purposes.

If you are interested in learning more about the Group Exemption Program, required paperwork, fees and eligibility, please contact FAI headquarters at 816-221-FOLK (3655) or email

Get Started!

1. Purchase membership here. (A current group membership is required to be part of this program.)

2. Apply or begin the renewal process here.

3. Pay the renewal fee of $85 (or the initiation fee of $200 if you're new). 


Participating Group Exemption Members

Alamosa Live Music Association, Alamosa, CO, USA

American River Folk Society, Georgetown, CA, USA

American River Music, Inc., Lotus, CA, USA

Art Works for Us, Miami, FL, USA

Big Stone Celtic, Big Stone Gap, VA, USA

Branford Folk Music Society, Branford, CT, USA

Broward Folk Club, Inc., Oakland Park, FL, USA

Camp Springs Music Foundation, Carrboro, NC, USA

Clarita Filgueiras - Flamenco Puro, Inc., Coral Gables, FL, USA

Cornell Folk Song Society, Ithaca, NY, USA

Crestone Performances Inc., Crestone, CO, USA

Delaware Friends of Folk, Inc, Dover, DE, USA

FAR-West, Olympia, WA, USA

FARM, Remus, MI, USA

First Acoustics, Brooklyn, NY, USA

Flint Folk Music Society, Flint, MI, USA

Focus Music, Sterling, VA, USA

Folk Club of South Florida, Inc., Miami, FL, USA

Foundation for Independent Media Arts, Houston, TX, USA

Freyda's Hands, Takoma Park, MD, USA

Friends of the Moab Folk Music Festival, Moab, UT, USA

Gopherwood Concerts, Cadillac, MI, USA

Green Willow, Inc., Newark, DE, USA

Guitart International Concerts, Inc., Atlanta, GA, USA

Harmonikids, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Hear In Rhode Island, Harmony, RI, USA

Imagine Studios, Amesbury, MA, USA

In Concert, Tucson, Tucson, AZ, USA

Joyful Noise Gospel Singers, Inc, Sebastopol, CA, USA

Lansdowne Folk Club, Lansdowne, PA, USA

Listen Live Music, Inc., Old Zionsville, PA, USA

Live Oak Music & Arts Foundation, Inc., Atlantic Beach, FL, USA

Modern Roots Foundation, Asland, OR, USA

Moonlight Music Alliance, Birmingham, AL, USA

NERFA, Philadelphia, PA, USA

New Haven Folk Inc., Westville, CT, USA

North Florida Folk Network, Inc., Jacksonville, FL, USA

Odaiko Sonora, Tucson, AZ, USA

Old Settler's Music Festival, Inc., Austin, TX, USA

Organic Arts Ltd., Milwaukee, WI, USA

Plank Road Folk Music Society, Downers Grove, IL, USA

Project Route Inc., Hurricane Mills, TN, USA

Ripton Community Coffee House, Ripton, VT, USA

Rock House Center for the Arts, Reeds Spring, MO, USA

Small Stages, Inc., Hoover, AL, USA

South Fork Music Organization, South Fork, CO, USA

St. Clair Productions, Ashland, OR, USA

SummerSongs, Inc., Saugerties, NY, USA

Sundilla Concert Series, Auburn, AL, USA

Svitanya Eastern European Women's Vocal Ensemble, Inc, Bryn Mawr, PA, USA

Tribes Hill/Kindred Folk, Inc., Valhalla, NY, USA

Tucson Kitchen Musicians Association, Tucson, AZ, USA

Upper East Tennessee Celtic Society, Johnson, TN, USA

Uptown Concerts Inc, Randallstown, MD, USA

West Side Folk, Inc., Lawrence, KS, USA

Woodshed Music & Arts, Los Gatos, CA, USA

Xtreme Folk Scene, Clifton, NJ, USA

Updated: March 2016



Folk Alliance International, 509 Delaware St #101, Kansas City MO 64105 • 816-221-FOLK (3655) •

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