We applied to the IRS in 2004 for The Friends of Ishmael Society to become a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit organization. This status would have allowed us to pursue certain funding grants, as well as to offer tax deductions to our donors. However, that status was denied. Nonetheless, the organization continues to exist to serve its mission and the application we made to the IRS remains one of the best statements I've written about the worldview and principles behind Quinn's work and why we believe it should be read more widely.
The organization's purpose, as detailed in our Articles of Incorporation, states:
The purposes of the Corporation shall include, but not necessarily be limited to: publicizing and promoting the work of author Daniel Quinn and coordinating, informing, and growing the community of his readers, in order to raise awareness of the new paradigm of Systems Thinking among the public, in the business world, and in the educational system. The ultimate aim is to create greater understanding of the need for and methods to transition to sustainability and diversity, the root solutions to our social and environmental ills.There is a similar organization to promote Objectivism, the philosophy of Ayn Rand, which is in some respects opposite of Quinn's philosophy of Systems Thinking. Both take a stance on broad social issues, but Quinn's view is more of a community-oriented view, while Rand's is more strictly individualistic. We felt that there should be an organization that works to promote Quinn's vision, which we feel is a healthier one than that promoted by Rand's supporters. While it seems unfair that The Ayn Rand Institute, which plays an almost identical role in regards to her work was given 501 (c)(3) status and The Friends of Ishmael Society had the very same status denied (simply because we applied many years later after the laws had changed), we continue to do our best to promote these ideas nonetheless.