The Story of ASHA - written by Founder and President Jessica Kratz
My family and I began helping the homeless animals in our little corner of the world in about 2000; Just an animal here, an animal there. Then as word began to spread, by 2002 my family and I had begun to make a name for ourselves; "the family that helps rescue animals." And as things happen, our weekend animal projects became our every day chores. - Jessica Kratz, Founder and President.
Local rescues began to take notice of how much good we have done in the community and started suggesting we strike out and become an incorporated and registered nonprofit. This is when the research began.
ASHA took its first big steps on the path to becoming a registered non-profit rescue. First a Board of Directors (BOD) was created and ASHA had their first Board Meeting December 15th, 2013.
Second we applied for a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN or EIN). ASHA received a certified letter from the IRS December 11th, 2013 with the EIN # of 46-4251348.
Third The Articles of Incorporation for a Tax-Exempt Non-stock Corporation was completed and filed. December 18th, 2013 we received our letter certifying us as "Animal Safe Haven and Adoptions, Inc." stamped and signed. Unlike receiving an EIN, the Articles of Incorporation had a filing fee of $262.
The fourth step was to have ASHA's Bylaws written up and reviewed by the BOD. January 26th, 2014 ASHA had their second Board Meeting and the Bylaws were unanimously approved. ASHA's Secretary, Linda, then dated, signed, and filed it away.
The fifth and final step of the year was to give ASHA an address, thus a mailbox: P.O. Box 9488 Catonsville, MD 21228-9998 was purchased to allow the public to send ASHA monetary donations and cards.
Our first step of the new year was to open a bank account for ASHA so that we could finally deposit the checks, donations and other payments made out to "Animal Safe Haven and Adoptions." PNC was the bank of choice since they are a local bank that offer a great savings and checking account for small businesses. We started putting together our financial papers for the last leg of the registering for nonprofit status, but some thing - usually a feral colony, litter of orphaned kittens, or a pregnant mom distracted us. And when we got back to the financial paperwork we would have to start all over since adoptions had been done, intake fees collected and vet bills paid. This vicious cycle continued through the rest of the year.
2015: We finally found time! Finished the balance sheets and other financial papers, and submitted them, as well as the $400 filing fee to the IRS. We received our official letter from the IRS July 29th, 2015 with our EIN #, our Public Charity Status of 509(a)(2) and our effective date of exemption of December 12th, 2013.