This webpage will provide ANSWERS to common Grange QUESTIONS. Click on the question to see the answer, click again to hide the questions. You may submit a question using this link.
QUESTION "Our Grange does tons of community service, but when we mentioned to a State Grange Deputy that we were preparing to become a 501(c)3 non-profit, we were told Granges don't qualify. Why? What is the right kind of non-profit status for Granges with the IRS and what kind of limitations does that mean we have?"
ANSWER A charitable organization, or 501(c)(3), is defined as an organization "organized and operated exclusively for exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3), and none of its earnings may inure to any private shareholder or individual. In addition, it may not be an action organization, i.e., it may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates. Organizations described in section 501(c)(3) are eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions in accordance with Code section 170." Therefore, Granges cannot be 501(c)(3) organizations because we do lobby to influence legislation. Even if your Community Grange is not active in legislative work, you are chartered by the National Grange which employs a lobbyist and is very involved in the legislative arena.
There are three other 501(c) tax exempt categories that Granges can be designated. The National Grange is classified by the IRS as a 501(c)(5) organization, a labor, agricultural or horticultural organization. To be tax exempt under this code, an organization must meet the following requirements:
1) The net earnings of the organization may not inure to the benefit of any member; and
2) The objects of the organization must be the betterment of conditions of those engaged in the pursuits of labor, agriculture, or horticulture, the improvement of the grade of their products, and the development of a higher degree of efficiency in their respective occupations.
Seeking legislation germane to the labor or agricultural organization's programs is recognized as a permissible means of attaining its exempt purposes. Thus, a section 501(c)(5) organization may further its exempt purposes through lobbying as its primary activity without jeopardizing its exempt status.
Some Granges are classified as 501(c)(8). To be exempt under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(8), a fraternal beneficiary society, order, or association must meet the following requirements:
1) It must have a fraternal purpose. An organization has a fraternal purpose if membership is based on a common tie or the pursuit of a common object. The organization must also have a substantial program of fraternal activities;
2) It must operate under the lodge system or for the exclusive benefit of the members of a fraternal organization itself operating under the lodge system. Operating under the lodge system requires, at a minimum, two active entities:
(i) a parent organization; and
(ii) a subordinate (called a lodge, branch, or the like) chartered by the parent and largely self-governing;
3) It must provide for the payment of life, sick, accident, or other benefits to the members of such society, order, or association or their dependents;
4) An organization that provides benefits to some, but not all, of its members may qualify for exemption so long as most of the members are eligible for benefits, and criteria for excluding certain members are reasonable.
Classification 501(c)(10) is similar to (8) but does NOT provide for the payment of life, sick, accident or other benefits. In addition, it must devote its net earnings exclusively to religious, charitable, scientific, literary, educational, and fraternal purposes.
In summary, Granges can be exempted from income tax (not sales tax) by the IRS under section 501(c)(5), (8), or (10), but not under 501(c)(3). That is why several Granges, including National, have organized separate Grange Foundations which do qualify as a (3) to receive donations which can typically qualify for tax deductions for the donors.
Take pride in Grange logo and name by using each correctly
By Amanda Brozana-Rios, Communications Director
The National Grange
Logos and branding are important.
Imagine if a supplier printing bags or wrappers for McDonalds decided to make the “M” more sharp like this font and not look like the golden arches you’re used to or if they changed the color to teal instead of a golden yellow.
If you had paid a person to get your McDonalds and they brought you burgers in the “off brand” bag and wrapper, would you still believe that the food you were about to eat was coming from a real McDonalds restaurant?
The same is true when we talk about the Grange logo.
As we prepare for Grange Month in April, this is an important area to address, since many of our Granges will create flyers, banners, shirts, postcards, social media images or other publicity items and take for granted the correct use of our logo because “it’s not that important.”
Logos in different colors other than our standard; logos with different items in the center other than the standard wheat sheaf, such as musical instruments, or with words on top of parts of the seven-sided emblem; logos that have been stretched or squished; logos that still use the ™ or use no trademark symbol at all instead of the correct ® are out there, everywhere, being created today and used by Granges all over the country. Similarly Granges and Grange members creating posts, press releases, flyers and more often are guilty of failing to capitalize the word Grange.
Grange is a proper noun and as such deserves respect. Just as you wouldn’t want to be “darlene” or “james” or “betsy,” neither does a pillar of an institution like the Grange want to lose its stature by being written with a lowercase “g” to begin the word.
Incorrect, improperly used or modified logos and improper use of the word Grange are all bad news for our organization. People outside our Halls who see these derivations start to think less of our organization because they do not believe us to be professional or have brand standards – and something without the simple brand standards looks disorganized and unlikely to succeed.
Further, those who do not see Grange capitalized and Grange logos with ® may easily breeze by it, not considering that it is a protected trademark, and begin using it as their own – infringing and causing us to spend more money to defend our name as required by law for those who hold trademarks.
When using the Grange logo, it’s important that you can see the ® mark – so if you’re using it on a white or light background, the logo with the blue ® is appropriate, where if you use it on a dark background, the logo with a white ® is appropriate.
You should always make sure to “scale proportionally” so the logo keeps its same shape. To do this, hold the Shift key and drag from the corner on most programs. Some programs, like Canva, automatically scale proportionally when you use a corner anchor to resize the object and do not require you to hold the Shift key.
The Grange Youth and Junior Grange logos should appear with a ™ symbol in the standard accepted colors and fonts.
For the Junior Grange this is red and black with the Comic Sans font or no words. Three options are available. For larger scale designs, the design with the Grange logo on the shoe is preferred, only if it is distinguishable (typically sized 3” wide or larger). For smaller scale designs, the logo with JG in the place of the Grange emblem is acceptable or no image in the white of the shoe, but Junior Grange written below is acceptable. Or, you can use the logo with the shoes that has JG in the white of one shoe with both shoes inside a seven-sided shape. This is available in black or red and black.
For Grange Youth the colors are dark green and lime green with additional brand options in orange, yellow. The font is Neutraface Text or the logo may be used without words. Both can be reproduced in all white or all black or black and white or grayscale.
No one is perfect and mistakes happen – often more frequently than we wish. But we do our best to minimize our mistakes and checking just these two simple things each time we create anything for the Grange – even just an informal text or email to a friend or a reporter where we invite them to a Grange event – can make all the difference. We all should be proud of the Grange and as such, take pride in our presentation. It’s like mom always said – dress for success. So is true about using the correct brand standards in language and images.
As of 2019, Grange Youth and Junior Grange logos started carrying a ™. Other accepted versions of each of these logos are available and should be used when these are ill-fitting for reproduction, such as fitting the Junior logo in very small spaces or reproducing the Youth logo in black and white.
THE CORRECT LOGO
The correct Grange logo includes “registered trademark” ® symbol and correct colors; is proportionally scaled and does not look squished or distorted and is given “room to breathe” from nearby text or objects.
THE WRONG LOGO
The most common logo standard violation is using the old ™ trademark symbol instead of the current ® - a designation important in relation to our trademark fight.
While Granges can “get away” with using old banners with the ™, anything new created should have the ®.
This logo has been distorted by changing the size without “scaling proportionally.” You can see it looks squished. This is one of the most common mistakes made by Granges when creating materials and including the Grange logo. Make sure your designer knows how to scale images proportionally before you create products with a badly reproduced and incorrect version of the logo.
This logo has a number of problems. The colors have been changed. It is incomplete at the bottom, does not include a ® and has been scaled incorrectly. It also has a different wheat sheaf and the word Grange is not in the right font.
We cannot expect that others respect our trademark and our brand if we don’t do it ourselves. Please help us to ensure the millions of dollars spent to maintain our trademark and respect of our brand has not been in vain by doing this bit of quality control for everything you and your Grange creates from here forward and make sure to tell others why doing the same is so important.
In 2020, we will be making a concerted effort to contact Granges producing materials with the incorrect logo, as well as Granges and reporters who do not capitalize the word Grange. We hope you will help us in this effort and if you see an issue be proactive in changing to adhere to our brand standards. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we move forward.
All current and correct Grange logos are available for your use to download at http://bit.ly/3aynYv7 (the link is case sensitive, so the single capitalized letter “Y” must be capitalized in your browser’s address bar for the Google Drive folder to appear). You can direct any branding questions to me at email@example.com or you can text or call me directly at (301) 943-1090.
A letter is also available through the Communications Department that assures any vendor you are working with – from cake decorators to printers – that you have permission as a chartered Grange or Grange member in good standing to use the Grange name and/or logo for projects and products so long as that use is not for personal gain. Granges may use the logo and name for all promotional materials, fundraisers, etc., in good taste as approved by the Grange.
QUESTION "Our Grange has a Board of Directors (Executive Committee, President, Secretary and Treasurer) who conduct all of the business of our Grange, is this legal?"
ANSWER The short answer is NO! This is not how a Grange is to conduct its business operations.
The ultimate power of the Grange lies in it's members. They are the ones who decide what actions the Grange will take.
We elect and Executive Committee, and they are charged with to act on behalf of the Grange, between meetings, in times of need. When they do act, their actions must be presented to the Grange for approval. For example; A wind storm topples a tree across the entrance to the Hall. The Executive Committee with the President would be able to act have the Tree removed. At the next Grange meeting, they would report their action for approval by the members.