Friends of Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites (Statewide Friends) is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) organization. As such, the organization is exempt from paying income taxes and is able to receive tax deductible contributions and donations.
The corporate status extends to chapters in good standing that have a signed Chapter Agreement in place. Essentially, this document makes the chapter organization a part of the larger corporation and allows chapters to share the 501(c)(3) designation.
From a high-level perspective, there is no delineation between Statewide Friends and the chapters. However, where it matters, there are some big differences. Chapters can receive guidance from Statewide Friends on important decisions but are granted broad decision-making authority. Budgetary decisions, project selections and other factors critical to supporting parks and historic sites are all left in the hands of the chapter leadership in cooperation with the site manager. This allows for maximum effectiveness in working directly with sites to meet ever-changing needs.
Statewide Friends relies on chapters to deliver the hands-on support and local volunteer efforts at the local sites. Meanwhile, Statewide Friends works at a broader, statewide level in support of the entire system. In addition, Statewide Friends provides support to chapters to help accomplish local goals.