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If you didn’t catch the title of this blog, we have GREAT news!

The Sound of Hope is now IRS APPROVED!!!

Which means, you can now give tax-deductible gifts to The Sound of Hope!

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I know many of you don’t know what a big accomplishment this is (I didn’t either until we applied!)
so please let me explain this process. We announced in May that we were
an “official” non-profit, because we’d been incorporated in the state
of Michigan. That incorporation status however, did not give us
tax-exempt status (or for those of you who know about non-profits,
501(c)3 status). What that meant is, although the State acknowledged us
as a non-profit, the IRS did not recognize us as one. Until we were
approved by them, we would still be treated as a business for tax
purposes, not a non-profit.

So, this summer I began the process
of applying for 501(c)3 status with the IRS. To do this, I had to fill
out a 26 page application (all in IRS/lawyer/accountant language) called
a 1023 form. It was extremely difficult, incredibly detailed and very
time consuming! By the time I was finished, my application packet was 60
pages long!

After final reviews and a few edits by our
accountant and attorney, we FILED OUR 1023 with the IRS. We were told it
would take approximately 6 months
to get our approval – though it could take longer. We were also told to
expect our application to be “kicked back” to us once or twice for the
IRS to ask for “more information” for certain questions/sections they
felt weren’t explained well enough. Our lawyer said there was a chance
we’d be approved in 3 – 4 months, but it was unlikely. So we prayed for
favor and set in for a long waiting period.

Here’s where things get INCREDIBLE!!!

The IRS APPROVED our 501(c)3 tax exempt status in 14 DAYS!!!

Check out the timeline below:
  • September 17th – After making a few final edits, our lawyer Fed-Exes our 1023 Application to the IRS.
  • September 30th – The IRS mails us a letter stating they have received our application.
  • October 13th – The IRS mails a letter stating they have APPROVED our non-profit, The Sound of Hope, for 501(c)3 tax-exempt status.
  • October 18th – We get a phone call from our lawyer to let us know that we’ve been APPROVED!!!

If you count the days between when the IRS received the application, to the day they approved it, that’s 14 DAYS!
We were expecting 6 months or more, and instead were approved in 14
days! The entire process (from the day we mailed the application to the
day we received our approval) was 4 weeks and 3 days.

To say we
were SURPRISED would be an understatement. We were STUNNED! We received
the phone call from our lawyer on our 1 year & 6 month wedding
anniversary – exactly 3 months before the day we leave for Thailand.
(a great day to celebrate!) When we heard first heard the message we thought we’d misunderstood. We
called our lawyer back and he confirmed our approval with utter and
complete shock in his voice – he couldn’t believe they’d approved us so
quickly either! In his words “I guess the stars aligned”!

We know it was more than that though…. this was FAVOR from the Lord!

must admit, it was a great feeling to know God’s favor is on this
project and also to see all my hard work pay off! We celebrated with
some sparkling grape juice, thanked God for His
favor, and prayed for blessing and favor over our future work. We also
had a toast – to the millions of children in hopeless situations around
the world… we toasted to THEIR DREAMS – may The Sound of Hope make a
way for every child to have the HOPE and FUTURE they deserve! May all
their dreams come true!

I will admit I got quite emotional that night – looking at pictures of
the precious children in Swaziland and India that inspired me to start
The Sound of Hope. This all began because their hopeless situations were
unacceptable to me. I began this journey because I wanted to give them
opportunities, education, safe homes, medical care, and most of all
LOVE. It was an overwhelming feeling to realize that after 3 years of
working, hoping, dreaming, praying, and lots of “learning experiences”
we are now poised to make a REAL difference in the lives of so many
children. This is the beginning of something incredible that I’ve
dedicated my life to see come to fruition – children who are in hopeless situations BREAKING OUT of the cycle of poverty, and STEPPING INTO the HOPE and FUTURE they

And so, we are officially up and running! Our
donations are now tax-deductible, AND we have an online donation page
for those of you who want to donate via credit card!

Check it out here: Razoo

YOU to every single one of you who’s prayed for us during
this process.
Every person we’ve told who has experience with the IRS has been
stunned – God’s hand has been so evident in this approval!

– If you have a blog or website and want to support The Sound of Hope, we’d love to have you add a Donate Anywhere Widget (like the one at the top of the screen!) You can get the code above or on our Razoo page We’d also love it if you’d share our Razoo page with your friends via facebook, twitter, or email!

6 responses to “The Sound of Hope :: IRS APPROVED!!!”

  1. Finally!! I’m so proud of you both for ALL the hard work I know you’ve put into getting this organization established and “legal”! The Sound of Hope has been a dream of yours for many years and now it’s official! Praise God! I’m sure He has BIG plans for this organization and the lives of the precious children it will touch. I know that you put in many long hours and a lot of hard work on this project but He is the ultimate reason for the rapid approval from the IRS! I expect to hear great things from The Sound of Hope and the many precious children you’re able to assist through His touch on this ministry! Congratulations!!
    I Love you BUNCHES,

  2. Congratulations to you and Rusty and all those precious children that you will be a blessing to!

  3. Hey Ericka! This is awesome love! I need your e-mail address. I’m fasting FB and I need to send you something very important I got and thought of you. Thanks!! Love you much much much! Vikki

  4. You two are amazing warriors for God’s kingdom. We love your hearts to serve the ‘least of these’. Keep plowing forward into the purpose which God has created you both to accomplish as two become one. Love you guys.

  5. YEAH! Congratulations! I know you have both worked so hard on The Sound of Hope start-up. So glad you are up and going so you can continue God’s work with all of God’s children in the world.
    Trudy (Mom)