Did you know WSGS has a Facebook page?? Click here: to access the page. Since the Blog digest only comes out weekly, sometimes we get notified about meetings too late to be seen by our subscribers here on the blog so I post the meeting notice on Facebook. I also share many meeting notices and other interesting articles from genealogical societies in the northwest.
Two years ago I wrote about how to read this blog and any other blog without getting more E-Mails. You can read that article here. I get about 1000-1500 E-Mails a week and I really do not need to get another 100 blog posts each day added to my E-Mails, but I love reading blogs for their hints. I have a blog reader, Feedly and it works great. I have several folders for the blog posts to go to so I have a Genealogy Society Folder, A Genealogy Folder, A Google Folder, A Home & Garden Folder, A Library Folder, A Newspaper Folder (this is my busiest folder about 60 articles a day from the newspapers), A picture folder, and a couple of folders for work.
There is a Feedly app for both IOS and Android smart phones.
Many Genealogical Societies have blogs, many genealogists have a blog, they are great cousin bait. Since Google searches blogs and finds your ancestor in a blog in Texas, you can then contact that blogger and hopefully find a new cousin.
Since we are in the United States most of the people reading the blog are from the United States. Most of the hits from France was from them checking to see if we were following the new privacy rules the European Union put in this year.
Seattle has always had the top readers of the blog. New York, Ashburn and Boston seem to be locations of Bots since nearly all their sessions are 100% bounce rate (means they only look at one item then leave). The city that amazes me is Wenatchee, which has came close to the top of the list starting in the middle of the year. Notice Paris number five, they are checking on us for the European Union rules.
This is the list of most read blog posts for the year. Number 3 on the list is from 2015! Number 8 on the list is from 2016! I also notice several are found by using the categories to find blog posts. I was amazed that at least some people have found the tags we use for most posts even though we do not have them very easy to find. (They are at the bottom of each post).
It has been a good year and I want to thank all the local genealogical societies that have sent me their information for their seminars and monthly meetings, you can see that they are being read by a lot of people and so hopefully a few will come to your meetings or seminars.
It is that time of year folks! Elections are on the horizon for WSGS. Do you have a few spare hours? Would you like to make a contribution to the genealogical community? Would you like to help WSGS transition into a new era? Please contact Donna Potter Phillips, (Donna243@gmail.com), if you are interested or would like more info. Job descriptions are available on the WSGS website, www.wasgs.org
The following Officers and Regional Reps are open or up for re-election:
Vice President (open)
Region 1 North and 1 South – San Juan, Island, Whatcom, Skagit and Snohomish Cos.
Region 2 – King & Pierce Cos. (open)
Region 3 – Clallam, Jefferson, Kitsap, Mason, Thurston Cos. (open)
Region 5 – Kittitas, Yakima, Klickitat and Skamania Cos. (open)
Region 7 – Ferry, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Spokane and Stevens
What works, do you say? The WSGS system of Regional Reps! Here is a page from the July-Aug Stillaguamish Star, newsletter of the Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society. On page 7 there is a nice write up, with color photos, of WSGS Region 1 Rep, Barbara Gorham Johnson presenting the certificates to SVGS’s nominated outstanding volunteer awards at the recent Clark County Genealogical Society conference……… where Roxanne Lowe presided over the ceremony announcing those awards. Since the “Stilly” folks were not present, Barbara Johnson traveled to them, with the certificates, and did the honors. Good show, all around, I’d say!
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This is an alert for any calendar year non profit Genealogical Society, your for 990 is due May 15. I will guess most genealogical societies will use the form 990-N or 990 postcard form. The 990-N is for societies with less than $50,000 a year income. Go to www.irs.gov and search for the 990-N form. It must be filed online right there. Takes about 10 minutes to file and get the conformation that it was accepted. They ask 2 questions, did you take in less than $50,000 last year and are you still active. Then they want the name and address of an officer and you are done.
February 10th the WSGS board met at the Yakima Valley Genealogical Society library in Union Gap, Washington.
The board meets four times a year to discuss genealogical matters important to everyone in the State of Washington. Besides the officers at the meeting, committee chairs are asked to attend. Any WSGS member can attend also. Usually the night before most of the attendees go to a no host dinner at the Sea Galley Restaurant to get to know each other. First order of business at the board meeting was to swear in the recently elected board members and regional reps. All the officers are listed here WSGS President Ginny Majewsky was checking the wording of the oath.
Region 7 (Spokane, Stevens and Pend Oreille counties) is looking for a rep. We are also looking for a Historian and an Awards Chairman, so if you know someone that would be interested please contact Ginny Majewski.
Probably the biggest change to come from this board meeting is the change in the dues for 2019. The dues will be $12 for members, families, and societies. You can still pay with your local society so you only need to write one check, but no discount that way, still $12, and the society will not get any of the $12 for handling the paperwork.
With the start of the new year, there are two legal requirements that may be required for your local society. Below is more information.
By now your society should have received the Annual Report form from the Secretary of State to list your officers and registered agent and pay the state the $10.00 annual fee. This annual registration can be done online. www.sos.wa.gov/corps
IRS Form 990 – Before May 15th, your Form 990 is due to be filed with the IRS if you are a Tax Exempt 501(C)(3) organization. (Note: if this has not been done in the last three years, your Tax Exempt status has expired.) The IRS has three 990 forms: the regular 990 for organizations with over $200,000 annual income, the 990EZ for organizations with income between $50,000 and $200,000, and the 990-N (Postcard 990) if your income was less than $50,000, which I assume will cover nearly all the genealogy societies in the State of Washington. The form must be filed online at www.irs.gov where you are asked two questions: (1) are you still active, and (2) did you take in less than $50,000 last year. If yes to both questions, just fill in your genealogical society’s name, address and federal ID number (should be on last year’s return ##.#######), print out the form and confirmation and you are done.
Resources – You might consider signing up for the free IRS Exempt Organizations E-Mail newsletter (https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/current-edition-of-exempt-organizations-update).
There is also an E-Mail Newsletter from Washington Non Profits (https://washingtonnonprofits.org/membership/sign-up-for-our-email-list/). Fair warning: a lot of what is in this newsletter is for large nonprofits, but they do have seminars all over Washington State that may relate to your government filing and best practices for non-profits.
I got this Legal-checklist-1 from their latest newsletter, some parts do not apply to our small genealogy societies, but many do.
Any Questions? Please comment below.