Tax Exempt Status

A frequently asked question in the Pre-Award Office is, "Does Montana State University qualify as a 501(c)(3) organization?" In reality, there are two answers. The first answer is "no." The university per se does not fit under that particular Internal Revenue Code section that exempts an organization from federal income tax. These organizations are non-profit private corporations, such as a private foundation. Often, it is worth a call to the granting foundation to find out if they use the designation loosely to mean all tax exempt organizations or if they specifically target only

non-profit private corporations.

The second answer is "yes." The university is, however, tax exempt as an agency of the State of Montana. If the sponsor requires that the recipient is a 501(c)(3) organization, the University can submit a collaborative proposal with our affiliated non-profit private corporation. If collaboration with a 501(c)(3) is sought, the principal investigator should contact the designated Office of Sponsored Programs officer.

When the proposal is successful, the MSU Foundation will be the recipient of the grant, and MSU will perform its responsibilities as a subcontractor subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the written agreement between the parties.

If you have questions, call Sandy Sward, 994-5318.