U.S. Local MQG Guild
Membership Information 

The Big Picture

Q: What is the mission statement of the Modern Quilt Guild?
A: Our mission is to support and encourage the growth and development of modern quilting through art, education, and community.

Organizational Structure

Q: How many people work for the guild?
A: In September of 2012 the MQG gained its first employees with Alissa Haight Carlton as the Executive Director and Heather Grant as the Director of Marketing and Programming. Our current staff consists of Karen Cooper as our Executive Director, Elizabeth Dackson as our Director of Events, Amanda Hines Bernay as our Director of Partnerships, Jennifer Fisher as our Membership Manager, Darci Read as our Digital Experience Manager,  Kelsey Bellmore as our Events Assistant, Jessica Plunkett as our Programs Specialist, and Isabelle Selak as our Partnerships Assistant.

Q: Will the annual financials be made available?
A: Yes. This is a requirement of being a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and an annual report is available to anyone who requests it.

Benefits of Joining

Q: Can we use The Modern Quilt Guild name?
A: The Modern Quilt Guild ® (“Mark”) is a registered trademark of The Modern Quilt Guild (“MQG”). MQG grants local guilds nonexclusive, nontransferable licenses to use the Mark during their membership terms. The license terminates automatically when the local guild membership term ends.

Q: What are the additional benefits of joining the MQG?
A: Guild and Individual Members will receive the following benefits:

  • Access to our online community
  • Access to our quilt patterns
  • Access to our block studies
  • Access to our webinars
  • Ability to enter MQG quilt shows
  • Discounted rates on MQG conferences and events
  • Priority registration for MQG conferences and events
  • Opportunities to participate in inter-guild swaps and challenges
  • Involvement in MQG fabric challenges
  • Digital membership cards
  • And More!

Member Information

Q: How will the MQG use and protect the personal information of members?
A: The MQG will never share or sell members’ information with another organization or company.
For some events, we will offer the option to share the email addresses of event registrants only. This will be clearly marked as an option to approve or decline your participation. You must opt-in for this; we will not share your email address without your permission.
All MQG communication is in compliance with US and international email regulations and protecting members’ personal information is a top priority.

Individual Memberships

Q: Do individual members have access to the website, and the other MQG benefits that members of guilds have access to?
A: Yes. Individual members have all the same benefits as members of local guilds. We also have an Individual Member Coalition which is a virtual community just for individual members. It offers two different virtual monthly meetings each month to accommodate different schedules and time zones – and has its own Social Circle on the website.

Q: How much are dues?
A: Individuals not affiliated with a local guild can join as individual members of the MQG for $45 for a one-year or $80 for a two-year membership.

Q: I would like to join the MQG as an individual. How do I do that?
A: You can join as an individual member via the MQG website. From the home page, click Join as an Individual Member.

Guild Memberships

Q: What are the basic requirements for an established local group to join the MQG?
A: A local guild will need to develop and adopt a set of bylaws, elect officers, acquire an EIN, and open a bank account. The guild must have a mission that aligns with the MQG’s mission to support and encourage the growth and development of modern quilting through art, education, and community. The guild’s name must follow the MQG’s standard naming convention – [Region] MQG (e.g., Austin MQG, LA MQG, Central Iowa MQG, etc.). In addition, the bylaws must contain some specific language (outlined in a separate document). These are also the prerequisites to qualify for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status through the MQG’s group exemption.

Q: Our guild is just starting out and we only have 7 members. How much will we pay in dues and will we be able to access the MQG website to manage our guild?
A: A guild with fewer than 10 members is classified as a Starter Guild. A Starter Guild has one year to meet the minimum number of members (10), elect officers, establish bylaws and meet the other requirements to become a dues-paying guild. During the start-up period, the Starter Guild will have access to the MQG website and associated tools. They will also be able to call themselves an MQG. They do not pay dues and are not yet eligible for 501(c)(3) status through the MQG group exemption option.

Q: How much are guild dues?
A: Local MQGs pay a flat annual fee based on the number of members in their group as of December of the current year or the date of application. Visit our Dues page for the most current rates.

Dues are prorated each month so these costs drop each month as all guild dues renew in the January – March 31 renewal period each year.

Q: How do we pay?
A: You pay the membership fee with a credit card or debit card.

Q: When do we pay?
A: You will pay upon registering your guild as an MQG through the website.

Q: How were the dues amounts determined? Why are they so reasonable? Why are they so expensive? (We’ve gotten both of these questions!)
A: Dues represent about 20% of the projected income of the MQG in a given year. The remaining expenses are currently funded from revenue generated by activities like QuiltCon. The goal was to make dues both reasonable and affordable while still providing the needed funding for the operational budget of the organization.

We’d like to think that the MQG’s mission alone is reason enough to support the organization but we’re realists too. To encourage guilds to join, the board has spent considerable effort in devising a value-packed list of member and guild benefits that far exceed the cost of dues paid. The combination of an awesome mission and a compelling line-up of member activities, opportunities for connecting within the MQG community, and guild benefits like 501(c)(3) status will make the organization strong and ready to spread the word about modern quilting worldwide.

Q: Our guild would like bylaws. Where can we go to get help in creating these?
A: A sample of MQG bylaws is available to you by emailing info@themodernquiltguild.com or on our website in the Leaders section. We recommend beginning with the template and modifying it as needed.

Q: Our guild doesn’t have an EIN, how do we get one?
A: Your guild can get can an EIN from the IRS. Requirements vary from state to state. The IRS has information about getting an EIN here: https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/apply-for-an-employer-identification-number-ein-online

Q: Can an established guild join the MQG and still have local dues?
A: Absolutely. Local guilds retain complete ownership of setting local member dues.

Q: If a member switches guilds mid-year (such as moving) or signs on as an individual and later wants to join a guild, will you offer refunds?
A: If a member switches guilds mid-year, they will need to pay the dues of the guild they are joining, according to the procedures of the specific local guilds. If an Individual Member wants to join a guild, the MQG will refund the cost of Individual Membership within one month of payment. After that, no refunds are available and the member will need to pay the dues of the guild they are joining, according to that guild’s procedures.

Online Membership Database

The online membership database system will allow guild leaders the ability to track membership and communicate with your guild through a social circle.

Q: Will we need to maintain our own websites?
A: Not necessarily. The MQG website will provide your guild with a public web page where you can provide a contact email address, basic info on meetings, or links to external websites (blogs, Facebook, Instagram, etc).

Q: Will it have e-newsletter capabilities?
A: This is not available on the current system.


Q: Can we join without taking advantage of the 501(c)(3) status?
A: All guilds located in the United States are required to take part in the 501(c)(3) group exemption. Guilds located outside of the United States are exempt from this requirement. Since membership fees cover the vast majority of operational costs beyond 501(c)(3) there is no discount for guilds that already have non-profit status in place.

Quilt Guilds as Nonprofit, Tax-Exempt Organizations

The essential details of what being a non-profit is, and how the MQG’s tax-exempt status is structured.

Q: What is a nonprofit? What is tax-exempt status?
A: The word “non-profit” generally is used to describe organizations that work to serve a public purpose, rather than to provide a financial benefit to any particular individual or group. Most nonprofits are organized around a particular mission or community goal. This charitable mission is what distinguishes it from a for-profit corporation.
Groups such as quilt guilds can become nonprofit corporations by applying with their state. Becoming a nonprofit corporation does not forbid the organization from making a profit; however, any profit earned must be invested back into the operations of the organization and cannot inure to any person or board member.
Many nonprofits apply to be exempt from paying taxes from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and/or their state. This tax-exempt status means an organization does not pay corporate income tax on income generated from charitable activities. It also means that donations to the organization may be tax-deductible to the donor. These groups are often called 501(c)(3)s because that refers to the tax category.

Q: What business form is the Modern Quilt Guild, Inc.?
A: The Modern Quilt Guild, Inc. is organized as a California nonprofit corporation and obtained 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status from the IRS. Moreover, it will be authorized to serve as a parent organization to other subsidiary quilting guilds around the country that want to be a part of a “group tax exemption” and share the same tax status.

501(c)(3) status for your organization offers many benefits, including:

  • No taxes on charitable activities
  • Receive tax-deductible donations from all types of donors (individuals, corporations, foundations, grants; note that membership dues are not tax-deductible)
  • Discounts on postage and other expenses, no state sales tax on certain items
    Reassurance to potential donors, board members, and the general public
  • Permanence of organization
  • Separate entity – the guild will be a legal entity separate from the individuals who founded it or who manage it.

Q: How does our guild obtain tax-exempt status under the Modern Quilt Guild Inc.’s group exemption?
A: Become a Modern Quilt Guild member guild.
Guilds in the United States set up as legitimate organizations can be eligible for tax-exempt status through the Modern Quilt Guild Inc.’s group exemption with the IRS. The Modern Quilt Guild Inc. will review applications, and reserves the right to reject any organization in the group exemption if it believes that a guild does not meet the requirements of being a guild. Please contact the Modern Quilt Guild Inc. with questions.
Steps Include:

  1. Organize a guild that has a similar mission and purpose to the Modern Quilt Guild, Inc., which is “The Modern Quilt Guild, Inc. supports and encourages the growth and development of modern quilting through art, education, and community.”
  2. Set your fiscal year to match the Modern Quilt Guild Inc.’s fiscal year of January 1 to December 31.
  3. Adopt a set of bylaws to govern your guild. Member guilds are encouraged to use the Modern Quilt Guild Inc. sample bylaws as a template for creating their own bylaws. If your guild already has Bylaws, please see suggestions for editing your bylaws.
  4. Obtain a federal employer identification number (EIN) through the IRS. Your guild needs this number even if you do not have employees. Learn how to apply for an EIN number.
  5. Elect a board of directors of no less than three unrelated individuals on an annual basis.
  6. Pay your dues. (Coverage under the group exemption is not available to starter guilds only to paid guilds.)
  7. Complete the “U.S. MQG Group Exemption Application” available on the Guild Leader Page.
  8. In order to complete the U.S. MQG Group Exemption Application you will need:
  9. Your guild’s official name and address
  10. Your guild’s federal employer identification number
  11. A description of the purpose(s) of your guild. The description should come directly from your Constitution and/or Bylaws and use the exact words of the document(s). Please note that the purpose of the Modern Quilt Guild, Inc. is “The Modern Quilt Guild, Inc. supports and encourages the growth and development of modern quilting through art, education, and community.”
  12. A description of your guild’s past (last three years), present, and future activities. Include the specific benefits, services, publications, and educational activities you have provided or will provide. If your guild is just starting or being reorganized, explain what activities will be taken to make it operational. NOTE: This description should be different from the description of the guild’s purpose above.
  13. To state that your guild is not a private foundation
  14. Bylaws that conform to the MQG’s sample bylaws
  15. Have an accounting year that runs from January 1 to December 31
  16. To state that your guild has not previously applied and been rejected for tax-exempt status.
  17. To state that your guild agrees to abide by the policies set forth by the Modern Quilt Guild, Inc. and the IRS tax-exempt organizations
  18. You will need to download and sign:
  19. The signature form.
  20. You will need to upload the following:
  21. A copy of your bylaws and/or constitution amended with the “Requirements to be exempt as an organization described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.”
  22. Financial Information if you filed an IRS Form 990 in the past fiscal year.
  23. A copy of your EIN number/letter
  24. A copy of the signed signature form

Upon receipt of the application, bylaws, EIN copy, and signature page you will receive a confirmation letter stating that your guild is exempt from federal tax under our group exemption. You will also receive a copy of the Modern Quilt Guild Inc.’s federal nonprofit determination letter for your records. Your guild may use both letters to demonstrate tax exemption when working with local governmental agencies or corporate entities.

State and Local Taxes
The group exemption does not apply to state or local taxes. Each guild must review the tax requirements of its state and comply with these tax requirements. Make sure to inquire about your state’s tax exemption filing requirements and sales tax exemption rules.

Q: How does our guild maintain our status through the Group exemption?
A: Renew your Modern Quilt Guild Inc. membership by January 1st of each year. Non-renewed guilds will be dropped from the group if they fail to renew during a 12-month period. Lapsed membership may affect your ability to access tax-exempt status in the future.
Ensure you have independent, individual members elected to your board of directors. Update online member profiles with the appropriate officer titles after each Board election.
File all applicable tax reports for your organization in a timely manner.

Q: How does our guild explain our status through the Modern Quilt Guild Inc. group exemption?
A: If your guild receives 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status through the Modern Quilt Guild Inc.’s Group Exemption, the proper way to articulate this relationship or to communicate this to your members or local community is:
“Our guild is an affiliate member of the Modern Quilt Guild Inc. Through a group exemption with the Modern Quilt Guild Inc., we are a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.”
This statement explains your tax-exempt affiliation with the Modern Quilt Guild Inc. It is important to explain that you are a member of the Modern Quilt Guild Inc. group exemption when communicating about your tax-exempt status.

Q: Does our guild have to file tax reports?
A: Yes, all U.S. MQG guilds are required to file annual information returns (990 Forms) with the IRS. Beginning the year of its formation, even if it has not yet applied for tax-exempt status.

Once its non-profit status has been approved even though they do not pay federal taxes (that is what “tax-exempt” means), they do have to file an informational return with the IRS called a Form 990. Your guild will be responsible for this filing this report by May 15 of each year.
The type of Form 990 to be filed by an organization depends on the filing year and the gross receipts of the organization. The different forms include Forms 990, 990-EZ, and 990-N. Learn more here to see which forms to file.

State tax filing requirements for nonprofit organizations vary from state to state, and a tax advisor should be consulted to determine the filing requirements of each individual guild.
The Modern Quilt Guild, Inc. does not file tax returns on behalf of any guild.

Q: What about Charitable Solicitation Registration and Independent Audit Requirements?
A: Certain states require nonprofit organizations that solicit contributions to file charitable solicitation registration forms. Information about state charitable registration can be found at multistatefiling.org.
The Modern Quilt Guild, Inc. will file the charitable solicitation registrations for members taking advantage of the group tax exemption. Although the Modern Quilt Guild, Inc. files the master paperwork, some states require affiliate organizations of a parent organization to file an annual financial report as well. Check with your state to understand charitable solicitation registration rules.

Checklist for your Modern Quilt Guild to become an official MQG

  1. Your guild’s name. Please keep in mind that guilds must follow our standard naming convention – [Region] MQG (e.g., Austin MQG, LA MQG, Central Iowa MQG, etc.) This is so that new members can find you.
  2. A guild email address. You will use this to set up your guild membership.
  3. The names of your elected officers and their positions
  4. Your membership roster with the first name, last name, and email address of each of your members. Once you have registered them, they will get an email to complete their enrollment in the worldwide guild.
  5. A copy of your bylaws and/or constitution amended with the “Requirements to be exempt as an organization described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.”
  6. Guild financial information including either your profit & loss statement or balance sheet. An Excel spreadsheet or other spreadsheet is fine.
  7. A copy of your EIN letter.

Checklist for a new Starter MQG guild:

  1. Your guild’s name. When deciding on a name, please keep in mind that our standard naming convention is [Region] MQG (e.g., Austin MQG, LA MQG, Central Iowa MQG, etc.) This is so that new members can find you.
  2. An email address specifically for your guild. It is best to have a guild email separate from anyone’s personal email address so that it can be accessed by multiple officers, and stays with the guild when officers change over time. (For example austinmqg@gmail.com, modquiltsaustin@gmail.com, etc.)
  3. Your membership roster with the first name, last name, and email address of each of your members. Once you have registered them, they will get an email to complete their enrollment in the worldwide MQG.

Starter Guilds will have 1 year to:

  • Elect Officers and Positions
  • Submit EIN # or letter
  • Create bylaws that meet the requirements for 501(c)3
  • Turn in Profit & Loss statement or balance sheet of financials
  • Pay dues
  • Complete the application process to become part of the group exemption

Items needed during the registration process:

  1. Guild name
  2. Guild email address
  3. Guild Mailing address
  4. Names and email addresses of all of your members
  5. Payment of dues (will happen during registration)
  6. Optional and may add later:
    • Guild website
    • Guild social media (Instagram, Facebook, etc)
    • Guild meeting location and/or times
    • Guild mission or welcome statement

Are you ready to register your guild?