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  • Writer's pictureAlex Martin

SSC is now a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization

by Alex Martin, Executive Director

March 6, 2024



In January 2018, my job at the Oglethorpe Mall in Savannah, Georgia got shut down. In my search for a job the next two months, I took the science blog on our former website and began creating science videos, at first my own explainers, then interview-style by that March. Over the course of hosting these sidewalk interviews, I began incorporating science experiments for the interviewees to try for themselves.


By July, I had ditched the interview videos and had begun setting up a table of experiments in Savannah's Forsyth Park three days a week. Being the middle of tourism season, I'd regularly get several hundred people stopping to do science each day, rain or shine.


By October 2018, I registered as an LLC under the name Experience Daliona (a name derived from my science-fiction books) and began making science kits people could purchase outside of the experience. Little did I know I would move to Florida just a month later and take SSC to the sidewalks of Bradenton and Sarasota, and now up and down the Gulf Coast and parts of central Florida.


Over the years, friends and others pushed me to take SSC nonprofit. The structure was there. The mission was there. The community service was there. For whatever reason, I wouldn't go that extra step....until September 2022 after another discussion with a friend and colleague (who, after more than a year of pushing me in that direction, now gets to say "I told you so!")


We organized a small board, filed as a nonprofit in the state of Florida in September 2022, gathered all our assets down to the T, and finally filed for federal status after a few months in 2023, so as to generate an accurate outlook for our private programs and revenue expectations.


We are happy to say that after the long wait, we received a letter from the IRS: Sidewalk Science Center is now a federally designated 501(c)(3) public charity.


There are still steps to take (we have to update our filing with Florida to reflect our federal tax exemption status, on top of other items on our list), but with this status, on the end of donors, any donations put toward SSC are now tax deductible. Our donors and so many others have helped us reach this point over the years. There is so much potential yet to be realized, as SSC continues to grow locally in Bradenton and Sarasota, as well as outside our headquartered counties. We regularly host events in Lakeland and St. Pete, and have increasingly moved southward to Venice, Fort Myers, and Naples.


With upcoming events such as STEAM into Spring Break at Bonnet Springs Park in Lakeland March 13th and 15th, the upcoming total solar eclipse on April 8th (details soon!), and the Remake Learning Days in partnership with the Suncoast Campaign for Grade Level Reading and the Patterson Foundation in late April, we are consistently partnering with organizations around the Gulf Coast to put science education in the limelight.


Science is Everywhere.

 

Alex Martin is the Executive Director of Sidewalk Science Center. He founded Sidewalk Science Center back in July 2018. Learn more about him here.


 

Sidewalk Science Center's mission is to provide regular and reliable access to educational tools and resources in public spaces. If you would like to help us continue and expand our mission and bring more coverage of news in the science, astronomy, and education communities, please consider making a donation at our 2024 Fundraiser, or by becoming a monthly member of our Patreon page.


Sidewalk Science Center is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, EIN 92-0360191. Contributions made to our organization are tax deductible.


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