The Playgoer: Is RSC 501(c)3?

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Is RSC 501(c)3?

Quick follow up to last week's discussion on the big RSC-NYC visit.  A reader who works in Development graciously shared the following revealing info on that 40% of RSC fundraising dough that comes from the States:

The RSC uses an American 501(c)3, RSC America, to raise funds here. Am I the only one wondering if the IRS intended the non-profit status to be exploited by overseas charities that are already MASSIVELY SUBSIDIZED by their own government? In the private sector, when a foreign corporation enters the American market with help from its own government, the US Congress takes steps to level the playing field through tariffs and other trade treaty provisions, and everyone agrees that that's fair and square. Jobs are jobs, whether you're harvesting timber or playing Hamlet. Let's take some steps to keep American philanthropy in American non-profits, and shut down 501(c)3s for overseas competitors.
Now let's not get out the pitchforks and demand "RSC America" be stripped of its nonprofit status.  But it is yet another case of the old code not serving theatre interests well.

It also makes me wonder who indeed is giving to "RSC America." I bet these are not $25 and $50 donations.  In other words, these are people not donating to rescue the arts (the UK government takes care of providing the company's subsistence).  These people are paying for access.


Michael Clark said...

You can see copies of RSC-America's Form 990 at The most recent one is from 2008. You will need to create a Guidestar account.

Slay said...

I'm about a month behind here, sorry. But , being in Columbus, I've got a little local interest in the RSC story.

From the Columbus Dispatch (
In association with Ohio State University, the Royal Shakespeare Company of Britain will present five Shakespeare plays in repertory in New York during the summer of 2011.

A seven-figure gift from Limited Brands founder Leslie H. Wexner and his wife, Abigail, will make possible OSU's association with the event -- including expanded educational opportunities.

from the OSU Press release (
This sponsorship builds upon Ohio State's position as the only American university working with RSC's internationally acclaimed Stand Up for Shakespeare educational program.