As a non-profit organization, Mount Airy Learning Tree’s (MALT) educational services are not intended to bring any large profit. MALT Executive Director Jonna Naylor explained the fees attached to each of the organization’s approximately 250 seasonal classes facilitate its ability to continue offering its services.
“The goal of Mount Airy Learning Tree is to make enough money to keep the catalogue coming out,” she said “We cover our expenses for the current season, then make sure we can keep doing what we’re doing.”
MALT is part of Mount Airy Community Services Corp., a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization functioning as a “financial umbrella” for seven institutions located in Northwest Philadelphia. It also provides grants to startup non-profits, which may, when firmly established, apply to join the corporation as a fully fledged organization.
Naylor referred to the firm as an incubator, explaining it has had a role in cultivating a number of successful non-profit organizations.
The Mount Airy Community Services Corp.’s website explains the institute’s function as an umbrella, noting it
allows the annual fees applied to 501(c) 3 organizations such as the corporation to be spread among each subsidiary group. Doing so permits each organization to avoid the fees which would be applied to their own group upon registration, instead permitting them to split annual costs among several members, reducing overall individual costs.
According to the Internal Revenue Service, organizations wishing to file for tax exemption as non-profit organizations under section 501(c) 3 of the Internal Revenue Code must prove they are charitable, they do not intend to attempt to influence any political competition and their earnings will in no way benefit any private interest, shareholder, investor or person.
Naylor noted she considers MALT a “true non-profit” organization, explaining the organization strives to maintain its affordability for as many members of the community as possible. She added the organization has only raised its course fees once in the past and that only recently did they increase the cost of $19 courses to$ 20.
“Oftentimes we allow people to do things they may not otherwise get a chance to do,” she said. “Keeping things affordable ensures we can keep that happening.”
The Mount Airy Learning Tree is located at 6601 Greene St.