Federal nonprofit tax exempt (501(c)(3)) status is available for CDSS Affiliates in the US who meet certain guidelines. You must apply to receive this benefit. The annual fee is $75 (in addition to membership dues).

Benefits of nonprofit status

  • Receive discounted rental rates at some venues
  • Become eligible for some non-CDSS grant funding
  • Become eligible to receive tax-exempt donations
  • Become eligible for nonprofit bulk mail permits

Apply for nonprofit status

Please email this form to ben@cdss.org. You must meet these exemption guidelines to be eligible for nonprofit status.

Sample documents for nonprofit exemption

Info for annual filing

All affiliates are their own financial entities and must file with the IRS and CDSS annually, regardless of size or annual income. Failure to do so can result in having your 501(c)(3) status automatically revoked by the IRS. CDSS does not file a group return.

Groups with gross receipts under $50,000 can file the simple, quick, 990 e-Postcard. Additionally, you must send a financial report to CDSS that shows income and expenses (profit and loss statement) and total assets and liabilities (balance sheet). If you have a format or program you use for this, it’s fine to send us a report that way. Or, you can use the CDSS template.

Groups with gross receipts above $50,000 must file a full 990. This has sufficient information to satisfy CDSS’s requirements and can simply be forwarded to us.

This financial reporting is due to CDSS on the same schedule as it must be reported to the IRS: five months after the end of your financial year.

For information on how to file with the IRS, please visit their website. Here are some resources to help you file your IRS Form 990:

All documents should be emailed to ben@cdss.org or mailed to:
Country Dance & Song Society
116 Pleasant St., Suite 334
Easthampton, MA 01027

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What It Covers

This is a general commercial liability policy. It is not accident insurance. This policy covers expenses related to a legal claim against your group due to your operations. (Looking for caller’s insurance instead? Click here.)

Coverage is $2,000,000 per occurrence, with an aggregate limit of $4,000,000 for the policy; directors and officers (D&O) insurance and terrorism coverage are not included.

There are additional coverages of

  • $300,000 premises rented to you limit (any one premise)

How It Works

The insurance year runs May 1—April 30.

The cost is $675, $825, $950, or $1075 for full year coverage (including Affiliate membership dues), depending on how many events you are covering, or $75 per calendar day. Neither fee is refundable after your coverage begins. Please allow two weeks for processing your application. If you require a certificate sooner than that, please let us know. We will send you certificates of insurance as soon as we receive them from our insurance agent.

  • Affiliation

    • CDSS News magazine received quarterly
    • Inclusion in the CDSS Group Directory and events calendar
    • 50% discount on News ads
    • 10% discount on CDSS Store items; items also available for resale
    • Priority admission and Matching Scholarships for CDSS camp programs


  • Affiliation + 501c3

    • All Affiliate member benefits
    • Federal nonprofit tax exempt status (useful for nonprofit bulk mail permits, tax-exempt donations, discounted venue rentals, and more)


  • Affiliation + Insurance

    • All Affiliate member benefits
    • Group liability insurance, based on the number of events you host per year

    1-20 events: $675
    21-40 events: $825
    41-70 events: $950
    71+ events: $1075

  • Affiliation + Insurance + 501c3

    • All Affiliate member benefits
    • Group liability insurance
    • Tax-exempt status

    1-20 events: $750
    21-40 events: $900
    41-70 events: $1025
    71+ events: $1150

Insurance FAQs Apply for insurance

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Being an affiliate is an important way to support our work! We welcome groups that have roots in English and North American dance, music, and song.

Benefits of Affiliation

As a CDSS Affiliate, you’ll join the more than 260 groups across North America who are supporting our shared dance and music community. You’ll also receive:

And also enjoy the benefits we offer to all groups:

  • Advice: we offers advice on programming, group organization, financial reporting, bylaws writing, registration procedures, sound equipment, and staff suggestion
  • Financial assistance: grants are available to help groups start new events (weeks, weekends, festivals), train leaders, create publications, and provide equity trainings for organizers
  • Equipment rental: ritual dance equipment (swords, hankies, bellpads) is available on short term loan and for a modest fee


Become an Affiliate

US Groups

CDSS Affiliates in the US are eligible for group liability insurance and 501(c)(3) status, as well as all of the perks offered to all affiliates.

Per-day/single event insurance is available for Affiliates for $75/day. 

Canadian Groups

CDSS Affiliates in Canada receive all of the perks offered to all CDSS Affiliates, but are not eligible for insurance or nonprofit coverage.

The affiliate membership fee for Canadian groups is adjusted annually to match the current exchange rate. The fee for Canadian groups is $75 USD.

International Groups

CDSS Affiliates outside of the US and Canada receive all of the perks offered to all CDSS Affiliates, but are not eligible for insurance or nonprofit coverage. The membership fee for international groups is $100 USD per year.

All Affiliate memberships renew on May 1 of each year.

Become an Affiliate   Renew Your Affiliate Membership

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Welcome to the CDSS community! We’re glad you’re here!

Not an Affiliate yet? Join here.
Your Group’s Benefits

What’s New

More News

  • Promote Your Events

  • Create Connections

    • Web Chats for Organizers
      A few times a year, we host Web Chats on a range of topics of interest to dance and music organizers, offering insight and distilled wisdom from other organizers and experts. See the full archive of recordings here.
    • Camp
      Our camps are a great way to meet new people and build community connections across the continent! Camps also often include special training courses for callers, musicians, and organizers. See this summer’s schedule here.
    • Resource Portal
      The CDSS Resource Portal contains a vast range of resources by and for the dance, music, and song community.
    • Affiliate Surveys
      We’ve conducted a number of surveys of our affiliates and other constituents. Find the reports from those surveys here.
  • Find Funding

    • Community Grants
      CDSS grant funding is available to affiliates for a wide range of acitivities such as workshops (including DEI and equity training), publications, research, startup funds, and more. Find out more about grants here.
    • Non-profit Exemption/501(c)(3) Status
      All US affiliates are eligible to receive 501(c)(3) status, which provides all the benefits of tax exemption including accepting tax-deductible donations, access to some grant funding, preferential rates at some venues, and more. You must apply specifically to become a part of this exemption. Find out more here.

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