Project Beyond

The Beyond project empowers high-school students to build their own ventures.

  • We offer a platform for success by providing critical resources to projects (501c3 status).
  • Focus on your mission rather than spending time filling out paperwork and paying dues.
  • Take advantage of the many benefits such as debit cards and personalized advisorship.

What is non-profit incubation?

Non-profit incubation is when an organization offers to extend its tax-exempt 501(c)3 nonprofit status to other groups or projects. Irvine LIGHTS, being a fully registered nonprofit, wants to give high-school students the opportunity to make changes and implement new ideas in their community. There are numerous benefits including:

The official term for non-profit incubation is fiscal sponsorship, which is a legal and commonly used method to start long or short term projects or initiatives (also can be classified as non-profit organizations). Being fiscally sponsored or incubated by Irvine LIGHTS does not mean you are part of our organization. You still have full ownership, rights, and complete independence. Being fiscally sponsored is easy: complete an application form, schedule a brief interview, finalize the project name, and bam... a one week process.

Apply to change the world

Projects we support

Opal Star Foundation was formed with the belief that there is no power for change greater than a community coming together! We aim to celebrate the efforts our front-line health care professionals during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic. We also want to bring smiles to our underprivileged community. We hope our small gestures can help bring a smile to everyone's face! We want to foster genuine connections along the way and drive action at the same time.

Opal Star Foundation
Created by Anusha & Aarushi Ghildyal

OC Justice Project is created to raise awareness regarding the issues that threaten the integrity, values, and democratic ideals our justice system was intended to be founded upon. Alongside raising awareness, we aim to raise money through fundraisers and outreach events to directly provide much-needed support to those that are struggling to survive because of the ramifications of what our justice system has done to them or their family members.

OC Justice Project
Created by Arush Mehrotra

More information

Does Irvine LIGHTS take ownership or manage our project?

At Irvine LIGHTS, we believe that your project/initiative/organization is only yours. We don't take any stake in your creation, just help you out through providing the resources that you need to succeed. You can have your own name and brand, the only thing that will be similar is our TIN (Tax Identification Number), so the IRS knows that we are doing your taxes for you.

How does Irvine LIGHTS benefit from this?

The mission of Irvine LIGHTS is to "empower students with the resources and knowledge to change the world." Supporting high-school students by allowing them to create organizations or start their initiatives is the least we can do for the hundreds of hours in service that our volunteers put in to help us achieve our goal. Fiscally sponsored projects don't take a negative toll on Irvine LIGHTS and we will continue to help students in all the ways we can.

Why should I incubate with Irvine LIGHTS instead of filing myself?

When Irvine LIGHTS filed for 501(c)3 status, it took 4 months to complete the paperwork with the California Secretary of State (since it's constant mailing back and forth), then another 3 months to work with the national government. There is a lot of personal risk involved, and without proper professional legal help, you could end up in a lot of trouble if you file alone. We paid thousands of dollars for legal help, filing fees (some $500 each), and more. Irvine LIGHTS also lets you focus on what matters by keeping you from worrying about tax forms, liability, or any legal paperwork. Just be a non-profit and do your thing!

We also have a number of perks. With our relationship with Google, we provide you with a .ORG domain and unlimited free emails with your domain. In addition, we worked with our bank to create a "restricted fund" where you can deposit or withdraw money live using a debit card. We can help you with liability insurance for your events and meetings or if you need financial support: provide you with grant opportunities or a line of credit.

Long story short - Becoming a non-profit is a long, difficult, risky, and expensive process. We turn all of that into something easy and exciting, so you can make a difference in what matters.

What if I want to stop being fiscally sponsored or file separately later?

It's as easy as one, two, three! You just give us 2 weeks notice and we will process all the paperwork before we sever ways. Your project can last for a lifetime or be just three months long... it's all up to you. Once we reverse everything, if you need help filing yourself, let us know and we'd be happy to connect you with someone that has experience doing the paperwork and process.

How is this even legal?

You can look up the official term, fiscal sponsorship, on Google. It's commonly done when an organization wants to start another non-profit, but doesn't want to refile and go through the trouble or affect their current brand. We are spinning that into something that can help you all!

I have a question that isn't addressed here

Feel free to reach out to the Irvine LIGHTS President, Shrey Gupta, via email: shrey@irvinelights.org. We'd be happy to address any questions you may have.