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Anime Expo's SPJA Changes Status to 501(c)(3) Charitable, Educational Organization

posted on by Adriana Hazra
Non-profit organization launches new website featuring new logo

The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation (SPJA) announced on August 18 that it has transitioned to become a 501(c)(3) charitable and educational organization effective January 1, 2020. The organization stated that it was formerly a 501(c)(6) trade association but the Internal Revenue Service officially approved the transition on May 12. SPJA stated it had been in transition to this new categorization since last year. SPJA said as a non-profit it is "dedicated to educating the public about Japanese animation and pop culture."

A 501(c)(3) organization can receive tax-deductible "charitable contributions," whereas payments to a 501(c)(6) organization are only deductible if they serve an "ordinary and necessary" business expense. Also, a 501(c)(3) organization is more restricted in possible lobbying and political activities than a 501(c)(6) organization. Both organization types are tax-exempt from federal income taxes. Many states also allow 501(c)(3) organizations to be exempt from sales tax on purchases.

The SJPA also launched a new website on Tuesday that features a new logo (pictured at right).

Ray Chiang, President and CEO of the SPJA, made a statement about the transition:

We firmly believe this new c3 status better aligns with SPJA's current structure, activities, and mission and will allow us to aid our work and achieve our goal of increasing appreciation and understanding of Japanese animation and pop culture [...]
As we move into our 30th year, we want our organization, at all levels, to reflect our passion and commitment to promoting awareness of and appreciation for Japanese culture. With the launch of our new logo, our acronym will become the primary way in which we refer to ourselves. On our new, more user-friendly website, our fans can get to know a little bit more about the team that works hard day-after-day to bring the best of Japanese pop culture to communities across the world.

SPJA is the California-based non-profit organization behind Anime Expo, Anime Project, and World Cosplay Summit USA.

Anime Expo 2020 was planned for July 2-5 but was canceled due to the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) situation. The organization instead hosted the "Anime Expo Lite" virtual event on July 3 and July 4. The event garnered more than 500,000 views from over 70 countries. The event featured over 50 hours of content such as panels, interviews, and announcements by Square Enix, Warner Bros. Japan, Bushiroad, Crunchyroll, Pony Canyon, and Viz Media.

The 30th anniversary Anime Expo event is slated to take place at the Los Angeles Convention Center on July 2-5, 2021.

SPJA revealed in January 2016 that it is "expanding, refocusing and rebranding." The organization then appointed Ray Chiang as Chief Operating Officer, and Mark Manansala as as Chief Executive Officer in October 2016. Chiang then became CEO in 2017.

Thanks to Mikhail Koulikov for the news tip.

Source: The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation's website

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