FAQ for Nonprofit Organizations

 • ‚ÄčView a list of nonprofits that subscribe to BPN 

About Non-Profit Subscriptions

Policies for Different Types of Nonprofits

How to Use the BPN Website

See Also


Who can subscribe?

* Important!* If your nonprofit operates a camp, childcare, school, classes, teams, choruses, or any other program that enrolls multiple kids, you are not eligible for a nonprofit subscription! Please instead see one of these pages:  

Nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations THAT DO NOT ENROLL CHILDREN may subscribe to BPN as a nonprofit.  Your organization must be local to the SF Bay Area, and you must be offering programs and activities for families, parents, or children.

Examples: museums, libraries, nonprofit recreational and entertainment venues, regional parks, city and county agencies, civic organizations, churches, parent clubs

 


How do I subscribe?

Click 'subscribe' in the upper right corner, or if you are already a BPN subscriber, go directly to the Subscribe page.


How much does it cost?

The subscription fee for nonprofits is $50 per year. Nonprofits that do not charge parents any fees for any of their activities, such as public libraries and religious congregations, may subscribe for free. See Free vs. Fee-based subscriptions for non-profits for more information.


What are the benefits of subscribing?

  • Ability to post to BPN's Announcements and Events listings (about your programs, events, volunteer opportunities)
  • Ability to edit your profile page.
  • Parents can post new unsolicited reviews of you directly to your profile page.
  • New reviews of you that are posted in response to a question in the Advice forums will be linked to your profile page

How do I publicize my organization on BPN?

Click the 'Post a Message' button on our website.  All postings are reviewed by a moderator before being published on the website.  You can unpublish your post at any time on your account page, and then submit a new post.

  • Announcements are public on the BPN website for 30 days and new announcements are included in the weekly Announcements newsletter. You can post multiple announcements as long as each one is about a different activity or program. Nonprofits can post in these categories:
    • Parent Education & Support
    • Services for Parents, Families & Children
    • Jobs & Volunteer Opportunities

  • Events are public on the BPN website until the event date has passed and upcoming events are included in the weekly Announcements newsletter.  Up to 3 dates can be included on a single event posting, and multiple events can be posted as long as they are different. Post in this category:
    • Kid-Friendly Events & Outings

  • Marketplace posts can be viewed on the website by BPN subscribers only; they are not public. New posts are included in the weekly Marketplace newsletter. Posts remain on the website for 2 weeks, and they are organized by category. Here are some of the categories nonprofits can post in: 
    • Donations for Non-Profits
    • Garage Sales including fund-raiser rummage sales at your site

For more information about posting to these listings, see About Announcements & Events and About Marketplace


How is my post signed? 

All posts from organizations include your username, which BPN subscribers can click on to send you a message, and you are also required to include a Contact name plus email or phone on events and announcements, since your post is available to all website visitors whether BPN subscribers or not. We recommend that you use your business name as your username, since all posts include your username. See How to Change Your Password, Username or Email if you'd like to change your username.


How do I update my profile page?

When you are logged in, go to your profile page and click the Edit tab.  Or, go to your account page, find the "My Profile Page" section,  and click 'edit' next to the profile page you want to edit.  Note that some fields such as the name of your business can only be edited by BPN administrator. Please contact us if you need to change the name of your business.

  • About Your Business or Organization: Type in a short description of your school, which will appear in a shaded box at the top of your profile page.
  • Phone:  This field accepts any format for phone numbers. You can enter more than one phone number, or add text such as "email preferred" or "leave a message."
  • Email: Enter a full, valid email address. Parents will be able to click on this to send you an email.
  • Website:  Enter your website and it will be clickable.

Free vs. Fee-Based subscriptions for non-profits

Your non-profit subscription is free if:

  • You don't charge anyone anything to access any of your services. Examples: libraries, churches, research institutions, city agencies, public schools.
  • Your group is run by parent volunteers and there are no paid staff. See Parent-run volunteer organizations

Your non-profit subscription is not free if:

  • You charge tuition, such as a school, camp, or classes (your must subscribe as a school/camp/class, not a non-profit)
  • You collect an admission fee, even if some admissions are free
  • You charge parents or children for services, even if some of your services are free
  • You charge a membership fee for children or parents to access your services

Contact us if you are not sure whether your organization meets BPN's "free" definition.


Why does BPN charge non-profits to subscribe?

BPN is also a 501(c)(3) and our only income is from community subscriptions.  In order to meet our operating expenses while keeping subscriptions free for parents, we ask schools, organizations and businesses to purchase a subscription in exchange for publicizing their programs on BPN.  Our view is that if you stand to increase your income flow by posting on BPN, then you should be giving a little bit back to BPN by purchasing a subscription.  We try to charge community members a fair amount -- smaller organizations pay less, bigger organizations pay more, and organizations such as public libraries that do not charge for any services do not pay to subscribe and post.  These paid subscriptions keep BPN online for everyone to use and enjoy and benefit from.


Nonprofits that operate schools, camps, classes, teams, or other groups

Many local classes, camps, schools, and other groups are operated by nonprofit organizations. However, you are not eligible for the nonprofit subscription if you operate classes, camps, or a school. Instead you must purchase a subscription as a class/school/camp/group for $35-$250 per year depending on the maximum number of participants you can accommodate at once. View subscription fees for Schools, Classes, & Camps.

There are two exceptions:

  1. If ALL your programs are free for ALL parents and kids (no one is charged anything for any of your programs or activities) AND you have 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, you may subscribe to BPN as a free nonprofit. Subscribe here as a free nonprofit.

  2. If your 501(c)(3) nonprofit is a museum or performance venue, and you never have more than 8 participants enrolled at one time in all your classes or camps together, you may subscribe for $50 as a fee-based nonprofit.  Subscribe here as a fee-based nonprofit

Please contact us if you have any questions about what the subscription fee is for your program.


Nonprofits that support programs at a specific public school

Public schools subscribe to BPN for free, and they can publicize any classes, camps, or other groups at the school as long as the programs are operated by the school district (i.e., all staff are school district employees.)  

Many public schools also have programs that are operated by parent-organized nonprofits. These nonprofits can also subscribe to BPN in order to publicize their programs and fundraising activities.

If your nonprofit operates (or fundraises for) programs that are only available to students at a specific public school, you may subscribe as a free nonprofit if your program does not charge a fee for students to participate. This includes sports programs, enrichment classes, and afterschool activities. If there is a fee to participate in the program, you must instead purchase the $50 Fee-based nonprofit subscription.

Posting about your program: BPN doesn't accept posts about events or classes that are only available to students at a specific school. However you can still publicize fundraising events that are open to the public, post job announcements, and request donated items on the Marketplace listing. You will also have a profile page on BPN with information about your organization, that parents can post reviews to.

Exception: If your nonprofit operates a program at a public school that is open to anyone in the community, not just students at the school, and there is a fee to participate, you must subscribe as a class/camp/group rather than as a nonprofit, and your subscription fee is based on enrollment capacity (see Subscription Fees for Schools/Classes/Camps/Childcare.)  This includes after-school care, summer camps, team sports, and classes.


Nonprofits that offer both free and paid activities

If your non-profit charges an admission or membership fee, or charges a fee for classes, camps, or other activities, or suggests a donation to participate, you must purchase a BPN subscription even if some of your offerings are free. Exception:  Parent-run volunteer organizations - see the next section.


Volunteer-run parent support groups

Parent-run groups such as moms' clubs and parent support groups may subscribe as a free nonprofit, even if dues are charged, as long as the group is organized and run by parent volunteers and there are no paid facilitators or staff.


Researchers seeking to interview parents or children

BPN accepts announcements from researchers who are seeking parents or children to interview for their child-related or parenting-related research. Announcements can be posted in the category "Researchers & Reporters Seeking Parents/Kids" and remain published on our website for 30 days.  New announcements (posted in the past 10 days) are also included in the weekly newsletter that is mailed to all BPN subscribers. For information about how to subscribe and post announcements, see Research Queries on BPN.