The International Costumers' Guild (ICG) is an affiliation of amateur, hobbyist, and professional costumers dedicated to the promotion and education of costuming as an art form in all its aspects. Members of chapters who affiliate with the ICG become ICG members, and a part of an international costuming community.
Affiliation as a chapter of the ICG offers a number of significant benefits to local and regional costuming organizations that are not available to a stand-alone groups. By affiliating with the ICG, these organizations gain access to a network of other costuming groups who can share information on best practices and provide advice, from programming ideas, to membership recruitment, or running a local convention. Affiliation as a chapter of the ICG enables your group to offer more value to your members.
Here are a few of the benefits that are available to affiliated ICG chapters.
Affiliation with a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The ICG is a U.S. 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization. Affiliation with the ICG provides chapters with access to special discounts from merchants that are reserved for non-profits. Becoming a unit of a non-profit also enables your chapter to open a non-profit bank account, and gain access to municipal facilities that are only available to non-profits.
Path to non-profit status. The ICG offers U.S. chapters a path to gain recogniztion as a non-profit in their own right through participation in the ICG's Group Exemption Letter (GEL). This avoids the expensive and time-consuming process of becoming an independent non-profit at no cost to the chapter. Reporting requirements are easy, and free QuickBooks software and templates simplify the process. GEL participation will enable your chapter to apply for government and foundation grants that require non-profit status, and to accept tax-deductable donations of money, goods, and material.
A seat at the table. Affiliated ICG chapters have a seat on the ICG Board of Directors and can help determine the direction of the ICG. Each chapter designates a board member to represent their members' interests, and vote on issues that come before the board.
Help with financial, PR, publication, and technical issues. ICG chapters can participate in standing committees and get advice about common issues like managing finances, public relations, running a newsletter or social media site, and setting up and maintaining a website, from other ICG members with experience in these areas
Discounts. Merchants offer special discounts to ICG members, as well as to its chapters through the ICG's status as a U.S. 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization. Your proof of chapter affiliation is your key to discounts and savings at local and online merchants.
Grants for Costuming Projects. The Marty Gear Costuming Arts and Sciences Fund provides grants for innovative projects and activities that promote the art and science of costuming, either in a specific locale or the community as a whole. The Fund is supported by a combination of ICG membership dues, and the generosity of individual and institutional donors. Members are eligible to apply for grants for SIG projects.
Website hosting. The ICG offers free web hosting to chapters. Each account has its own administrative access through a familiar 'cpanel' interface. Your chapter can also set up email alises, and even offer email forwarding aliases to its members as a benefit. The account supports both standard HTML authoring tools as well as Wordpress through a one-button installation.
The International Costumers Gallery. The International Costumers Gallery is a hosted photo gallery that includes a wealth of historical and contemporary costume photos to use as reference material. Chaptrs have their own areas where they can upload and archive photos of their members' costumes and costuming events to share with the community.
Special Interest Groups (SIGs). SIGs enable ICG members with a common interest in a particular aspect or genre of costuming to pursue their interest and share information with other ICG members everywhere. SIG participation is an exclusive benefit to ICG members of affiliated chapters.
ICG affiliation also helps supports ICG programs that beneft chapters and SIG by supporting the costuming community, including:
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