Westside Neighborhood Association Mission Statement

The Westside Neighborhood Association seeks to address the issues and concerns of Westside Neighborhood residents; to bring neighbors together to support, enhance, and maintain the Westside’s unique qualities as an area that values diversity among its residents; to support excellence in its schools; to improve the quality of life for all residents; and to celebrate the beauty and diversity of its people, housing, parks, and byways.  To these ends, the Westside Neighborhood Association may develop, implement, and administer programs, plans, and policies; receive and disperse funds; and act as a representative of the Westside Neighborhood to any government body or public or private organization.

Want to get in touch with the WNA Board?  Email board {at} wnalansing {dot} com!

WNA History

The Westside Neighborhood Association (WNA) started over 40 years ago when Ann Kron, the WNA's first president, saw the need to organize and support her neighborhood. Her desire was to promote and welcome the growing diversity of the Westside. Kron was recently quoted as saying: "Our purpose was to make everyone welcome, and we still have a beautiful, welcoming neighborhood." To this day, the WNA continues the traditions that Kron started in 1965: to protect the residential character of the neighborhood; serve as a link to government; address issues and concerns of residents; bring neighbors together to support, enhance, and maintain the Westside's unique qualities; support and seek excellence in its schools; improve the standard of living and quality of life for all residents; and to celebrate the neighborhood's beauty and diversity.

WNA is a 501(c)(3)

What does it mean to operate as a 501(c)(3) organization?

Organizations described in section 501(c)(3) must be organized and operated exclusively for charitable, educational or religious purposes.

A charitable organization is organized and operated for purposes that are beneficial to the public interest.  Some examples are those that are organized for: (The Westside Neighborhood Association’s 501(c)(3) status is based on the bolded items.)

  • Relief of the poor, the distressed, or the underprivileged,
  • Advancement of religion,
  • Advancement of education or science,
  • Erection or maintenance of public buildings, monuments, or works,
  • Lessening the burdens of government,
  • Lessening of neighborhood tensions,
  • Elimination of prejudice and discrimination,
  • Defense of human and civil rights secured by laws, and
  • Combating community deterioration and juvenile delinquency.

The WNA regularly engages in the following activities:

  • Keeping residents aware of neighborhood developments and issues
  • Support of nonprofit charitable organizations
  • Youth services
  • Community involvement activities
  • Improvement of public spaces and facilities

Advantages to 501(c)(3) status:

  • Allows tax-deductible donations, theoretically encouraging more donations
  • Ability to apply for granting programs available to 501(c)(3) organizations

A 501(c)(3) organization is not focused on social welfare and civic pride, exhibited by neighborhood unification projects such as community gardening, block parties, picnics, potlucks, and beautification projects; these activities must constitute an insubstantial portion of the organization’s time and resources.  (Otherwise, the organization is considered a 501(c)(4) community association.)

In order to retain its 501(c)(3) status, the WNA may NOT engage in the following activities (whether or not substantial):

  • Participating in or intervening in any political campaign
  • Publishing or distributing political campaign statements (fliers)
  • Participate in certain voter education activities or public forums (that are not fair, balanced, and bipartisan – must be true education purpose)
  • Influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities

If gross receipts exceed $200,000 in a given year or has assets over $500,000, WNA must file IRS Form 990.