ANSWER: The Internal Revenue Service issues a written determination that a organization is a 501(c)(3) entity. If you are part of a larger organization, check with the umbrella organization to obtain the 501(c)(3) letter. A copy of this letter must be attached to your application if you are not a government entity.
ANSWER: Because the Internal Revenue Code provides that a charitable foundation, the Stout Foundation, CANNOT give any money to anyone EXCEPT 501(c)(3) organizations and government entities. When the Stout family created the Stout Foundation, they created the Foundation as a charitable foundation under the Internal Revenue Code subject to these restrictions.
ANSWER: You have to file an application with the Internal Revenue Service and have that application approved. This is a time consuming and involved process. For more information on this process you should consult an attorney and/or accountant of your choice. For more general information on this process you can google how to obtain 501(c)(3) status.
ANSWER: It depends. You would have to talk with the government entity or 501(c)(3) entity to see if they could “sponsor you”. For instance, if an organization supports a government entity or a 501(c)(3) entity, then the organization may wish to work with the government entity or 501(c)(3) entity to apply for a grant. However, all grants MUST be only given to a government entity or a 501(c)(3) entity.