The materials in our Resources section are for informational purposes only, without any representation that they are accurate or complete. These publications do not constitute legal advice and do not create an attorney-client relationship between the reader and any other person, nor are they an offer to create such a relationship. These publications are current as of the date written, but laws change over time and vary from state to state. As a result, the information presented here may not be timely and/or appropriate for any state not specifically addressed in a publication. Consult an attorney if you have questions regarding the content of any publication.

Donations and Fundraising

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Posted on March 15, 2017

If you raise money from the general public in Georgia, you may need to make a special filing with the Secretary of State’s office. Here’s a quick review of what you’re required to file, and where.

Posted on December 2, 2015

Here’s a basic guide to sending acknowledgements. When are you required to acknowledge a donation? When is it just the polite thing to do? You’ll see sample letters for quid pro quo, cash, and non-monetary donations, as well as volunteer services.

Posted on December 2, 2015

Learn about the IRS and state regulations for nonprofits when using or selling donated vehicles.

Posted on June 18, 2014

Corporate donations are a fantastic way for nonprofits to raise funds, but nonprofits must proceed with caution when receiving a corporate donation with “strings” attached because the income could be taxable. The donation could be a either a corporate sponsorship or advertising income, depending on how the donor is recognized and what the donor receives in return. The distinction is significant because advertising income can be considered Unrelated Business Income and can therefore be taxable. Your organization controls the outcome! Don’t miss this informative webcast for an overview of:

* What is considered a qualified corporate sponsorship under the Internal Revenue Code
* What benefits can nonprofits give sponsors that will not make the income taxable
* What benefits will trigger Unrelated Business Income Tax and should be avoided
* What other options do Corporate donors have?

Presenters: Timothy Phillips and Laurisa Curran, American Cancer Society

Click here for webcast.

Posted on May 14, 2013

The U.S. Tax Court recently ruled that an individual who had donated over $22,000 to his church could not take a tax deduction for the contribution because the church had not sent the donor the proper acknowledgment. According to the IRS, 501(c)(3) organizations must send a contemporaneous written acknowledgment to donors of over $250 stating:

• Name and address of the charity, date of contribution, and amount of contribution; and
• Whether charity provided any goods or services in return for the contribution. If so, charity must provide a good faith estimate of the value of these goods.

Because the church did not include a statement in the acknowledgment that the donor had not received anything in exchange for their donation, the IRS took the position that no portion of the $22,000 was deductible.

The Tax Court also held that the acknowledgment must be “contemporaneous” meaning that it must be received prior to the donor’s filing of the tax return or the due date of the return (including extensions), whichever came first. The church wasn’t able to fix their mistake after the fact by sending a revised acknowledgment because it was received too late.

You can avoid this very uncomfortable situation with your donors by making sure you promptly send an acknowledgment with the required language.

Click here for our guide to sending proper acknowledgments.

Click here for the IRS guide to Substantiation and Disclosure Requirements.

Posted on January 23, 2013

Nonprofits have significant obligations to register before they ask for contributions and to acknowledge donations when received. These rules vary by state and can be traps for the wary.

During this one hour webinar, our speaker helps nonprofits understand:

• Who needs to register to solicit donations?
• In what states do you need to register when you have a website?
• How do you create a simple system to acknowledge donations?
• What paperwork should be kept to verify acknowledgements?

Presenter: Robyn Miller, Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta

Posted on December 7, 2011

How does your organization deal with the value of benefits, goods or services given to a donor in exchange for a donation? This publication will teach you how to deal with this and other tricky issues involving written acknowledgements and disclosures.

Posted on December 7, 2011

Learn about how to legally operate a bingo game as a fundraising event though obtaining a license, following the requirements for operationing, and the proper reporting and record-keeping.

Posted on December 7, 2011

In tough economic times lots of tax exempt organizations turn to alternative ways of raising money. But being creative may mean problems with the IRS. Learn the rules dealing with unrelated business income tax, debt-financed income and joint ventures with for-profits.

Please note that in addition to the legal disclaimer above, this article contains information that is based, in whole or in part, on the laws of the District of Columbia. As a result, the information may not be appropriate for organizations operating outside the District of Columbia.

Posted on March 17, 2010

What is a fiscal sponsor? Does your organization need one? Have you been asked to become a fiscal sponsor? During this one hour webinar, our speaker discusses this arrangement under which a charitable project without 501(c)(3) status might benefit from the tax-exempt status and administrative support of a sponsoring organization, including:

  • The pros and cons of having a fiscal sponsor
  • The risks and benefits to the fiscal sponsor
  • How to avoid potential problems by entering into a fiscal sponsorship agreement

Presenter: Rachel Epps Spears, Executive Director, Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta