Use Your 990 as a Marketing Tool

Once April 15th comes and goes, most Americans no longer are thinking about tax returns. If you’re involved in a not-for-profit, however, you may still be working on getting your informative return done and e-filed. It’s human nature, especially when you’re busy, to only report what you have to on your 990. However, your 990 …

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Is It Time for You to Implement a Social Media Policy?

Social media has become the top marketing tool in businesses today, which of course includes the not-for-profit community. By now, you probably have a team member that is responsible for the organization’s Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. However, there are more ways that social media can affect your organization than its own pages. Employees, volunteers …

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Cancer Charity Fraud Part I

Last Saturday while browsing the internet at a coffee shop, I came across any donor’s worst nightmare. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), over the past eight years The Cancer Fund of America, The Cancer Support Services Inc., The Children’s Cancer Fund of America, Inc., and The Breast Cancer Society spent $187 million dollars …

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IRS filing calendar for raffles

When it comes to IRS filing requirements relating to charities holding raffles, there are many steps to remember and they can be difficult to keep straight! Getting stuck trying to meet the filing requirements after the deadlines can result in late fees and a strained relationship with the winner of the raffle. Colette Kamps, CPA

Conflict of Interest Policy: Financial Statements & Form 990

On page 6 of the Form 990, the IRS asks the nonprofit organization if they have a written conflict of interest policy, if annual disclosure is required, and if the organization regularly monitors and enforces compliance with the policy. Often times when I ask the above question of my 990 clients, I get a response …

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How to Report a Name Change to the IRS

If your nonprofit has changed its name, the name change needs to be reported to the IRS. This can be done on your next Form 990. Here are the requirements for reporting this properly: File your next Form 990 by paper (as opposed to electronically). On page 1 of the Form 990, check the box …

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Common Errors with Net Assets

When auditing an organization, what we often find is that clients are not tracking their restricted net assets. Or if they are tracking it, it is not correct. Some common errors we find include: Board designated amounts are classified as restricted – Board designated amounts, including board designated endowments, should be categorized as unrestricted as …

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Private Foundations Need IRS Approval for Grants

Private foundations are often set up with the purpose of giving out scholarships or grants to individuals. Before starting this program, the IRS requires a private foundation to request “approval” from them. There are certain criteria that must be met with the scholarship/grant program. So, when a private foundation submits a request for approval of …

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Non-Profits and Political Activities

All section 501(c)(3) organizations are strictly prohibited from being directly or indirectly involved in campaigning activities for, on behalf of, or against a candidate running for public office, making contributions to political campaign funds, and making a public statement of position on behalf of the organization. However, did you know that 501 (c)(3) organizations are …

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Best Practices for Not-for-Profit Organizations

“Best practices” can be a buzz phrase you hear a lot, especially when it comes to governance of a not-for-profit organization.  With the overload of information available to organizations, it’s easy to see why some view the task of incorporating best practices into their own activities as a bit daunting. The following are some “basics” …

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