Overhead Myth – Regulating Administrative Expenses

I was surprised this morning when I opened my email and saw the news: Today, the CEOs of all three of the major charity watchdog groups (GuideStar, BBB Wise Giving Alliance, and Charity Navigator) published a letter “condemning the use of administrative expenses as a measure of nonprofit performance.” This is HUGE news for the …

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How Can You Lose Tax Exempt Status? With EBT’s

Tax exempt entities can lose their tax exempt status with the IRS if they are involved in private inurement which applies to exemptions under 501c3, 4, 6 and 7.  It basically means that insiders can’t personally benefit in any way through the “use” of a tax exempt entity.  Funds can be received from a tax …

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Board Governance = Tax Compliance?

The revised Form 990 is now old news since it came out back in 2008.  One of the significant changes to the form back then was the addition of the board governance section.  By adding that section, the IRS obviously was communicating their idea of what best practices should be followed by the Board of …

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Fundraising Costs in Nonprofit Entities

I recently read an article at www.abc15.com (Arizona news station) about how more than 250 Arizona nonprofits, who received more than $1 million in a recent Form 990 filing, reported that they did not spend anything on fundraising expenses in raising those funds.  In general, you would expect that if an entity generates contribution income, …

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Independent Contractors – Who Should Be Reported on Form 990?

Part 7, Section B of the Form 990 asks you to list the organization’s five highest compensated independent contractors.  It sounds simple enough, but here are some questions that might come up: What do they mean exactly by independent contractors? Independent contractors provide SERVICES, not merchandise or goods. Would this only include those that the …

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Importance of an Audit Committee

It is a known fact that audit committees are an essential component in corporate governance.  The public has been increasingly focused on oversight and governance issues since the Enron scandal.  However these issues aren’t just for the “for-profit” industry.  It is becoming more and more of an issue for the not-for-profit world.  Since the re-vamp …

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Can Not-for-Profits Pay Commissions?

There are no hard and fast rules about when a not-for-profit organization may or may not pay commissions. The only guidance is the general consensus that it is ethically questionable for a not-for-profit organization to pay commissions to anyone in a fundraising capacity. It would be hard to justify paying a fundraiser (employee or contracted) …

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