Ethical Fundraising Practices

Recently, I overheard two individuals discussing ethical fundraising practices for their small nonprofit organization over lunch. As an auditor specializing in non-profit, you can imagine how quickly this caught my attention. I was grateful for the noise of the restaurant and the influx of customers as I scooted my chair a little bit closer to …

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Donated Services

Volunteer time (or donated services) is only recorded as revenue and expense in the financial statements if the services create or add value to a non-financial asset (such as construction services provided to a building) or if the services meet all of the following three criteria: The services require specialized skills The services are provided …

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Let’s Get Political

Whether you’re affiliated with a party or vote as an independent, you’ve probably considered “unfriending” or “unfollowing” some of your more politically opinionated friends on social media due to the relentless long-winded paragraphs and meme posts about Trump’s hair or Sander’s age. I’ve come to the conclusion that I can either get off social media …

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Arizona Gives Day

It’s that time of year again, and this might be the first time your accountant is not referring to tax season. We are talking about Arizona Gives Day, the annual one-day online giving campaign to Arizona not-for-profits hosted by the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits and Arizona Grantmakers. Since 2013, this program has raised over $4,556,359. …

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Do Nonprofit Organizations Have to Pay Sales Tax in Arizona?

We often receive questions from clients asking whether Arizona offers an exemption from sales tax (transaction privilege tax) for non-profit organizations. Unfortunately, Arizona does not offer a blanket exemption like many other states. However, there is an exemption on sales tax for retail items sold by non-profit organizations. It also includes the sale of food …

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Do You Have a Donor Privacy Policy?

As accumulating personal information such as names, addresses, and credit card numbers from donors and special event attendees becomes both easier and more useful due to the implementation of donor databases, nonprofits should consider implementing a donor privacy policy. A donor privacy policy can be a simple paragraph, or as detailed as the nonprofit chooses, …

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Pump the Brakes! Did We Really Meet the Restriction of that Donation?

Dual restricted contributions remind me of driving a vehicle with a standard transmission. If you release the clutch but forget to put the car in gear, you probably won’t go anywhere unless your vehicle is on an incline or decline. Even then, you will most likely, eventually roll to a stop. On the other hand, …

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Why Shouldn’t We Accept All Donations?

Most of us have heard the quote “one person’s junk is another’s treasure”. What is more problematic for charitable organizations, I find, is that donors give non-cash items that were valuable to them, but are not valuable to the organization or in support of its mission. If you haven’t implemented a gift acceptance policy, you …

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Tips for Making Year-End Charitable Donations

December has arrived and thanks to the holiday spirit (and the impending end-of-year tax deadline), December is the month when you are more likely to reach out to your favorite charity and make a donation. Whether you are looking to spread some goodwill this holiday time or to be more charitable in general, be sure …

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IRS Proposes Nonprofits Collect Social Security Numbers

For several years now, the IRS has been working to crack down on fraudulent deductions for charitable contributions. IRC §170(f)(8)(A) requires taxpayers to obtain contemporaneous written acknowledgment from a charity in order to claim donations of $250 or more. IRS field agents have reported that under audit, many taxpayers claim they’ve lost receipts supporting those …

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