Non-Profit Organizations

Making Waves: The Top 3 Non-Cash Donation Issues to Consider:


Surf’s up! The sun is shining, the kids are out of school, and family vacations are all in order…summer is finally here! The 2017 tax season is behind most of us (the extended due date is October 15th). This summer is the perfect time to start thinking about how non-cash donations can affect your not-for-profit organization. Grab your beach bag and let’s dive into the top three issues surrounding non-cash donations that are making waves in the not-for-profit world today.Read More

Best Practices when Distributing from a Private Foundation


When private foundations disburse out funds to other organizations, it is important to make sure that donations are going to IRS-qualified organizations to minimize the net investment income tax assessed. Even when the funds are going to support a cause that seems charitable in nature, not all distributions of funds are considered qualifying distributions by the IRS. Read on to learn more about four instances when contributions to an organization may not be qualifying distributions.Read More

6 Changes from Tax Reform Affecting Not-for-Profits


The most recent tax reform bill represents one of the largest changes to the tax code in decades. Not-for-profit organizations are certainly not exempt from the changes and will be impacted by tax code reform. Read on for six of the most significant changes from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that may affect your not-for-profit organization.Read More

Unrelated Business Income Tax: A Tax for the Tax-Exempt


Once an organization has qualified for tax-exempt status, it might feel like the time to rejoice over never having to pay federal income tax. As in most things, the Internal Revenue Code is not quite as simple as that. The Unrelated Business Income Tax (UBIT) applies to otherwise tax-exempt organizations on their unrelated business income (UBI). Knowing more about UBIT and which activities may trigger it can help exempt organizations avoid a surprising tax bill.Read More

Not-For-Profit Financial Statement Changes; is your organization prepared?


Have you been looking to improve the face of your nonprofit organization’s financial statements and enhance footnote disclosures to better communicate financial performance? If so, in August 2016 the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued a new accounting standards update (ASU) regarding accounting and reporting for nonprofits, known as ASU 2016-14. This update marks one of the biggest changes in accounting and reporting for the face of the financials of nonprofit organizations.Read More

Your Last Minute Year-End Checklist


As the year is winding down, it becomes increasingly important to assemble the organization’s books and documents required to prepare the tax returns, particularly while the information is still fresh. With so many disclosures and schedules, it can be difficult to keep track of information or even know what to look for. Read More

Neatly Drawn Borders, Blurred Lines: What to Consider When Your Nonprofit Operates in Multiple States


When looking at a map of the United States, it is clear to see where the border of one state ends and where another begins. These lines can begin to blur when it comes to how a nonprofit organization can legally operate, fundraise, and solicit donations in states other than its home state. Being aware of the factors that may trigger a nonprofit to be required to file in other states will help your organization cross city limits and state borders within legal bounds. Read More

Disaster Strikes - What Happens Next?


When disaster strikes, many of us find ourselves wondering what is the best way to help people in need. There are many philanthropic options, but during these times it is especially important to find a charitable avenue that makes sense for you and your charitable giving goals. Read More

To File or Not to File: Private Foundations vs. Donor Advised Funds


Is This a Charity Which I See Before Me? There has been great debate over whether or not donors desiring to make charitable contributions should choose the path of setting up a Private Foundation or a Donor Advised Fund. Read More

Should Your Non-Profit Organization be a Corporation or a Trust?


Choosing the right type of entity for your non-profit organization is often an overlooked first step that plays a crucial part in the future of your charitable endeavors. Choosing to be either a corporation or a trust can substantially impact your operations and governance. Read More

On Board with Compensation: Nonprofit Board of Director Compensation Policies


Most corporate bylaws require at least one meeting to be held each year by the board of directors. In this meeting, the board of directors are responsible for making several key decisions, including how much to compensate executives of the organization. In general, the trust agreement and documents for an organization formed as a trust will also determine how the trustees are to make compensation decisions. Read More

How to Spend the Money : The Grant Approval Process


Private foundations create value and accomplish their mission largely through grant giving. Last month we discussed the two schools of thought behind the lifespan of a nonprofit organization and when to make grants. This month, we are looking into how to choose donee organizations and actually provide the grants. Understanding and implementing a grant approval process is pertinent to meeting IRS guidelines and avoiding costly penalties.Read More

Now or Later: The Great Debate on Charitable Giving


Considering the lifespan of your nonprofit organization is vital to successful planning and operations. What would society look like today if the great philanthropists of the 19th century, such as John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie, had contributed all of their assets during their lifetime instead of designating endowments for the benefit of future generations? Read More

Overwhelmed by Reviewing Form 990? Where to Focus Your Review and What to Look For


As a trustee, you are a steward of public funds. This behooves you to be informed and educated regarding the rules for utilizing those funds, to maintain appropriate records to demonstrate compliance with those rules, and to report to government agencies to show that you are in compliance.Read More

Crossing borders: How to Travel the World as a Nonprofit


Over recent years, the IRS has developed new reporting requirements for any entity or individual with offshore investments in order to limit tax avoidance from investments in foreign lands. These requirements include, but are not limited to, financial interest in or signature authority over foreign accounts or banks, ownership of foreign corporations or partnerships, transfers among foreign entities, or charitable activities in foreign countries. Read More

The 2017 Fantasy League Guide: How to Draft an All-Star Board of Directors


Do you want your non-profit organization to achieve great success? Build a board of directors who are long-term visionaries. Having goal setters and high-level thinkers can help guide the day-to-day operations. Inside this playbook, we will discuss how to ensure that your team finishes on top.Read More

Non-Profit Organization Expense Allocation


When deciding where to make donations, potential donors rely on the information in a nonprofit's tax return. When making their decision, many donors heavily weight the information included in the statement of functional expenses. Because of this, it is important for organizations to be aware of how to correctly classify expenses between program expenses, management & general expenses, and fundraising expenses.Read More

Related Party Transactions and Necessary Disclosures


In the course of ordinary business as a nonprofit organization or charity, a related entity or individual (such as a board member) may want to provide services or goods to be used by the company; however, while this may seem like a simple and beneficial way to provide easy and inexpensive opportunities for the organization, these types of transactions can actually bring about a variety of issues and may even be prohibited by law.Read More

Make Every Minute Count


Keeping proper board minutes is a very important practice for nonprofit organizations. The Board of Directors must have an adequate understanding of the purpose of documenting board minutes, as well as what information to include, in order to make the most of their minutes. Read More

Nonprofit organizations may need to play their Trump card.


As our nation prepares for a transfer of the presidency on January 20, 2017, the potential changes to how our country is governed are becoming increasingly apparent. This includes changes that could impact nonprofit organizations, both in the donations they receive and the tax they pay. It’s important for nonprofits to proactively identify these potential changes, their likelihood, and impact. It’s equally important for nonprofits to develop a plan of attack based on this assessment.Read More

Board of Directors Road Map for the End of the Year


Being on the board of directors requires a lot of responsibility, and that especially holds true as the end of 2016 approaches. There are several requirements that the board should address at year-end to ensure that the non-profit is running efficiently and effectively. Follow our road map to determine if you are on the right path!Read More

Trump or Clinton? Who are you supporting?


Media coverage of the embittered Trump versus Clinton race has been exhaustive, but coverage aside, which candidate should you actually be supporting? If you are a 501(c)(3) organization, the answer should be neither.Read More

How to pay the Excise Tax for 990-PFs


In our May article we explained what the excise tax is; now we tell you how to pay it! The excise tax applies to the net investment income (NII) of most private foundations, which must be reported on Form 990-PF and paid annually at the time for filing that return or in quarterly estimated tax payments if the total tax for the year is $500 or more. Click below to learn more!Read More

Dissolving a Non-Profit Organization


While it may be a tough decision, some non-profit organizations reach a point where it makes sense to wind down. Continuing an organization may not be feasible or the organization may no longer be able to accomplish its purpose. It is important to be aware of the process when making this decision because dissolving a nonprofit entity can be notably more complex than dissolving a for-profit entity. Read More

What You Need to Know Before Starting a Nonprofit


Every day, individuals like you are inspired to start a nonprofit to help serve your community. However, forming a nonprofit organization might be the most complicated way to act on your passion to give back to your community and help those in need. Estimates vary, but most experts agree that less than half of nonprofit startups survive beyond five years. Before you take the leap into starting your own organization, you should consider the following issues…Read More

Guest Column: Jim Benedict


Sometimes Philanthropy can be Overwhelming. You have the best intentions to give back to your community. You are a philanthropist at heart. You want to give to foundations and charities that are dear to you. But sometimes obstacles stand in the way. Read More

Getting Grant Dollars


One of the main reasons not-for-profit organizations fail is due to a lack of funding. Generating enough income to support the organization’s operations and charitable activities can be difficult, especially for public charities, which must obtain 33.33% of their funding from public sources. Read on to discover how to find grantmakers that would be interested in funding your organization’s mission.Read More

Did you know that Private Foundations pay tax?


One might think that because a private foundation is a nonprofit charitable organization it is exempt from all tax. However, while private foundations are exempt from income tax, most are subject to a one or two percent “excise tax” on net investment income. This tax must be reported on Form 990-PF, Return of Private Foundation, and must be paid annually at the time of filing that return or in quarterly estimated tax payments.Read More

Charitable Remainder Trusts: Are They Right for You?


For over 45 years, individuals and families have been using charitable remainder trusts (CRTs) to generate income, reduce taxes, and benefit charities. If you have assets that have appreciated in value, consider creating a CRT to avoid capital gains tax. Click the link below to learn more!Read More

Auctions.. Putting the FUN in Fundraising


While auctions are a fun way to raise money for charity, there are strict federal and state laws that a nonprofit organization running an auction must be aware of.Read More

Change is in the Air for Your Not-for-Profit Financial Statements


In April 2015, the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s (FASB) Not-for-Profit Advising Committee issued an exposure consisting of recommendations to improve financial statement reporting and disclosures for not-for-profit entities. The major changes that will affect your organization revolve around the presentation of net assets, liquidity, the statement of activities, functional expenses, and required disclosures. Read More

A Year in Review


During 2015, we provided guidance through some of the more common challenges that pertain to not-for-profit organizations. Whether it was assisting you in deciding how to spend grant dollars or keeping you in compliance, we addressed your concerns and gave you the tools you needed to tackle them.Read More

Reviewing Your Compensation Policy


Are you a nonprofit organization? Have you reviewed your executive compensation policy? While not required, the IRS recommends implementing this policy to instill confidence and transparency in your organization as well as to protect your board members, employees, and the organization. Read on to learn more about executive compensation policies and how you can stay in compliance!Read More

Substantiating Charitable Contributions Received


Charitable organizations face strict documentation, acknowledgement, and substantiation rules for tax deductible charitable contributions received. The following article includes specific requirements a charitable organization must follow related to documentation. Read More

A New Approach to Evaluating Not For Profits


Ratings, rankings, reviews and statistics are everywhere – from a review of your coffee shop down the street to the ranking and statistics of publicly traded companies on Wall Street. However, have you ever thought of the rating of the not-for-profit organizations and charities that you give to? Read More

Not-for-Profit Audit Committee Toolkit


Not-for-profit entities need an audit committee to ensure financial statement accountability and reliability for their users. The AICPA Audit Committee Effectiveness Center features a toolkit designed to provide entities with the responsibilities and regulations that affect audit committees.Read More

Private Foundation Third Quarter Excise Tax Payments due on September 15th.


Sometimes exempt organizations still have to pay in tax… September 15th is the due date for the third quarter estimated tax payment for excise tax on a private foundation's net investment income. Read More

Potential Problems with Investing in Master Limited Partnerships through Retirement Accounts


Although Master Limited Partnerships can be wise investments for a multitude of reasons, investing in them through a retirement account can often cause unintended consequences that people are not aware of.Read More

Expenditure Responsibility


When making the decision to award a grant, a foundation must be mindful of the type of organization that will be the recipient. If the organization is not a Section 501(c)(3) public charity, then your grant may be subject to expenditure responsibility regulations. Read More

Expense Allocation for Non-Profit Organizations


Just like a for-profit organization allocates its expenses between different categories like cost of goods sold, general & administrative, and selling expenses , a non-profit organization also needs to be aware of how to correctly classify its expenses among program expenses, management & general expenses and fundraising expenses.Read More

Nonprofit Accounting


In order to ensure that your organization is on top of its bookkeeping and accounting responsibilities, several policies and procedures should be implemented. This article is a general outline of some of the concerns with nonprofit accounting and bookkeeping.Read More

Things you should consider before filing Form 1023-EZ


Form 1023-EZ is a fairly new streamlined version of Form 1023, Application for Recognition Under Section 501(c)(3). Sure, Form 1023-EZ may be a quicker, easier way to obtain tax-exempt status, but there are some things you should be aware of as a filer. Read More

Focusing Your Philanthropy


Whether you have founded your own family foundation or serve as a board member of a grant making foundation, the question of if and how the organization should focus its grant dollars is an important discussion to have.Read More

Private Foundation –Distribution Requirements


With the end of 2014 fast approaching, it is important to review your Private Foundation's grant distributions. There are two specific items that need to be considered: required annual minimum distributions and the distributions required to meet the reduced excise tax on net investment income.Read More

Items to Cover at Your Annual Meeting

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As the year winds down, your nonprofit organization should be reviewing the current year and planning for the future. A few important things to cover at the annual meeting include…Read More

Policies to Instill Confidence and Transparency


As a charitable organization, it is necessary to have certain policies and procedures in place in order to instill confidence and transparency in your organization, whether that is internally, with the public or an agency like the IRS. Some of the best ways to achieve that transparency is to follow some of the IRS best practices by creating policies which are located on page 6 of the Form 990.Read More

Non Profits have planning opportunities too!


Whether you are running a private foundation or a public charity, year-end is an important time. It is the perfect time to make sure the organization has fulfilled its responsibilities and to develop a plan for next year. Private foundations should be evaluating their net investment income and the 1% excise tax thresholds before year end. Read More

Characteristics of Tax Exempt Organizations


Exempt organizations have been in the news a lot lately. All this talk about 501(c)(4) organizations may have you confused about what exactly an exempt organization can and can’t do when it comes to political activities. Read More

Tips to Keep in Mind When Contributing to Charity


This time of year often finds us attending fundraisers or donating our household items from spring cleaning to a charitable organization, which often raises questions about charitable contributions, acknowledgements and tax deductions. The Internal Revenue Service has compiled some tips that you should keep in mind when contributing to charity.Read More