One of the biggest hurdles involved in acquiring tax exemption for your non-profit organization is filing Form 1023. Form 1023 is an overwhelming 31 pages in length and canvasses a breadth of information ranging from the tiniest details to broad questions that leave most people scratching their heads. Luckily, some organizations seeking 501 (c)(3) tax…
The Aeta Tribe Foundation is an International 501(c)3 formed in the State of California in May 2015 to promote and protect the health and well-being of the indigenous Aeta Tribes of the Philippines. Prior to the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991, approximately 800,000 Aeta people lived along the mountain’s slopes. The eruption caused the…
Those who have started (or tried to start) a 501c3 charitable organization know form 1023 all too well. But here at Non Profit Legal Center, we want to give you some preliminary form 1023 instructions in plain language. What types of organizations use form 1023? Organizations that may qualify for exemption under section 501c3…
Deloitte Services LP has released their 2013 Deloitte Volunteer IMPACT Survey, detailing the impact of volunteering as it pertains to professional experience. The data shows that 81% of Human Resources Executives desire college graduates that have volunteered for nonprofits. Furthermore, 78% of the surveyed executives prefer veterans with volunteering experience. The overall research hypothesis is…
Your 501(c)(4) organization might be eligible for expedited processing of you application, according to an IRS update. To qualify, your organization must meet all of the following criteria:
- Your organization applied for exemption as a 501(c)(4) organization.
- Your application had been pending for more than 120 days as of May 28, 2013.
- Your case involves possible political campaign intervention or issue advocacy.
If this information pertains to your organization, you may receive a Letter 5228, which is an Application Notification of Expedited 501(c)(4) Option. In order to self-certify your organization with a Letter 5228, your organization must devote “60% or more of both spending and time to activities that promote social welfare as defined by Section 501(c)(4)” and devote less than 40% of your efforts to political campaign intervention. Also, your organization needs to ensure that these thresholds apply for past, current and future activities. Follow the instructions listed in Letter 5228 to self-certify your organization and sign and return pages 4-5 within 45 days of the date of the letter.
For more information about Letter 5228 including how to make sure you meet the eligibility criteria in order to receive the letter, visit this page provided by the IRS.
This August and September, the IRS will be hosting various forums and workshops across the country to offer nonprofits education, training and the ability to network.
The IRSNationwide Tax Forums will feature a “full agenda of the latest tax law information, hands-on workshops, networking opportunities and exhibits of the latest products and services for your business needs.” These forums will be held at the Hyatt Regency in New Orleans (August 13-15), the Atlanta Marriott Marquis (August 20-22), the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Washington D.C. (August 27-29) and the San Diego, California’s Town and Country Resort (September 17-19). Continuing Professional Education credits will be eligible attending for agents, accountants and CTEC participants. Visit the IRSNationwide Tax Forum website to register online.
The IRS will also be holding Phone Forums for those who cannot attend the Tax Forums in person. There is limited space so click here to register today. These forums will cover various topics. On August 21, 501(c)(7) social clubs will be discussed. On September 10, the topic will be Exempt Organizations and Employment Taxes. Lastly, on the 18th of September the subject will be “Stay Exempt: A Guide for Charitable Organizations with Changing Leadership.”
Workshops for small to medium sized 501(c)(3) nonprofits will also be available this summer. These workshops will are held by experienced specialists and will “explain the nuts and bolts of what 501(c)(3) entities must do to keep their tax-exempt status and comply with tax obligations.” There will be two workshops in Kentucky, with Highland Heights on August 13 and Lexington on August 15. Northern Californians can attend workshops on the 20th and 21st of August in San Francisco, while Southern Californian nonprofits will have an opportunity to get help in Anaheim from August 28-29. Finally, on September 9, a workshop will be held in St. Paul and there will be one in Minneapolis on the next day. For more information on the event and how to register, visit this link.
Our wonderful client Kick4Life will be participating in the iconic ING New York City Marathon on Sunday November 3rd, 2013. If you are in the New York area, we encourage you to sign up to run with Kick4Life and help them with thier mission of changing the lives of vulnerable children in Africa.
Kick4Life harnesses “the power of sport to transform the lives of some of the most disadvantaged young people in the world.” The organization is based at the Football for Hope Centre in Lesotho, a country in southern Africa. Kick4Life supports at risk youth through health education, HIV prevention and voluntary testing facilities, life-skills development, mentorship as well as physical activities like sports.
If you are interested in participating in the marathon to support Kick4Life, please email email@example.com. Spots are limited and are going fast.
Below is a video from Kick4Life about their texting service, which provides Lesotho residents with information and guidelines about how to avoid HIV and where their nearest HIV clinic is in Lesotho.
The 2013 Millennial Impact Report details the ways 18-30 year olds, known as the Millennial generation, approach social change and the nonprofit landscape. The study surveyed young people over the past three years with a total of 11,675 participants. This generation has been regarded by many as entitled, lazy and selfish. However, the reports states that “73% of Millennials volunteered for a nonprofit in 2012. Their motivations: More than three quarters were passionate about the cause or issue, while 67% felt they could make an impact for a cause they cared about.” This is good news for nonprofits who want to encourage activism to the youth, but what are the best ways to make your nonprofit engage with millennials? The report breaks this down into three key points: Connect, Involve & Give.
Millennials are constantly using social media and new technology to connect with each other, and your nonprofit must understand not only how the youth Connect but also why. “Millennials prefer to share information about the cause, not the organization itself.” This means that rather than boosting your brand and trying to drive traffic to a central source (your organization), you should join the larger conversation of the cause your trying to help. Organizations should connect with likeminded organizations via social media and participate in hashtags and trends to inform users about their stance on activism. The central tenant of social media is spreadability over stickiness, that is to create shareable content that promotes conversation rather than direct messages that only points users to your page. The study also urges organizations to think mobile. “Organizations should think “mobile first” and focus on responsive design as well as content, including navigation, context around the organization’s work, and success stories.” Hone your messaging by asking yourself these questions when crafting a post:
• How can you educate the Millennial audience about the broader cause?
• How does your organization uniquely contribute to that greater issue?
• How can your programs and design entice your audience to read more?
Think in terms of people thumbing through their phones. When using Facebook, it is better to accompany a statement with an image as it takes up more screen real-estate when users are scrolling in their news feed. Your goal is to develop inherently sharable content.
The next point is to Involve. Millennials are interest in nonprofits because they want to “support a cause, help other people, and become part of a community that’s equally excited and eager to make a difference.” Just like millennial’s use of social media, engagement is about building a boundless community based on a specific conversation. Next to working for a cause that they are passionate about, the second chief motivation for millennials to volunteer is “meeting new people who care about the same cause or issue.” Therefore, your nonprofit should develop ways to introducing young people who share the same activist spirit. Plan local events that engage activism or promote gathering or rallies that relate to your mission. Of the surveyed individuals, the biggest annoyance towards nonprofit work was “not having much to do while volunteering and having their time wasted (69%), plus not knowing exactly what they’ll be doing when they volunteer (60%).” Make sure your events are clearly detailed online, so that your organization does not have to waste useful time training or instruction participants as “47% deplored having to ‘attend long training sessions in person for things that could be explained virtually.'” Also, Millennials would rather be promised future engagement with a cause rather than prizes for their work. Keep in mind that “Millennials do not necessarily need ‘stuff’ as incentives; they prefer professional development opportunities and networking more than t-shirts and swag.”
Lastly, the report urges organizations to know how Millennials Give. The good news is that the Millennial generation is passionate about contributing what they can monetarily to causes they truly believe in (“close to 83% of respondents made a financial gift to an organization in 2012”). Yet, with the financial landscape as it is today, it will take some time until the youth has the capital to give large gifts. However, it is important to provide the donation option that Millennials prefer: via the web. An overwhelming majority of surveyed individuals (84%) “gave or wants to give via website, while giving in person came in a distant second at 48%.” Consider embedding a payment gateway on your site and make sure to signup for a Paypal account for your nonprofit. Although the fact remains that Millennials are not able to give large amounts yet, “52% of respondents said they’d be interested in monthly giving,” so nonprofits should provide a billing plan option. All in all, your online presence should exude a transparent and trustworthy organization to invite young donors.
We hope you read though this report and find ways to bring younger eyes to your cause. In the end, you want Millennial engagement to be ingrained of your organization’s culture.
When we talk to folks about making their visions for a nonprofit organization a reality, the most common thing that holds people back is funding. We wanted to share a success story from on of our favorite clients about how they are getting creative and making those crowdsourcing fundraising platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo really work for them and their organization. Give it a look and imagine what’s possible for your organization:
- Drive donors to Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts
- Share progress photos of a school being built in the Sudan
- Raise money for a freshwater well in a remote village in Kenya
- Tell a story of a child receiving life-changing surgery in the Philippines
- Invite donors to a quarterly fundraising drive benefitting local sports teams
- Send donors a thank you video for contributing to a holiday food drive