New 1023-EZ Form Simplifies Applying for 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Status

Today, the Internal Revenue Service released the new Form 1023-EZ application form to reduce processing delays and help small charities apply for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status more easily.Continue Reading

DIY Nonprofit Law – Top Five Mistakes

The state form does not include the tax provisions that the IRS requires tax-exempt organizations to have. Would be founders that file using the state’s form Articles of Incorporation without including an attachment with the appropriate tax provisions will end up with a taxable nonprofit – a result almost no one intends. Continue Reading

Corporate Structure – One Size Does Not Fit All

I am fortunate to represent a number of established and growing nonprofits, some of which are expanding into new geographic areas and new markets or scaling up their existing operations to meet demand. I am often asked to advise them on how best to structure their organizations to accommodate growth. Invariably, my answer is the classic lawyer answer – “it depends.”Continue Reading

IRS Introduces Form 1023-EZ

The goal of the streamlined application process is to permit small charities without complex issues to get up and running more quickly. The streamlined application will also permit the IRS to spend less time reviewing applications and more time focusing its energies on monitoring compliance for organizations that have been approved.Continue Reading

Managing Donor Restricted Gifts

Giving donors the power to restrict their gifts for a specific purpose or program or to restrict the timing and amount of expenditures can be a powerful giving incentive. Restrictions give donors comfort that their gift will be used as they envision.Continue Reading

10 Questions To Ask Before You Join A Nonprofit Board

While board service can be one of the most rewarding ways to give back, a bad fit or poor performance can lead to a difficult and even potentially costly board service experience. Continue Reading

IRS Posts Standard Form 1023 Questions

The IRS has posted in links to the questions Exempt Organizations specialists are instructed to ask in relation to various issues raised by applications for exemption and miscellaneous determination requests.Continue Reading

Last Chance to Register for Arizona Gives Day!

Arizona Gives Day uses the collective power of individual donations to make immediate and enduring changes throughout the state. Arizona Gives Day is April 9th, 2014. Be a part of it.Continue Reading

Managing Conflicts of Interest

Whenever nonprofit directors, officers or staff members’ personal interests are impacted by their decision-making on behalf of the nonprofit, conflicts of interest can arise. All nonprofits encounter conflicts and all nonprofits need to understand effective conflict management.Continue Reading

Gambling with Your Nonprofit

Everyday nonprofits seek to change the world on what often seems to be pennies on the dollar. Nonprofit leaders commonly think of grant money and tax-deductible donations when fundraising, but in many states being a nonprofit allows certain nonprofits to legally conduct gambling activities that would otherwise be criminalized under state law. Inadvertently violating these gambling laws can have steep consequences so if your organization is planning an event that involves some form of gambling, it pays to do it right.Continue Reading

Nonprofit Law Jargon Buster – What is a Quorum?

n the context of a nonprofit corporation, a quorum is the number of board members that must participate in a board meeting to permit official business to be transacted at the meeting. Continue Reading

IRS Announces Streamlined Procedures to Reinstate Tax-exempt Status

This very helpful Procedure sets forth streamlined processes organizations whose tax-exempt status has been automatically revoked for failure to file required annual returns or notices for 3 consecutive years to regain their tax-exempt status retroactive to the date of of revocation. Continue Reading

Best of CharityLawyer Blog 2013

At the end of each year we like to look back at our most popular posts to evaluate what our readers are finding most interesting and useful on the blog.Continue Reading

When to Start a Nonprofit

We are used to hearing lots of folks – including yours truly – complain about the “nonprofit birth control” problem in this country. While it is true that too many nonprofits are formed for the wrong reasons – there are also many good reasons to form a new nonprofit. The trick is to learn to tell the difference. Continue Reading

Nonprofit Law Jargon Buster – Directors and Officers

To folks who are new to nonprofit governance, grasping the difference between directors and officers of a nonprofit corporation can be confusing.Continue Reading

Compensating Nonprofit Fundraisers

Many small nonprofits without sufficient funds to hire a fundraiser on a fee for service basis view percentage based compensation as a godsend. First, percentage based compensation permits the nonprofit to gain the assistance of a professional fundraiser without any risk to the nonprofit’s bottom line. In addition, the fundraiser is likely to be more motivated if they are paid based upon the funds raised.Continue Reading

Reporting Diversions of Nonprofit Assets

The Washington Post has identified over 1,000 nonprofit organizations that have reported a “significant diversion” of assets. Its important to note that there are over 1,616,000 tax-exempt nonprofits in the U.S. today; thus, these filings represent less than 1% of tax-exempt nonprofits. It’s also interesting to note that a quick review of Arizona’s list includes only 21 organizations – most of which reported the diversions in a clear, transparent, and confidence inspiring manner.Continue Reading

Negotiating and Documenting Nonprofit Naming Rights

For an increasing number of nonprofit organizations, the sale of naming rights have become a significant source of funding. The assets that can be named are limited only by a nonprofit’s imagination. Nonprofits commonly sell naming rights to programs, scholarship funds, endowed chairs, sections of a building, an entire facility, and even the name of the entity itself.Continue Reading

Nonprofit Internships

Remember that unpaid internship you were so lucky to snag in college? Well, according to both a federal judge in Manhattan and the US Department of Labor (“DOL”) that coffee-delivering-foot-in-the-door opportunity may have violated the Fair Labor Standards Act and entitle you to compensation. But what if you worked for a nonprofit?Continue Reading

Hurry up and Wait – Expediting Applications for Exemption

In general, 1023 exemption applications are processed in the order of receipt by the IRS, and expedited processing is available only if there is a “compelling reason” for it. There are reports that over 80% of requests for expedited processing are denied. If the organization needs its determination letter in a hurry because of circumstances that are within its control, the IRS is not likely to feel that the situation justifies expedited handling.Continue Reading