Helping Nonprofits Achieve Their Missions

Consulting for Start Up Nonprofits

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

501(c)3:

- How do I get a 501(c)3 status?

1) Go to the Secretary of States office website. Check to be sure the name you want to use is not being used by some else.

NC: http://www.sosnc.gov/Corporations/

SC: http://www.sos.sc.gov/Public_Charities


2) Secure a nonprofit EIN Number: SS4 Form (should be free)

http://www.irs.gov/Charities-&-Non-Profits/Obtaining-an-Employer-Identification-Number-for-an-Exempt-Organization


3) Set up your Incorporation through the forms on the Secretary of State website. Make sure you register your incorporation as a nonprofit.

-Once you have received your incorporation papers back and approved by the Secretary of States office then you are ready to apply for your nonprofit status.


4)  Check out both websites to see what best fits your nonprofit plans:
1023 - EZ website - http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i1023ez.pdf
1023 - Long Form - http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f1023.pdf


A year ago (2015), the IRS introduced Form 1023-EZ, which is a streamlined application to become a tax-exempt charitable organization known as a 501(c)3.  This new form is only 3 pages as compared to the 26 page regular Form 1023.  In order to be eligible for Form 1023-EZ, your organization needs to have less than 50k in gross receipts and less than 250k of total assets.  To make it even better, the cost for the application is now $275, down from $400.
Information in Davies, Goldstein & Associates CPAS, PLLC Newsletter.


5) After you are issued an official letter from the IRS stating your incorporation is a valid nonprofit, then you need to apply for your States Solicitation license. This license is required by 40 states in order to solicit funds for your nonprofit.  You will be fined if you do not have a valid solicitation license and are soliciting funds on your website, fundraising, donor development or through an event planner or professional solicitor.​​​ See below for Solicitation links for various States.


IRS.gov - Frequently asked questions regarding setting up a 501(c)3 organization

www.irs.gov/charities/article/0,,id=96590,00.html

Communications:
-How do I get the local media to publish information about my nonprofit event?
Emailing a press release or other media alert to local publications is just the first step. Be sure to follow-up a few days later with a phone call. Send another email later, if necessary. Be persistent, but be polite. Not everything you send will make it into print or be considered "story worthy" for TV or radio. 
-Is it too early to alert the media to my nonprofit event?
No! It's important to keep in mind that local magazines operate on deadlines 2-3 months in advance of when they hit the stands, so they need plenty of advanced notice.


Donor Software 2016

Keeping track of donations and donor information is very important for nonprofits (of any size).  Many nonprofits are always looking for the perfect CRM(Customer relationship management) to purchase in order to managing a company's interaction
with current and future customers.


Here are a few websites to help you make your decision. We are not recommending any one particular product as each of you has a different need.  Best you make this decision!


http://www.capterra.com/fundraising-software/
http://www.softwareadvice.com/nonprofit/crm-software-comparison/
http://transformingmedia.net/
http://mygivingsolutions.com/index.htm 
http://www.donorsnap.com/fundraising-software/features/index.php

http://www.virtuouscrm.com/

Facebook:

- How often should I post to Facebook and other social media sites?
This really depends on your audience, but we recommend a minimum of 2-3 times per week, especially for sites like Facebook. You want to keep your page fresh and exciting with new updates, but you don't want to overwhlem people (that's a sure way to get them to "unlike" or "unfollow" your page(s).   


Free Technology for Nonprofits:

http://rabellcreative.com/free-money-saving-software-resources-for-501c3-non-profits/


Fundraising:
-How long does it take to plan a fundraiser?
This depends on the type of fundraiser you'd like to have. Larger events, such as golf tournaments and 5K runs typically need at least 6 months of planning, advertising and enough time to secure sponsors and participants. 
Smaller fundraisers can be organized fairly quickly, but we recommend a minimum of 2 months advanced notice to the local media (see above) to alert the public to your event. 


Marketing versus Advertising:

- Marketing:  The systematic planning, implementation and control of a mix of nonprofit activities intended to bring together buyers and sellers for the mutually advantageous exchange or transfer of products.

- Advertising:  is attempting to influence the giving behavior of your donors (constituents) by providing a persuasive selling message about your nonprofit and/or services.


Mission Statement versus Vision Statement:

- Mission Statement explains the company’s (or department’s) reason for existence. It describes the company (or department), what it does and its overall intention. The mission statement supports the vision and serves to communicate purpose and direction to employees, customers, vendors and other stakeholders. The mission can change to reflect a company’s (or department’s) priorities and methods to accomplish its vision

- Vision statement describes the organization as it would appear in a future successful state. When developing a vision statement, try to answer this question: If the organization were to achieve all of its strategic goals, what would it look like 10 years from now? An effective vision statement is inspirational and aspirational. It creates a mental image of the future state that the organization wishes to achieve. A vision statement should challenge and inspire employees. -


National Center for Charitable Statistics: http://nccs.urban.org/faq/


Nonprofit versus For Profit:

http://smallbusiness.chron.com/non-profit-organization-vs-profit-organization-4150.html


Solicitation Licenses:

Did you know that 40 States require charities to obtain a license to solicit contributions?

AK -http://arkansasag.gov/programs/arkansas-lawyer/charities

IL - http://www.ilsos.net/departments/business_services/business_not-for-profit/home.html

NC - https://www.secretary.state.nc.us/csl/Licensing.aspx

SC -http://www.sos.sc.gov/Public_Charities