501c3

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509(a)(3) Supporting Organizations: Part 1

Most 501(c)(3) public charities are characterized as such because they receive most of their funding from donations from the general public, government grants, or from other 501(c)(3) public charities. However, some public charities are characterized as such because they support other public charities. These organizations are appropriately called supporting organizations. Unlike other public charities who …

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Earned Income Strategies (Part 4 of 5) Unrelated Business Activity (A Cost to Make a Difference)

Besides conducting related business activity and earning income through passive strategies, nonprofits can simply earn income through unrelated business activity. Unrelated business activity is exactly what it sounds like: activity a nonprofit conducts that has nothing to do with its charitable purposes. More accurately unrelated business income is  income generated from activity that is: A …

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Tax-exempt organizations – Be sure to file your 990 informational return!

Despite the IRS’s best efforts to inform the public, many tax-exempt organizations fail to file their annual informational return (examples here).  While failing to file for a single year may trigger late fee penalties, the real threat is that if an organization fails to file their 990 for three consecutive tax years, they AUTOMATICALLY lose …

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Introducing the New 1023-EZ!

Effective July 1, 2014, the IRS implemented a new, streamlined application process for smaller organizations seeking tax-exempt status as under IRC section 501(c)(3) . Replacing the old, longer Form 1023, the new, shorter, and electronic Form 1023-EZ is the IRS’s solution to reduce the existing backlog of applications for tax-exemption. Although this will not affect …

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Why Business Can be Good at Solving Social Problems

Business is a tool, its how you use that tool that matters.  Michael Porter, the Harvard Business School Professor in the Ted Talk video below, argues that business can be the tool to solve the world’s greatest problems. We all know the social problems: childhood obesity, poverty, water scarcity, poor healthcare, climate change. Usually, we look …

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“The Way We Think About Charity is Dead Wrong” by Dan Pallotta

Many people have a misconception about fundraising costs and charitable giving.  Too many donors ask to see the numbers on a charity’s overhead and how much of their donated dollar will be spent “on the ground” without also asking about the overall impact of an organization.  This thinking, among other myopic views about charity, is …

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Online Charitable Solicitations: 4 Tips for Using the “Donate Here” Button

Your shiny new website is up and running. And, like most tax-exempt nonprofit organizations, your website prominently displays a “donate here” button. What better way to solicit charitable donations from American philanthropists! The problem is, your organization may now be “soliciting” donations from the residents of every state in the United States. You’ve probably heard or have …

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