2019 is coming to a close, which means your fundraising is ramping up, especially as the biggest donation day of the year approaches. We all know that day is #GivingTuesday, and it’s the best opportunity to close in on your fundraising goal.
Seven years ago the team at the Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact and the 92nd Street Y had a simple idea: there should be more to kick off the holiday season than turkey leftovers and Black Friday bargains, and #GivingTuesday was born. Today, the global giving movement has spread to more than 150 countries, bringing in more than $300 million in donations in 2017.
People are eager to mark the end of the year by sharing gifts, not just buying them, which means they’re looking to connect with nonprofits like yours. As you prepare to step into year-end fundraising, beginning with Giving Tuesday, make sure you’ve set your nonprofit up for success by protecting your good standing and compliance.
People research every decision they make nowadays, and where to donate their money is no exception. The Federal Trade Commission encourages givers to go online to “find out if the charity or fundraiser must be registered in your state” before making a donation. Forty-one states require registration before soliciting their residents, and 25 require the inclusion of specific disclosure statements on fundraising appeals.
Donors aren’t the only ones researching before giving. Corporations are looking for best practice nonprofits for their workplace giving and volunteer campaigns, as well as for cause marketing co-ventures. With #GivingTuesday brand partnerships on the rise, it’s more important than ever to ensure your nonprofit is compliant.
Our goal at Harbor Compliance is to take the work and worry out of meeting state requirements. Fundraising is hard enough, and your nonprofit has other things to focus on. That’s why we’ve created several resources to help you.
Cause Marketing Compliance: What Businesses and Nonprofits Should Know explains the ins and outs of running a compliant commercial co-venture, including contract filings, financial reporting, and how fundraising registrations fit into the mix.
Cause Marketing Compliance and Success provides an overview of requirements for commercial co-ventures and suggestions for building successful cause partnerships.
Charitable Solicitation Compliance breaks down the who, what, where, and how of charitable solicitation registration, disclosure statements, and other critical state requirements.
Check your good standing
This also a good time to check your good standing with secretaries of state. Good standing is based on maintaining a registered agent and filing timely annual reports, among other requirements. If you’re not sure of your registration status or good standing, we can help. Our software is linked to secretary of state databases nationwide, so our compliance specialists can confirm your status in minutes. Just get in touch or call us at 1-888-995-5895.
Professional fundraisers and cause marketing
If you’re working with a professional solicitor or other fundraising professional, you may have additional requirements to meet. Commercial co-ventures also carry specific requirements that differ from state to state. Make sure you’ve done your research and met the requirements to cover all of your year-end fundraising activities.
Compliance is meant to be shared
Finally, make sure to let your staff and directors know that you’re registered for fundraising. Have a quick meeting to brief them on your fundraising compliance. Since your board members are personally responsible for ensuring that your nonprofit meets applicable legal and regulatory requirements, it’s important to let them know you’ve taken steps to safeguard your operations and reputation. It also allows board members and staff to share that good news with potential donors and corporate partners and reach out to them with confidence.
Your time is valuable and we want to ensure this #GivingTuesday, and each one that follows is successful. If you’d rather spend your time sharing your mission and connecting with donors, don’t worry. We’ve helped thousands of nonprofits — including 92nd Street Y — stay compliant, and we’re ready to help you, too! Let’s talk, 1-888-995-5895, or contact us online.
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Harbor Compliance is not an accounting or law firm and does not provide tax, financial, or legal advice.