Monthly Archives: June 2016

Welcome to Simple Charity Registration – State Registration Video

Welcome to Simple Charity Registration, a do-it-yourself, form-fill software developed by nonprofit and IT professionals to make it easy and affordable for charities to comply with state charitable solicitation registrations.

If you’re watching this, you likely know that most states require that charities register with them in order to be able to solicit funds in their state. This requires initial and annual filings that have different deadlines and requirements. Those who have been through this process know it can be long and arduous.

Our mission is to bring affordable automation of the state charity registration process to all US nonprofits so that they can refocus human and financial resources on accomplishing their missions.

What can Simple Charity Registration do for your organization?

We can save you hundreds of hours of work through 4 steps which streamlines the individual state process by answering core questions that are asked on every application and a handful of state specific questions all the while auto populating all the forms for you.

Simply 4 Steps

First our Compliance Wizard will help you determine which states that your organization is required to register in and where your may be exempt from registration.  Here you will also learn about categories of nonprofits which are exempt from the registration process. Also, during this step the system will begin to populate the necessary forms and the state specific question groups.

Next, you will begin the questionnaire process which includes questions about your organization, its people and some of the people you do business with.

You continue the process by filling in any state specifics and some financial questions from your own Form 990.

Lastly you print and review your organizations forms and attachments, sign and send them to the state.

The end product is auto-filled forms with the required addenda and a checklist of instructions with information on required signatures, attachments and fees, and how to file. We also include any additional information of note on the registration procedures for that state.

Simple Reminders

Another benefit of our software is you will receive email reminders 30 and 7 days prior to the upcoming state specific deadlines hopefully saving you from any nasty late fees and keeping you compliant.

Simple Resources

Along with the state forms we provide updated instructions and state resources pages with links to regulations and contact information.  We also offer an informative blog with industry news, information on upcoming conferences & webinars and anything else that we think you might find helpful to your organizations mission.

Simple Next Year

Finally, we make it even easier next year so that you only thing that you will need to do is review the prior year’s information, make necessary changes to your data, print and file.

We’ve been in your position with the confusion and frustration of filing state charitable solicitation registrations. So here is our answer to help your nonprofit remain transparent and in compliance so that you can continue your valuable work.

Simple Right?

Let’s Get Started!! Your first state is free and after that, you can choose to pay as you go with the individual state form packages for $50 each or purchase the “All States Package” for $900 which includes the forms for all 39 states. Both packages do contain the forms necessary for each individual state including forms for extensions, exemptions, registrations, renewals, annual filings and in some cases financial statements.

Head on over to the “Get Started” tab, create an account and either poke around or check out our Basics Video where we give you valuable information to help you navigate the software!!

Please contact us with any comments, questions or concerns at (800)780-6027 or support@SimpleCharityRegstration.com.

More of our tutorials can also be seen on our YouTube channel: http://bit.ly/2a1t5YJ 

6 Things to Know About Charity Registration in Wisconsin

Does your nonprofit solicit donations in Wisconsin? If so, you should know that on June 1 Wisconsin changed some of its legislative rules about  charitable solicitation and published new charitable solicitation registration forms in an ongoing effort to make registration and financial reporting easier. Some changes, such as getting rid of the notary requirement, were in response to requests from charities, and others, such as changes to financial thresholds, bring the state more in line with unofficial national standards. We interviewed the Department of Financial Services (DFI) for their take on registering in Wisconsin.

6 Things to Know About Wisconsin’s New Registration Rules

  1. Revenue Threshold Increase: Wisconsin exempts organizations that fall into one of two categories from filing an annual report:
    1. Organizations that received less than $25,000 (increased from $5,000) in contributions during their fiscal year, and
    2. Organizations that operate solely in the county in which they are headquartered and received less than $50,000 in contributions during their fiscal year.
  2. Annual Report Deadlines: The deadlines for filing annual financial reporting is now 12 months after your fiscal year end, extended from the previous 9 months.
  3. Notary: Wisconsin has removed the notary requirement from their forms.
  4. Audited and Reviewed Financial Reports: The triggers for requiring audited or reviewed financial reports has been increased to $500,000 for audited reports and to between $300,000-$500,000 for reviewed reports.
  5. Professional Fundraising Questions: Questions about professional fundraisers have been changed from covering the completed fiscal year to the current fiscal year so that the DFI can check that the fundraisers being used are registered with the state. The DFI said that they put this measure in place to protect charities.
  6. Convictions: The new rules also give the DFI more authority to investigate any convictions of a charity’s board, executives, and officers.

Common Mistakes

As always, we asked the the DFI about common mistakes that charities make when filing. The good news is that there are very few with the registration application or with most of the financial reporting forms, and of course, online renewal. The biggest problem they have is charities sending in their 990’s and audits and not completing the forms at all. You can find a very clear break-down of their forms on the DFI site.

Take-away for Today

Wisconsin has very clear forms and requirements and have spelled them all out on their site and instructions. Follow their lead carefully and you should have no problems understanding what your organization needs to do to be compliant in Wisconsin. It also goes without saying that it is all made easier, by using Simple Charity Registration.

More of our tutorials can also be seen on our YouTube channel: http://bit.ly/2a1t5YJ 

After the Registration Let the Fundraising Begin: Fundraising Webinars for Nonprofits

There is always great resources out there for your nonprofit organization but finding the time to do the research and attend the training is a different story. So, now that we have saved you some time registering your organization we thought we could go one step further and help you identify some people or organizations with some new strategies to help you to raise the funds that your programs need.  Here are some webinars that specialize in bringing attention to your mission and funding your programs that we think you will find helpful this week.

Using Storytelling to Fund Your Mission by BidPal

Tuesday June 21st & Thursday June 23rd

Every nonprofit has a story to tell. Shine a spotlight on your organization’s greatest successes and your biggest needs with storytelling! Why is storytelling so critical to a nonprofit’s ability to fundraise? What are the key elements to a story that will result in donations? When, where and how do I deliver our stories?

http://www.bidpal.com/storytelling-webinar/

Online Fundraising Best Practices for Nonprofits by Firespring.org

Tuesday, June 21st

Conventional wisdom dictates that we manage what we measure, and the most effective nonprofits on the planet know exactly how to measure their results – including detailed formulas that every nonprofit should be using – to track the effectiveness of their fundraising efforts.

http://www.firespring.org/fundraising/

After the Gift: How to build a satisfied, loyal donor base presented by Tina Cincotti & 4Good.org

Wednesday, June 22nd

This webinar will explore the reasons why donors often stop giving to your organization and how you can change that. You will learn what donors expect when they donate and how you can meet those expectations. Be prepared to receive lots of concrete strategies for increasing the number of donors who continue giving to your organization year after year.

https://4good.org/tina-cincotti/after-the-gift-how-to-build-a-satisfied-loyal-donor-base

 

I picked these three events because the speakers are all highly regarded in their fields and they each represent a different phase of your fundraising cycle.

Good Luck!! Hope to see you there!!

 

Requirements for Nonprofits Responding to “Pulse” Shooting in Florida

The good in human nature has shown itself in the overwhelming response of individuals, nonprofits, and companies in the wake of the mass shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida on June 12. We have seen long lines to give blood to the 53 injured, companies offer housing and flights to the victims’ families, and nonprofit organizations stepping up to assist families and the LGBT community.

In addition to those incredible actions, millions of dollars have already been raised to support all these programs. Donations from large companies, like Disney, and thousands of individuals are streaming in to help. Local and national charities rallied to the call in line with their expertise. For many, the immediate needs of victims and their families is more than they traditionally manage as is the influx of donations. Aside from the programmatic challenges, the charities must also maintain their financial accountability and transparency and report to both the IRS and the State of Florida.

IRS Reporting

The IRS Publication 3833 has good, well-organized, information on charities wanting to aid in disaster relief and also gives advice on what to consider when deciding how to provide assistance. For instance, it recommends that a new organization may be best served directing support to an existing charity that has already established programmatic and financial procedures, such as with the OneOrlando Fund developed by the city’s mayor to coordinate much of the relief efforts of the Pulse tragedy. The Fund will be administered by a local community foundation.

Reporting on the income and expenses will be done on the IRS 990 or 990EZ with program reporting done on the Statement of Program Service Accomplishments and grants and individual support reported on Schedule I.

The IRS also has two video trainings on Disaster Relief.

Florida Requirements

The State of Florida requires that charities that receive $50,000 or more in the wake of a natural disaster or other crisis must submit quarterly financial reports unless they have been registered as a charity for four or more years. The state posts disasters and crises that trigger this requirement on their FreshFromFlorida site. Pulse Club Shooting Victims support has been listed.

For more information on charitable solicitation requirements in Florida see our blog post.

Take Away for Today

Americans are generous with helping others in crisis, and our strong nonprofit community always rises to the occasion. In addition to the responsibilities they take on in serving others, they also have responsibility to show that they are spending donor money appropriately in order to be able to keep doing their good works.

Lastly

Want to help victims of the Pulse shooting? There are very good lists published by the Huffington Post and Money Magazine.