6 Reasons “Friends of” Organizations Should Bank Abroad

LEGO Globe Europe Africa by AmazingBrickCreations.comThe fiscal responsibilities of an American charity have become more complicated in recent years. Increased scrutiny from the IRS, more intricate tax documentation, the recent economic crisis, and donors’ need for transparency, are just a few of the challenges facing the sector. When a charity operates internationally these difficulties are only exacerbated. These global organizations are expected to be familiar with regional and global charity regulations, comfortable working in foreign languages and cultures, able to cope with inherent increased expenses, and capable of forging new relationships – all while maintaining a high level of accountability.

A powerful tool in helping a “Friends of” organization cope is an additional account abroad in the country in which it operates. When used to its potential, this kind of account is invaluable. Continue reading

MANDATORY Compliance with the I.R.S.’ VOLUNTARY Best Practices

"Rise Above" by KaleCraneA charitable foundation’s worst fear is that its grant will be used for non-charitable purposes. The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) stresses that this risk increases drastically when dealing with foreign grant making and expenditures.[1] The U.S. Department of the Treasury released its third and final version of its “Anti-Terrorist Financing Guidelines: Voluntary Best Practices for U.S. Based Charities” (VBP) in September of 2006 to help charities implement procedures that will reduce the risk of unintended diversions of funds to terrorist causes.

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Homeland Security Scrutinizing New Nonprofits: What Can We Expect & How Can We Adjust

You Are Not Allowed To Take Photos Here!! by TroyHoldenAnd the hits just keep on coming…

Nonprofit organizations have yet another hurdle to cross when applying for tax-exempt status.

A while back, a colleague of mine, a director of a nonprofit organization, applied for tax-exempt status in the United States. The IRS had questions for him, which was to be expected. What was not expected, however, was that after answering the IRS’ questions, his file was then forwarded to the Department of Homeland Security [DHS].

That’s right, the U.S. Government Department that oversees (no pun intended) counter-terrorism, border security, disaster response, and immigration is also an integral part of the tax-exempt approval process. Continue reading

Weekly Must-Reads: June 6

A list of great articles I’ve read and posted to Twitter between May 23 – June 5, 2010.  This week’s topics include: I.R.S.; Sector Trends; Social Media & Internet; Finance & Economy; and Potpourri.

While it has been two weeks since my last Must-Read, don’t worry about overload. Between my daughter running into a door and needing stitches and my internet being on the fritz for four days, its been a slow couple of weeks.  Well, here’s hoping for a better week that last… Continue reading

4 Reasons Why NOT to Establish an “American Friends of” Organization

Israeli charities (amutot in Hebrew) rely on donations from overseas – no secret there.  Many foreign-based charities choose to create an American based nonprofit, more commonly referred to as a “Friends of” organization so donations can be tax-deductible vis-a-vis the American Federal Government. (In a previous post, I spoke about IRS trends when a “Friends of Organization” is applying for tax-exempt status.)

However, it could be that establishing a “Friends of” organization is not in your charity’s best interest. The following are some considerations that elaborate on:

Why not to establish a U.S. registered “Friends of” Organization to help fundraise? Continue reading

Weekly Must-Reads: May 23

A list of great articles from around the web that I posted to Twitter from May 16 – May 22, 2010.  This week’s topics include: Strategy & Governance; US Tax Tidbits; Social Media & Fundraising; Economy & Finance; and Potpourri. Continue reading

Weekly Must-Reads: May 16

A list of great articles from around the web that I posted to Twitter from May 2 – May 15, 2010.  This week’s topics include: Strategy & Governance; Social Media & Internet >> Fundraising; Social Media & Internet >> Recreation; Israel; Banking & Economy; and Potpourri.

I didn’t have so much time last week, forcing me to combine 2 weeks worth of links. Man, oh man. I hope you’ve got some time, there are some great articles below.  Not to mention some really funny ones, as well. Enjoy them both. Continue reading