Why Transparency Matters for Nonprofit Organizations and Your Taxes
During the past few years, an awakening has occurred. Supporting and providing financial assistance to animal organizations is becoming more popular. Showing an animal that is starving, chained, caged, abused or neglected can turn anyone’s stomach and cause an emotional desire to support that animal or cause. With one click, your money will help this injured animal’s vet bills. Does this sound familiar? As a writer and animal lover, I have seen this often. It is a tactic used by many organizations, but to help donors and recipients there is a simple formula. A rescue organization asking for funds from the public is required to display a registered IRS ID number on their web page, blog, Facebook, Twitter, and it should be easy to find. Why? At the end of the year, the donors may want to write the donation off on their taxes. The registered IRS ID number needs to be valid and in good standing to take the write-off. As an animal lover and frequent donor, I recommend that an animal organization provides the registered IRS ID number on their home page, contact page and donation page. A person who is considering a donation needs to know that the nonprofit is valid and in good standing. Donors should also investigate the nonprofit organization for the ratio of expense. The administration and salary costs cannot be higher than supporting the animals in need. A legitimate nonprofit organization should provide the ratio information. If I see an animal rescue program, and the ratio is above 50 percent administration and salary costs, I avoid it. I do not want to support a person’s lifestyle. I want the money to help the animals. For more information to look up or register a rescue program, please visit the IRS website. The IRS provides registered tax ID numbers for each nonprofit animal organization. To apply for recognition by the IRS of exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of the code, use Form 1023 (Application for Recognition of Exemption). I wish everyone a wagging tail day! ~ Martha Steward Source: Tax Exempt Organizations and World Wide Web Fundraising and Advertising on the Internet. About the Author: Martha Steward lives in northern California on her family farm and has a blog. All of the animals on the farm are either adopted or rescued. She has been inspired to write a series of books for families on pet adoption, blended family issues and the courage to be a Marine “mum.” Martha’s two books, “Darby’s Story” and “Bangle Bear,” inspire pet adoption through the pages. Both of them have won the Mom’s Choice Silver Award Books in Pet and Animal Care. Her books are available on Amazon.