Please click here to view responses to frequently asked questions about legal issues unique to nonprofits, including fundraising, compliance, lobbying/advocacy, and political activities.
- What Must a Tax-Exempt Organization Do To Acknowledge Donations? (Rev. May 2013)
The ability to accept tax-deductible donations is one of the most important features of being a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. This article discusses the many IRS rules governing the proper acknowledgment of tax-deductible donations by charitable organizations.
- Bans on Campaign Contributions by Government Contractors: Pay-to-Play Rules for the Tristate Area (August 2012)
“Pay-to-play” rules are state and local laws and ordinances that prohibit or limit campaign contributions by individuals or entities that contract with the state and local governments. If your organization contracts (or hopes to contract) with state and local governments or a governmental body, you should be aware of that jurisdiction’s pay-to-play laws so you do not jeopardize your contracts or subject your organization to fines or other penalties.
This article summarizes the pay-to-play rules for Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and New York City, as of August 2012. It provides an overview only; we urge you to work closely with whatever agency you contract with to determine in more detail the rules that apply to your organization.
- Charitable Registration in Connecticut (June 2012)
This article provides guidance on the Connecticut laws that require charities to register their fundraising activities with state regulators.
- Charitable Registration in New York (June 2012)
This article provides guidance on the New York laws that require charities to register their fundraising activities with state regulators.
- Charitable Registration in New Jersey (Rev. November 2011)
This article provides guidance on the New Jersey law that requires charities to register their fundraising activities with state regulators.
- Section 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Entities Forming Affiliations With Other Entities: Benefits, Risks, and Structural Considerations (June 2011)
This article provides a brief summary of some of the considerations facing a tax-exempt organization in connection with forming and structuring an alliance or affiliation with another entity. Certain unintended and damaging consequences could result if the tax-exempt organization were deemed to be a single entity with or otherwise not separate from the affiliate.
- The New York Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act (February 2011)
In September 2010, New York State enacted the New York Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act (“NYPMIFA”), a modified version of the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act. NYPMIFA applies to charitable, educational, and religious corporations formed under New York law. It imposes new prudence standards and oversight obligations on nonprofit boards, while providing greater flexibility in the management of investments and expenditures from endowment funds. This article summarizes the key points of NYPMIFA.
- Nonprofits and Sales Tax: A Guide to Exemptions in Connecticut, New Jersey and New York (November 2010)
Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York each provide exemptions for certain nonprofit organizations from the payment and collection of sales tax on the purchase and sale of goods and services. This article is a guide to the requirements in each of these states to qualify for a sales tax exemption for purchases and sales, and the circumstances in which the exemption will apply.
- Monitoring Your Section 501(c)(3) Organization's Activities with Respect to Political Campaigns (Rev. June 2010)
This article overviews the restrictions on nonprofits engaging in political campaign activities. Posted with the permission of the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Program.
- Tax and Filing Considerations for Small Nonprofits (Rev. April 2010)
Many nonprofits have gross receipts (meaning income from donations and/or membership dues) that total less than $5,000 annually. What forms must these small nonprofits file under federal and state statutes in order to be considered tax-exempt? What reporting obligations do they have? What other tax issues should they consider? This article addresses these questions and more.