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April 16-May 15, 2013

Lead Stories
To the Point

Can alumni receive endorsement?

One of the alumni of our 501(c)(3) leadership development organization is running for public office and has asked for our support. Two directors have recommended that we share the alumni contact info with the aspiring politician. I'm concerned that we could quickly and easily get in trouble and could be seen as partisan. How can we be supportive of our alumni and avoid legal and perceptual complications?

May 16-June 15, 2013

Lead Stories
Ready Reference
To the Point

Can raffle ticket sellers be held accountable?

We have a nonprofit children’s youth program that holds a mandatory fundraiser every year. This year we tried a raffle. About one-third of our participants did not return the tickets and/or monies raised. Can we hold them responsible for the monies not returned? I feel we should at least be able to hold them responsible for returning unsold tickets so that we know they did not just pocket the money and tell the people that their ticket wasn't picked.

June 16-July 15, 2013

Lead Stories
Ready Reference
To the Point

What's a reasonable time period for distributing funds?

When our 501(c)(3) organization raises funds and tells the public that we are going to donate to a specific cause, how long do we have to submit the funds to that charity? I am concerned by the length of time it takes when we are told that the Board has not decided how much more to contribute to that cause. I feel at least the amount raised should be turned over after the fundraiser within a reasonable time period.

Lessons from Litigation

Pastor’s contract extension does not violate bylaws

A Court of Appeals in Indiana has reversed a trial court decision that ordered a church to hold a general membership meeting to consider a contract extension for its pastor. The bylaws of the Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church provided procedures for se

July 16 - September 30, 2013

Lead Stories
Ready Reference Page No. 2
To the Point

Buying volunteer hours?

Our 501(c)(3) booster club board decided to institute a new volunteer policy this year. All parents automatically become members of the club if their child is in the sport (gymnastics). There are required volunteer hours and failure to meet the hours equals a fine of $25/half hour. Parents can buy out of the volunteer hours by paying $500 up front. Does this policy violate the club's 501(c)(3) status? Does the penalty money received by the club constitute taxable income for the club?

October 1, 2013-November 30, 2013

Lead Stories
Ready Reference Page No. 1
To the Point

How does group break away from controlling entity?

Our very small senior club is sponsored by the local recreation council, but recently we have discussed separating to be a stand-alone club. They have told us that if we do we will not get our money back and will have to leave all of our supplies with them. The council deducts over $600 dollars a year for head tax from our account, which is the major reason we want to leave. Can they legally take our money and supplies, and keep the name of our club?

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