The deductibility of most charitable gifts hasn’t changed since passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, but some recordkeeping requirements have. Helping your donors who itemize deductions understand the rules and benefits of their gifts can strengthen your not-for-profit’s ties with them — and may help increase contributions.

woman holding three knit sweaters; image used for blog post about tax implications on not-for-profit donors


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Many taxpayers make charitable gifts — because they’re generous and they want to save money on their federal tax bills.

a box wrapped in brown paper wrapping with a pink ribbon bow tied on top; image used for a blog post about deductible charitable gifts on a tax return

But with the tax law changes that went into effect a couple years ago and the many rules that apply to charitable deductions, you may no longer get a tax break for your generosity.


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A not-for-profit capital campaign aims to raise a specific — usually, a significant — amount of money over a limited time period. Your not-for-profit may undertake a capital campaign to acquire land, buy a new facility, expand an existing facility, purchase major equipment or seed an endowment.

various arms extended to the center of the photo, with overlapping hands formed into a teamwork cheer; image used for a blog about executing a not-for-profit capital campaign

Whatever your goal, a capital campaign can be grueling, so you need to ensure stakeholders are on board and ready to do what it takes to reach it.


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It’s no secret that this is a challenging time for charitable fundraising. In its annual Giving USA 2019 report, the Giving USA Foundation noted a decrease in individual and household giving, blaming such impersonal factors as tax law changes and a wobbly stock market.

a dark-haired woman wearing glasses sits with another dark-haired woman at a wooden table in front of a notepad and laptop computer, possibly discussion fundraising options

So why not fight back by making personal appeals to supporters? Requests from friends or family members have traditionally been significant donation drivers. Even in the age of social media “influencers,” prospective donors are more likely to contribute to the causes championed by people they actually know and trust.


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Many not-for-profit organizations use fundraising methods which cross boundaries of different states. If your not-for-profit is one of them, it may need registration in multiple jurisdictions.

a map of the United States and Canada with colored pins to signify the possibility of nonprofit organizations needing registration in various states

But keep in mind that registration requirements vary — sometimes dramatically — from state to state. So be sure to determine your obligations before you invest time and money in registering.


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If you’re a volunteer who works for charity, you may be entitled to some tax breaks if you itemize deductions on your tax return. Unfortunately, they may not amount to as much as you think your generosity is worth.

Because donations to charity of cash or property generally are tax deductible for itemizers, it may seem like donations of something more valuable for many people — their time — would also be deductible. However, no tax deduction is allowed for the value of time you spend volunteering or the services you perform for a charitable organization.

A women with white nail polish on her nails is holding loose change in an effort to give back to charity through donation. She is standing on a curbside.

It doesn’t matter if the services you provide require significant skills and experience, such as construction, which a charity would have to pay dearly for if it went out and obtained itself. You still don’t get to deduct the value of your time.

However, you potentially can deduct out-of-pocket costs associated with your volunteer work.


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The Houston Business Journal recently published an article written by PKF Texas Audit Senior Manager and the face of the not-for-profit team, Nicole Riley, CPA, CFE, about the new Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) guidance.

Titled “Under new FASB guidelines do nonprofits receive contributions from governments?,” Nicole discusses how the new guidance affects governmental

If you’re like many Americans, letters from your favorite charities have been appearing in your mailbox in recent weeks acknowledging your 2018 year-end donations. But what happens if you haven’t received such a letter — can you still claim an itemized deduction for the gift on your 2018 income tax return? It depends.

Basic Requirements
To support a charitable deduction, you need to comply with IRS substantiation requirements. This generally includes obtaining a contemporaneous written acknowledgment from the charity stating the amount of the donation, whether you received any goods or services in consideration for the donation, and the value of any such goods or services.


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