Monday, June 18, 2012

What counts as "professional fundraising?"

Our PTA filed its annual report with the Charities Program and the confirmation letter we received stated that if we use  a “professional fundraising” there’s an additional fee of $20.  We had both a book sale and a cookie dough sale that involved commercial businesses—does that count as “professional fundraising”? 

First, congratulations on having filed your annual report by the May 31 due date—you may want to make a note for next year that it can be filed early.  We recommend that it be filed at the same time as the PTA’s IRS return is filed, because both filings involve essentially the same

With respect to your question, professional fundraising refers to hiring someone to ask for contributions to your PTA.  For example, it seems like at least once a week—usually during the dinner hour—we receive a call at home from someone asking for a contribution to one cause or another.  While sometimes those calls come from volunteers, most of them are from people who are being paid, and the paid callers fall under the category of “professional fundraising.”  Sales of items such as books or cookie dough, even though the PTA receives part of the proceeds, do not constitute “professional fundraising” for purposes of the Charitable Solicitations act.

Updating a Corporation Renewal With New Officers

When I filed our annual corporation renewal with the Washington Secretary of State’s office in February, I noticed that there was a  place to list the officers.  I updated the information then, but of course now our officers are changing—should I file another renewal? 

Yes.  The law requires that any nonprofit corporation file an annual report during the month of the anniversary of its incorporation.  That report is required regardless of whether anything has changed since the  preceding year’s report.  In addition, however, you should also update the annual report any time during the year that there’s a change in any of the required information, which includes a change in the officers.  The annual report can be filed online or you can download the form and file it by mail—either way there’s a $10.00 fee.  More information and a link to the applicable forms can be found on the Secretary of State’s website.