Food for Thought

by Abigail Solazzo

Thank you to those who were able to join on us for a special Chapter Chat on Tuesday, August 14. We discussed the new chapter fundraising policies. These are important policies to have in place as they protect you, as individual chapter leaders, and the entire organization, from personal liability. Additionally, these policies ensure that we are transparent with our members and those companies or individuals that choose to donate to our organization. Most importantly, these policies ensure we are following the requirements of a 501c6 per the IRS. Below is more information about the policies.

Personal Liability
Many of our chapters hold raffles, bingo nights, or host other charitable gaming activities at their meeting for purposes of fundraising. However, if the proper documentation is not secured or filed for this activity, chapter leaders may be held personally liable for knowingly participating in charitable gaming without a license, which could result in criminal or civil penalties. Check with your state’s department of revenue or comptroller to learn more about the requirements of charitable gaming.

We are asking chapters to include a statement on their fundraising/donation forms disclosing ANFP’s tax exempt classification which explains that ANFP chapters are established as 501c6 organizations. They are not charitable organizations. This ensures we are entirely transparent with our donors and they are fully aware of our tax-exempt status. This will also ensure they report their donations or contributions on their filings correctly. The disclaimer should state: No funds paid or gifts donated to an ANFP chapter may be deducted as a charitable contribution for federal income tax purposes.

IRS Requirements
Chapters also need to be sure they are reporting all funds, on their 990s annually. This is a requirement of the IRS for 501c6 organizations, such as ANFP and their chapters. To learn more about what a 501c6 and the difference, from a charitable organization, please click here. Additionally, we are asking chapters to disclose total funds raised, in year-end (May 31) summary submitted to National. As we do not have access to chapter’s full filing, we want to be sure they are filing accurately as there are consequences for not claiming funds, including the possibility of felony charges.

Grants are another way for your chapter to raise funds. If your chapter is applying for a grant, whether its private, federal, or state, inquire with the donor on their policy regarding applicant requirements and ensure the chapter is eligible for the grant. Inform the donor ahead of time and tell them we are a 501c6 organization as you may find you are not eligible for the grant.

These policies have been put into place to protect our chapter leaders and organization and ensure we are transparent as either a recipient of donations or as donors ourselves. To listen to the full chapter chat program, please click here. These policies have been included in the updated Volunteer Handbook, that is available for download on ANFPConnect, Volunteer Resources, Volunteer 101.