Community Platform

The Nonprofit FAQ: Fraud and Abuse

Select an FAQ   (17):

'Excess benefit transactions' and 990s
Nonprofits are required to report 'excess benefit transactions' on Form 990. Is that enough, or are there other things an organization might do?
Can 501(c)(3)s get involved in helping (or hindering) candidates for public office?
Basically no. 501(c)(3)s are not permitted to do anything to help or hinder the election of any candidate to public office. This item reproduces the texts of IRS statements on this question and provides links to other IRS materials.
Can a grant writer share in the proceeds of successful applications?
In a word, 'no.' Two experienced observers expands on that answer in this item.
Can a member claim a 'refund' for contributions?
When members leave a program, may they claim a 'refund' for part or all of donations they have previously made?
Can an organization that helps people with a specific disease qualify as a public charity?
The answer is, 'it depends'. Gifts earmarked for specific individuals can't be tax-deductible.
General considerations when planning an audit
The word 'audit' is used in lots of ways. This article focuses on issues and resources for a financial audit by an accountant or CPA.
How can we ensure our nonprofit operates ethically?
While no one can guarantee that every organization will always be highly ethical, there are certain measures to take that guide toward ethical behaviors.
How must NPOs respond to public requests for 990s?
New laws and regulations greatly expand public access. They took effect June 8, 1999.
How to comply with the 'Intermediate Sanctions' regulations
Federal law and IRS regulations impose severe penalties on individuals who profit unduly from nonprofit organizations. This item explains what to do to avoid questions.
How to Help the Attorney General Handle a Complaint?
An Assistant Attorney General offers advice on how to seek help when there appear to be abuses of nonprofit status.
Resources for risk and crisis management
The web offers a variety of resources for crisis and risk management.
What about car donation programs?
Car donation programs can be effective for both donors and charities. New rules place new limits on such programs from January 1, 2005.
What do you actually get in an audit?
This page from the Canadian firm AssociationXpertise explains: http://www.axi.ca/tca/Sep2002/tca04d.htm
What information must nonprofits disclose?
Generally, it depends on what kind of information is at stake and who is doing the asking.
What is a grassroots organization?
The term has no 'official' meaning in spite of its widespread use. Nonethess, people often feel strongly about such organizations and how they are formed and led.
What should a prudent donor do?
Cliff Landesman's 'Donor Defense Kit' (included here) makes some suggestions.
What to do if you suspect damaging activities at a nonprofit
How to proceed if there are rumors or other signs of mismanagement, improper payments, insider self-dealing, conflict of interest, etc., involving a nonprofit organization.