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Field Guide to Establishing a Charitable Foundation

(Updated March 2014)

Making the decision to establish or even to participate in a charitable foundation can be rough, especially in today's economic times. The resources presented here can help facilitate this decision-making process. You will find information pertaining to tax and legal issues, fundraising as well as general tips on how to start a non-profit. You'll also discover a wide assortment of useful web sites as well as many valuable resources available from NAR. (K. Bartlett Walsh, Quality Assurance Coordinator)


What Is a Donor Bill of Rights?

A Donor Bill of Rights is a set of standards created by a group of professional fundraising societies for nonprofits to generate confidence between donors and donees. Board members of nonprofits should embrace these fundraising standards and also make certain that the development staff of their organization is familiar with a Donor Bill of Rights.

A Donor Bill of Rights helps leaders understand the donor expectations while bolstering donor confidence. It also outlines the donor's right to receive proper recognition, gain access to the organization's financial statements, obtain information on how funds are being distributed, and stay anonymous if desired.

A full text is available at Donor Bill of Rights

Source: Association of Fundraising Professionals


Starting Out

Starting a nonprofit organization: one-stop answer page, (About.com, 2014).

How to start a charity, (Forbes.com, May 7, 2012).

Helping clients choose the right charities, (Journal of Accountancy, Feb. 2012). Q

A new approach to funding social enterprises, (Harvard Business Review, Jan./Feb. 2012). Q

Passion strong, process long in foundation start, (Business First of Buffalo, Dec. 19, 2008).

Drive your own charitable financial vehicle - ensemble dangles keys to a private foundation, (San Francisco Business Times, Oct. 10, 2008).

Entrepreneurs foundation gives advise on giving back, (San Jose Business Journal, Sept. 19, 2008).

Charity work brings associations a sense of fellowship and service, plus valuable media attention, (REALTOR® Association Executive, Fall 2007).


Tax & Legal Issues

IRS: tax information for charities and other non-profits, (Internal Revenue Service, 2014).

5 Ongoing Legal Issues for Non-Profit Boards, (Corporate Law Report, Apr. 9, 2012).

How to avoid charity scams, (U.S. News and World Report, Oct. 2010). Q

Navigating the economic storm for foundations and charities, (Accounting Technology, Jan. 2009). Q

How to hire a lawyer, (REALTOR® Association Executive, Winter 2008).

Tax boundaries for community foundations, (Trusts & Estates, Oct. 2008). Q

One foundation's legal battle - a cautionary tale for all non-profits, (Non-Profit World, Sept./Oct. 2008). Q


Fundraising

Establishing Rewarding Fundraising Partnerships, (TheNonProfitTimes, Mar. 14, 2011).

If you don't read this piece about Crowdrise, no one will like you: Irreverent, conversational tone sets apart this social-fundraising site, favored by celebs from Barbra Streisand to David Cook, (Advertising Age, Feb. 13, 2012). Q

The Cost of Online Giving, (Wall Street Journal, Dec. 17, 2011). 

Putting charities to the financial test: Is an organization about to go bust? Before you give them money you need to do some due diligence, (Wall Street Journal, Nov.28, 2011). 

Do you need to register before raising funds?, (Nonprofit World, Nov./Dec. 2009). Q

Charities rethink glitz quotient for their galas, (Wall Street Journal, May 14, 2009). Q

A charity badge to raise dough?, (Nonprofit World, May/June 2009). Q

Small board spotlight - fundraising event, (REALTOR® Association Executive, Winter 2007).

Fundraising in the new philanthropy environment:  the benefits and challenges of working with giving circles, (Non-Profit Management and Leadership, Winter 2008). Q

Recession-ready fundraising, (Non-Profit World, Nov./Dec. 2008). Q

What's key to raising money in a tough economy?, (Non-Profit World, July/Aug. 2008). Q

Effective fundraising for non-profits - real world strategies that work, (Non-Profit World, Mar./Apr. 2008). Q

How to energize your thank you letter, (Non-Profit World, Mar./Apr. 2008). Q

Beyond common sense:  proven tactics for direct-mail fundraising, (Non-Profit World, Sept./Oct. 2007). Q


Useful Websites

Association of Fundraising Professionals

Council on Foundations

The Foundation Center

The Internal Revenue Service

National Philanthropic Trust


eBooks & Other Resources

eBooks.realtor.org

The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

30 Days to Successful Fundraising (Adobe eReader)

The Accidental Fund (Adobe eReader)

The Ask - How to Ask Anyone for Any Amount for Any Purpose (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Beyond Fundraising (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Effective Fundraising For Nonprofits (Adobe eReader)

Fundraising For Dummies® (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

How to Pay Zero Taxes 2010 (Adobe eReader)

J.K. Lasser’s New Tax Law Simplified 2010 (Adobe eReader)

J. K. Lasser’s Small Business Taxes 2010 (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Nonprofit Internet Strategies (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Not-for-Profit Budgeting and Financial Management (Adobe eReader)

#Social Media Non-Profit Tweet Book01 (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Strategic Planning for Nonprofit Organizations (Adobe eReader)

Strategic Planning for Public and Nonprofit Organizations (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Books, Videos, Research Reports & More

The resources below are available for loan through Information Central. Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10. Call Information Central at 800-874-6500 for assistance.

CPR for nonprofits, (San Francisco, CA.: Jossey-Bass, 2000). HF 294 R27

Starting and managing an association foundation: background kit, (Washington, DC.: American Society of Association Executives, 1995). HF 294 Am3str

The complete book of model fund-raising letters, (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1995). HG 177 K97

Marketing the nonprofit association: a guide to marketing the functional areas of trade associations and professional societies, (Washington, DC: The Greater Washington Society of Association Executives Foundation, 1994). HF 294 G79m Ed.2

Field Guides & More

These field guides and other resources in the Virtual Library may also be of interest:

Field Guide to Strategic Planning for Associations

InfoCentral Blog


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The inclusion of links on this field guide does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this field guide complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.

The inclusion of links on this field guide does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this field guide complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.