FAQs To Ring in the New Year

A new year ushers in a fresh batch of resolutions and goals. It’s also a time when new questions pop onto the radar. That’s certainly the case even in these early days of 2024. Here are a few of the top questions we’re already hearing from our nonprofit partners, along with answers to help you navigate the year ahead.

“Okay, what’s this we’re hearing about the Corporate Transparency Act, and does our organization need to do anything about it?”

New laws known as the Corporate Transparency Act are now in effect. These provisions were enacted as part of the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020. The purpose of the law is to build a national registry of “beneficial owners” of businesses for which ownership information is not otherwise readily available (e.g., as is the case for public companies). The main purpose of the Act is to help prevent people from concealing their ownership in business entities that are used for money laundering, financing terrorism, tax fraud, and other illegal activities. The good news for charities is that 501(c)(3) organizations are exempt from the Act. 

What are a few fundraising trends we should be watching this year?

Not surprisingly, challenges with fundraising–in some cases reminiscent of the financial crisis era–are causing organizations and their boards of directors to stay laser-focused on development techniques that can break through the noise to cultivate new donors and more deeply engage current donors. Leveraging influencer strategies, instilling trust among your donors, and understanding how donor-advised funds work (give our team a call anytime!) are making the list of priorities for 2024 development plans. 

“How can we make sure we’re not violating donor intent?”

Donor intent issues have been in the news recently, and charities are asking what they can do to ensure that their organizations don’t run afoul of the rules. The bottom line here is that you need to be careful, especially when you are raising money for your endowment fund or setting up planned gifts. If a donor expresses interest in restricting a gift to your organization in any way, consider reaching out to the team at the community foundation for help. In many cases, we can work with you and the donor to establish a fund at the community foundation to achieve the donor’s intentions, secure resources to support your mission, and reduce the risk of misunderstandings and legal trouble.  

Whidbey Community Foundation is a resource and sounding board as you serve our community. This is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended as legal, accounting, or financial planning advice.