Q. What is Hudson Valley Gives?
Hudson Valley Gives is a day of giving fueled by passion, collaboration and the power of social media. You can think of it as a type of digital telethon that benefits hundreds of much-deserving nonprofits in our area. Hudson Valley Gives is an initiative of the Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan, in association with other great organizations that support the nonprofit community.
Q. When is Hudson Valley Gives?
Hudson Valley Gives is on May 15, 2019 from 12:00 AM to 11:59 PM.
Q. Which organizations can participate?
Organizations that are an IRS recognized nonprofit located or provide services in the following New York counties: Orange, Ulster, Sullivan, Rockland, Dutchess, Putnam and Westchester.
Q. Who can donate?
Anyone! Contributions can be made via credit and debit card. You can also make a donation directly from your bank account using Plaid with a donation minimum of $100. You can learn more about using your bank account for your donation by viewing this article.
GiveGab, the online portal provider for Hudson Valley Gives, will automatically provide an immediate on-screen acknowledgment of the donation and will email a receipt to the donor that has the necessary documentation for income tax purposes. Don’t worry, any receipt can easily be retrieved after the day in case it gets misplaced!
Q. What is GiveGab?
GiveGab is a company located in Ithaca, NY, that has developed an online giving platform to help nonprofits raise money, engage donors and manage volunteers quickly and efficiently. The GiveGab platform offers a full portfolio of simple and easy-to-use features that allows nonprofit organizations to leverage modern technology to function in a more streamlined manner. This results in more resources (time and money) available to nonprofits to fulfill their mission of making the world a better place! GiveGab was established in 2011 and has helped thousands of nonprofits all over the country engage their supporters better and process more than $4 million of donations. They are a small group of passionate social entrepreneurs with strong ties to Cornell University. Check out www.givegab.com for more info.
Q. How will donations be distributed?
Each donation will be disbursed automatically to the nonprofit donated to by GiveGab’s credit card partner, Stripe, via a direct deposit to the nonprofit’s bank account within three (3) days. GiveGab never has access to the donated funds, the donor’s credit card or the nonprofit’s bank account. Stripe is an industry leader in securely processing online payments and has the highest level of PCI compliance. GiveGab performs rigorous checks to ensure that the nonprofits participating in Hudson Valley Gives are verified IRS recognized nonprofits, and Stripe ensures they meet US Patriot Act requirements.
Q. How much of my donation goes to the nonprofit?
The vast majority! Unfortunately, as we all know, nothing in life is free. And to safely and efficiently process online donations, some fees are necessary, by GiveGab for providing an amazing platform and the credit card company for processing the payments. This year in order to collect donations through hvgives.org, every donation made via a credit or debit card will incur a 3% Platform Fee - this includes 2% to GiveGab and 1% to the Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan, plus 2.2% + $0.30 for standard credit card processing fees. This brings the total fees per donation to 5.2% + $0.30 per transaction, which donors ALWAYS have the option to cover on behalf of the organization - and in 2018 68% of donors did just that! The 1% that goes to the Community Foundation is used to help cover costs associated with marketing the event/Day of Giving, including: printed rack cards, stickers, billboards, and other promotional materials available to participating nonprofits, as well as some TV advertisements purchased at discounted rates.
The only exception for these fees is when a donor chooses to pay using the ACH bank account payment option. The donation minimum is $100 and there is a Stripe flat fee of $3.00 per transaction instead of it being a percentage. This makes the total transaction fees for plaid $3.00 plus the platform fee of 3% per transaction. View this article to learn more.
To understand this better, you can take a quick read of the following blog posts:
While it is true that the platform and credit card fees can be avoided by donating offline (mail a check, cash, etc), there are costs associated with offline donations. Time spent handling offline donations is time that nonprofit personnel cannot be spent advancing the mission by either providing services or engaging with funders. These immeasurable costs can have a significant impact on the abilities of the nonprofits. Additionally, all participating nonprofits are eligible to win matching funds and other incentives based on the donations made online via the platform.
Online donations are far more efficient and more powerful for all!
All donations are final and cannot be refunded.
Q. Who will receive my contact information?
The organization(s) you choose to support will have access to your name and email address. This information is used solely to send thank you messages, provide the option to receive future notifications, and to notify you of future activities. Information will not be shared amongst nonprofits or anyone else, and GiveGab and Stripe will never reach out to you directly.
Q. Do I need to create an account with GiveGab?
No. You do not need to create an account to make a donation. The are many benefits of creating an account on GiveGab, some of which include having a central donation receipt repository accessible from anywhere at any time (making tax time easy!), the ability to track your donations, follow the charities you support, engage in future volunteering and even fundraise for your favorite nonprofits. Your donation receipt is emailed immediately upon processing your donation. To claim a donation as a deduction on U.S. taxes, you should retain the donation receipt as an official record.
Q. Can I make donations via a mobile device?
Yes! Simply visit hvgives.org or your favorite nonprofit’s HVGives page on any mobile device. Easy is good!
Q. Can I pre-schedule a donation for Hudson Valley Gives?
Sorry, unfortunately, you cannot pre-schedule your Hudson Valley Gives gift, but you may make multiple donations throughout the day as well as before or after Hudson Valley Gives. However, in order for your donation to be counted towards prize incentives awarded on Hudson Valley Gives, it must be made between 12:00 AM at 11:59 PM on May 15, 2019 via the platform.
Q. What if my preferred organization is not listed?
Please tell your organization to register at hvgives.org – it’s quick and easy, and there isn’t a reason not to! Or you can send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request that we contact your charity of choice. The more nonprofits that participate, the better it will be for everyone involved. We’re building a movement here in the Hudson Valley!
Q. What portion of a donation made on GiveGab is tax deductible?
First off, we must tell you that we do not provide tax advice, and that nothing here should be construed as such.
Now that our lawyers can breathe, here’s how we think about this. First off, only IRS recognized nonprofits can raise funds using the GiveGab portal. If an organization is not a registered IRS 501(c)(3), they’ve got to prove they are indeed a nonprofit (ie churches, etc). The folks at GiveGab perform stringent verification procedures which prevent an organization from even having the ability to collect donations until they pass. No pass, no donations, no exceptions, period.
In our view, tax deductibility is a concept based on the entity receiving the donation (ie a nonprofit); it's not a function of how that nonprofit uses the funds. On GiveGab, the nonprofit incurs processing fees, regardless if the donor elects to cover. GiveGab allows donors the option to increase their intended donation by an amount equal to the fees the nonprofit will incur. When a donor elects to cover the fees (and most do!), the nonprofit then realizes the full amount of the intended donation after deduction of the fees. In our view, just because the donor is given this option does not alter the tax deductibility of the amount given. Recipient, not use, is the basis for deductibility.
Outside of using GiveGab, nonprofits do not typically provide their donors a breakdown of what portion of their donation is deductible, unless the donor receives something of value in return (such as a dinner, etc). That's because deductibility is based on giving to a nonprofit, not how that nonprofit chooses to use the funds. If it were the opposite, nonprofits would have to provide a full accounting to each and every donor how every penny of each donation was used - that is obviously impractical and would increase nonprofit administrative expenses exponentially.
Ultimately, whether a donor decides to deduct the fees as a deduction on their tax return is their choice. The most conservative approach would be to not take a deduction for the fees when they file their taxes.
As always, you should consult a tax professional about what portion of the full donation can be claimed as a charitable contribution.
Q. Will donations made before or after 5/15/19 count towards the overall total dollars raised?
Yes! Each donation made to Hudson Valley Gives will be counted towards the total dollars raised. However, donations made before or after May 15 will not count towards the prizes being awarded the day to participating nonprofits.
Q. What prizes are available to participating nonprofits?
Taking part in Hudson Valley Gives provides participating organizations the opportunity to win prizes and challenges. The more donations that a nonprofit receives during Hudson Valley Gives, the more extra funds the nonprofit organization is eligible to be awarded. Donors have the power to help their causes and organizations to secure those extra funds!
Q. What are offline donations and how do they count towards the total dollars raised?
Offline donations are cash or check donations, for the Hudson Valley Gives Campaign, that are manually entered by staff at participating organizations. These donations count towards the total dollars raised, however, they do not count towards prizes being awarded for the day. This donation option should only be used when cash or check is in hand, not when a promise is made to donate.
Q. What is state charitable solicitation registration?
Nonprofits are held to a high standard of government regulation and public scrutiny. And that is with good reason! Eligible 501(c) nonprofits are exempt from federal corporate taxes and have access to public funding. These benefits are not typically available to for-profit businesses, so laws are in place to protect the public and ensure nonprofits do not abuse their financial advantages. The IRS and states all have requirements for nonprofits.
Q. Why is state charitable solicitation registration compliance important?
While 501(c) nonprofits receive key financial benefits, the penalties for noncompliance can be serious. The IRS can revoke a nonprofit’s tax exemption and impose fines that can accrue daily. The states can administratively dissolve a nonprofit corporation and levy steep financial penalties. Perhaps worst of all, an organization can lose out on a grant or large donation because it has not kept itself in good standing.
Taking a proactive approach to compliance helps ensure the sustained success of the organization. The cost of staying compliant is small in comparison to the much larger costs of noncompliance. The saying, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” could not be more true in this context.
Q. What are the key aspects of state charitable solicitation registration compliance?
The IRS provides tax exemptions to eligible nonprofits under IRC 501(c). Public charities and private foundations receive 501(c)(3) tax exemption. The IRS scrutinizes organizations when they apply for 501(c)(3) but also ensures that those organizations meet the ongoing obligations to remain eligible. Nonprofits must file a 990 tax form each year with the IRS to disclose their financial data for the year.
Each state has their own set of requirements. Nonprofits are typically incorporated in a given state as a nonprofit corporation. The state in which the nonprofit has incorporated will impose requirements on the nonprofit, and those responsibilities typically span across multiple state agencies. Usually nonprofits must submit an annual filing to the corporations division of the secretary of state, maintain its license to fundraise (charitable solicitation registration), file for a state business license, and maintain state-level tax exemption with the revenue department. As nonprofits expand outside of the state or operate nationwide, they must comply with the same items in each other state as well.
In addition to IRS and state filing requirements, nonprofits must keep adequate records. Keeping accurate and complete records is critical in the event that an organization is audited. It is also common that board members or donors request information from the organization. Finally, records are necessary for submitting applications and renewal filings with various government agencies.
Q. When I check the box on GiveGab to declare state charitable solicitation registration compliance, what am I attesting to?
When you check the box you are attesting (defined as "declaring that something exists or is the case") that your organization is compliant with applicable state fundraising requirements in the states in which you may solicit donors using the GiveGab platform.
Q. Do you have additional resources to reference about state charitable solicitation registration?
Yes! Here are a few more resources from Harbor Compliance to help you: