Association of Fundraising Professionals - Rhode Island Chapter
Sunday, June 25, 2017
Advancing philanthropy through education, training and advocacy

Tax and Legal Info

There are many tax and legal requirements that affect fundraising. The links on this page will bring you to useful information and forms about state and federal regulations related to fundraising and nonprofit organizations.

DBR Registration Form for Nonprofits Soliciting Charitable Contributions in RI
If your nonprofit raises money from the RI public or hires fundraising counsel, you are probably required to register with the RI Department of Business Regulation. Here's the link to the registration form. If you are not exempt from registration, the annual fee is $75.
DBR Registration form for Fundraising Consultants in RI
If you are a consultant advising a RI nonprofit about their fundraising activities but do not solicit or have access to contributions from a solicitation, then you are most likely considered fundraising counsel in RI. All fundraising counsel are required to register annually with the Department of Business regulation before doing business with a RI nonprofit. The fee is $200. Here is the link to the required registration from.
DBR Registration Form for Professional Fundraiser
No person shall act, operate or transact business as a professional fundraiser in RI before they have registered with the Department of Business regulation. If you provide fundraising counsel, and either have access to contributions or other receipts from a solicition and/or solict for funds, you are considered a professional fundraiser. Here's the link to the registration form you need to file annually. The fee is $200.
Proof of Bond for Professional Fundraisers and Professional Solicitors
If you are designated a professional fundraiser or professional solicitor in the state of RI, you are required to carry a bond of $10,000 and to verify the ownership of that bond with the Department of Business Regulation. Here's the link to the DBR form needed to verify ownership of the bond.
RIGL 5-53.1 Solicitation by Charitable Organizations
This link will take you to the Rhode Island General Law governing solicitation by charitable organizations, fundraising counsel, professional fundraisers and professional solicitors in RI. Every fundraiser and consultant should be familiar with the provisions of this law.
IRS Guide to Applying for 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Status
Form 990 - Annual IRS filing for tax exempt organizations
IRS Compliance Guide for Tax Exempt Organizations
This guide explains what records a nonprofit needs to keep, how long records should be kept, what federal tax reports and forms need to be filed, and what disclosures are required by 501(c)(3) tax exempt organizations
IRS Publication 1771 - Charitable Contributions - Substantation and Disclosure Requirements
This publication is a valuable tool for nonprofit fundraisers. It explains the federal tax on what contributions are tax deductible, what qualifies as a quid pro quo donation, what qualifies as a token item, and when written acknowledgement and written disclosure are required.
IRS Publication 598 - Tax on Unrelated Business Income of Exempt Organizations
Do you know whether or not your income generating activities such as rental of your mailing list, selling advertising in publications, sponsorship of athletic events or other activities are exempt from taxation? If not, you should. This publication explains the rules to you.
Charleston Principles for Internet Fundraising
This link will take you to the Charleston Principles, a nonbinding, set of suggested regulatory guidelines issued by the National Association of State Charity Officials (NASCO) in 2000 to help states and nonprofits determine when a nonprofit in one state must register in another state if they are raising funds on the Internet.
Unified Registration
If you solicit funds in other states, you are most likely required to register in those jurisdictions. The Unified Registration Statement(URS)is accepted by 32 states in lieu of their own registration forms. Although this does not replace the need to register in these states, it can help reduce somewhat the administrative load of these filings.