This section is dedicated to frequently asked questions by nonprofit managers and board members.
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Disclaimer: The content of "Frequently Asked Questions" is for information purposes only and should not be considered advice - legal or otherwise- for any organization or individual. Although we go to great lengths to ensure our information is accurate and useful, we recommend you consult a professional if you want assurance that our information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation.
Question: What is a simple guideline to follow regarding board member confidentiality?
Response: Board members should not disclose information about the organization's activites unless those activities are already known by the public or has become a part of public record.
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Question: Can foreign citizens sit on a nonprofit board of directors?
Response: According to BoardSource there is no federal or state law that prohibits foreign citizens from sitting on the board of a nonprofit organization. The organization should be certain that the bylaws of the organization do not prohibit foreign citizens as board members and should be certain that the individual is a legal resident of the United States. For more information go to www.boardsource.org.
Question: Can a church apply to the Internal Revenue Service for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status?
Response: Yes. A churce would file for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status in the same manner as any nonprofit organization, filing form 1023 and including proof of incorporation with the Secretary of State's office and their E.I.N. (Employee Identification Number).
Question: On August 23, 2005, newly revised Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations went into effect for determining an exempt employee, and the new criteria. What are the new criteria?
Response: According to information obtained from the Federal Register Web site, three tests will determine whether or not a person qualifies for exempt status: Salary test, Salary Basis test, and Duties test.
For more information, visit the U.S. Department of Labor Web site at http://www.dol.gov/elaws/flsa.htm
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Question: What is USERRA?
Response: USERRA is the acronym for "Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994."
USERRA protects the employment rights and benefits of military service members on their return to civilian life. USERRA prohibits employment discrimination or retaliation against past or present members of the uniformed services and applicants to the services.
For more information, visit the U.S. Department of Labor Web site at http://www.dol.gov/elaws/userra.htm
Question: Does any part of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act apply to nonprofits?
Response: Two parts of the law are mandatory for nonprofits and foundations:
Note: A sample whistleblower policy and set of recommended document retention guidelines are available to members by contacting Mainstream, Inc.
Question: What do nonprofits need to do to comply with the new Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules on fax communications?
Response: Effective January 1, 2005, nonprofit organizations will be required to obtain express written permissions to send unsolicited fax advertisements that contain "commercial" content, i.e., promote memberships, products, programs, and services. An established business relationship no longer constitutes permission to send unsolicited commercial faxes. The FCC recommends that nonprofits seek written permission to send faxes to donors, members, constituents, and other parties prior to January 1, 2005. After the new rules become applicable, faxes must include date and time of the fax, legal name of the sender (not the entity that sends the fax), and the telephone and fax number of the sender.
Question: What information should nonprofit employers tell their employees about Retirement Savings Contribution Credit?
Response: The Retirement Savings Contribution Credit is a tax credit to help offset the cost of the first $2,000 contributed to IRAs, 401(k)s and certain other retirement plans. The tax credit applies to individuals with incomes up to $25,000 ($37,500 for head of household) and married couples with incomes up to $50,000. The taxpayer must be 18, not a full-time student, or claimed as a dependent on another person's return. The credit is a percentage of the qualifying contribution amount, with the highest rate for taxpayers with the least income. For more information, review IRS Publication 590, Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs). The publication can be obtained by calling toll free 1-800-829-3676.
Question: What are 501(c)(3) organizations prohibited to do in a political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office?
Response: According to the Internal Revenue Service, a 501(c)(3) organization should not:
Disclaimer: The content of "Ask a Question!" is for information purposes only and should not be considered advice - legal or otherwise- for any organization or individual. Although we go to great lengths to ensure our information is accurate and useful, we recommend you consult a professional if you want assurance that our information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation.
Technical Assistance provides a brief response to a question or a request for information regarding nonprofits that does not require extensive research. This free service is available to Non Profit Association members, nonmembers, and people interested in starting a nonprofit.
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