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If you have a suggestion or would like to add information about a funding resource please contact the California Fire Safe Council.
Donations and Fundraisers – CLICK HERE!
Things to consider when seeking donations
Popular fundraising ideas
Questions to consider as you plan fundraising campaigns and consider grant opportunities:
Is your Fire Safe Council a 501(c)(3) organization?
v If you answered “yes”, that’s GREAT! Use the tax-deductible donation as a selling point when approaching potential donors/funders. You should plan to provide a receipt or other form of documentation (including your Tax ID #) to your donors to verify your organization’s tax-exempt status.
v If you answered “no”, you might consider researching the steps to becoming a 501(c)(3). Some good resources for information include:
- The Center for Nonprofit Management has published a great guide for starting a nonprofit. http://www.cnmsocal.org/images/downloads/startinganonprofit_getreadygetset.pdf
Check out the “Steps to Incorporation and Tax Exemption” page 24 of the handbook (page 30 of the PDF) for a handy to-do list that helps you understand the process.
- Secretary of State Application for Articles of Incorporation: http://www.sos.ca.gov/business/corp/pdf/articles/corp_artsnp.pdf
This is Step 1 – Becoming a state-recognized organization
- State of California Franchise Tax Board (FTB): http://www.ftb.ca.gov/businesses/bus_structures/Exempt_Organizations.shtml
Lots of information on being a tax-exempt organization, including the application
Do you need a fiscal sponsor?
If you are not a 501c3 or an organization that can receive donations, you might want to look for a fiscal sponsor. According to Nolo (a company that strives to make the law accessible to everyone), a fiscal sponsor is a “nonprofit, tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) organization that acts as a guardian of grants and donations for a fledgling group or project that hasn’t yet applied for or received 501(c)(3) status” (http://www.nolo.com/dictionary/fiscal-sponsor-term.html).
A new Fire Safe Council can really benefit from developing a relationship with a fiscal sponsor. With a fiscal sponsor, your organization can elicit tax-deductible donations and/or apply for various grant programs, including the Grants Clearinghouse.
Here are some useful links for learning more about fiscal sponsorship:
- Foundation Center offers answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Fiscal Sponsorship:
- Tides Center has established the National Network of Fiscal Sponsors:
- Fiscalsponsordirectory.org is a tool created by the San Francisco Study Center to help connect community projects with fiscal sponsors:
- Non-Profit Law Blog:
- Fusion Partnerships:
- National Network of Fiscal Sponsors:
- Adler & Colvin