Red Light Traffic Tickets For a Cause
February 1, 2011

In a departure from other cities that pocket money from traffic offenders for its general funds, a Murrieta councilman proposed that the city donate red-light camera revenue to charity.

Councilman Rick Gibbs suggested the idea at a city council meeting on Jan. 18 in conjunction with the city's plan to add cameras to two additional intersections.

Nonprofits seek chance to sell raffle tickets out of state
January 27, 2011

On Wednesday morning, representatives of nonprofit organizations testified in support of a bill that would allow them to sell raffle tickets beyond state lines.

Senate Bill 197 would apply to “nonprofits and educational entities.” Bill Sponsor Mitch Tropila, D-Great Falls, said many of these organizations have members or alumni spread across several states.

Stan Frasier, a board member for the Montana Wildlife Federation, said giving nonprofits a chance to sell raffle tickets out of state to build their organizations would be good for Montana

Charity raffles, gambling endorsed
January 19, 2011

Lawmakers moved Tuesday to ensure that S.C. churches, schools and nonprofits do not unknowingly break the law when they hold charitable raffles.

Legislation, approved by a Senate committee Tuesday, would change the state Constitution to allow the groups to hold a limited number of raffles and casino nights annually — as long as 90 percent of the money raised goes to benefit charitable causes.

IRS raises nonprofit threshold for e-Postcard filing
January 14, 2011

The Internal Revenue Service has raised the financial threshold for tax-exempt organizations.

Instead of a $25,000 threshold, as of the Jan. 1, 2010 tax year, nonprofits with annual receipts of up to $50,000 can file the e-Postcard, or Form 990-N.

This means that many more of the smaller tax-exempt organizations can transition to the simpler Form 990-N for their 2010 annual information reporting.

This is welcome news for many nonprofits because the smaller organizations tend to be run by one or two people.

The New Congress Will Bring New Agenda for Nonprofits
January 6, 2011

As the new Congress starts work today, it includes an influx of new Republican faces brought in by the midterm elections and confronts growing pressure to cut spending to bring down the national debt­. These changes, in turn, could have a big impact on programs that affect charities and the people they serve.

Here is some of what the nonprofit world can expect from the new Congress:

New Effort Rallies Americans to Donate Tax Cuts to Charity
January 4, 2011

If you don’t think Congress should have extended the Bush-era tax cuts this month, why not donate your own tax savings to charity? That’s an idea that three professors are promoting on a new Web site called Give It Back for Jobs.

The site, which helps people calculate their own tax cut under the deal that President Obama struck with House Republicans, was created by Jacob Hacker, a professor of political science, and Daniel Markovits, a professor of law, at Yale University; and Robert Hockett, a professor of law at Cornell University.

Year-End Scramble Made More Intense by IRA Break
December 29, 2010

Many gifts are made in the last few weeks of the year, but even so, fund raisers think Congress may have cut it too close even for procrastinating donors when it waited until mid-December to pass a key charity tax break.

President Obama signed a measure on December 17 that allows people age 70 1/2 or older to make tax-free charitable gifts of up to $100,000 from their individual retirement accounts.

Community foundation donors can get tax credit
December 28, 2010

A tax credit aimed at increasing donations to community foundations goes into effect Jan. 1.

Part of the Endow Kentucky Program enacted earlier this year by the Kentucky General Assembly, the new credit offers a 20 percent income tax credit, up to $10,000 per donor, per year, when contributions are made to community foundations. The maximum credit for the entire state is $500,000, so local donors are encouraged to apply early.

New Tax Deal Lowers Estate Tax and Extends IRA Charity Break
December 21, 2010

Congress has approved a new tax deal that would lower estate-tax rates from 2009 levels and extend a benefit for older donors who tap their individual retirement accounts to make charitable donations.

The legislation sets estate-tax rates at 35 percent and establishes exemptions that would allow couples to pass estates as large as $10-million to their heirs tax-free. Individuals could pass on the first $5-million tax-free.