Professional Fundraisers

Professional Fundraisers

Professional fundraisers come alongside charities and other nonprofits as valuable partners. But in doing so, they adopt a regulatory burden that — while worthwhile — can overwhelm in-house staff and divert time and effort from the tasks they do best.

Fortunately, that kind of detail work is our forte.

Accomplishing those regulatory tasks thoroughly is vital for the sakes of both professional fundraisers and their clients, keeping everything aboveboard, avoiding fines and legal consequences, and protecting reputations. Copilevitz, Lam & Raney works with some of the most recognizable names in the nonprofit world because they value the peace of mind a trusted partner provides.

From a regulatory standpoint, professional fundraisers typically seek help in three key areas: Fundraising registration services, regulatory compliance, and contracts review.

Registration and Renewal Services

Whether a professional fundraiser is helping a nonprofit with email or text campaigns, direct mail, or telemarketing, none of that can happen without first checking some regulatory boxes. Professional fundraisers must register before conducting fundraising on behalf of the charity.

But that task often is much more difficult than it sounds.

Across the 50 states, requirements vary widely for registration, disclosures and deadlines — and those requirements regularly change. Plus, it’s not a one-time task — most states require annual renewals with substantial reporting requirements.

That’s why Copilevitz, Lam & Raney stays on top of the latest forms, deadlines, regulations and laws for all 50 states, allowing us to offer thorough and cost-effective help to our professional fundraiser clients. We track dates and forms so they don’t have to. It’s our job.

We also publish a free monthly newsletter, the Fundraising & Nonprofit Report, to keep clients apprised of any developments pertinent to them.

Given the extent of state regulation and the consequences of noncompliance, professional fundraisers rely on Copilevitz, Lam & Raney to cover their bases and offer peace of mind, freeing them up to provide top-level help to their nonprofit clients.

Regulatory Compliance

Even after professional fundraisers complete the all-important registration process, their regulatory work isn’t done.

As a general rule, charitable organizations must file any contracts with professional fundraisers either with registration or as soon as a contract is executed. Then there are solicitation notices, script disclosure, and bonding — a lot of regulatory balls to juggle, and they vary from state to state.

Yet the consequences of dropping one can be steep. The number of inquiries about charitable fundraising has been rising, whether from the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Postal Service or the Federal Trade Commission. And working with nonprofits doesn’t give you a pass — the state of New York once sued a charitable organization for raising funds before registering, actually obtaining a judgment ordering the charity to return all the money, regardless of expenses.

Just as with registration and renewal requirements, Copilevitz, Lam & Raney can take regulatory compliance off your plate. We proactively keep our clients compliant so they can focus on what they do best.

Contracts Review

In the professional fundraising world, contracts not only must align with the various states’ regulations — they are time-sensitive, too. Typically, contracts between nonprofits and professional fundraisers must be filed as soon as they’re executed.

But we’re fluent in the language of contracts, and we view them as a valuable shield to protect our clients.

Copilevitz, Lam & Raney assists with contract development, review, and filing, and we keep any contracts in line with the shifting laws governing nonprofits in each state, as well as with pertinent Internal Revenue Service directives. Beyond the law, we help clients think through potential implications of various business relationships, folding those considerations into contracts, as well.

When it comes to contracts, Copilevitz, Lam & Raney prides itself on stepping into clients’ shoes, thinking through all the details that can help our clients thrive.

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