America's First Choice for Nonprofit Startup and Compliance

When Foundation Group launched in 1995, we were the first specialty firm in America dedicated exclusively to starting nonprofits and helping them to stay compliant with state and federal regulations.

20 years later, we're still going strong!  In fact, our client base continues to grow exponentially every year...and we've never been more committed to bringing our clients the expertise they need to see their vision come to pass.  Simply put, we love what we do and we're passionate about doing it with excellence!

We were the first...and we've never stopped leading!  Call us and see why we are America's first choice for nonprofit startup and compliance services.

Nonprofit Unrelated Business Income

There are few topics that generate more confusion to nonprofit managers than unrelated business income (UBI).  It is also one the areas than can cause the most problems for your organization.  It can cost you money…even your tax exempt status if not properly handled.  In this issue of our newsletter, we will shed some needed light on the subject.

The technical definition of UBI is: Income from a trade or business that is regularly carried on by an exempt organization and that is not substantially related to the performance by the organization of its exempt purpose or function, except that the organization uses the profits derived from this activity. Clear?  Not really.  A better way to say it is:  money generated from any on-going activity of your organization when the activity itself does not directly further the organization’s exempt purpose.  Examples are helpful:

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A Tale of Two Nonprofit Websites

Once upon a time, there were two websites, each belonging to a different charity.  Our tale follows the adventures of these websites.

The first website…we’ll call it “the good site”…was considered a real asset to its owner.  While not fancy or flashy, it was nice to look at and was obviously well taken care of.  The content of the good site talked about the charity, the charity’s mission, its programs…it even had nice pictures of some of the volunteers helping the charity’s beneficiaries.  And, everything was correct and up to date.  The good site was very good indeed.

The other website…we’ll call it “the bad site”…was also considered a real asset to its owner.  It was fancy and flashy and quite beautiful to behold.  The content of the bad site talked a little about the charity, the charity’s mission, its programs…but, it talked a lot more about the charity’s president, John, and John’s for-profit business.  In fact, it was kind-of hard to tell who the website was supposed to be promoting, John or the charity.  There were some nice pictures of John, John’s family…even John’s dog…plus lots of conveniently placed “Buy Now” buttons for website visitors to snap up John’s new book.  The bad site was very bad indeed.

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Answers to Reader Questions (Dec ’08)

At the end of most newsletters, we put out the call for “topic requests”.  We wanted to get to some reader questions before the year ended. We will try to answer questions like these, that don’t require a whole article, from time to time. If you have article topics that you would like us to cover, email them to us at mail@foundationgroup.com or simply reply to the email newsletter when you receive it.  We cannot guarantee your question will be chosen, but we’ll try.  On to the questions…

Q) Do all donations need to be spent by year’s end?

A) The quick answer is, no. “Nonprofit” does not mean that at the end of the year there should be no money left in the account.  A 501(c)(3) organization can have money left at the end of the year. It would probably be a good idea if it can.  Money left over can go toward adding programs, improving existing programs, make up for less funding next year, etc.  Never forget that you’re still running a business (of sorts)…you gotta make more than you spend!

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Successfully Starting a New Nonprofit
  • Defining Your Nonprofit's Purpose
  • Nonprofit Ownership
  • Board of Directors
  • Executive Compensation
  • Fundraising & Compliance Basics