Mass attorney general charities
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The Division’s Endowment Guidance first and foremost urges charities and non-profit organizations to explore other options before turning to their endowment funds for financial assistance during this crisis. The guidance advises that charities search for alternate sources of funding first, such as state and federal relief, and explicitly references the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Protection Act (CARES Act) (a recent client alert on the CARES Act can be found here). Before turning to their endowments as a source of emergency funds, charities can look at other grant funding opportunities through private foundations, as well as financing/refinancing options through commercial banks.
If all revenue sources are inadequate to meet the organization’s needs, the Division urges charities to find non-judicial solutions before pursuing judicial relief. Contacting donors for permission to release donor-restricted funds, endowment spending changes, and administrative modifications of small and old funds (those with less than $75,000 and who are 20 years or older) are all examples of non-judicial solutions in the guidelines. If non-judicial solutions are not eligible, the Division advises organizations to seek court permission in order to access donor-restricted endowment funds.
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Just 47% of the funds collected by licensed solicitors on behalf of charities were donated to charitable organizations in 2019, according to a new bulletin from the AG’s Office. The licensed solicitors kept more than half of the charitable donations received.
Professional solicitors are often paid by charitable organizations to solicit contributions from the general public, and solicitors are required by law to register with the Attorney General’s Office. Traditional solicitors collect money by phone, mail, and door-to-door campaigns.
In Massachusetts, typical licensed solicitors raised more than $127 million in the calendar year 2019. Although licensed solicitors kept a number of sums, only around $60.2 million made it to the charities. The 2019 report is consistent with campaign results from the previous five years, which show that licensed solicitors donated less than half of the money they raised to charities.
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The Attorney General’s Office’s Community Engagement Division has started train-the-trainer model presentations as part of the office’s ongoing initiative to educate the public about its services. CED can provide a monthly webinar training and, upon request, will provide additional webinars for service organizations and agencies.
Over 23,000 non-profit charitable organizations in Massachusetts, as well as around the country and around the world, offer substantial benefits to Massachusetts residents. These entities exist primarily to represent the public good, and the Attorney General’s Office is in charge of safeguarding the public’s interest in their operations. This webinar will provide current Non-Profit & Public Charities Board Members with important details about their legal obligations in Massachusetts.
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final IRS Form 990, which must be filed with the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth and the Massachusetts Department of Revenue within 4 12 months of the date of the Final Judgment of Dissolution (and any other agency to which the charity reported).
Within 4 12 months of the date of the Final Judgment of Dissolution, a copy of the Court’s Final Judgment is added to the dissolving charity’s final IRS Form 990 and filed with the IRS. A copy of the Final Judgment has also been filed with the court.