This quarterly newsletter provides recent updates and education information important to Arizona STOs.

Due Date Reminders for STOs

At Any Time: When leadership, address, phone number, website, or email addresses changes, submit an updated certification form to ADOR.

May 15, 2014: 2013 Form 990, 990-EZ, or 990-N (e-postcard) is due to be filed with the IRS for entities on a calendar year (ending December 31, 2013).

June 30, 2014: Fiscal year 2011/12 90% funds required to be paid as scholarships or allocated to future awards for specific students.

Direct Mail Fundraising FAQs

Jeff Brooks, the author of The Fundraiser's Guide to Irresistible Communications: Real-World, Field-Tested Strategies for Raising More Money, recently summarized his outlook on direct mail fundraising for the website His answers provided insight into a common fundraising technique and gave some great advice that STOs may find useful. Some highlights from the interview include:
  • "Donors are moved by the warmth and personal touch of direct mail, then going online to give. It's the best of both worlds when they do that: The higher average gifts we get from online donors, combined with the higher frequency and retention we see with direct-mail donors."
  • "The most common problem with thank-you letters is they aren't heartfelt and specific. They're just receipts. They don't match the passion and focus of the ask, so they miss the opportunity to bring home to the donor what her gift meant. A great thank you letter drips with emotion and thanks the donor for the same thing she was asked to do in the first place. It should be full of attention-grabbing "techniques" and emotional triggers. Your thank-you messages might be more important than your appeals in the long run."
  • "Don't make donors guess what you're getting at. And don't assume you have their full attention. Ask clearly, ask repeatedly, ask with confidence and passion. Fundraising is for believers and fanatics who can hardly be subtle if they try."
You can read the entire article here.

The $54 Million Fraud

On February 14, 2013, Rita Crundwell was sentenced to 19 years, 7 months in prison for stealing nearly $54 million from the City of Dixon, Illinois over the course of twenty years. The fraud started when she opened a secret bank account in the city's name. She was the only person who knew this account existed and was able to use the account to funnel money from the city's funds for her own use. Rita had built trust with the residents and other city officials because she was a nice person, so no one questioned her actions. What is the lesson nonprofits can learn? Checks and balances, even for the most trustworthy of people, are essential for any organization. You can read a great summary of the case and more lessons to learn here.

IRS's Free Newsletters for Non-Profits

The IRS's Exempt Organization section offers a free electronic newsletter that helps charities, nonprofits, and other tax-exempt organizations comply with their tax responsibilities.
Each edition provides important information about:
  • Changes to the Internal Revenue Code, new forms, guidance, and publications, 
  • Additions to the IRS's charities and nonprofits website
  • Dates for upcoming training and outreach events
The newsletter is recommended for staff of tax-exempt organizations and tax practitioners. Subscribe here now.
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