Photo of Carly Leinheiser

Carly Leinheiser is a member of the Nonprofit Organizations Group, where she counsels public charities and private foundations on a variety of matters. She regularly advises clients on corporate formation and governance, tax-exempt compliance, business transactions, charitable solicitation and cause marketing, strategies regarding unrelated business income tax, joint ventures, lobbying and political activity, and the proper management of endowment funds. Ms. Leinheiser also has experience advising social enterprises, including benefit corporations and establishing hybrid corporate structures that incorporate aspects of traditional nonprofit and for-profit corporations.

December is traditionally a busy month for charitable giving, as many donors are inspired by the holiday season to give generously to those in need, while others look to make year-end gifts that will qualify for a tax deduction in the current tax year.

Unfortunately, because of the increase in charitable giving, there is often an increase in charity scams during the holiday season. Donors should be wary of communications from unfamiliar organizations, including emails, texts, and phone calls, and should not provide personal or financial information without verifying the legitimacy of the request. Scammers often use popular charitable causes to solicit contributions, for example, by claiming that contributions will be used to help veterans, children, or cancer patients. The New York Attorney General recently announced the forced dissolution of one such organization, VietNow National Headquarters, which falsely claimed that contributions would be used to provide services and medical treatment to veterans.
Continue Reading Protect Yourself From Year-End Charitable Giving Scams

Following the catastrophic flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey in the Gulf Coast, many local and national nonprofits quickly mobilized to respond to survivors’ immediate needs and begin planning for the long-term recovery of affected communities. There has been an amazing outpouring of support for the relief efforts from donors across the country, as volunteers are

Since 1958, when the Supreme Court held that the State of Alabama’s attempt to compel the NAACP to disclose its membership lists infringed on the members’ constitutional rights to freedom of speech and assembly, charities and donors have expected donor information to remain confidential. However, recent developments in New York have thrown that expectation into question.

Most 501(c)(3) public charities annually file IRS Form 990 (or Form 990-EZ), which is a public document. Public charities that receive more than $5,000 from a single donor, if the amount exceeds 2 percent of total contributions for the year, must complete Schedule B, and provide the names, addresses, and total contributions received from all such donors. Unlike the rest of Form 990, Schedule B information is confidential. The Internal Revenue Code prohibits the IRS from disclosing Schedule B, and permits public charities to redact Schedule B.
Continue Reading 501(c)(3) Public Charities Subject to New Donor Disclosure Requirements in New York