Cancelled Fundraising Events, Written Notice Requirements
On March 10, 2020 MA Governor Charlie Baker declared a state of emergency for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in response to the spread of the Coronavirus. The Governor’s administration offered guidance to the public to limit or eliminate attendance at large gatherings. As a result, several of AAFCPAs’ nonprofit clients have made the difficult decision to cancel their fundraising events in the coming weeks. Fundraising events are a key component to a nonprofit’s financial success and maintaining their impactful operations. In order to lighten the impact, clients are encouraged to reach out to the donors to convert sponsorships and ticket sales to donations, rather than refunds.
Nonprofits are required to provide a written notice to donors when a quid pro quo contribution is received in excess of $75. If these notices have already been provided for sponsorships and ticket sales for cancelled events, they will need to be reissued. Donors who elect not to refund their purchases of tickets or sponsorships will need to be informed that their contribution is no longer a quid pro quo contribution. The notice to the donor should provide:
- A statement that no goods or services were provided in exchange for the donation (if that was the case), or a description of the goods and services provided and a good faith estimate of their value;
- The amount of the gift, or a description of a non cash gift;
- The date of the donation;
- A statement that the organization is a 501(c)(3) organization;
- A statement that the letter does not contain tax advice; and
- A statement that they should consult their tax preparer.
The Coronavirus outbreak is a human tragedy affecting hundreds of thousands of people. Our thoughts are with all those impacted.