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Which Online Giving Platform is Right for Your Nonprofit?

The multitude of ways in which nonprofits can receive donations has drastically changed over the years with the ever-changing use of technology. While the tried and true hand-written check still has its popularity with many donors, there has been a gradual shift to online giving. As with many aspects of technology, there are multiple choices that a nonprofit can make when receiving online donations. We have done research on a few of the options that we run across on a frequent basis. Below is a list of the popular online donation platforms along with pros, cons, and pricing for each of the platforms. PayPalProsEasy setup and integration into existing nonprofit websiteDonors do not need to have a PayPal account to donateDonors can opt into automatic monthly givingNo monthly feesDonations are secure – PayPal is PCI compliantNonprofit can download monthly statements and donor information such as mailing address, email address, and phone numberMoney is easily transferred to Nonprofit’s checking account in 3-5 business daysConsMust go through non-profit verification before receiving special nonprofit ratePricingStandard rate: 2.9% + $0.30 per transactionNonprofit rate: 2.2% +$0.30 per transaction FacebookProsAble to raise money directly from Nonprofit’s Facebook pageNo fees if processing donation directly through Nonprofit’s Facebook pageAble to raise money through posts and Facebook liveOthers can set up fundraisers on your behalfDownloadable monthly statementsFacebook sends a payment receipt to donorsDonors do not have to leave Facebook, can make donation directly without going to separate webpageConsDonors need to have a Facebook pagePayment may take up to a month to reach NonprofitNonprofit may not receive all donor data such as mailing address, phone number, email addressPricingDonations through Nonprofit’s page – FreePersonal fundraiser’s rate: 2.6% + $0.30 per transaction StripeProsTwo-day rolling automatic bank transferNonprofit can download monthly statements and donor information such as mailing address, email address, and phone numberDonations are secure – Stripe is PCI compliantNo monthly feesDonors can opt into automatic monthly giving ConsSlightly higher pricePricingStandard rate: 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction Amazon SmileProsNo fees for NonprofitNonprofit receives 0.5% of sales of qualified productConsDonors must log into specific portal to reach Amazon SmileNot well advertised- Charities need to do their own advertisingNot all products qualify for 0.5%PricingFree QgivProsEasy to use donation pagesEvent registrationsAble to accept in person donationsOne control panel/website for all fundraising effortsUnlimited customer supportConsPricePricing3.95% + $0.30 per transaction Author: Chris Roche, Kollath CPA​   

IRS Notice Letters

Have you received an IRS notice letter and do not know what to do?  Here are some helpful tips that will allow you to confirm that the notice letter is not a scam and decipher if action is required on your part.Confirm that an IRS Notice is not a scam.The unfortunate reality of today’s world is that fraud and scams are prevalent. This is why it is important to demonstrate due diligence for any requests that require you to provide confidential or financial information.  If you receive an IRS notice letter, it is important to first confirm that the letter is in fact from the IRS.  You can do this by inputting your IRS notice letter number in the IRS notice search feature that is located on the IRS's website.  What action is required on my part?Not all notices require action.  Some notices are sent to simply confirm an online registration or a recent address change.  These notices are sent as a precautionary measure on the IRS’s part to combat fraudulent tax return filing.  The only time you would have to take action for this kind of notice is if the information provided in the notice is incorrect.  A few notices that do not always require action are provided below. CP148A and CP148B NoticesSent to confirm that a new business address. CP301 NoticeSent to confirm that you registered for an IRS online services account. CP188 Notice Sent to communicate that your refund is being held until it is determined that you owe no other taxes.  Most IRS notices do require action on your part, so it is always important to carefully read over the notice letter once you have verified that it is from the IRS.  The notice letter will provide specific instructions for the action that you will be required to take to avoid penalty charges.    Receiving a letter from the IRS can be unnerving, but know that regardless of what kind of notice you receive, the IRS provides resources and assistance for resolving discrepancies.  You also have the right to appeal notices.  The key to avoiding large consequences from the IRS is being proactive and taking immediate action because the IRS does not go away.   Author: Jessica Primrose, Kollath CPAYou can find more information and resources regarding IRS notice letters at ​

Explaining Benefits to Your Employees

This past year Kollath CPA added outsourced human resource consulting to its service platform. One of the areas of expertise of this newest division is assisting clients with explanation of benefits, which will be the focus of this feature.  Whether you are a for-profit or nonprofit organization, this article will serve great insight on how to effectively communicate benefits to your employees and how to use your benefit package to entice the best candidates.  The first thing employees are looking for during the hiring process is employee benefits. Yes, the benefits package is sometimes even more important than salary. Employees now expect comprehensive benefits packages tailored to their personal needs—not just to broadly defined demographics. But personalizing benefits packages starts with you truly understanding what your employees value and need. Benefits are only as valuable as each employee views them. So, if you have great flexibility and variety in your benefits package, making sure your employees know it will help them feel appreciated. Make benefits available on a medium that employees feel comfortable about using. With mobile-optimized HR software, employees can check on accrued vacation time quickly and easily when planning their next holiday. They can find out what hospital benefits cover when they get stung by a jellyfish while on vacation. Instant access to their information gives employees a sense of control and puts them at the heart of their benefits program. Convey benefits packages in layman's terms. It's not an easy task, but it's critical that the benefits documentation be easy to read and understand so the value of each benefit is evident. Make sure your system gives employees access to a resource for asking questions in real time about which plan makes the most sense for them and their families. Openly share information about the cost of benefits. Be clear about how much your company is investing to make your employees happier and healthier, and your employees will have more appreciation for the benefits offered.Conveying health benefits and coverage options to employees helps them become aware of the value in the plans offered. Help your employees understand how comprehensive and generous your policies are. Your messages to employees can explain the overall purpose of the availability of coverage and the provisions included. You can help employees make more informed decisions about their benefits package. While HR is primarily involved in these conversations, other providers have resources: Insurance carriers, agents and brokers, financial advisers and third-party administrators of benefits programs can also provide information and education about options and enrollment processes for health plans and other benefits available to your employees. They can help workers enroll as well. Health benefits providers have valuable experience in communicating to employees. Ask for printed materials, websites and hotlines that can help employees take advantage of choices available. Health benefits specialists can focus on the notices and communications required under applicable laws and regulations. The Employee Retirement Income Security Act—ERISA—requires that employees have access to plan information. You want to help employees find the most appropriate and cost-effective coverage for themselves and their family members. Consider your health coverage offerings as key components of your total benefits strategy, and communicate that to your employees. The best benefits package in the world isn't much good if employees aren't aware of how to take advantage of it. You want to fully leverage the benefits you provide employees. Make sure there is an open line of communication with employees. Explaining benefits is only half the battle. Survey your employees—perhaps quarterly—to understand their satisfaction with their benefits. If you realize that a particular benefit isn't working or isn't valuable to employees, make whatever changes you can, and then communicate these changes clearly. Your employees will see that the company cares about their feedback. If you would like more information on this topic, feel free to contact Kollath CPA’s Human Resource Consultant,Chris Flessert, at 608.416.1003 or ©Industry Newsletters -Kollath CPA​


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