Frequently Asked Questions
- Should donation
checks be made out to CHARITYSMITH or to the Memorial Fund itself? Donation checks should be made out to the memorial fund itself. If they
are made out to "CHARITYSMITH" they simply need the name of the
fund in the memo portion of the check.
- Can I pay the $500
startup fee with a credit card? Yes – You can use a credit
card to pay for your startup fee online at http://www.charitysmith.org/manageyourfund.
- Other than the startup
costs, annual administrative fee, and supplying pictures, are there
any other obligations or required activities on the fund administrator’s
part? You supply the pictures, the narrative, and the idea of where
you would like funds to go. The startup cost and annual administrative
fee are tax deductible.
- Are the decisions
on how the money is distributed ours to make? Yes, as long as the
fund has a mission of helping others, we are generally amenablewith
whatever you choose. The one exception is "self-dealing" --
we are not allowed to give money to our family members as this is considered
a violation of the integrity of the fund per the IRS.
- What is the process
of withdrawing funds to send to a worthy cause or recipient? Generally
awards from a fund are done once or twice a year. Simply download the
Scholarship Request Form from our website and follow the directions
at the top of the form. The form is submitted to the CHARITYSMITH scholarship
committee for approval (this is simply to ensure we are following IRS
guidelines) and a cashier's check written out to the recipient will
be issued within 14 days. This cashier's check is sent it to you via
FEDEX. In short, you simply file a request and we send you an official
cashier's check to present to the recipient.
- Is there any written
information on your program? You should find everything you need in this packet. Additional information
is also available on our website.
- How quickly could
a memorial fund be set up? Once we receive the signed contract,
we can setup accounts in 18 hours. This includes the Wells Fargo Bank
Account, website, and online donations.
- Could this be set
up so that the donations go to a specific organization, for example
cancer research, instead of establishing a scholarship fund? The money can go to cancer research or any other form of research for
that matter. We actually have quite a bit of liberty on where to give
the money. That said, the money cannot be given to family, or to employees
- Would this be a
separate nonprofit organization? Your fund would be a division of
CHARITYSMITH. While is will not be a separate nonprofit organization,
it will run as a separate fund under your administration and our management.
- Would I have to
submit tax returns, or this would fall as part of your organization? At CHARITYSMITH, we complete all paperwork for you as part of our umbrella.
This service is part of the fund establishment fees. You simply take
care of the personal aspects of the fund such as supplying the pictures
and copy for the website, fundraising, etc.
- Would I have any
tax filing requirements? The only thing that you would need to file
with your usual tax returns is a receipt for any donation that you make
to the fund, or to the fund's establishment costs. These receipts are
provided to you by CHARITYSMITH and allow you to deduct your donations
from your taxes.
- Do most memorial
funds have the bank statement sent to the fund administrators? A
fund administrator may receive a duplicate bank statement, but most
often fund administrators choose to have online access over their account
in lieu of paper statements.
- What is the process
for award recipients? Do they simply cash the check and declare
it on the income tax form? This is a good question. The recipient reports this on their annual
tax return as a scholarship/grant.
- Do you need any
verification on how and where the funds are being distributed? Yes
we do. In fact, we will want receipts from the use of these funds so
that we can evidence to the IRS that money's were spent on constructive,
edifying endeavors such as schooling or supplies.
- When we're finally
closing the fund, what is the process for that? We simply close
down the bank account after distributing the money's. The website stays
up until you ask CHARITYSMITH to take it down-- but it seems that most
people like to keep them up for the sake of memories.
- Is there any paperwork
that needs to be signed? Yes there is. We have a contract that is
mailed to you which clearly delineates the form and function of our
services and agreement.
- Do we mail CHARITYSMITH
a check for $500 now or can we setup the fund first and use donations
to pay the cost of establishing the fund? You can do whatever feels
right. If you would like a tax receipt, it is easier if you simply pay
by check and we deposit it for you leaving a clear donation paper trail.
It is also okay to simply use initial donations to the fund as the establishment
costs. We will deduct the $500 after the Fund has received a total of
$750 of donations. You may also pay the start-up fee online.
- Who should I contact
with questions? All questions should be directed to Rachel Rohlen,
Executive Director at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-276-6546.
- Can I deposit money
into the Memorial Fund bank account directly? Unless under special circumstances, no. All donations should be routed
through the CHARITYSMITH offices either by sending checks to 13100 Filly Lane, Truckee, CA 96161, or by online donation. This enables the accounting
office to keep excellent records. As said, if it is a matter of cash
donation, or if a deposit is to be made following a fundraiser, donations
directly to the account can be made with special documentation instructions.