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
  • 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 of CHARITYSMITH.
  • 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 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.