Are you aware of the benefits of obtaining a GuideStar Seal of Transparency? The Seal provides you an opportunity to provide donors and partners insight into your work beyond your tax return. This webinar presented by Aimee Arent, Executive Director of Friends of Ottawa NWR in Ohio, and Catherine Fox, Past-President of the Friends of the Hawaiian Islands, covered:
What is a GuideStar seal,
Why the seal is important to their groups,
How to obtain a seal, and
Benefits they have discovered
Here are the materials from their April 7, 2021 presentation:
The National Wildlife Refuge Association has an opportunity for you!! Through the generosity of some of our great Board Members, we are announcing our 2021 O’Brien Prize, an annual award for Refuge Friends groups. The prize is named after Donal O’Brien III, a past Board Chair and longtime enthusiast of the National Wildlife Refuge System. Don is a generous supporter of the great work we do for national wildlife refuges and is very impressed by the dedication and effectiveness of Refuge Friends groups.
This year we are offering one $2,500 prize. Please see our application. It should be pretty easy and take little time for you to fill it out. Please email the completed form to Caroline Brouwer, firstname.lastname@example.org or reply to this email by May 5th. We plan to announce the award recipient at the end of May.
Thank you for everything you do for your Refuge and for the National Wildlife Refuge System. We at the National Wildlife Refuge Association are very proud to call you all our partners and recognize the very important work you all do, every day, every week, and year after year for all national wildlife refuges across the country.
Geoffrey L. Haskett President, National Wildlife Refuge Association
Prior to COVID-19 had you ever attended a virtual fundraising event? I hadn’t. When the Nonprofit Association of Oregon offered a webinar on how the Dougy Center transitioned their largest in-person fundraising event to a virtual event, I registered.
My family became aware of the Dougy Center when we lived in Oregon. They provide support for children and young adults dealing with grief. A fantastic organization that has loads of community support. For 23 years one sponsor has made the raffle of a Porsche Boxster possible.
Taking that raffle online required navigating bumps in the road.
To buy a raffle ticket online, the purchaser had to check a box verifying that they were in the state of Oregon. Why?
Raffles are gambling. A raffle involves pay-to-play, a prize, and a random drawing. Gambling is illegal, however most states and localities allow nonprofits, 501(c)(3), to conduct raffles for fundraising purposes. The rules governing raffles are determined by the state and locality where the nonprofit is located.
Usually it is only legal to sell raffle tickets in the state the nonprofit is located in. So even though the Dougy Center is just across the Columbia River from Washington state, it is not legal to sell tickets in Washington. Selling tickets online can be problematic and some states ban it. Many nonprofits avoid it or do as the Dougy Center did and require the purchaser to verify that they are physically located in the same state as the nonprofit.
If you are considering holding a raffle and want to avoid the bumps in the road then here are some things to consider:
Raffle are not allowed on Service-managed property (633 FW4)
Adhere to the local and state laws
Acquire the necessary permits
Follow the IRS regulations on Charitable Gaming
Ensure proper records are kept
File appropriate taxes that might include: excise, UBIT, and withholding
Ensure proceeds are used according to state regulations
Understanding the rules your nonprofit has to operate within will make your raffle successful. For us, we’ll have to take a trip to Oregon to purchase a raffle ticket for the Porsche Boxster.
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) is now accepting grant proposals for the competitive 2020 National Wildlife Refuge Friends Grant Program.
NFWF announced that, “along with its partners, recognizes the important role refuge Friends organizations play in building critical community support for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Wildlife Refuge System (Refuge System). As such, NFWF is requesting proposals for projects that help organizations to be effective co-stewards of the nation’s important natural resources within the Refuge System. The Refuge System’s Friends program (Friends program) provides competitive grants of $1,500 to $15,000 to creative and innovative proposals that seek to increase the effectiveness of Friends organizations assisting the Refuge System nationwide.”
The Friends program will award grants for nonprofit capacity building grants, project specific grants, and peer-to-peer coaching grants, and special initiative grants. U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) provides funding for the Friends program.