Legal Compliance and Nonprofit Management

 “What you’re doing is worth gold…no other organization can do what you’re doing with the meticulous focus and excellent advocacy you bring to such critical issues.” 
— Donna Pressma, President and CEO, Children’s Home Society of New Jersey

Have a question?

Our non-profit HelpDesk information and referral service answers telephone and e-mail questions on nonprofit compliance and management issues such as IRS regulations, tax laws, fund raising issues, Board/staff roles and responsibilities and many others. Center members get priority access and more in-depth assistance. More information

Just What is a Non-Profit, Anyway? 

IRS Disclosure Regulations for Non-Profits
IRS regulations require public charities to mail copies of their Form 990 and 1023 upon request or make them widely available by posting them on the Internet. It is important for non-profits to familiarize themselves with these regulations and adopt internal policies and procedures to ensure compliance.

IRS Gift Substantiation & Disclosure Requirements

Important rules governing deductibility of charitable gifts, updated for 2023.

What You Should Know about IRS Form 1023-EZ for Small Startup Organizations

On July 1, 2014, the IRS announced the release of a shorter application for eligible small organizations seeking recognition of tax exempt status under Section 501(c)(3). Form 1023-EZ, Streamlined Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, is the Service’s effort to simplify the application process for smaller organizations, and to reduce its existing backlog of exempt organization applications.

The Form 1023-EZ can provide a streamlined path to tax exemption, but it’s not for everyone. Read the Center’s article for an overview of:

  • Who Can File Form 1023-EZ;
  • A Word of Caution about Form 1023-EZ;
  • Process for submitting Form 1023-EZ;
  • Suggested Resources.

Read the article

Sobel NP Desk Reference

Nonprofit & Social Service Organizations
Desk Reference Manual (Third Edition – 2013)

Prepared by Sobel & Co, LLC CPAs

The Desk Reference Manual For Nonprofit and Social Service Organizations outlines the basic financial, accounting, tax compliance, organizational and legal issues regarding the ongoing operations of nonprofit and social service organizations and provides resources to address these concerns. Critical issues such as obtaining federal recognition of nonprofit status, charitable solicitation registration and basic financial statements, including statement of activities, statement of financial position, cash flows and functional expenses, are addressed. Download the PDF.

New Jersey Employment Law Updates

A number of important changes to New Jersey employment laws have been enacted over the past three years.  These include expanded employee protections in areas such as the minimum wage, pay equity, salary history inquiries, paid family leave and many more.   Click here for highlights of these changes.

IRS Voluntary Program for Employers to Classify Workers Correctly

Employers who improperly classify their employees as independent contracts risk facing stiff fines and penalties if a government audit finds that the workers should have been designated as employees.  The IRS has implemented a program to encourage employers who have misclassified their workers to correct the situation without penalty and at a reduced cost.

more information

State employment requirements governing certain information requests, unpaid leave, and others
This “must-read” article from our friends at the Pro Bono Partnership summarizes four state laws passed in 2013 that affect non-profit employers. The statutes cover protection of employees who request information as part of discrimination claims; unpaid leave for victims of sexual assault or domestic violence; penalties for failure to respond to NJ Department of Labor requests; and access to private social media accounts of employees and job applicants.
Read the article

IRS Exempt Organization Automatic Revocation List

A list you do NOT want to make…

Since May 2010, the IRS has been revoking the tax-exempt status of organizations that are required to file Form 990, Form 990-EZ, Form 990-N (e-postcard) or Form 990-PF (private foundations) and have failed to do so for 3 consecutive years. MOST NON-PROFITS ARE SUBJECT TO THESE REQUIREMENTS. If exempt status is revoked, the only way to reinstate it is to reapply for tax exemption.

The New Jersey revocation list includes over 19,000 organizations, more than 12,000 of which are 501(c)(3). The tax exemption status of these organizations were automatically revoked for failure to file the required Form 990 information return for three consecutive years. This list is updated monthly.
For more information including a list of revoked organizations and what you can do if your status has been revoked

IRS – Form 990 Resources and Tools for Exempt Organizations

IRS – Which Form 990 Should You File?

Specific information about the Form 990-N E-postcard for small organizations

For more information about e-filing of Form 990 or Form 990-EZ and a low-cost, online e-filing solution, visit the Urban Institute’s e-filing Web site at  [Note: effective February 29, 2016, e-filing of the Form 990-N e-postcard is done directly through the IRS.] 

IRS Disclosure Regulations for Non-Profits – Public charities and private foundations are required to make copies of their Form 990 and 1023 available for public inspection at their principal place of business and to mail copies upon request or make them widely available by posting them on the Internet. It is important for non-profits to familiarize themselves with these regulations and adopt internal policies and procedures to ensure compliance.

New Law Raises Mandatory Audit Threshold for Charitable Fundraising in NJ

On January 18, 2022, Governor Murphy signed legislation that raises the statutory threshold for which an annual New Jersey charities registration report must be accompanied by an independent audit to $1 million in contributions. The new law also excludes certain nonmonetary contributions from the calculation of the audit threshold, and it provides for automatic filing extensions for certain nonprofit annual reports submitted to the state.

More details about the new audit threshold law

Thinking of Forming a Non-Profit?
Spanish Version - Thinking of Forming a Non-Profit?

Thinking of Forming a Non-Profit? What to Consider Before You Begin

— If you are considering starting a non-profit organization, read this guide first. This booklet explains the basics of what a non-profit is and portrays a realistic picture of what is involved in getting a new non-profit up and running. The booklet also provides information specific to faith based and religious institutions. Available in English and Spanish. More information.

Piensa en Formar una Organización sin Fines de Lucro?

Este folleto explica los conceptos básicos de lo que significa sin ánimo de lucro y presenta una imagen realista de los trámites para establecer una nueva organización sin fines de lucro. El folleto también ofrece información específica para las instituciones religiosas. Más detalle.

NJ Non-Profit Filing Fees – Some of the non-profit filing fees paid to the New Jersey Department of Treasury, Division of Revenue, effective July 1, 2002. more details

The Federal Volunteer Protection Act

Eight Tips to Involve Your Board in Fund Raising

FTC Telemarketing Rules

DUNS number required for all federal grant applications — click here to read the details.

Public Policy Updates

Visit our Public Policy page for additional information regarding new and emerging legislative and regulatory issues.

For other resources, please visit the Links page.

For older information please visit our Legal/Management Archive