A Word or Two About Charities and Nonprofits
I have been asked to speak on a few issues that I would rather not. So first, I will tell you why I would rather not.
For a year, I have been really sick. I have been dealing with seizures of an unknown cause that cannot be controlled and it is something I would rather deal with quietly and privately, so I de-stress! I keep away from a lot of drama and enjoy life as much as possible.
Then, we have a president who is drowning our country in his ignorance and stupidity, but I can’t sit by and idly watch, so I #Resist!
I also have a child about to go to college next fall, so I mom! I do all the things many of you all do that are so important to the care and well-being of our children.
I write and I live. That is what I do. But, I also spent two weeks in the hospital recently recovering and reading messages and questions and so I will speak on what I know based on an actual professional career in dealing with nonprofits and sitting on the Boards of two legit ones right now.
Board members can vote to remove other Board members at any time. Criminal charges are not a function of this. In fact, they have nothing to do with it. If a Board decides they are not pleased with the work of a member or that a member is doing more harm than good to the reputation of a charity, the members can take a vote to remove a member. Or, they can ask that member to resign.
How a member is terminated can be stated in the bylaws is often stated in the bylaws and if that is left to the President of the charity and the president is deceased, then the next in succession would then make that decision. If the person in question is the next in succession, it should go to a Board vote.
But, I would hedge on believing the word of an illiterate fool that criminal charges would have to be filed first in a case where police have said they were not going to file any at this time and just point to the Trump children as proof. They can’t serve on the Board of any charity in the state of New York for a decade and those idiots have YET to be charged with crimes. YET! Here’s hoping.
Bylaws are NOT mandated by a legislature or governing body. They are not set into law by an act of Congress. Anyone who uses the word mandate should return to high school civics. Nancy Pelosi would not approve! Bylaws can be changed by the body that created them. In the instance of a nonprofit, that would be the Board. The Board could get together, change the bylaws, especially if they hadn’t been updated in over two decades and one of those decades was in the 20th century, and vote on them. That’s it. They would just send an updated copy to the IRS, and boom, new bylaws. Forget what you heard, it is not that complicated. If anyone tells you otherwise, it is a lie and you need to ask them why they are lying to you and what their motives are.
Let’s get to reinstatement of a charity that has been revoked. Is it possible? Yes. Is it hard? Yes. Can it be done if the founder is deceased or abandoned the charity? Yes. If the bylaws have not been changed OR if the last Board of Directors listed on the last 990 filed (whichever is most recent) applies for reinstatement, pays all fines and fees, reinstatement can be granted retroactively. Which seems to have happened in a few cases.
If the 990 has only two names on it and one is of the deceased person or abandoner and the other person’s name was used to file to reinstate the charity and they are not aware their name or information was used, that is fraud and punishable by imprisonment according to the IRS. If the original bylaws were used, then whatever Boards members can file. However, if new Board members have been added, a new set of bylaws needs to be filed with the IRS and the charity will need to file all missing 990 forms going back to the retroactive reinstatement. The charity will also need to be a state registered entity, but that is another conversation for another day.
All of this can be verified by calling the IRS. Third parties can call and ask because they are asking you, the public for donations, as charities do in order to raise funds. I recommend you check on every charity because we are in a scam era and everyone has a gimmick, everyone seems out to take from those who are of heart. Bilking people out of their money based on their grief is the oldest grift in the book. There is no harm in asking questions. There is no hate in heeding a warning. If that feeling in your gut says something isn’t right about a charity or how an individual is handling something or a story you have been told, it probably isn’t. Be mindful now or sorry later.