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Ohio Attorney General's Nonprofit Handbook

Ohio Attorney General's Nonprofit Handbook

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Published by Mike DeWine
An operational resource for board members of charitable organizations.
An operational resource for board members of charitable organizations.

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Published by: Mike DeWine on Oct 10, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial No-derivs

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11/05/2012

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 www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov 
HANDBOOK
NONPROFITS
 
 for 
 An operational resource for board members of charitable organizations 
Revised Oct. 2009 
 
O
HIO
 A 
 TTORNEY 
G
ENERAL
S
G
UIDE FOR 
C
HARITABLE
O
RGANIZATIONS
 
Table of Contents
Introduction…………………………………………………………………………………2
Chapter 1: Charitable Organization Basics
Establishing a Charitable Organization…………………………………………3Living up to the responsibilities………………………………………………….4
Chapter 2: State Oversight of Charitable Organizations
Overview…………………………………………………………………….……..5Common Questions About the Ohio Registration Process…………………..6
Chapter 3: Nonprofit Fundraising and Professional Solicitation
Overview…………………………………………………………………….…….9Fundraising methods…………..………………………………………………...9Key players in fundraising efforts………………………………………………11Requirements for professional solicitors and fundraising counsel………....12Stemming solicitation fraud………………………………………………….....13Considerations in hiring solicitors……………………………………………...13
Chapter 4: Tips for Being a Wise Donor
Donor tips ……………………………………………………………………….15Warning signs that should raise concerns ………….…………..……...…...15What to do when you have concerns………...………………………………16Develop a donor plan………………………………….……………………….16For more information..……………………………………………….…………17
Chapter 5: Reducing the Risk of Theft
Avoiding Embezzlement……………………………………………………….18Steps to Limit Exposure.…………………………….…………………………19What to do when suspicious activity is uncovered………………….………23
Chapter 6: Filing Complaints with the Charitable Law Section
How to file a complaint……… …………………………………………………25Frequently asked questions…………….……………………………………..25
 
 
Handbook for Nonprofits Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine
2
I
NTRODUCTION
 
Charitable organizations play a critical role in strengthening communities throughout thestate. They often take on noble causes and harness the energy and commitment of donors and volunteers in support of their important missions.Making positive contributions to society as a whole by helping lead a charitableorganization carries great rewards. But it also carries great responsibilities.In exchange for the favorable tax arrangements granted to charities, these organizationsmust take care to use their resources in support of a charitable purpose. However,sometimes these efforts are thwarted by theft, fraud and a lack of serious attention to theoperations and governance of those organizations.One of the most time-honored responsibilities of attorneys general is to look after theinterests of those who may not be able to speak up for themselves. This obligation is theunderpinning for the various requirements related to nonprofit registration, filing andgovernance.When charities fail to act responsibly, the entire community suffers because resourcesaren’t directed to help the individuals and causes that should be benefitting. And other nonprofit organizations often suffer because their donors and volunteers wonder if their contributions are being used appropriately.The regulation of nonprofits is essential to donors, volunteers, granting agencies, thecommunity and nonprofits. Charity regulations help prevent fraud, provide confidence for donors and create legal mechanisms to ensure funds are not used for personal gain.

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