FAQs for Nonprofits
Q. What is OC Nonprofit Central?
OC’s Nonprofit Central is Orange County’s first-ever, fully searchable online database of local nonprofit organizations. This resource was created to help donors and local residents better understand Orange County’s nonprofit community and discover how to engage in the causes they care about most.
Q. Which organizations are eligible to participate?
Organizations that are verified 501(c)(3) Public Charity designated organizations that file an IRS Form 990 or 990EZ* and serve or are headquartered in Orange County, California.
*If you do not file an IRS Form 990 or 990EZ and instead file a 990N, are fiscally sponsored, are a local chapter of a national organization, or are not required to file a 990, you will need to fill out the OCCF financial input template showing your financial history for the last three years (email firstname.lastname@example.org to request one)..
Q. What are the benefits of participating?
- Increase awareness of your organization among potential donors and new audiences
- Tell your story and make a case for support
- Help the community understand the need for your services, solutions, and results
- Drive online donations
- Current profiles are required to participate in OCCF competitive grant programs and Giving Days
Q. How does an organization get started on a profile?
Click here to register for a profile.
Organizations that register to have a profile on Nonprofit Central are reviewed by the OCCF team. Within two weeks following an application, the team will either approve your request, request supplemental documentation to finish reviewing your application, or deny your request. You will see your current status on your OC Nonprofit Central Dashboard. Click here for more information. Once your status states "Pending" you may start customizing your profile.
Q. How soon should I complete my profile to get it published and viewable on the website?
New organizations are asked to complete their profile within 3-4 weeks of starting the process*. Most nonprofits find that building a profile can take up to 4-6 hours of staff time to complete. Once you've completed your profile, OCCF staff will review and either publish your profile or request additional information to complete and publish your profile.**
*Within 6 months, new profiles must complete, submit, and have their profile approved otherwise the registration process must be started over.
**Please note that your profile can be updated at any point, with a minimum of once of year. Click here for help customizing your profile!
Q. How do I log in to edit my organization's?
Follow the steps in this support article for help logging in!
Q. Can organizations have multiple managers?
Organizations can have multiple managers! Existing managers can add new managers by following the steps outlined here!
Q. How will donations be processed?
In order to receive your donations via ACH transfer, GiveGab requires a checking account eligible to receive ACH transfers and withdrawals.
If your organization supplies the wrong type of bank account (such as a savings account), or the wrong account numbers, GiveGab will be in touch! After 30 days, if GiveGab hasn't heard from your organization, they will refund your gifts back to your donors.
Q. When will my organization receive its funds?
Organizations will receive funds in 5 business days via direct deposit to their organization's bank account from Stripe, our payment processor and PCI Service Provider Level 1. Managers can reconcile these deposits with their Donation Report on their Admin Dashboard on GiveGab. These payouts will be labeled as "GiveGab" on the organization's bank statements.
Q. How can my organization see who has donated?
Organization managers will be able to view and export a CSV with their donor information from the Donations Report page. Click here to learn how this is done!
Q. Is there a fee?
There is a 2.2% + $0.30 credit card processing fee and 2.5% platform fee associated with each donation. Donors will have the option to cover all transaction fees on your behalf.
Q. Is OCCF taking a fee?
No. The Orange County Community Foundation takes no fees from contributions. All fees are assessed by the credit card companies and other vendors, totaling approximately 5%.
Fees cover the cost of the technology to support the platform and ensure that the organizations and donors both experience and safe and secure web experience.
Q. Who is GiveGab?
GiveGab is OC Nonprofit Central's new technology platform! More generally, GiveGab is a nonprofit giving platform that helps nonprofits to raise money, engage donors and manage volunteers quickly and efficiently. GiveGab offers a full portfolio of simple and easy to use products that allow organizations to function in a more streamlined manner.
Q. What is state charitable solicitation registration?
Nonprofits are held to a high standard of government regulation and public scrutiny. And that is with good reason! Eligible 501(c) nonprofits are exempt from federal corporate taxes and have access to public funding. These benefits are not typically available to for-profit businesses, so laws are in place to protect the public and ensure nonprofits do not abuse their financial advantages. The IRS and states all have requirements for nonprofits.
Q. Why is state charitable solicitation registration compliance important?
While 501(c) nonprofits receive key financial benefits, the penalties for noncompliance can be serious. The IRS can revoke a nonprofit’s tax exemption and impose fines that can accrue daily. The states can administratively dissolve a nonprofit corporation and levy steep financial penalties. Perhaps worst of all, an organization can lose out on a grant or large donation because it has not kept itself in good standing.
Taking a proactive approach to compliance helps ensure the sustained success of the organization. The cost of staying compliant is small in comparison to the much larger costs of noncompliance. The saying, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” could not be truer in this context.
Q. What are the key aspects of state charitable solicitation registration compliance?
The IRS provides tax exemptions to eligible nonprofits under IRC 501(c). Public Charities and Private Foundations receive 501(c)(3) tax exemption. The IRS scrutinizes organizations when they apply for 501(c)(3) but also ensures that those organizations meet the ongoing obligations to remain eligible. Nonprofits must file a 990 tax form each year with the IRS to disclose their financial data for the year.
Each state has its own set of requirements. Nonprofits are typically incorporated in a given state as a nonprofit corporation. The state in which the nonprofit has incorporated will impose requirements on the nonprofit, and those responsibilities typically span across multiple state agencies. Usually, nonprofits must submit an annual filing to the corporation's division of the secretary of state, maintain its license to fundraise (charitable solicitation registration), file for a state business license, and maintain state-level tax exemption with the revenue department. As nonprofits expand outside of the state or operate nationwide, they must comply with the same items in each other state as well.
In addition to IRS and state filing requirements, nonprofits must keep adequate records. Keeping accurate and complete records is critical in the event that an organization is audited. It is also common that board members or donors request information from the organization. Finally, records are necessary for submitting applications and renewal filings with various government agencies.
Q. When I check the box on GiveGab to declare state charitable solicitation registration compliance, what am I attesting to?
When you check the box you are attesting (defined as "declaring that something exists or is the case") that your organization is compliant with applicable state fundraising requirements in the states in which you may solicit donors using the GiveGab platform.
Q. Do you have additional resources to reference about state charitable solicitation registration?
Yes! Here are a few more resources from Harbor Compliance to help you:
- Guide and Overview of Many Nonprofit State by State Compliance Requirements
- Guide and Overview Specific to Fundraising Compliance
- National Council of Nonprofits and Harbor Compliance have partnered to create a white paper explaining the state charitable solicitation registration requirements.
- A Quick Summary of Charitable Solicitation in Graphic Form
- Executive Brief: Charitable Solicitation Registration (great for driving awareness and support with leadership and the board)
- State by State Links to the State Organizations that Regulate Charities, Solicitation, and Registrations