We have compiled a list of questions and answers with our memorial fund & scholarship faq. If you don’t find the answer you are looking for please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Distributing Scholarships and Grants
Simply download the Award Distribution Request form and follow the directions at the top of the form. The form is approved by CHARITYSMITH (to be sure we follow IRS guidelines) and check will be issued within 14 days. The check can be mailed to the fund administrator(s) or directly to the recipient.
Generally scholarships or distributions are made once or twice a year, however there is no set limit on the amount of distributions that can be made.
Typically, scholarships are paid directly to the school. This ensures the funds are being used for educational purposes. In certain circumstances, the fund administrator elects to pay money directly to a student for a separate use such as housing, travel expenses, etc.
The money can go to cancer research or any other form of research for that matter. That said, the money cannot be given to family, or to employees of CHARITYSMITH.
All scholarship recipients should report the award as a scholarship/grant on their annual tax return.
Yes. In the case of scholarships and grants being paid directly to a nonprofit or academic institution this is enough. If money is being paid directly to an individual, we will request a written report on how this money will be used. In special (limited) circumstances, we may request receipts so that we can prove to the IRS that money’s were spent in a charitable manner.
Fundraising and Administration
Donation checks should be made out to the memorial fund itself. If they are made out to “CHARITYSMITH” they simply need the name of the fund in the memo portion of the check.
Donations are accepted online via Donation Pay, by mail, or by credit card over the phone. Each donation is processed by CHARITYSMITH, deposited into the Wells Fargo bank account associated with the fund, and then entered into our accounting system. We issue a donation receipt to each donor and then send monthly donation reports to fund administrators.
We provide monthly donation reports that provide donor name, donation amount, date, and method of donation. Fund administrators can also be provided with online view-only access to the bank account if they choose.
Yes. Each account has its own savings account at Wells Fargo
CHARITYSMITH opens and maintains the account.
Unless under special circumstances, no. All donations should be routed through the CHARITYSMITH offices either by sending checks to 13100 Filly Lane, Truckee, CA 96161, or by online donation. This enables the accounting office to keep excellent records. If it is a matter of cash donation, or if a deposit is to be made following a fundraiser, donations directly to the account can be made with special documentation instructions.
A fund administrator may receive a duplicate bank statement, but most often fund administrators choose to have online access over their account in lieu of paper statements
Absolutely. We are happy to help guide fund administrators through the fundraising process whether they have fundraising experience or not. Be sure to fill out the Fundraiser Worksheet and send this in to our offices to get the process started
This is decided on a case-by-case basis which we will help you determine. The worksheet we use is available for download on our site.
Yes. All direct fundraising expenses (i.e. venue rental, food expenses, etc.) are reimbursable. The form for reimbursement is available here.
– We simply close the bank account after distributing the money. The website stays up until you ask CHARITYSMITH to take it down.
Starting a Memorial Fund
Once we receive the signed contract and the startup fee has been paid, we can typically set up accounts in 48 – 72 hours. This includes opening the Wells Fargo savings account, building the website, and the ability to accept online donations using Donation Pay.
The start up fee $700 is due upon creation of the memorial fund along with the signed contract.
The start-up fee is due when the memorial fund is created. You may email a check for the start-up fee to CHARITYSMITH, or you may pay the start-up fee online.
Yes – You can use a credit card to pay for your startup fee online here.
Yes – if you do not wish to use Donation Pay you can pay the startup fee by calling our office (800-276-6546).
You should find everything you need on the website. All forms and documents are available here.
– Your fund will be a division of CHARITYSMITH. While it will not be a separate nonprofit organization, it will run as a separate fund under your administration and our management. The fund can receive all the benefits of a 501©3 nonprofit.
The only thing that you would need to file with your usual tax returns is a receipt for any donation that you make to the fund, or to the fund’s establishment costs. These receipts are provided to you by CHARITYSMITH and allow you to deduct your donations from your taxes.
You supply the pictures, the narrative, and the idea of where you would like funds to go. You are also responsible for fundraising and deciding how to distribute the funds via scholarships and grants. The startup cost and annual administrative fee are tax deductible.
You pick from one of our three templates and provide us with your text and pictures. Our web designer will work with you to build a custom site that meets all of your needs.
The annual administrative fee is $516.
At CHARITYSMITH, we complete all paperwork for you as part of our 501©3 umbrella. This service is part of the fund establishment fees.
Yes there is. We have a contract and two forms that are emailed to you. These clearly delineate the form and function of our services and agreement.
Yes, as long as the fund has a mission of helping others, we are generally amenable with whatever you choose. The one exception is “self-dealing” — we are not allowed to give money to our family members as this is considered a violation of the integrity of the fund per the IRS.