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The PayPal Official Insider Guide to Online Fundraising by Jon Ann Lindsey

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6. Keep Your Legal House in Order

Some aspects of online fundraising are especially exciting. The little thrill when an email notifies you of another donation, the satisfaction of seeing your thermometer creep ever closer toward your goal—those are fun, rewarding reminders of your hard work.

But along with the fun comes a healthy dose of housekeeping to be filed under “dull but important.” There are legal requirements that you absolutely have to meet (tax forms! registrations!) so you can get and keep your tax-exempt status.

Let’s go over those, along with some ethical guidelines, to help you earn—and maintain—your donors’ trust.

Guidelines for Individuals

We’ve focused a lot in this book on the work of small nonprofits because they’re such prolific ...

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