A solicitor is not an attorney, barrister, banker, or financial advisor that by the conduct of his or her profession advises a client on matters of law. In the United Kingdom, solicitors are known as counselors and they carry out some of the legal work for their clients, including advising them on wills, trusts, and other financial matters. In Canada, lawyers are referred to as solicitors. In Australia, solicitors are called court officers and they are allowed to make decisions on behalf of their clients as part of their role as an officer of the court. Click here for more details about this service.
There are many ways in which solicitors can be involved in the solicitation of donations. They can be involved through their role as an officer of a charity, being involved with charity fundraising events, a charity administrator, or as a charity fundraiser. A professional solicitor can also be soliciting on behalf of a commercial client. Read more about this service now.
A professional solicitor may be asked to review a case that involves a question of tax liability. He or she might have to investigate whether the source of funds for a non-profit charity's activities are compliant with tax laws. He or she might also review the affairs of a major donor to a major charitable organization. If he or she determines that the non-profit organization is improperly using funds, or if any information provided to the fund raising group by the group itself is considered to be false, misleading, or fraudulent, then the professional solicitor could advise the charity about its future tax obligations.
Charitable solicitors may also be called upon to determine if a person or group is making contributions in compliance with their tax obligations. This is a huge responsibility. A professional solicitor will look into the source of the contributions and the manner in which they have been made. He or she may also have to determine what percentage of the contributions are actually going towards the purposes that the charity has in mind. A professional solicitor would also be asked to review documentation submitted by the solicitors for approval of the fund raising program.
It is vital to keep a financial report from the charity that it is meeting its objectives. A professional solicitor can file one form 932, with the appropriate agency, to make this report. Included within the financial report should be the following information: the income of the charity, the expenses incurred in fulfilling its purposes, the amount of each purpose's debt and assets, and an analysis of the income and assets of the charity. After filing this form with the appropriate agency, professional solicitors can work with the appropriate people to ensure that the necessary paperwork is properly completed and sent to the IRS for processing.
The important thing is not to let fundraising get out of hand. Professional fundraising counsel can help to keep these organizations on track. Registration requirements for most charitable solicitation registration requirements vary from state to state. You can find out more about your state's requirements by contacting its tax agency or Department of Revenue. To get more enlightened on this topic, see this page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solicitor.