All Posts By

Erik Stanley

Religious Organizations and Zoning in Arizona

Religious Organizations and Zoning in Arizona

By | Church

Like other states, Arizona permits its municipal subdivisions to engage in zoning, including regulating the various types of structures and uses of land that residents within a given “zone” (generally residential, mixed residential-commercial, industrial, and so forth) are permitted to erect, maintain, and operate within. Read More

How to Handle Nonprofit Volunteers with a Past History of Violence

How to Handle Nonprofit Volunteers with a Past History of Violence

By | Church, Nonprofit

Churches and religious ministries, probably better than any other type of institution in existence, understand that human beings are fallible. We make mistakes. We are capable of changing—from willfully malignant to behaving in a manner worthy of humanity. Therefore in a way it would fly in the face of the beliefs of many nonprofit organizations to outright ban from volunteer work someone with a past history of violence (like a single fight decades in the rear-view mirror), so long as that violence truly does lie in the past. Read More

Who is Responsible for Legal Documents Signed by a Clergyperson?

Who is Responsible for Legal Documents Signed by a Clergyperson?

By | Church

Among the legal threads holding our society together, the legal signature is the height of indicators of personal and organizational responsibility. Contracts that make entire industries run are predicated upon the signing of name on a line at the end of legal documents. Often these signatory promises are made by one person—a representative—on behalf of an organization, which must then keep that individual’s promise even if that person somehow ceases to be a member of that organization. And, as churches must operate within the rubric of the larger society, they are expected to abide by similar rules. Read More

Which Nonprofits Must File a Tax Return

Which Nonprofits Must File a Tax Return

By | Nonprofit

There is a common misconception in the public at large that nonprofits in Arizona and elsewhere are not required to file a tax return with the IRS. People hear “tax-exempt” and believe that means exempt from the roll-call. Not so. Even nonprofits must file a tax return—for the most part. Read More

What is the Donor Substantiation Requirement for Nonprofit Organizations?

What is the Donor Substantiation Requirement for Nonprofit Organizations?

By | Nonprofit

Donations are often considered the lifeblood for nonprofit organizations. Because donations are usually tax deductible for the donor, it’s not uncommon for people considering making donations to nonprofits—and those running them—to ask about the donor substantiation requirement.  Nonprofits should be aware of these requirements.

The Internal Revenue Service long ago put in place rules that lay out particular requirements for individuals to make donations that are tax deductible to charities and other nonprofits. Read More

Can Two Nonprofits Merge Together in Arizona?

Can Two Nonprofits Merge Together in Arizona?

By | Nonprofit

The concept of a merger is familiar in the for-profit sector: two corporations join together to become one corporation. The driver in this case is, as the name would suggest, profit. There is more to be gained for the corporations and their shareholders if the two officially join forces. But why might two non-profit organizations want to join forces so intimately—and is it even possible in Arizona? Read More

Can a Nonprofit Organization Accept Donations Prior to Exemption?

Can a Nonprofit Organization Accept Donations Prior to Exemption?

By | Nonprofit

It’s fairly common for a nonprofit organization to want to seek funding prior to applying for tax exemption. After all, the most logical order of operations would seem to be making sure the organization can manage some early success before bothering with administrative taxes. Yet there is a catch: nonprofits have a hard time attracting that funding before they are granted their 501(c)(3) status. Read More

Five Steps Every Church or Ministry Should Take to Protect Their Employment Decisions From Government Intrusion

By | Church

President Ronald Reagan’s director of personnel is quoted as saying, “Personnel is policy.” It’s a pithy way of describing the truism that the people who work for an organization shape and mold the organization. They portray it to the outside world and embody the beliefs and values of the organization. In many ways, the people who work for an organization make it what it is and also have the power to change it within their scope of authority in the organization. Read More

How Churches Can Handle Personal Injury Risks

How Churches Can Handle Personal Injury Risks

By | Church

In focusing on the spiritual side of life, churches can, at times, lose sight of the more physical issues that can arise at church. And this—coupled with a healthy dose of the very normal tendency to hope for the best and ignore the worst—can lead some church leaders to forget to take precautions against the real possibility of personal injury claims. Read More