In March 2016, Faith in Action, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit serving seniors in Solano County since 1998, entered into a relationship with the Winters Senior Foundation. The mission of the Foundation is to educate, advocate and enhance the quality of life of seniors who reside in Winters.
The Foundation’s mission paralleled that of Faith in Action, whose mission is to promote the independence, end the isolation and sustain the dignity of homebound seniors residing throughout Solano County it was natural partnership. This was especially significant to Faith in Action since there are residents of Solano County residing in the unincorporated areas near Winters.
This partnership included Faith in Action becoming the fiscal agent/sponsor of the Winters Senior Foundation which meant that Faith in Action would bring the Foundation under its umbrella and allow the Foundation to share in Faith in Action’s nonprofit status with the Internal Revenue Service, thus ensuring the donors of the foundation that their contributions were tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.
The written agreement between the two organizations provided an exit clause — either organization could end the partnership by giving a written 30-day notice to the other. Faith in Action sent a letter on Dec. 15, 2017 to the foundation’s board of directors that effective Jan. 15, 2018, the partnership between the two organizations would end.
Faith in Action also informed the foundation’s board of directors that the funds held by Faith in Action in trust would be transferred to another nonprofit that had agreed in writing to be the foundation’s fiscal agent/sponsor or if the foundation were able to secure its own 501(c)(3) status as determined by the Internal Revenue Service.
Because the relationship was ending, the foundation’s board of directors was also notified that Faith in Action would no longer accept any donations on behalf of the Foundation. To date, Faith in Action has not received a copy of any agreement between the foundation and another local nonprofit that states that the foundation is under its fiscal agency nor has Faith in Action received copies of any letter of determination that the Internal Revenue Service would have sent to the Foundation if an application for nonprofit determination were successful.
Because neither stipulation was met by the foundation, it is incumbent upon Faith in Action to notify the residents of Winters that any solicitations sent to the general community by the foundation in support of its activities, as of Jan. 15, are not tax deductible. It is advisable that donors ask for a copy of the foundation’s letter of determination issued by the IRS responding to a donation request.
REV. ROBERT T. FUENTES