I have been funding non-monetary charitable donations to destitute communities in Venezuela. Because of the past and current situations there, I have not, and will not send anything monetary. Besides my own family buying food, clothing, and toiletries, I also collect non-monetary donations from my community and I pay for the shipping supplies and shipping costs. I have been offered several opportunities from large religious organizations and a few small businesses, to receive large, long term donations of food, clothing, shoes, school supplies, etc to send. If money is ever offered in the future, I would use it to fund the supplies and goods that I would ship. However, most of the organizations that have made these offers to me need me to be "official"...not just a lady they can give things to ship. I know I would need to consult an attorney to get this going, but I first wanted to clarify whether or not this is possible to do solely for another country. Thank you!
You can form a non-profit for the purposes you describe. You would probably want to have a general mission of helping communities anywhere there is a need. Although I don't believe anything would prohibit the entity from focusing on Venezuela you should consult an attorney to make sure. You should take into consideration that some day you may want to help another community which has been devastated by events.
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Yes, you can form a not-for-profit entity that has a charitable purpose to assist people located in another jurisdiction. You should consult with aCorporate Attorney who is experienced in not-for-profit matters.
The foregoing discussion does not establish an attorney-client relationship, is qualified by the limited facts presented above, and should not be relied upon as legal advice. To obtain definitive legal advice upon which one can rely necessitates retaining an attorney who is qualified in this particular area of the law.
I agree with Magda. You need to start a non-profit. There is good information put out by the IRS at their website stayexempt.org and I would suggest you view their free tutorial. You need to set up a not for profit entity and then make sure the founding articles of organization contain language that is quite specific so that exempt status can be requested from the IRS. There are also annual tax filing requirements (990s).
I agree with my colleagues but I would add one other thing. It is important that you have a lawyer draft the proper documents for you in order to avoid liability and any suspicion of wrongdoing. Many unsavory people create nonprofits that really serve as borderline illegal tax shelters and in order to avoid that suspicion and insulate yourself from liability now and in the future, it is always beneficial to consult with a lawyer before forming a nonprofit. Many of us offer free consultations that can provide some great insight.
Of course you will want to make sure you keep very detailed tax records as well or hire a qualified accountant to manage the nonprofit's books.
I strongly suggest you contact a business lawyer to get your questions answered and I wish you the best of luck!
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