Q. What is Raise the Region®?

Raise the Region® is a day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Raise the Region® is an initiative of First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania.

Q. When is Raise the Region®?

Raise the Region® is from 6:00 pm on March 13th until 11:59 pm on March 14th.

Q. Why is Raise the Region® a good opportunity for our community?

As an initiative of the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania, the aim of Raise the Region® is to promote the work and support of local nonprofits in our region. This event will increase individual funding to nonprofits through a concentrated, online, stretching gift campaign that reaches each community supported by a participating nonprofit. Raise the Region® is a strategic and unified effort to meet the increasing needs of our region that are being addressed through the work of local nonprofits.

The stretching donation from Blaise Alexander Family Dealerships and the cash prizes will inspire charitable giving and it demonstrates the power of giving locally to create powerful communities throughout the region. By participating in this event, local nonprofits can increase their online presence, generate greater awareness for their organization while raising additional support in the first quarter of the year.

Q. Which organizations can participate?

Organizations that are verified 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofits that are headquartered or provide services in north central Pennsylvania region. They must have a physical address in one of the following counties: Columbia, Lycoming, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder, Tioga, or Union. If physical address is outside of the 6-county area identified above, contact FCFP, at 570-321-1500 to determine eligibility. Organizations must agree to use all money raised during Raise the Region® - donations, stretch funds and prize money- to benefit Columbia, Lycoming, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder, Tigoga, and/or Union counties through non-sectarian programs.

Note: Places of worship, higher education Institutions, Community Foundations, programs with fiscal agents, government/public taxing entities, and/or nonprofits who failed to obtain 10 unique donors during Raise the Region® 2023 are not eligible.

Q. Who can donate?

Anyone may donate. Donations through the Raise the Region® online portal to charitable nonprofit organizations are tax-deductible and cannot be refunded. Contributions may be made via credit and debit card only. Donations will be received and receipted by GiveGab.

FCFP Donor Advised Fund holders have the option to give from their FCFP Donor Advised Funds. Please contact the office at 570-321-1500 prior to March 13th to discuss this pre-giving opportunity.

Q. What is GiveGab?

GiveGab is a nonprofit giving platform that helps nonprofits to raise money, engage donors and manage volunteers quickly and efficiently. GiveGab offers a full portfolio of simple and easy to use products that allows organizations to function in a more streamlined manner.

Q. How will donations be distributed?

Donations received on Raise the Region® day will be made to the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania, but will be granted back to your organization after incentive funds, stretch funds, and prize dollars (if any) are applied. The Community Foundation will strive to confirm and announce all incentive grant recipients within 3 business days, with grant checks distributed within 30 days of the event.

Q. How much of my donation goes to the nonprofit?

FCFP retains a 2% gift for the costs of the giving day event and to support its mission. GiveGab retains a 3% campaign management fee from all donations. Credit Card processing fees are an additional 2.5% + $0.30 for all major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover). You are given the option to cover the fees and if you choose this option, 100% of your online charitable gift will go to the receiving organization. All donations are final and cannot be refunded. Any donations processed outside of Raise the Region® donation period, through GiveGab.com, or subsequent recurring donations are subject to fees listed above.

Q. What will my bank statement list as a payment descriptor for my donation?

Your bank statement will list Raise the Region FCFP as the payment descriptor. Please note that due to character limits of online and/or paper statements, the payment descriptor may be abbreviated and appear shortened.

Q. Who will receive my contact information?

Email addresses will be used to transmit electronic tax receipt(s) for donations made through Raise the Region®. Your name, email address and billing address will be shared with the organization(s) to whom your donations will be credited (unless you choose to give anonymously, in which case the Foundation will not share your information with the organization you chose to support). The Community Foundation does not retain credit card information and your personal data will not be shared with or sold to any other outside vendors or third parties.

The Community Foundation may send periodic email updates about website enhancements, research reports and special giving opportunities or events.

Q. Do I need to create an account with GiveGab?

No. You do not need to create an account to make a donation. The benefits of creating an account include having your tax receipts collected in one location, being able to track your donations, follow the charities you support, and engage in future volunteering and donations. Your tax receipt is emailed immediately upon processing your donation. To claim a donation as a deduction on U.S. taxes, you should retain the donation receipt as an official record.

Q. Can I make donations via a mobile device?

Yes! Simply visit raisetheregion.org on your mobile device.

Q. Can I pre-schedule a donation for Raise the Region®?

You cannot pre-schedule your Raise the Region® gift. In order for your donation to be counted towards prize incentives awarded on Raise the Region® it must be made between 6:00 pm on March 13, 2024 and 11:59 PM on March 14, 2024.

Q. What if my preferred organization is not listed?

Please send an email to info@raisetheregion.org to request that we contact your organization of choice.

Q. How will the incentive grants be awarded?

The incentive funds, stretching funds, and prize money will be included in the grant to each participating nonprofit. The stretching funds will be paid to each participating nonprofit according to that nonprofit's percentage of the total amount raised during Raise the Region® (example: nonprofit raised 10% of the overall amount raised, nonprofit receives 10% of the stretching funds). Please see the Leaderboard page for ways to help your favorite nonprofit win additional grants.

Q. When will incentive grant prize recipients be announced?

The Raise the Region® website will feature a live leaderboard where nonprofits and donors can track donations by organization in real-time. The leaderboard will list nonprofits in the order of most gifts. You will also be able to view the amount raised per nonprofit, but this is not a factor in determining incentive prize winners.

Final grant prize distribution may differ from leaderboard results, as all gifts are subject to eligibility verification. The Community Foundation will strive to confirm and announce all incentive grant recipients within 3 business days, with grant checks distributed within 30 days of the event.

Q. What happens if there is a tie for an incentive grant prize?

In the event of a tie for incentive (bonus) prizes, that prize will be equally divided by the number of organizations in the tie. Incentive bonus prizes based on time, will be determined by one-hundredths of a second to determine a winner.

Q. Does The Community Foundation accept employer matching gifts for Raise the Region®?

Employer-matched contributions made in conjunction with Raise the Region® will be accepted, but will be used to support the Friends of the Foundation Fund at the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania.

Q. What is state charitable solicitation registration?

Nonprofits are held to a high standard of government regulation and public scrutiny. And that is with good reason! Eligible 501(c) nonprofits are exempt from federal corporate taxes and have access to public funding. These benefits are not typically available to for-profit businesses, so laws are in place to protect the public and ensure nonprofits do not abuse their financial advantages. The IRS and states all have requirements for nonprofits.

Q. Why is state charitable solicitation registration compliance important?

While 501(c) nonprofits receive key financial benefits, the penalties for noncompliance can be serious. The IRS can revoke a nonprofit’s tax exemption and impose fines that can accrue daily. The states can administratively dissolve a nonprofit corporation and levy steep financial penalties. Perhaps worst of all, an organization can lose out on a grant or large donation because it has not kept itself in good standing.

Taking a proactive approach to compliance helps ensure the sustained success of the organization. The cost of staying compliant is small in comparison to the much larger costs of noncompliance. The saying, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” could not be more true in this context.

Q. What are the key aspects of state charitable solicitation registration compliance?

The IRS provides tax exemptions to eligible nonprofits under IRC 501(c). Public charities and private foundations receive 501(c)(3) tax exemption. The IRS scrutinizes organizations when they apply for 501(c)(3) but also ensures that those organizations meet the ongoing obligations to remain eligible. Nonprofits must file a 990 tax form each year with the IRS to disclose their financial data for the year.

Each state has their own set of requirements. Nonprofits are typically incorporated in a given state as a nonprofit corporation. The state in which the nonprofit has incorporated will impose requirements on the nonprofit, and those responsibilities typically span across multiple state agencies. Usually nonprofits must submit an annual filing to the corporations division of the secretary of state, maintain its license to fundraise (charitable solicitation registration), file for a state business license, and maintain state-level tax exemption with the revenue department. As nonprofits expand outside of the state or operate nationwide, they must comply with the same items in each other state as well.

In addition to IRS and state filing requirements, nonprofits must keep adequate records. Keeping accurate and complete records is critical in the event that an organization is audited. It is also common that board members or donors request information from the organization. Finally, records are necessary for submitting applications and renewal filings with various government agencies.

Q. When I check the box on GiveGab to declare state charitable solicitation registration compliance, what am I attesting to?

When you check the box you are attesting (defined as "declaring that something exists or is the case") that your organization is compliant with applicable state fundraising requirements in the states in which you may solicit donors using the GiveGab platform.

Q. Do you have additional resources to reference about state charitable solicitation registration?

Yes! Here are a few more resources from Harbor Compliance to help you: