FAQ

Nonprofit FAQ
Donor FAQ

Nonprofit FAQ

Q. What is Give Big Kern?

Give Big Kern is set aside as “One day to celebrate the giving spirit of Kern County.” Kern’s generous community comes together to raise dollars and volunteer hours for local nonprofits through online crowdfunding and pledges over a 24-hour period. In the months leading up to Give Big Kern, trainings and highly publicized events help strengthen nonprofits individually and make their presence more visible in the community. Participants learn marketing, social media, and board engagement and donor cultivation skills. They also connect with one another through strategic networking, thus making the entire local nonprofit sector stronger.
In 2019, Give Big Kern received our community’s distinguished Beautiful Bakersfield Award for helping to create “A Better Bakersfield”!


Q. When is Give Big Kern?

Observed on the first Tuesday in May, Give Big Kern happens on a very auspicious day in 2020: May 5 - Cinco de Mayo! But our online donation portal, www.givebigkern.org, opens up a month ahead of the big day for early-bird donors, and stays open till midnight on May 6 to also give our lovable procrastinators a whole extra day to still be able to join in the giving fun!


Q. Who is behind Give Big Kern?

Give Big Kern is a Nonprofit Strengthening Initiative of Kern Community Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with the powerfully simple mission of “Growing Community and Growing Philanthropy.” Since its establishment in 1999, Kern Community Foundation has stimulated Kern County's economy and humanitarianism with upwards of $23 million in grant making.


Q. What is Give Big Kern’s theme this year?

Since it falls auspiciously on Cinco de Mayo, this year’s theme for Give Big Kern, as our lovable Mascot, Billy the Give Big Goat might say, is, “Give Like It’s a F-i-i-i-e-e-e-s-t-a!” Because...

  • Giving should be fun, so let us all, as a community, make it a celebration!
  • People can come together for charitable causes just like they gather for a fiesta. Join the fun by participating in various promotions and events highlighted in the Events page of the givebigkern.org website.
  • Nonprofits and their Donors can get creative about their individual Give Big Kern campaigns, and incorporate fundraising games, friendly competitions and other activities to add to the festive giving mood.
  • Donors deserve our thanks! Say “Gracias, Amigo/Amiga!” with Cinco de Mayo-themed favors and eats - tacos, burritos, margaritas, maracas!
  • Nonprofits can engage with businesses (restaurants, breweries, etc.) that are already in a Cinco-ey mood, to increase giving to BUENAS charitable causes in the community through fun promotions!

Let’s ALL Give Like It’s a Fiesta!


Q. Is my nonprofit eligible to participate?

To be eligible to participate in Give Big Kern 2020, your nonprofit must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization;
  • Be headquartered or provide services with a physical office or branch in Kern County;
  • Be registered with Kern Community Foundation (Learn how to register on the Foundation website, kernfoundation.org/grants); and
  • Have a Silver or higher transparency rating on GuideStar.org, the world’s largest database on nonprofits. Not familiar with GuideStar? Contact the Foundation at 661.616.2603. We’ll be glad to provide you with a better understanding of it as a useful resource to nonprofits.


Q. Why should my nonprofit participate?

Give Big Kern will allow you to:

  • Increase your nonprofit’s visibility and capacity in the areas of fundraising and volunteer recruitment, as you will be engaging loyal AND new donors and volunteers.
  • Benefit from important training and customized online tools to advance your social media marketing, board engagement, and donor development capabilities.
  • Receive marketing material support FREE OF CHARGE from Give Big Kern organizer Kern Community Foundation.
  • Raise UNRESTRICTED FUNDS! Unlike most grants, which must be used for very specific purposes, funds raised by nonprofits through Give Big Kern can be used where they are needed most: from facilities repairs to office supply purchases to client service delivery.
  • Compete for prizes for the most donors engaged, most dollars raised, most volunteers signed up, most volunteer hours pledged, the donation from the farthest away, etc.


Q. Registration and Deadlines: How can my nonprofit participate??

All nonprofits interested in participating (including those that have already participated in previous years’ Give Big Kern efforts) must complete the three-step registration process described below:

  1. Click here to register for mandatory webinars and in-person workshops, as well as optional educational events designed to help you make the most of your Give Big Kern experience.
  2. Register Online at www.givebigkern.org by February 28, 2020.
  3. Complete Your Customized Profile on www.givebigkern.org by March 27, 2020.


Q. How much does it cost?

It is FREE for nonprofits to participate in Give Big Kern and to maintain a profile on the GiveGab platform year-round. There are transaction fees for gifts given during Give Big Kern (April 5 - May 6, 2020) which are broken down as follows:

  • GiveGab technology provider platform fee of 3%.
  • Credit Card processing fees are an additional 2.2% + $0.30 per transaction.
  • Donors are given the option to cover the fees and a majority of them do. If they cover the applicable fees, 100% of their online charitable gift will go to your nonprofit. To learn more about using the GiveBigKern.org online donation platform outside of the April 5 - May 6, 2020 date range, please click here.
  • For the first time this year, donors who are donating amounts of $100 or more to an organization will have the option to connect with their bank account for an ACH (Automated Clearing House) transfer. This option will include a flat $3.00 fee + the 3% platform fee, which is ideal for those donors giving large amounts!


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. Can more than one person claim admin access on our nonprofit’s page?

Yes, and we recommend that each participating agency have a least a main administrator and a backup. Once you have completed the registration process, you will have access to instructions for setting up multiple administrators.


Q. How much of the donation will go to our nonprofit?

GiveGab will remit all donations, net of the processing fees (see above for details), directly to your nonprofit. For donors, all donations are 100% tax-deductible; GiveGab will provide e-mail receipts for all donations made online.


Q. When will we receive the donated funds?

As long as bank routing and account information has been verified, nonprofits will receive all donations, less any uncovered processing fees (see above for details), via direct deposit within 5-7 business days. GiveGab uses a PCI Level I compliant payment service to ensure that all financial data is secure. (Please Note: Organizations that request to have Kern Community Foundation act as their Fiscal Sponsor during Give Big Kern, will receive one cumulative check for all donations received during the April 5 - May 6 giving period within a month after Give Big Kern Day.)


Q. How does a nonprofit know who has donated and how much? Can I download a donations report?

All nonprofits that participate in Give Big Kern will be able to access and download a .CSV file of their donations via their administrative dashboard on GiveGab. The report is updated in real time and will include the donation payout date for bank account reconciliation, donation information (including a breakdown of the fees), and the donor's name and contact information. Click here to download a sample donation report.


Q. How can our nonprofit be most successful with the Give Big Kern event?

We help every nonprofit make the most of their Give Big Kern experience through mandatory and optional training workshops and webinars, instructional videos, a Nonprofit Toolkit full of helpful tips, tools, and downloads, and FREE marketing materials (both printed and online, in English and Spanish). The more of these resources you access and put to use, the more successful your Giving Day will be. View and register for workshops here. Also, be sure to access the Give Big Kern Events Calendar to prepare for and promote Kern County’s giving day.
As our 2019 Give Big Kern Report to the Community shows, the greater the nonprofit community’s involvement is in Give Big Kern through participation in highly visible, creative, fun activities, including Peer-to-Peer Fundraising and Matching Gift Strategies that involve individual or corporate donor angels, the better the results are in dollars raised, volunteers recruited, and board members and donors engaged.
We make it easy and fun for everyone! Just come along for the ride!


Q. If I still have questions, who can I contact?

You can reach out to our nonprofit support team by emailing info@givebigkern.org.


Q. What portion of a donation made on GiveGab is tax deductible?

Tax deductibility for a donor is based on giving to a nonprofit; it's not dependent upon how that nonprofit uses the funds. On GiveGab, the nonprofit pays for the fees, regardless if the donor elects to cover. GiveGab gives donors the option to increase their donation by an amount equal to the fees the nonprofit will pay so that the nonprofit realizes the full amount of the intended donation after payment of the fees. Just because the donor is given this option does not make the additional amount non-deductible.
Outside of using GiveGab, nonprofits do not provide their donors a breakdown of what portion of their donation is deductible (unless the donor receives something of value in return, such as a meal, etc). That's because deductibility is based on giving to the nonprofit, not how the nonprofit chooses to use the funds. You could almost consider when the donor elects to cover the fees, that portion of the donation is a restricted gift that will be used to pay for the expenses incurred to receive the gift. Restricted gifts are tax deductible, because it's based on who is receiving the gift (nonprofit) not what the gift is used for.
Ultimately, whether a donor decides to deduct the fees as a donation on their tax returns is their option, and we do not provide tax advice. If they want to be ultra-conservative they can choose to not take a deduction for the fees when they file. Who receives the donation is what determines tax deductibility, not how the donation is used. If it were the opposite, nonprofits would have to provide a full accounting to each and every donor how every penny of each donation was used - that is obviously impractical and would increase nonprofit administrative expenses exponentially.
GiveGab does not provide tax advice. Please consult your local tax professional about what portion of the full donation amount can be claimed as a charitable contribution.


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. Why is state charitable solicitation registration compliance important?

We require this with your nonprofit’s best interest in mind. 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) status, 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 its 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. 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:


Donor FAQ

Q. What is Give Big Kern?

Since 2016, Give Big Kern has been set aside as “One day to celebrate the giving spirit of Kern County.” It is designed to bring all of Kern together as one community, raising dollars and volunteer hours for our county’s nonprofits through a 24-hour crowdfunding campaign. Give Big Kern shines a light on hard-working, local community-based organizations and empowers them to advance their marketing, board engagement, fundraising and donor development capabilities while encouraging productive networking and collaboration across the nonprofit sector. Join us for Give Big Kern as a supporter of Kern’s nonprofit sector, and find your passion! Donate to your favorite causes, pledge volunteer hours, learn about new nonprofits in the community, and share the excitement with your friends and fellow philanthropists!
In 2019, Give Big Kern received our community’s distinguished Beautiful Bakersfield Award for helping to create “A Better Bakersfield”!


Q. When is Give Big Kern?

Observed on the first Tuesday in May, Give Big Kern falls on a very auspicious day in 2020: May 5 - Cinco de Mayo!

But...

  • Are you an early-bird donor? Our online donation portal, givebigkern.org, opens up on April 5, a whole month ahead of the B-i-i-i-g day so you can get your donation(s) out of the way as early as you like!
  • Are you a last-minute type donor? No problem! We get you: Many of us are just like you. That’s why we keep the donation portal open till midnight on May 6 to give last-minute donors like you a chance to give.


Q. Who is behind Give Big Kern?

Give Big Kern is a Nonprofit Strengthening Initiative of Kern Community Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with the powerfully simple mission of
“Growing Community and Growing Philanthropy.”
Since its establishment in 1999, Kern Community Foundation has stimulated Kern county’s economy and humanitarianism with upwards of $23 million in grant making. But we can’t take too much of the credit: After all, these transformative dollars come from Kern County’s generous community--they come from people like you!


Q. What is the theme of Give Big Kern?

As our Mascot, Billy the Give Big Goat, might say, this year’s theme for Give Big Kern is,
“Give Like It’s a F-i-i-i-e-e-e-s-t-a!”
As a donor or volunteer, you can help bring a festive atmosphere to Kern County’s hard-working nonprofits by supporting them through your donations of money and time.
The impact your dollars can make in the community, the impact of your volunteer time and talents put to good use, the impact your corporate sponsorship of Give Big Kern can make throughout all of Kern’s nonprofit sector: These are all reasons to celebrate! Like people get together for a party, we can all come together as a community to make wonderful dreams come true for our hard-working nonprofits.
Give Like It’s a Fiesta!


Q. Which nonprofits can participate?

To be eligible to participate in Give Big Kern, a nonprofit or charitable effort must meet the following criteria, demonstrating a certain level of organizational maturity and accountability:

  • Be a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization or have a 501(c)(3) Fiscal Sponsor;
  • Be headquartered or provide services with a physical office or branch in Kern County;
  • Be registered with Kern Community Foundation (registration is possible through the Foundation website, kernfoundation.org/grants); and
  • Have a Silver or higher transparency rating on GuideStar.org, the world’s largest database on nonprofits. This shows due diligence, accountability and organizational maturity on the part of the nonprofit.


Q. Who can donate and how?

Online donors: Anyone with a credit card or debit card may donate via givebigkern.org. Online donations will be received and receipted by GiveGab.
Offline donors: If you do not have a debit or credit card and/or prefer to donate to a Kern County nonprofit of your choice using cash or a check, please contact that nonprofit directly. They will be able to accept your donation, receipt it and reflect it in their total amount of Give Big Kern dollars raised, as long as you designate it as such between April 5 and May 6, 2020.
All donations to participating charitable nonprofit organizations given through Give Big Kern are completely tax deductible.


Q. What is the minimum donation?

The minimum donation is $5. If you cannot afford to donate monetarily, consider pledging volunteer hours to the nonprofit of your choice. Just select the “Volunteering” option from the menu on the top right-hand side of the GiveBigKern.org home page, and fill out the Volunteer Form, which can be done online or on paper through a downloadable form option.


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?

Each online donation made to a participating nonprofit will be disbursed directly from GiveGab via direct deposit within 5-7 business days. Cash or check donations made directly to participating nonprofits will be processed by the nonprofits themselves.


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

You are given the option to cover transaction fees at the time of your donation. If you choose this option, 100% of your online charitable gift will go to the receiving nonprofit as a tax-deductible donation. The transaction fees for gifts given during Give Big Kern are broken down as follows:

  • GiveGab technology provider platform fee of 3%.
  • Credit Card processing fees are an additional 2.2% + $0.30 per transaction.
  • Donors are given the option to cover the fees and a majority of them do. If they cover the applicable fees, 100% of their online charitable gift will go to your nonprofit. To learn more about using the GiveBigKern.org online donation platform outside of the April 5 - May 6, 2020 date range, please click here.
  • For the first time this year, donors who are donating amounts of $100 or more to an organization will have the option to connect with their bank account for an ACH (Automated Clearing House) transfer. This option will include a flat $3.00 fee + the 3% platform fee, which is ideal for those donors giving large amounts!


Q. Who will receive my contact information?

Only the nonprofit(s) you choose to support will have access to your name and e-mail address. This information is used solely to send thank you messages, provide the option to receive future notifications, and notify you of future activities.
Please note also that you have the option to donate anonymously. Anonymous donations will be displayed as "Anonymous" to the public on the nonprofit's page, but that nonprofit will still have access to your name and email address.


Q. Can I make donations via mobile device?

Yes! The GiveGab platform is responsive and user friendly. Simply visit givebigkern.org on your mobile device.


Q. Can I preschedule a donation for Give Big Kern Day?

You can make a donation towards Give Big Kern starting on April 5! All donations made from 12:00 a.m. April 5 - 11:59 p.m. on May 5 will count towards prizes in the friendly competition open to participating nonprofits.


Q. What if my preferred nonprofit is not listed?

You can help spread the word by directly contacting that nonprofit to make sure they are aware of Give Big Kern and register with Kern Community Foundation so they can participate. Please contact Kern Community Foundation’s Director of Community Impact, Louis Medina, at Louis@kernfoundation.org, or 661.616.2603.


Q. What portion of a donation made on GiveGab is tax deductible?

Tax deductibility for a donor is based on giving to a nonprofit; it's not dependent upon how that nonprofit uses the funds. On GiveGab, the nonprofit pays for the fees, regardless if the donor elects to cover. GiveGab gives donors the option to increase their donation by an amount equal to the fees the nonprofit will pay so that the nonprofit realizes the full amount of the intended donation after payment of the fees. Just because the donor is given this option does not make the additional amount non-deductible. Outside of using GiveGab, nonprofits do not provide their donors a breakdown of what portion of their donation is deductible (unless the donor receives something of value in return as a dinner, etc). That's because deductibility is based on giving to the nonprofit, not how the nonprofit chooses to use the funds. You could almost consider when the donor elects to cover the fees, that portion of the donation is a restricted gift that will be used to pay for the expenses incurred to receive the gift. Restricted gifts are tax deductible, because it's based on who is receiving the gift (nonprofit) not what the gift is used for.
Ultimately, whether a donor decides to deduct the fees as a donation on their tax returns is their option, and we do not provide tax advice. If they want to be ultra-conservative they can choose to not take a deduction for the fees when they file. Who receives the donation is what determines tax deductibility, not how the donation is used. If it were the opposite, nonprofits would have to provide a full accounting to each and every donor how every penny of each donation was used - that is obviously impractical and would increase nonprofit administrative expenses exponentially.
GiveGab does not provide tax advice. Please consult your local tax professional about what portion of the full donation amount can be claimed as a charitable contribution.