FAQ


Nonprofit FAQ

Q. What is Give Big Kern?

Give Big Kern is one day to celebrate the giving spirit of Kern County. It is designed to bring the county together as one community, raising dollars and volunteer hours for Kern County’s nonprofits through a 24-hour crowdfunding campaign. Give Big Kern shines a light on hard-working, local nonprofits and empowers them to advance their marketing, board engagement and donor development capabilities, while encouraging connectivity and collaboration across the sector.


Q. When is Give Big Kern?

Give Big Kern happens on the first Tuesday in May, which in 2018 is May 1, BUT our online donation portal opens up a month ahead of the big day, on April 1 — No foolin’! — to allow people who wish to donate early to do so.


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.” The popular crowdfunding effort increases visibility, builds capacity, and improves sustainability for local nonprofits, which can use the Give Big Kern opportunity to raise UNRESTRICTED FUNDS!


Q. What is the goal of Give Big Kern?

Give Big Kern’s goal for 2018 is to engage 2,000 individuals (up from some 1,500 in 2017) to donate money or pledge volunteer hours.


Q. Is my nonprofit eligible to participate?

To be eligible to participate in Give Big Kern 2018, 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, www.kernfoundation.org); and
  • Have a Silver or higher transparency rating on www.GuideStar.org, the world’s largest database on nonprofits. Not familiar with GuideStar? Contact the foundation at 661.616.2603.

Q. Why should my nonprofit participate?

Give Big Kern is a great way to increase your nonprofit’s visibility and capacity in the areas of fundraising and volunteer recruitment. It is an opportunity that provides eligible nonprofits strategic online tools to reach new donors or volunteers and gain the type of visibility that only a county-wide effort of this type can generate. Additionally, Give Big Kern provides local nonprofits with opportunities to advance their marketing, board engagement, and donor development capabilities through the campaign’s customized training and toolkit resources, which include much training on social media marketing.


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) Attend a two-part 2018 "Getting Ready for Give Give Big Kern" Orientation that will consist of:

a) A GiveGab Webinar from 10 to 11 a.m. on Wednesday, January 17, 2018 (We recommend attending the Webinar live, but for those who can’t a recording of it will be available online the following day.)

b) An in-person workshop for representatives from participating Kern County nonprofits on one of two dates:

    • Either Thursday, January 18, from 1 to 3:30 p.m. at the Larry E. Reider Education Center, 2000 K Street, Room 101, Bakersfield, CA 93301 (Check in is 1 to 1:30; workshop is 1:30 to 3:30)
    • Or Friday, January 19, from 8:30 to 11:00 a.m. at Junior League of Bakersfield, 1928 19th Street, Bakersfield, CA 93301 (Check in is 8:30 to 9; workshop is 9 to 11).

2) Register Online at www.givebigkern.org by February 28

3) Complete Your Customized Profile on www.givebigkern.org by March 30.

While the following additional in-person workshop (“Final Steps to Success with Give Big Kern”) is not mandatory, they are highly recommended to ensure a successful Give Big Kern Campaign:

    • Either Thursday, March 8, from 1 to 3:30 p.m. at the Kern County Superintendent of Schools (KCSOS) Access Center, 1330 Truxtun Ave., Suite B, Bakersfield, CA 93301 (Check in is 1 to 1:30; workshop is 1:30 to 3:30);
    • Or Friday, March 9, from 8:30 to 11:00 a.m. at the Larry E. Reider Education Center, 2000 K Street, Room 101, Bakersfield, CA 93301.

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 1 - May 2, 2018) which are broken down as follows:

  • GiveGab technology provider processing fee of 2% capped at $20 per donation. This portion of the fee goes to our partners at GiveGab for hosting the site, preventing fraud, and ensuring a positive user experience.
  • 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 processing fees, 100% of their online charitable gift will go to your nonprofit. To lean more about using the GiveBigKern.org online donation platform outside of the April 1 - May 2, 2018 date range, please click here.

Q. What is GiveGab?

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


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

Yes, GiveGab has the capabilities for each participating nonprofit to have multiple page administrators. 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. All donations are 100% tax-deductible for the donor and will be officially receipted for tax purposes by GiveGab.


Q. When will we receive the donated funds?

Nonprofits will receive all donations, less any uncovered processing fees (see above for details), within 3 business days via direct deposit as long as bank routing and account information has been verified. GiveGab uses a PCI Level I compliant payment service to ensure that all financial data is secure.


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 strongly encourage nonprofits to attend webinars and watch the online videos provided. View and register for workshops here. Also, be sure to use the Nonprofit Toolkit which includes helpful tips, tools, and downloads to prepare for and promote Kern County’s giving day.

As our 2017 Give Big Kern Report to the Community shows, agencies that took advantage of our trainings last year succeeded in achieving greater donor, volunteer and board member engagement, and raised more dollars.


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. 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) 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 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:

Donor FAQ

Q. What is Give Big Kern?

Give Big Kern is one day to celebrate the giving spirit of Kern County. It is designed to bring the county together as one community, raising dollars and volunteer hours for Kern County’s nonprofits through a 24-hour crowd-funding campaign. Give Big Kern shines a light on hard-working, local community based organizations and empowers them to advance their marketing, board engagement, and donor development capabilities while encouraging connectivity and collaboration across the nonprofit sector. Join us here to find your passion, donate to your favorite causes, pledge volunteer hours, learn about new nonprofits, and share the excitement with your friends and fellow philanthropists!


Q. When is Give Big Kern?

Give Big Kern happens on the first Tuesday in May, which in 2018 is May 1, BUT our online donation portal opens up a month ahead of the big day, on April 1 — No foolin’! — to allow people who wish to donate early to do so.


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.” The popular crowdfunding effort increases visibility, builds capacity, and improves sustainability for local nonprofits, which can use the Give Big Kern opportunity to 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 most needed: from facilities repair to office supply purchases to client service delivery.


Q. What is the goal of Give Big Kern?

Give Big Kern’s goal for 2018 is to engage 2,000 individuals (up from some 1,500 in 2017) to donate money or pledge volunteer hours.


Q. Which nonprofits can participate?

To be eligible to participate in Give Big Kern 2017, a 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 (registration is possible through the Foundation website, www.kernfoundation.org); and
  • Have a Silver or higher transparency rating on www.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?

Anyone with a credit card or debit card may donate via www.givebigkern.org. Online donations will be received and receipted by GiveGab. 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, reflect it in their total amount of Give Big Kern dollars raised, as long as you designate it as such between April 1 and May 2, 2018, and receipt you accordingly. All Give Big Kern donations to participating charitable nonprofit organizations are completely tax deductible.


Q. What is the minimum donation?

The minimum donation is $5. If you can’t donate, consider pledging volunteer hours to the nonprofit of your choice.


Q. What is GiveGab?

GiveGab is an online giving platform that helps nonprofits raise money, engage donors, and manage volunteers quickly and efficiently. Because the GiveGab team works with Community Foundations and nonprofits all over the country, they are able to share valuable information from others’ successes to help Kern County’s Giving Day be the best it can be.


Q. How will donations be distributed?

Each online donation made to a participating nonprofit will be disbursed directly from GiveGab via direct deposit within 24-48 hours.


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 processing fee of 2% capped at $20 per donation. This portion of the fee goes to our partners at GiveGab for hosting the site, preventing fraud, and ensuring a positive user experience.
  • Credit Card processing fees are an additional 2.2% + $0.30 per transaction for standard credit cards and 3.5% + $0.30 per transaction for AMEX.

Q. Who will receive my contact information?

Only the nonprofit(s) you choose to support will have access to your name and email address. This information is used solely to send thank you messages, provide the option to receive future notifications, and to notify you of future activities. Please note 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 www.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 1! All donations made from April 1 - May 2 at 11:59PM will count towards prizes to further benefit 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, or you can send an email to info@givebigkern.org to request that we contact them.


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.