The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is proposing regulations that would create a new donor disclosure form for donations over $250 that would require charities to collect their donors’ social security numbers. The IRS isn’t making the form mandatory now, but even the “optional” proposal concerns us, and it could be obligatory to use in the future. You can read more about the proposal here.
We need you to contact the IRS TODAY with your concerns about this proposal!
The IRS wants to hear from a wide variety of organizations, and this is an instance where the quantity of responses is very important. Don’t stand on the sidelines and hope that you won’t be required to collect your donor’s social security numbers. Submit your written comments to the IRS.
Your comments don’t need to be long. Spend one paragraph (a sentence or two) describing your organization, its size and what it does. Use a second paragraph (a sentence or two) to state why you’re concerned about the proposal and how it might affect your fundraising, such as:
- “Requiring my larger donors to give me their social security number would make them uneasy and apprehensive about giving.”
- “I’ve already heard from a few donors who have said they are concerned about providing their social security numbers and might not give [or might give less] if the regulation is enacted.”
- “The IRS has always told us not to ask for social security numbers, and always told donors not to provide their social security numbers because of concerns about privacy.”
- “These regulations open up donors and charities to problems related to identify theft.”
- “We’re a small charity and don’t have the resources—financial and human—to buy and maintain new security standards in order to handle social security numbers”
- “As a donor, I wouldn’t want to provide my social security number. Why would you consider making charities request this information?”
Use whatever comments are pertinent to your organization, cause and particular perspective.
When you’re ready, you can easily submit comments online at this page by cutting and paste your text into the provided form: http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=IRS-2015-0049-0001
No salutation or other formal information is required for the actual comment.
Here are two sample comments:
“I donate to [INSERT NAME OF CHARITY] in [INSERT COMMUNITY, STATE].
I am concerned about giving out my Social Security number. I am also the director of a nonprofit. I am concerned that by asking for Social Security numbers, people will be less likely to give larger donations. This would have a great impact on my organization.”
“I work for a small, [INSERT NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES]-employee nonprofit that has a big impact in [INSERT COMMUNITY, STATE].
I oppose the proposed gift substantiation regulation because it would open donors and nonprofits up to identity theft. The IRS should join nonprofits in protecting donor information by withdrawing this unnecessary and ill-conceived proposal.”
It’s that simple! And you’ll be helping out the entire profession and charities across the U.S.
Comments are due by NEXT WEDNESDAY, DEC. 16, 2015.
If you have any questions, email Jason Lee, AFP General Counsel, at email@example.com.
Thank you for your involvement in the public policy process and working to maintain and strengthen the fundraising profession.