Question: Can I ask a SILC question? If we fund develop and we are not a 501(c)3 do we have to write in another fiscal agent not tied to the state in order to deal with that money ? How do we write a goal around that in the SPIL?
Reply: You will need a fund development goal in your State Plan for Independent Living (SPIL) if you plan to pursue fund development over the next three years. If finding or creating a fiscal agent is part of that, it would be good to include in the SPIL as well.
If you are not a 501(C)3, your donors can’t get a tax deduction and some other granting entities are not able to give to your SILC because they only fund not-for-profit entities. That said, there is no federal prohibition to seeking other funds as long as you aren’t deceiving anyone into thinking they will get a tax deduction. The DSE in your state, though, may have restrictions on what they will and won’t be able to manage for you. If they are doing all your fund management (deposits, checks) then they may not be willing to handle other income. Before looking at another fiscal agent we would ask — Why not become a 501(c)3? We are working with one state that developed a separate 501(c)3 to be their fiscal agent, but because it doesn’t have the same board it can be a little messy and there may be a risk that the funds developed could be appropriated by this fiscal agent for other purposes. Most SILCs have chosen the 501(c)3 route for the SILC itself and it is going well for them. If you go with a fiscal agent, be sure to have a contract that addresses the need of the SILC to be in charge of the funds based on the SPIL.
For discussion:We’d like to hear from you. Is your SILC a 501(c)3 entity? How is that working for you? Any dos and don’ts for those SILCs who are just now considering that path? If your SILC is not a not-for-profit, why not?
Should a SILC be a 501(c)3?