Why you can give with confidence
Our annual certification process is based on 3 critical principles:
Good Fiscal Stewardship
1. Nonprofit Status
We verify the nonprofit status as an IRS 501(c)(3) charity. This verified status means that your donations are tax deductible.
2. Annual Tax Return
We review the nonprofit’s annual tax return – the IRS Form 990 – for completeness and filing status.
3. Audit Review
Nonprofits that raise more than $100,000 in a fiscal year must have audited financial statements or a review by an independent 3rd party (Certified Public Accountant).
4. Program Review
We review mission, program, and services to ensure that donations and grants are spent on actual programs and have significant impact.
5. Expenses Review
We calculate revenue versus dollars spent on administrative and fundraising expenses to ensure it is a reasonable ratio. On occasion, a nonprofit will exceed a reasonable level for a valid reason, like losing a large grant or suffering a temporary shutdown due to COVID. In this case, a nonprofit is flagged and allowed 1-2 years to create and execute a plan to lower their program to administration/fundraising ratio. We don’t want to punish an otherwise worthwhile nonprofit when a large source of funding is lost for valid reasons.
Animal Charities of America relies on the services of our fundraising counsel, Maguire/Maguire, to prescreen potential nonprofit partners. The ACA board of directors then annually review all application submissions for completeness and various regulation compliance for ultimate certification.
ACA has relied on the expertise and support of Maguire/Maguire for more than 25 years. Maguire/Maguire staff are among the most respected and authoritative teams in nonprofit accountability in the country.