Your Rights as a Donor
As a contributor to Animal Protection New Mexico, you have every right to know how your funds are spent and whether your organization complies with various federal and state laws governing nonprofits. Here are some of the requirements with which nonprofits, including APNM, must comply:
- All 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations must have a designation letter from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) attesting to the fact that they are tax exempt. APNM received its nonprofit designation in February 1981. A copy of the IRS letter affirming APNM’s tax-exempt status is provided to donors upon request.
- 501(c)(3) nonprofits must file annual tax returns, called IRS Form 990s, with the IRS. APNM also annually reports detailed information to the New Mexico Attorney General’s Charitable Organizations Registrar, which issues the nonprofit a letter attesting that it is in good standing with its office. APNM annually receives such a letter from the Attorney General’s office.
- Non-profit organizations must be incorporated, have articles of incorporation and bylaws on file with the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (formerly, the State Corporation Commission), and file a nonprofit corporate report with this agency annually. You can visit the Public Regulation Commission’s website to check on a charity’s standing. For a modest fee, you can also obtain copies of the incorporating documents and any amendments, etc. from the Commission.
- Online, charities throughout the nation are listed at guidestar.org, billed as the “Donors Guide to the Charitable Universe.” To check APNM’s status (or any other charity’s), go to the site map and enter the name of the organization you are interested in. Click on the organization’s record. Its assets and income will be displayed. You can view its tax return by selecting “more financial information.” The New Mexico Attorney General’s office is linking its own website with the Guidestar site so prospective donors can access this kind of information at all times.
Consistent compliance with these regulating entities is one more reason APNM donors can give with confidence.