Your Rights as a Donor
As a contributor to Animal Protection of 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 non-profits. Here are some of the requirements with which non-profits, including APNM, must comply:
- All non-profit organizations must have a 501(c)(3) designation letter from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) attesting to the fact that they are tax exempt. APNM received its non-profit designation in February 1981. A copy of the IRS letter affirming APNM’s tax-exempt status is provided to donors upon request.
- Non-profits must file annual tax returns, called 990s, with both federal and state government agencies. Once filed, the New Mexico Attorney General’s office issues the charity a letter attesting that it is in good standing as far as filing the tax documents and financial reports required by the New Mexico Charitable Organizations and Solicitations Act. 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 periodically file various reports with this agency. You can call the Corporation Bureau (505-827-4508) or visit the Regulation Commission’s website to check on the charity’s standing. For a modest fee, you can also obtain copies of the incorporating documents and 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 regulations is one more reason APNM donors can give with confidence.