A smarter way to raise funds... DonateSmarter

Raise awareness and donations, connect directly with donors and corporate sponsors.
Increase involvement by displaying their impact on your projects.

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Automatic Compliance and Electronic Receipts

State and Federal compliance with every donor contact saves your charity time and money.

Donor Impact Tracking

Revive board members and create repeat donors by making it easy and rewarding for them to share their experience.

Customized Corporate Sponsorships

Automatic updates keep campaigns “fresh” and relevant. Data driven impact reports guarantee ROI for all supporters.
About DonateSmarter

We started a few years back as “It Matters to This One”, to learn more about the challenges non-profits face, fundraising regulation and what donors really want. You know what we found? Most charities are a few highly motivated people who share a passion and want to make a difference, and most donors are people who may not have a lot to give, but are happy to help and motivated to make a difference...

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Industry leading PCI compliance
DonateSmarter systems use the safest and most up-to-date compliance standards available on the Web today.
Maximize transparency
DonateSmarter helps charities connect with their donors in the most effective way possible.
Search
Our innovative charity finder and search tools help you find the perfect projects to support.
It Matters to This One
Because every donation matters. Even small donations can have a big impact when handled efficiently.
List
Every charity can instantly update their donors on project developments every step of the way.
Why just 15 cents?
We don’t think middle man costs and regulation fees should prevent you from changing the world.

Best Advice For Donors:

Invest wisely, check charity compliance, transparency, current performance and future plans. 990’s and State registration sites provide a financial history. That information can be 12 to 18 months old. Smart donors “invest” in projects to make an impact. Investigate multiple sources before hitting any donate button! 3 rd party sites provide more transparency and a current perspective and nothing beats a phone call.
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Investigate before you give.

Don’t be fooled into donating. Yes, there are some “bad charities” out there using very convincing tactics to trick unsuspecting donors and your hard earned money means too much to the thousands of worthy charities.

America's 50 worst charities

Donator Cave (Donor beware)

  • Claims made over the phone or on a charity’s website should be validated. (Don’t mean to be harsh but think about it…)
  • Most states require charities to register before solicitation and have a site that displays charity documents and makes them easy to compare. But even “bad charities” must register and the state can’t promote one charity over another.
  • The information you read on the charity’s “most recent” state registration or most recent (990) federal tax return is probably 12 to 18 months old.
  • 3rd party websites (depending on how they are paid) can provide valuable insight.

Helping DONORS with Donate Smarter from David Drake on Vimeo.

Disclosure Requirements for Florida Charities:

It’s the Law! Are you on top of ch496, Florida’s registration and disclosure requirements or does compliance keep you up at night? We’ve teamed up to help Florida’s great charities and the donors who support them and we can make you a compliance expert in under six minutes!
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Florida Statute 496 – Solicitation law and Registration requirements

Florida' Check a Charity – A quick way to look up charities which are registered in the State of Florida.

An historic look at papers and documents that may be 12 -18 months old.

A good comparison tool of “fiscal responsibility” for charities with larger annual budgets. But this quick review does not reflect fairly on smaller charities. Smaller charities, with annual budgets of $25,000.00 and less, support the same fixed business costs (insurance, copies, rent, etc..) as any other charity. These are frequently reported as business expenses resulting in a lower % of the annual budget available for program expenses.

Florida 496 Solicitation Law (simplified in under 6 minutes!)

FL 496 Solicitation Law (simplified in under 6 minutes) from David Drake on Vimeo.

It’s the law…

Let’s face it most of the states’ solicitation and disclosure laws are confusing and difficult to interpret and very few states regulate their charities the same way. Enforcement for violations can run over $1,000.00 per incident which makes multi state registration a costly but viable option. If you have a question call the organization that regulates charities in your state…

But not your only option.

Coordinating your solicitations is as important as making sure you and your passengers buckle-up when you drive. One click could save your life on the road and one click on DonateSmarter could save your charity.

Questions About Exemptions For Charities

Charity or donor, if you have any questions, we have answers! The State of Florida has a whole building full of friendly people in Tallahassee who show up each and every day just to help you (Ok, maybe not the whole building but a really big room full)! Just call 1 800 HELP FLA and see for yourself.
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Most States have a number of great people who show up to their office every day ready to answer your questions!

Florida' Check a Charity – A quick way to look up charities which are registered in the State of Florida.

Did you know that State employees are not allowed to recommend a charity?

Yes, even bad charities can register on the state's charity website. As a donor you have to be aware and educate yourself before you donate.

All they can tell a donor is if you are registered on their site. It makes sense, but what if you’re exempt or the law doesn’t apply to you?

But the law also prevents a state employee from telling you which charities are better or worse than the others at compliance, transparency and putting your donation where you wanted it to go.

If your “competition” for public support and awareness is registered, does that give them an advantage? Maybe…

Yes, every charity can register with the State. If you’re doing a good job you want to show the world just how transparent and complaint you are. You want donors, peers, sponsors and regulators to know who you are, where you are and what you are doing now and in the future.

Well that’s a lot of work… or it used to be.

Coordinating your solicitations, compliance and transparency increases your charity’s brand. Managing donors’ and corporate sponsors’ activity and involvement is vital for survival. Attracting new and invigorating existing board members isn’t just important, it’s like making sure you buckle-up when you drive. One click will save your life on the road and one click on DonateSmarter might just save your sanity and your charity.

The Help Charities Need

Sure, there are many worthy causes and even more generous donors. But the real magic happens in the relationship that develops when one donor connects with a cause to see and grow their impact. We’re like Etsy for shoppers or Match for singles. We make clear, regular, respectful communication happen like never before.
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Has the business of running your charity taken its toll?

Have you ever felt like you’re begging for donations? Do compliance issues, disclosure worries and reporting requirements keep you up at night?

It doesn’t have to be that way with DonateSmarter. We can help you regain control so you can increase awareness and engage corporate sponsors easily.

All charities are businesses first.

You have to make money to stay in business. Managing your manpower, marketing, paperwork and inventory is key to any business's survival. Efficiency leads to growth.

A 501(c)(3) tax deductible status helps good and bad charities as well. It all comes back to upholding the Public Trust.

State and Federal laws designed to protect the public, open your charity to greater risk and expense.

Think about it for a minute… The average person with a computer or smartphone can like, tweet or post to 250 friends in the blink of an eye. But 44 states require a charity to be registered in their particular state before a person in their state sees a solicitation about your charity?

Multi state registration is a viable option…

That costs thousands of dollars. While 70% of 1.6 Million charities in the US have an annual budget of less than $25,000.00. And enforcement penalties start at $1,000.00 per incident. An expensive proposition given other hard costs like insurance for your board members, rent, copies, phone and paperclips. Complicated problem, confusing issues, frustrating consequences.

DonateSmarter organizes how you interact with donors so you can control how your donors interact with you!

Your charity instantly receives 100% of each donation directly from the donor eliminating potential compliance, privacy and accounting risks. Donors have a choice of payment methods; PayPal (well known) and Dwolla (free) and receive IRS Compliant receipts and state compliant updates for free (eliminates costs). Coordinate all your social media accounts and charity website so you can send updates with one click. We’ll even help you find and keep corporate sponsors.

Where can Charities Find More Information?

We understand that Ch. 496 and disclosure regulations can be a little confusing. www.FreshFromFlorida.com has all the statutes, regulations and FAQ’s or call us at 1-800- HELP-FLA. We are here to help you through the process.
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Donors are getting more and more savvy.

Donors have more ways to search and more places to search so they are less likely to make a donation to a slick fundraising agent and more likely to ask important questions before they donate!

One time donations are becoming a thing of the past.

Donors see their gifts more as investment opportunities these days and really, why shouldn’t they? If a charity can’t provide regular, data heavy, entertaining and professional updates on the donor’s terms, a donor can find someone who will. In short, concepts like donor acquisition cost and donor retention expense need to be part of your charity’s language because they are part of your board members

Florida Statute 496 – Solicitation law and Registration requirements

Florida' Check a Charity – A quick way to look up charities which are registered in the State of Florida.

What Do I Get When I Register? An interview with Liz Compton from the State of Florida from David Drake on Vimeo.

Financials
Compliance
Past Projects
Current Projects
Future Goals
3rd party review
Fundraising tools
Direct donation
Donor Impact Tracking
Corporate Sponsorship tools
IRS
State (FL)
Charity Navigator
GuideStar
DonateSmarter

Why Should Charities Register

If you’re doing the right thing, you want everybody to know so they can make an informed decision. “Check a Charity Florida” provides a quick assessment of your charity’s performance based on your 990 history for donors to see and compare against other charities. It’s an important part of making a complete investigation for any donor.
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It’s the Law!

Yes, it gets confusing. But there are lots of people who are in your corner and want you to succeed, especially your State! They have lots of people who will help you.

What Do I Get When I Register? An interview with Liz Compton from the State of Florida from David Drake on Vimeo.

You also start to build a lot of credibility.

Whether or not you have an exemption and even if the law doesn’t apply to you. Registration doesn’t cost you much money (Small Charities are exempt from paying to register and DonateSmarter will even help you with auto fill of the state paperwork).

Plus, if you are doing your best to navigate compliance and juggle transparency, it’s just plain better to be able to tell a donor – “Yes” rather than having to explain why you aren’t.

Supporters may not completely understand why they should make sure you are registered… but you know they are going to ask! Especially a corporate sponsor, or grant provider.

DonateSmarter requires all our charities be in compliance.

We collect your paperwork because we have an obligation to the community we are building; donors, corporate sponsors, fund managers, grant and community foundations alike. We also have an obligation to help your charity make the biggest impact you can. We’ve tied our success to your success and we are proud of that.

FL 496 Solicitation Law (simplified in under 6 minutes)

Liz Compton interview with David Drake Liz is the Chief of the Bureau of Compliance in the Division of Consumer Services at the Florida Department of Agriculture. David owns and runs DonateSmarter.com. It's like Etsy for donors and charities. Bringing worthy local charities and dedicated donors together so they can change the world!
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What does Check A Charity do for me

An interview with Liz Compton from the State of Florida discussing Check A Charity
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Working together we can make a difference

DonateSmarter helps charities connect with their donors, corporate sponsors,
board members and volunteers in the most effective way possible!

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