Fundraising for a sick friend - need advice on banking
June 10, 2014 7:59 PM   Subscribe

My dear friend is entering the hospital tomorrow and joining the heart transplant list. We need to open a bank account so we can start accepting Paypal donations from friends and family who live too far away to help make meals, etc. What questions should I be asking a bank? Ideas on how to get started?

Eventually, we'll be launching larger fundraisers like spaghetti dinners, probably a charity walk, and maybe a dinner and auction.

I don't think we need to be a registered non-profit at this time. Is that short-sighted?
posted by Mrs_Eep to Work & Money (6 answers total)
Is your friend a member of a faith group that might have a bank account and already be a registered nonprofit?
posted by rogerrogerwhatsyourrvectorvicto at 8:12 PM on June 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

We did crowdtilt for something similar.
posted by k8t at 8:44 PM on June 10, 2014

Well 501(c)3 nonprofits are a pain to set up so I don't think you need/want to go that route.
posted by radioamy at 8:47 PM on June 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

Sorry for everyone's difficulty. I have a some experience with the "eventually" portion of your question. I'm responding to only that.

In my experience the government doesn't notice fundraisers like spaghetti dinners or a dinner and auction, especially if they are held under the aegis of being religious or at a church. A charity walk, or anything that might involve the government is more a problem.

"I don't think we need to be a registered non-profit at this time. Is that short-sighted?

A non-profit [501(c)] organization is hard to form and attracts government attention because of the tax write-off donors get and the well-earned shabby reputation of some charitable organizations. I know this isn't you.

I would stick with your first ideas and then it's probably more useful to spend your time finding the attention of an existing non-profit organization on the behalf of your friend than to form one yourself.

You are a good friend Mrs_Eep.
posted by vapidave at 9:22 PM on June 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

posted by Jahaza at 9:22 PM on June 10, 2014

Check out Caring Bridge. We did this for a friend. In addition to creating a way for people to make donations, you can send out updates and schedule meals and other support for those who live in the area.
posted by ms_rasclark at 11:34 AM on June 11, 2014

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