Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

October 10, 2013

United Way loses status

BLUEFIELD — A local nonprofit organization is now working with the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office to see what must be done to regain its nonprofit status.

The United Way of the Virginias, which serves Mercer, McDowell Counties in West Virginia and Bland County, Va., lost its corporate status on Dec. 1, 2008, according to Jake Glance, a spokesperson for the secretary of state’s office.

“It was revoked because they didn’t file an annual report and pay the filing fee,” Glance said Wednesday. “Their charity registration expired on Dec. 8, 2008. They didn’t renew with us and they didn’t file a final report to say they were no longer soliciting donations. You have to either renew or final the final report, and they did not do either one.”

An organization lacking corporate status or charity registration should not be accepting donations, Glance said. Whether a charity needs to file reports with the secretary of state’s office depends on how much funding it receives each year. A report is not necessary if the charity gets less than $25,000 a year in donations.

“We have spoken with the people at the United Way of the Virginias, and we are working with them to obtain some of those documents to find out how much they have taken in. It is possible they took in less than $25,000 (a year) and did not have to file.”

Glance used instances such as a church raising money for a family that lost its home to a fire as an example of whether or not filing with his department was necessary. If it was a one-time fundraising effort that received less than $25,000, filing would not be required, he said.

The secretary of state’s office received a tip last week that the United Way of the Virginias did not have its nonprofit status, Glance stated. If the United Way received more than $25,000 a year, it would have to file the necessary documentation and pay all the of late filing fees that go along with it, Glance said. The amount of these late fees would depend on how much money the United Way received annually since December 2008.

“It’s hard to put a dollar amount on it,” he said. “It’s $25 a month for every month they didn’t file from December 2008 to the present.”

Glance said the secretary of state’s office would like to have the United Way documentation “as soon as possible.”

Michelle Carter, the United Way’s executive director, could not be contacted Wednesday for comment.

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