This question surfaces once or twice a year. Volunteers working on school auctions seem to ask me the most often.
A parent tasked with getting donations for the school gala becomes concerned about whether she should be including the school’s PTA tax ID number on the school auction donation letter and other relevant forms.
It’s easy to understand her concern.
We’ve been warned about putting our birth date on Facebook and cautioned against using our social security number as a computer password. (Do you remember when our social security number was used as our driver’s license number?) Stories of identity theft fuel our fear.
Your charity’s tax ID number is available in the public domain, so don’t worry about whether the number should or shouldn’t be on the donation letter and form.
It SHOULD be.
And you’ll have greater success in your procurement efforts if you include the number on your letters.
If you don’t know the number, here’s an easy way to locate it.
1. Visit www.Guidestar.org and log-in. You’ll need to create an account (it’s free) if you don’t have one. You can look up some information without an account, but you’ll need it for this task.
2. Enter the name of the charity you want to find. The easy-to-use screen will help you narrow down your search.
3. Click on the organization you seek. The page will load with a number of publicly filed forms. Click on “Forms 990s and Docs” tab. The 990 forms are in PDF format.
4. Open the most recent 990 PDF and find the entry underneath “Employer Identification Number.” (I’ve always seen it in the upper right side of the first page.) Voila! That’s the tax ID number which defines your organization as a 501(c)(3).
I’ve also been told that you can look it up on the IRS site. That makes sense to me, but as I’ve always been able to find what I needed on Guidestar, I haven’t fooled around with the IRS site.
If you’ve found an easy way to locate the tax ID number for your school auction donation letters or forms, please share it below.