Dozens of local organizations that enjoyed federal nonprofit status were among the nearly 4,000 Oklahoma entities that have had their status stripped away.

Most of the agencies are dormant but some are active, even agencies that are taking donations from the public. Note to donors: Check to make sure that any group you give money and think that it is a federally-designated nonprofit needs to be verified.

Agencies routinely say they are nonprofit but until the Internal Revenue Services blesses the organization, donations are not legally tax deductible. They can still accept donations but can’t claim the federal status until they get the letter.

About 275,000 organizations across the nation were dropped from the IRS rolls. Most of the groups dropped haven’t turned in their required tax returns in years, giving them dormant status and making them eligible to drop. Some of the groups are organized for general causes and religious ministries. Others are more specific, like the Norman Alliance of Citizens With Disabilities, Inc.

Donors shouldn’t have to second guess the status of nonprofits. Agencies should be up front with their donors and practice transparency by posting their tax returns on websites and mailing copies to donors. Better to deliver more information than not enough.

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