New Community Conversation Series Started in Lakewood, N.J.
More than 100 people representing over fifty schools and charitable organizations in Lakewood gathered at Yeshiva Orchos Chaim this past Wednesday evening to learn more about the nuances of leading and running nonprofit organizations.
The two-hour educational program featured three top professionals from the accounting and tax fields who specialize in working with nonprofit organizations. Speaking in layman’s terms and answering audience questions, the presenters gave a detailed overview of the many rules and requirements involved with operating a 501(c)3 organization.
This program is part of the new “Community Conversation Series,” that is part of a larger grassroots effort by Lakewood residents to bring people together to address issues affecting Lakewood and the region.
Judah Kupfer, Esq., an in-house compliance officer at Citigroup, Inc., was one of the presenters. Kupfer, a highly experienced nonprofit tax and regulatory attorney, detailed tax rules applicable for many common non-profit situations. He also made available a 280 page highly detailed “Guide for Nonprofit Organizations” that he developed to assist nonprofit administrators.
“While managing a not-for-profit is a very complex job in today’s world, nonprofit leadership should be aware that there is clear and easy to read information available to better understand these complex rules.” Kupfer stated. “A session like this helps clarify and point administration in the right direction, but ultimately each institution should retain its own professional and consult early and often in these areas.”
David (Ari) Hutman, a CPA and partner who runs the accounting firm of Hutman & Hutman Certified Public Accountants in Lakewood, also served as a presenter for the program. “Most people who run nonprofits choose that profession because they care deeply about other people. As their nonprofits grow their administrative burden grows, and they have to start to learn so much information,” he said. “I want administrators of nonprofits to know that it’s not complicated, running a great organization and helping people comes down to good record keeping, good data management, and retaining the right professionals.”
Another presenter was Corporate and Tax Attorney Miriam Vishnepolskaya, Esq. She skillfully guided the audience through tax laws and regulations dealing with operations and employment. Her presentation focused on which tax benefits are allowable, relevant limits and rules.
One line captured the collective advice: “Don’t make decisions without knowledge,” concluded Hutman. “If you have a question, make sure to ask your attorney or CPA.”
The Community Conversation Series will cover a variety of topics including educational seminars on compliance and ethics that will be free and open to the public over the next few months.