Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

FAQs: Stuff everyone wants to know!

Dues 

Dues:  Annual dues are due July 1…why that date?
It is the beginning of the CGCI fiscal year.
Membership cards for clubs and APS that have paid dues to that point are delivered to the District Directors at the CGCI Fall Board Meeting
To ensure that your organization is not delinquent and in jeopardy of losing eligibility for insurance, group tax exemption and awards
The official delinquent date is October 1...what happens if we are late?
If dues are not paid by October 1, organizations become ineligible to apply for CGCI's liability insurance, the CGCI Group Tax Exemption Program (GTEP) or to participate in the CGCI awards program.  (Please refer to the insurance, GTEP and awards sections for eligibility requirements)
Clubs and APS: you do not need to wait until every renewing member is paid.  Submit an initial payment in July to avoid the possibility of missing the deadline.
Where do I find the forms?
Go to http://californiagardenclubs.com/Forms and look for the appropriate form under Membership & Dues.
Is there a CGCI form for District dues? 
NO.  District dues are at the discretion of each district.  For details on how much, what form and where to send, contact your District Director or District Treasurer.

Insurance

Does liability insurance automatically come with membership?
NO.  An organization must submit a separate application for insurance coverage along with the appropriate fee.  The insurance broker determines if the organization is eligible for coverage.
When do we need an "Additional Insured Certificate?"
A certificate may be required by the owner of the venue where your meetings or events are held.  Review the Insurance Handy Hints for guidance.
Check the venue requirements as soon as possible so the certificates can be requested in a timely fashion.

Non-Profit

If our club is a member of CGCI, are we automatically included in the CGCI Group Tax Exemption Program as a non-profit 501(c)(3) club?
NO. The IRS has specific requirements that make a club eligible to be deemed a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Not all clubs qualify.
Does our club have to be in the Group Tax Exemption Program to belong to CGCI?
NO. Participation in the program is strictly optional. But your club MUST BE A MEMBER OF CGCI and the local district to apply for participation in the Group Tax Exemption Program.
Our organization is NOT tax exempt.  Can you help us?
YES.  Go to http://californiagardenclubs.com/gtep and review the requirements and steps to apply for exemption under the CGCI umbrella. 
Our organization is tax exempt.  Do we have to pay state sales tax?
YES absolutely! 501(c)(3) status is granted by the US Federal government Internal Revenue Service.  It applies to Federal income tax. It also applies to state income tax in that state income tax returns are based on federal returns. 
It has nothing to do with state sales tax as these rules differ from state to state. 
Sales tax applies to the revenue from plant/craft sales (any items sold), silent and live auctions etc.
For complete information see the Board of Equalization Pub 18. It can be downloaded from the GTEP page.
Our organization lost its exemption for failing to file the required annual forms with the IRS.  Can we renew the exemption through the CGCI program?
NO.  Once exemption is revoked an organization must apply directly with the IRS for reinstatement.
Does the state of California have special requirements for non-profit organizations?
YES.  For complete regulations and guidelines visit the websites of the California Attorney GeneralFranchise Tax Board or California Secretary of State.
a.  Any nonprofit organization whether it has received a state tax exempt determination or not, and whose gross receipts are normally $50,000 or less per tax year MUST file an annual state tax return with the Franchise Tax Board (FTB). 
b.  All charitable corporations, unincorporated associations, trustees, or other persons holding assets in trust for charitable purposes must register with the Attorney General’s Registry of Charitable Trusts within 30 days of initially receiving assets (funds, property, etc.). NOTE: For more information see the California Attorney General Guide for Charities. It can be downloaded from the GTEP page on the CGCI website.
c.  Every domestic nonprofit, credit union and consumer cooperative corporation must file a Statement of Information with the California Secretary of State, within 90 days after the filing of the initial Articles of Incorporation, and biennially* thereafter during the applicable filing period.
d.  Raffles:  In California, charities and certain other private nonprofit organizations may conduct raffles to raise funds for beneficial or charitable purposes in the state. California requires that at least 90 percent of the gross receipts from these raffles go directly to the beneficial or charitable purposes of the organization (i.e. NO 50/50 raffles). Unless specifically exempted, a nonprofit organization must register with the Attorney General's Registry of Charitable Trusts prior to conducting the raffle and file an aggregate financial disclosure report for all raffles held during the reporting year.
Where can I find specific instructions and guidelines for non-profit and tax-related requirements?
CGCI has prepared two handbooks that offer guidelines:  A Treasurer’s Toolbox and the GTEP Handbook.
We are a 501(c)3 and a member of the CGCI.  Are we allowed to pay mileage to volunteers?
As long as the mileage reimbursement is for services in furtherance of the nonprofit's educational purposes, then yes, the member can be reimbursed.
When a member presents a ‘class’ or ‘presentation/program’ to the club, can the club then pay that member a ‘speaker fee’?
It is permissible to pay a speaker's fee to a member who holds a class or makes a presentation in furtherance of the nonprofit's educational purposes.  The key issues are ordinary and reasonable cost, and in furtherance of the organization's educational purposes.
 


Technology

I have trouble opening websites or documents.  What am I doing wrong?
a.  It may be the BROWSER you are using.  Occasionally one browser may temporarily be not working properly.
b.  Switch to a different browser...Firefox instead of Internet Explorer (NOTE: Edge replaces IE in Windows 10), Chrome instead of Firefox Browsers can be downloaded FREE...it takes just a couple of minutes.
c.  Documents:  If you are attempting to open a document from a website then it may be the browser causing the issue.  However if you have downloaded a document and have trouble opening from your computer it may be that you either do not have the appropriate program or "reader" or that your current "reader" is not up-to-date. All "pdf" documents are opened with the Adobe Acrobat Reader.  The most current version is Acrobat Reader DC