top of page


Membership in Community Shares requires that an organization initially and annually meets the following criteria:

Each member charity must have filed all required local, state and federal forms and be in good standing with these entities, including but not limited to:

  • City of Columbus Solicitation Permit

  • IRS Letter of Determination recognizing 501(c)(3) status for minimum of 2 years from date of approval

  • State of Ohio Certificate of Continued Existence

  • Ohio Attorney General Annual Verification of Registration

  • State of Ohio Name Registration (dba [doing business as] if you are operating a name that differs from your IRS Letter of Determination, the IRS From 990, or audited financial statements)

Members must be self-determined, that is, not controlled by any other institution or charity. If the charity is a chapter or affiliate of a national/state charity (does not have an IRS Letter of Determination for the local charity) the charity must present a signed letter of good standing with the national/state charity.

All member charities must maintain a physical address (not P.O. Box Number), a local telephone number (not an 800) and have services that are available to the public a minimum of 15 hours per week. *

A member charity must be governed by a voluntary board of trustees/directors of no less than 3 voting members.

Member charities must show approval from its board of directors/trustees for membership in Community Shares.

A member charity must maintain financial records according to generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), which is accrual-based accounting and shall show fiscal soundness.

Current Financial Statements:

  • Charities with $100,000 or more in annual revenue are required to have an annual audit of fiscal operations conducted by an independent CPA in accordance with Generally Accepted Auditing Standards (GAAS).

  • Charities with total revenue of less than $100,000 must certify the charity has controls in place to ensure funds are properly accounted for and it can provide accurate timely financial information to interested parties.

Member charities must complete their IRS Form 990 filing. If the charity files an IRS Form 990-N or IRS Form 990-EZ they will also be required to complete a 990 Pro forma document for Community Shares.

The charity must have a Conflict of Interest Statement approved by its board of directors/trustees.

Member charities must have Non-discrimination/Equal Employment Opportunity policy(ies), as approved by its board of trustees/directors. The policy(ies) must comply with all requirements of City of Columbus, state and federal laws and regulations on non-discrimination and equal opportunity with respect to clients, officers, employees and volunteers.

Every member charity has a mission, created by their board that guides the decision making and work of the charity.

Charities must be committed to challenging injustices and supporting social change in one or more of the following ways:

  • Advocate for a more equitable distribution of resources, wealth and power through information and education;

  • Provide people with the tools to act together to create change on a systemic level;

  • Advocate for the elimination of social, economic, cultural and political barriers that keep people from fully participating in our society;

  • Promote respect for the natural, animal and human environments and their sustainability; and/or

  • Prevent discrimination.

The charity will have a regular goal-setting process that creates goals that are focused both on the program(s) component and the internal work of the charity – the work caring for the charity, such as board development, leadership development, fundraising, planning, etc. Goals must state an established base of community support; and programs or services that have a demonstrated impact in a local area of the State of Ohio.

Member charities will not, either through organizational goals or corporate action, malign, publicly criticize or otherwise seek adversely to affect the programs, services or fundraising practices of any other member.

Participation in another major fundraising federation does not prohibit Community Shares membership.

*Office of Personnel Management, Combined Federal Campaign Guidelines – Substantial Local Presence is defined as a staffed facility, office or portion of a residence dedicated exclusively to that organization, available to members of the public seeking its services or benefits. The facility must be open at least 15 hours a week and have a telephone dedicated exclusively to the organization. The office may be staffed by volunteers. Substantial local presence cannot be met on the basis of services provided through an "800" telephone number or by disseminating information or publications via the US Postal Service, the Internet, or a combination thereof.

Community Shares Terms and Conditions of Membership

Each member charity is required to complete and submit required documentation by established deadlines. Documentation will be reviewed internally, prior to submission to Membership Task Group for evaluation. Documentation not signed or completed in its entirety will be declined.

Charities will identify themselves as a member of Community Shares through their communications, including, but not limited to print and electronic.

Member charities designate one person to serve as a representative to Community Shares, as well as naming one person to serve as an alternate. Member representatives attend all Community Shares membership meetings. A representative may only represent one member charity per meeting.

Member charities are expected to send thank you notes to Community Shares campaign donors.

Member charities will participate in an evaluation survey of Community Shares as an organization on an annual basis.

Each member charity designates one or more persons to serve on one or more Community Shares committees and/or task groups and special events.

Member charities participate in Community Shares workplace development activities, connecting Community Shares staff with a key decision maker in a potential workplace.

Member charities will host an internal workplace giving campaign.

Member charities will submit a completed task sheet annually to be eligible for a share of Community Shares designated funds.

Each member charity provides financial support to Community Shares through dues and membership fees as determined by vote of Board of Trustees. Disbursement of allocation checks to a member charity is contingent upon having paid dues in full and honored the obligations/terms and conditions of membership in Community Shares.

Member charities are expected to host a presentation of a Community Shares orientation session for the charity's board members, staff and/or volunteers to ensure that all affiliated with the charity have information about Community Shares and workplace development activities.

bottom of page