Vulnerable Adult Task Force could partner with Human Services Council

It would be able to collect tax-deductible donations




The Clark County Vulnerable Adult Task Force and Vancouver nonprofit Human Services Council are in discussions to form a partnership that would allow the task force to collect tax-deductible donations to fund its educational efforts.

The two parties have not yet reached a final agreement, but reaching one would eliminate administrative costs and fees that would be required for the task force to form a nonprofit.

“I’m very optimistic we will be able to snuggle under their 501(c3) umbrella and essentially be a program within their organization with a great deal of autonomy,” said John Nord, chair of the VATF board.

The VATF was responsible for forming the county’s Elder Justice Center, which focuses on rooting out and prosecuting cases of elder abuse. Since then, it has functioned as an educational and coordinating organization seeking to foster cooperation between professionals and public workers in protecting elders.

It’s important to the VATF board that the task force remain autonomous and not have to seek approval for deciding on a particular direction or activity, Nord said.

Colleen Kuhn, executive director of the Human Services Council, said the council’s board is “interested and excited about the possibility of helping VATF and addressing vulnerable adult issues in our community.”

The Human Services Council helps coordinate delivery of community services throughout Southwest Washington.

Nord said VATF would likely pay the Human Services Council a nominal fee for administrative costs, but that would be significantly less than forming a separate nonprofit.

The Human Services Council already oversees services for elderly adults, including cooperating with the Southwest Washington Agency on Aging and Disabilities.

Mike Plymale, a CPA and advisor for Human Services Council, said he couldn’t discuss the specifics of the discussions, due to confidentiality rules. However, in general, a nonprofit thinking about hosting a partner’s program should retain the right to review all fundraising activities. Plymale said a host nonprofit must have the ability to intervene if fundraising activities are inappropriate because the organization assumes responsibility for all activities under its umbrella. He said it’s possible to give a program autonomy by not requiring board approval for every activity, while instead setting up a review process that keeps the nonprofit’s board informed of the activities that occur.

VATF would avoid at least $1,000 in application fees to form a nonprofit. That excludes the time it takes to file an application and assistance from an attorney.

Nord said the VATF board would prefer all of its donations to be used for its mission rather than administrative and application costs.

The Human Services Council is scheduled to meet at 9:30 a.m. May 22 to discuss the partnership and possibly make a final decision.

Paris Achen: 360-735-4551;;;