Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Earth Day!

As many of you probably already know, today is Earth Day!  In honor of this day, we wanted to remind you how nonprofits can make a difference in helping the environment.

Just the other day, Public Architecture announced in a press release in the San Francisco Chronicle that it is launching a program called the Design for Reuse Knowledge Exchange.  The program is designed to promote the reuse of materials in design and construction.  The Exchange will act as a "living encyclopedia" of projects all over the world that involve reused materials. This figures to be an important project for our planet; the press release states that 30% of raw materials in the world go towards construction projects.  The Exchange is meant to set the world on a path of sustainable development which will help us limit our effects on the planet's natural resources.

If you want to read more about this project, check out the full press release in The San Francisco Chronicle.  You can also visit Public Architecture's website for even more information.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Salary Surveys From The NonProfit Times

Like it or not, almost every nonprofit has to fill out a Form 990 for the IRS. As your organization is probably aware, these forms can be very complex and if they are not filled out properly, your nonprofit can face revocation of tax-exempt status. Remember, IRS Form 990s are also seen by the public, so you don't want to be the one nonprofit that sticks out because of below average compensation for your employees. Luckily, The NonProfit Times has come out with four Salary and Benefit Survey Reports to help your organization stay on the track. The four reports are:

2010 Nonprofit Organizations Salary and Benefits Report: The information in this report will give you the salary range for nearly 260 positions in the nonprofit sector. This is the information that helps ensure that the salaries and benefits you offer your employees are fair and competitive.

2010 Nonprofit Organizations Salary Report: This report has comprehensive, detailed information on nonprofit salary guidelines. These guidelines help determine base salary, bonus practices, cash compensation, and pay raises. You will not find a better source to answer all of your questions regarding nonprofit salaries.

2010 NonProfit Organizations Top Executive Positions Salary & Special Perks Report: Nonprofit executive compensation has always been important to understand, but it might be even more important these days. To attract the top candidates to your organization, you need to make sure that you offer appealing compensation packages. After all, they are going to play a leading role in your organization.

2010 Nonprofit Organizations Benefits Report: The employee benefit packages that a nonprofit organization offers need to be competitive and within reason. This report will walk you through all of the important details and information that you need to make sure that employee benefit packages are in line with similar nonprofits. Doing this will not only make your organization more attractive to new workers, but it will also help with your employee retention efforts, and away from IRS sanctions.

To view more information about these reports, including pricing, please visit The NonProfit Times' salary survey page.

Facebook Feedback

In case you don't know by now, The NonProfit Times has a Facebook page.  If you haven't already, you should friend us so you can get the latest nonprofit news sent directly to your Facebook feed.

While we are pretty satisfied with the way our Facebook page is currently run, we know there are always things we can do to improve it.  Perhaps we need to do more nonprofit news updates, or initiate more discussions or debates.  Whatever the case may be, we want to hear from our readers.  If you have a moment, head on over to The NonProfit Times Facebook Page and vote in the poll we put up.  We do listen to your opinions, and we will do our best to deliver the content which gets the most votes in the poll.  So what are you waiting for?  Make your voice heard!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

NPTtv Summary: A Chat With Nora Ortiz Frederick

Note: This is a summary of a story from the newest webcast of The NonProfit Times TV. To view the video of this story in full, follow the links in this post.

Religious donors are one of the biggest contributors in the country and, as a result, religious charities are receive some of the biggest contributions.  However, this doesn't mean that religious donors only give to these types of organizations.  Nora Ortiz Frederick, Associate Director of Stewardship and Development at the Archdiocese of Anchorage, recently talked with The NonProfit Times TV about how secular charities can attract this important donor base.

According to Frederick, for every dollar that a religious donor gives to a religious charity, they give 86 cents to a non-religious organization. She goes on to say that as long as this individual feels that contributing to a particular secular charity will help them act on some of their deeply held beliefs, they will be "more than happy" to donate.  So how, exactly, can these organizations convince them of this?

Luckily, Ms. Frederick has some tips to help secular nonprofits get on the right track to accomplish the goal of getting religious donors. First of all, she says that it’s important to treat religious donors as just another segment of the population. With this in mind, secular organizations need to figure out ways on how they can market themselves that would appeal to religious donors. She uses the example of Christian donors, who make up about 86% of that group, and how a non profit should try to see how their organization might be viewed as a ministry to them. She also suggests that they should let donors list their place of worship in their relational database, as this will make them feel like that the organization is open to their beliefs.

To view the full interview with Nora Ortiz Frederick, visit the NPTtv website.

NPTtv Summary: A Light at the End of the Grant-Making Tunnel

Note: This is a summary of a story from the newest webcast of The NonProfit Times TV. To view the video of this story in full, follow the links in this post.

After some disappointing reports on giving by grant-making organizations during the last couple of years, a new report by the Foundation Center is giving some reason for optimism. 

According to the report, these organizations gave $45.7 billion in giving during 2010.  At first glance, this number might not seem too impressive as it is the same as it was in 2009. However, if the predictions of the report come true, grant-making is in for an impressive 2011.  The report by the Foundation Center says that giving by grant-makers should see a significant increase this year; specifically between 2 and 4 percent.  Assuming this happens, it would surpass the previous record for giving in a year, which was in 2008.
In addition, the survey is similarly bullish for 2012 (assuming there is no unexpected economic crisis).  Here are some other highlights from the report:

  • Independent and family foundations reduced their giving by 1%
  • Corporation giving remained basically unchanged, at $4.7 billion
  • In a rare negative aspect of the report, it was found that Community foundation giving fell 2.1%, the first consecutive year decline on record

Hack for Education: DonorsChoose.org Launches New Contest

Note: This is a summary of a story from the newest webcast of The NonProfit Times TV.  To view the video of this story in full, follow the links in this post.

Hacking is always a bad thing, unless you ask the folks at DonorsChoose.org.

The online education charity, and one of Fast Company Magazine‘s top 50 most innovative companies, has launched a new contest for developers and data crunchers. The contest, called Hacking Education, calls for participants to develop apps that will improve education in America.  Over the past ten years, more than 165,000 teachers at 43,000 public schools have posted 300,000 classroom project requests so presumably, the winning applications should help with this.

Judges for the contest include a who's who cast of famous names in education advocacy, as well as some big names in business.  These include Arianna Huffington of The Huffington Post, Wendy Kopp of Teach for America, venture capitalist Fred Wilson, and former NYC School’s Chancellor Joel Klein.   And to top it all off, the grand prize winner will be presented by none other than Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert.  So what are you waiting for, nonprofit techies?  Start your programming!

NPTtv Summary: Hung Jury: Philanthropy Put on "Trial"

Note: This is a summary of a story from the newest webcast of The NonProfit Times TV.  To view the video of this story in full, follow the links in this post.

Thought ideas couldn't be put on trial?  Tell that to the Council on Foundations.

Charged with not fulfilling its mission to advance the public good, philanthropy was put on "trial" at the Council on Foundation's annual conference in Philadelphia. Gara LaMarche, President and CEO of Atlantic Philanthropies, played the role of prosecutor in the mock trial, and he argued that philanthropy is a privilege, not a right. During his ten-minute opening statement, LaMarche also accused philanthropy of excessive self-interest, and a lack of diversity and focus on systemic change; especially in comparison to charities. He concluded by saying that society has the right to recalibrate as needed.

Of course, no trial is complete without a defense as well, and arguing for the defense was Ralph R. Smith, Executive Vice President of the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Smith countered LaMarche's points by arguing that philanthropic dollars are being invested in projects inspired by a large diversity of people.  For example, both libertarians and those who think government should play a larger role in everyday life both are involved in philanthropic giving.  Despite their differences, Smith says these two groups serve as the standard bearers of philanthropy, and that diversity remains one of its hallmarks. He concluded by saying that philanthropy must be protected.

His pleas, however, seemed to fall on deaf ears.  It appears LaMarche's arguments were effective, because only two members of the jury voted to acquit philanthropy.

New NPTtv Webcast Today!

Today we will be launching the latest episode of The NonProfit Times TV!  As usual, we will have a summary/reaction to each of the stories when they are put up.  Until then, keep an eye on the NPTtv website to see when the new webcast will be up.

Monday, April 18, 2011

United Way Sets Up Volunteering Connection Website

Note: This is a summary/reaction of an article from an outside news organization.  If you want to read the original article, please follow the first and last links in this post.

Looking for a good way to boost your volunteer activity in New Jersey this Spring?  United Way has a solution for you.

According to an article from The Star-Ledger, The United Way of Northern New Jersey/Sussex County has launched a new website, called the Volunteer Link program, to help New Jersey residents connect with volunteer opportunities at a variety of nonprofit organizations.  Kathleen Nelson, coordinator of the program, told The Star-Ledger that new site is meant to be a "one-stop shop" for would-be volunteers in New Jersey.  Currently, there are 33 Sussex County nonprofits participating in Volunteer Link, and Nelson said that she expects it to grow throughout North Jersey in the coming months.

To access Volunteer Link, simply go to Sussex United Way's website and click on Volunteer Link.  From there, users can search volunteer opportunities by a variety of different methods, including keywords, zip code, or type of volunteer job.  As of this writing, there are about 50 volunteer categories currently listed on the site, like homelessness, literacy, and drug abuse.

Read more about Volunteer Link and The United Way of Northern New Jersey at The Star-Ledger.