Friday, June 3, 2011

San Diego Habitat For Humanit Starts Charging Volunteers

Note: This is a summary to a story from an outside news organization.  To read the full article, please follow the links in this post.

Channel 10 News San Diego has posted a story on its website about how volunteer groups of five or more people are being charged $100 per person to do work for Habitat for Humanity.  The article cites many frustrated volunteers who have vowed never to volunteer for the group again because of the new policy.  The new rule was put into place out of a need to find new ways to get funding.  And although volunteers are unhappy with it, Habitat says it has seen a surge in corporate donations since instituting it. 

If you are interested in reading the full story, visit Channel 10 News San Diego's website.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Another Nonprofit Executive Caught in Fraud

After the former CEO of the National Center for the Employment of the Disabled, Robert Jones, was sentenced to jail for fraud in March, we now learn that The former office manager for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bluegrass in Lexington, KY has pleaded guilty to bank fraud.

According to the US Attorney’s Office, Bendrea Wilson cashed more than $430,000 after issuing 142 fraudulent checks between the years 2008 and 2009. In her guilt plea, she admitted to keeping most of the money and paying smaller amounts to those who cashed the checks.

Committing fraud doesn't come without a huge price, and Wilson will received a tough sentence.  She faces up to 30 years in prison, a fine of up to $1 million, and up to five years of supervised release. She was also ordered to make restitution, though none has been made as of this writing.

NPTtv Summary: Livestrong Gets a Stadium

Note: This is a summary/reaction to a story from the latest webcast of The NonProfit Times.

Despite allegations by team mates that 7 time Tour De France winner Lance Armstrong used banned performance enhancing drugs, his brand hasn't appeared to suffer much.  Want proof?  Look no further than Kansas.

Sporting Kansas City (SKC) is set to open its new $200 million Major League Soccer (MLS) stadium in Kansas City with the name Livestrong Sporting Park. The Livestrong Foundation licenced the use of its name on the stadium, and will receive a cut of its revenues without having to pay a dime.  Typical MLS naming rights range between 2 and 2 million dollars, so the Foundation got quite a deal here.

To make that deal even sweeter, SKC has guaranteed a donation to the foundation of at least $7.5 million over six years. This money will come from a portion of ticket and concession stand sales to Major League Soccer matches, as well as other stadium events. Overall, The Livestrong Foundation will get between 1.2 and 1.5 million dollars each year.

NPTtv Summary: Nonprofit Targets Ronald McDonald

Note: This is a summary/reaction to a story from the latest webcast of The NonProfit Times.

If one nonprofit gets its way, the clown with the big red shoes won't be around much longer.

Corporate Accountability International is turning its sights on Ronald McDonald, the famed mascot of the fast food chain McDonald’s. In an open letter to the company’s CEO, Jim Skinner, the nonprofit expresses concern that the use of the clown mascot in McDonald’s marketing campaigns is helping to promote unhealthy eating among children. Below is an excerpt from that letter:

“We ask that you heed our concern and retire your marketing promotions for food high in salt, fat, sugar, and calories to children, whatever form they take, from Ronald McDonald to toy giveaways. Our children and health care system will benefit from your leadership on this issue.”

Judging from the response from McDonald's, however, it seems that Corporate Accountability will not get their wish:

“We are committed to responsible advertising and take our communications to children very seriously. Ronald is an ambassador for good and delivers important messages to kids on safety, literacy, and balanced, active lifestyles.”

So at least for now, it doesn't appear Ronald McDonald will be leaving TV anytime soon.

June 1st NPTtv Webcast Released

We have just released the newest webcast of The NonProfit Times TV!  Here are the stories included in this week's episode:

  • Another Executive Caught: The former office manager for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bluegrass in Lexington, Kentucky has pleaded guilty.
  • Ronald McDonald Targeted: Nonprofit ties unhealthy eating to clown.
  • Livestrong Brands a Stadium: Despite allegations by team mates that 7 time Tour De France winner Lance Armstrong used banned performance enhancers, a new stadium will open in Kansas City, Kansas with the name of Armstrong’s charity.
As always, summaries and reactions to each of these stories will follow shortly.  In the mean time, enjoy the webcast!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Robert Velasco II Named Acting CEO at CNCS

You might have heard that Patrick Corvington, more than one year after being appointed, stepped down as CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS).  With its annual conference with the Points of Light Institute coming up, President Barack Obama appointed Robert Velasco II as acting CEO.  Velasco, who was previously the Chief Operating Officer of CNCS, must now be officially nominated by President Barack Obama.  His nomination requires the approval of the U.S. Senate before he could assume his new position.  In a messsage to his colleagues at the agency, Corvington had this to say about Velasco:

“Robert has done an outstanding job serving as our Chief Operating Officer, where he has managed agency operations, implemented changes to increase efficiency and accountability, and developed the infrastructure to carry out the Serve America Act and fulfill the President's vision for national service. Since February, Robert has also served as Chief of Program Operations, where he has provided strong leadership to support our thousands of grantees in the field who are delivering high-quality programming to meet local needs.”

Corvington has said that he resigned his position to take another job in the nonprofit sector, though he declined to provide additional details.  Velasco will certainly have tough challenges ahead of him, as his rise to acting CEO comes at a time when the CNCS will likely see cuts in revenue because of the federal government's budget crisis. 

If you are interested in reading more about this story, check out the article over at The NonProfit Times website.

Study Shows Online-Acquired Donors Switch To Mail, Not Vice-Versa

We hope everyone had a good Memorial Day Weekend!  Now that the holiday is over, we are back again and already there is news to share.  A new article was just published on The NonProfit Times website that features findings from the 2011 donorCentrics Internet and Multichannel Giving Benchmarking Report.  That report found that the majority of donors do not use multichannel giving for their donations. Instead, they are using direct mail or online as their method of giving.  The only donors that do significant multichannel giving are online-acquired donors, and this group has been switching to direct mail in recent years.

This may be somewhat surprising given the popularity of online technology these days, but the report finds that the ability of these online donors to start using direct mail, in addition to their other methods of giving, "significantly boosts the retention and long-term value of this group" beyond what it would be if they used only the online method of giving.  Here are some other findings of the donorCentrics Report:

  • Online-acquired donors are significantly younger and tend to have higher household incomes than mail-acquired donors.
  • Online-acquired donors tend to give much larger gifts than mail-acquired donors.
  • However, online-acquired donors tend to have slightly lower retention rates than mail-acquired donors.
  • Multichannel giving is not ubiquitous. The majority of multichannel donors are those who are acquired online and then subsequently start giving direct mail gifts. This is the only situation in which there are significant numbers of cross-channel donors across all organizations.
  • Every year, large proportions of online-acquired donors switch from online giving to offline sources -- primarily to direct mail. The reverse is not true, however; only a tiny percentage of mail-acquired donors give online in later years.
  • For the large direct marketing organizations participating in the online benchmarking groups, the majority of gifts are still received through direct mail.
This is a really fascinating study and it shows that, despite popular thinking, offline giving is still the backbone of individual philanthropy.  If you want to read the full article, visit NPTimes.com.