Thursday, June 23, 2011

Report: Charitable Foundations in Maine are Struggling

Note: This is a summary of an article from an outside news organization.  Please click the links in this post if you want to read the original story.

Giving to Maine charitable organizations saw a serious decline, according to a story in The Bangor Daily News.  The article references a recently released report by the Maine Philanthropic Center, which showed that giving fell nearly 6% (from $133 million to $127 million) between 2008 and 2009.  The center also believes that the philanthropic sector will continue to see poor numbers as people continue to deal with tight budgets because of a down economy.

Here are some other findings from the report:

  • Maine foundation assets saw a 10% decrease from 2008 to 2009, despite the fact that these assets increased more than 200% since 2000.
  • Despite declines in funding, giving to certain segments of society was actually up between 2008 and 2009.  These areas include human services agencies and arts and humanities.
  • Charitable contributions by people in Maine came out at $402 million in 2008.  This was a 16% decrease from the previous year.
So why are these numbers not current?  According to the story, it is because the Center's report relies on IRS tax return data, which takes some time to develop.  You can read the full article by visiting The Bangor Daily News website.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Three Days to Complete the 2011 Salary and Benefits Survey

It's hard to believe, but there are only three more days left to complete the 2011 Salary and Benefits Survey!  And if you needed a little more incentive to finish yours, how about this: You will be entered to win a free iPod Nano if you complete it on time.  Want to know more about the survey?  Here are some highlights:

* Convenient and flexible survey completion – Complete the online survey questionnaire at your own pace and schedule.

* Comprehensive job coverage – The survey collects base salary and bonus pay information on more than 300 nonprofit specific positions.

* Easy and accurate position matching – Match the positions within your organization to the survey using the intuitive job family groupings and position job descriptions.

* Ongoing assistance whenever you need it- Contact us by phone or email if you need help completing the survey, or use the handy online resources for instant results.

* Complete information about benefits practices – The survey gathers information about benefit offerings, costs, eligibility and employee participation for 94 employee benefits from health insurance to retirement plans.

* Organizational profile information – The questionnaire collects data on budget size, employee turnover, salary increases, employee tenure, staffing levels, geographic location, field of work, and number of employees.

All organizations that participate in the survey will receive a FREE executive summary of the results in August 2011.  What's more, participants will be able to purchase the 2011 Salary and Benefits report for 50% off its original price when it's released.  So what are you waiting for? Have your nonprofit be a part of this year's salary survey today!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Advantage of Multiple Job Interviews

Cross-posted from Nonprofit Jobs blog:

It can be successfully argued that the job interview is the most important part in the search for new employees. This is when you, the nonprofit manager, will truly get to know the prospective employee. A job candidate may look flawless based on their resume, but you might find that they are not as great after an interview. While it would be ideal to conduct one interview for every individual, you will find that it is much more beneficial to interview those candidates that are most exceptional a second time.

In general, the first interview is more of a "getting to know you" affair. You should be looking to find out if the candidate is truly the person they claim to be on their resume. You will ideally have too many candidates to interview for it to be wise to try and figure out if they will be "the one." Treating the initial interview as a kind of filter, therefore, will make it easier to figure out who will be the best fit for your organization.

And that is why it is so advantageous to conduct multiple interviews. While it would be best if you could figure out exactly who you want to hire based on one interview, it makes a lot more sense to have multiple rounds. You will undoubtedly be faced with prospects who don't live up to their resumes in the first round. By weeding out these individuals, you will have a better chance of finding out who is the best person for the position when you begin your second round of interviews.

Giving USA: Americans Gave $290 Billion, Maybe

It appears giving could be heading back to normal levels.

Initial estimates showed that giving by Americans was up 3.8% in 2010 (2.1% adjusted for inflation), according to Giving USA, a publication of Giving USA Foundation.  This was an increase from $280.3 to $290.89 billion.  Despite this initial optimism, revised estimates in the report show that giving has a lot further to go before it can rebound from the lows it reached in 2008 and 2009. 

So what exactly is the state of giving in America?  Read this excerpt on the report by The NonProfit Times:

Observers still were hopeful about the increase last year, after a combined drop of more than 13 percent the past two years. As a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), charitable giving remained at 2 percent, the 14th consecutive year it’s been at least that high.

“People are starting to give a bit more, give larger gifts, and probably give to more organizations. That’s good news in this overall compilation of data,” said Edith Falk, chair, Giving USA Foundation, and chair and CEO of Chicago-based consulting firm, Campbell & Company. “The positive news is that as the economy is recovering, so is philanthropy,” she said.

Revisions to last year’s initial estimates for 2009 changed the total giving number of $303.75 billion to $280.3 billion. Final estimates for 2008 also were revised downward, from a revised $315.08 billion last year after initial estimates in 2009 of $307.65 billion. Giving USA typically revises numbers annually as more data becomes available.

“It seems like we’ve gone quite a ways back in the giving and it’s going to take us a long time to recover, unless the economy takes a giant step forward,” said Elizabeth Boris, director of the Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy at The Urban Institute in Washington, D.C. She expressed some concern about the significant revision to last year’s data. “It makes me a bit concerned about talking about $280 billion in 2009; you have to go all the way back to 2003 or 2004 to see numbers like that,” she said.

Individual giving was up by 2.7 percent, from $206.16 billion to $211.77 billion, according to estimates for 2010. Individuals continue to make up the bulk of giving, about 73 percent.

Visit The NonProfit Times for the whole scoop.