Friday, July 1, 2011

July 1st Issue of NPTimes Released

Start checking your mailboxes: The July 1st issue of The NonProfit Times has been released!  This issue features a Special Report on the Giving USA numbers, as well as articles on topic ranging from Reel Grrls battle with Comcast, to the nonprofits that recently had their tax-exempt status revoked.  Here's a list of some of the pieces included in the new edition:

Interested in getting a sneak peek at the new issue?  Head on over to The NonProfit Times home page and scroll down to "Current Edition."  Here you can take a look at three of the articles in the magazine, as well as the Special Report and two columns.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

DC School Sports Saved By Anonymous Donation

Note: This is a summary of a story from an outside news organization.  Follow the links in the post to read the full article.

Sports in Washington D.C.'s public schools had been going through some tough times.  Faced with a 28% budget cut, they were suddenly saved by an anonymous $1.5-million donation.  According to a story in The Washington Examiner, the money went to the D.C. Public Education Fund, a nonprofit dedicated to finding money for public schools in the District.  This new influx of cash will allow the school to purchase new athletic equipment and add sports programs for girls.

The Examiner story states that school officials became aware of the donation during the fiscal year, so some parents and community members are frustrated that they weren't made aware of the donation after spending countless hours fundraising.  The D.C. Public Education Fund explained that they don't publicize a gift when the donor wishes to remain anonymous.  Even though the donation is sure to boost sports in D.C.'s public schools, some parents are still not sure whether they will cancel their fundraising plans.  They are skeptical of the secretive nature of the donation, and want to know the plans are for next year's budget.

If you are interested in reading the rest of this story, visit the website of The Washington Examiner.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

NPTtv Summary: 9/11 Charities After Bin Laden

It was the news many September 11th charities had been waiting for: Osama Bin Laden is dead.

But even after the death of 9/11 mastermind in May, these charities insist their will be no changes in the work they do. For example, Voices of September 11th still held its annual fundraising gala in New York City, featuring former Mayor Rudy Giuliani. In addition, plans for the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks are still moving forward.

Other charities are following this path as well.  World Cares Center Executive Director Lisa Orloff says that she believes the news of Bin Laden’s death will have no affect on their anniversary event, or their fundraising strategies. Orloff did not plan to comment specifically on Bin Laden's death, but she did say her group's outreach towards communities would adjust to this monumental change.  She did not, however, go into specifics.

NPTtv Summary: NYC Starting Financing Agency For Nonprofits

Note: This is a summary of one of the stories from the latest webcast of The NonProfit Times TV.

In an effort to help NYC nonprofits get low cost, tax-exempt financing, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is starting a new agency. Called the New York City Industrial Development Agency (NYCIDA), it previously issued tax-exempt bond financing for nonprofits capital projects. But since January 2008, it hasn’t been able to deliver such financing because of a change in the law.  Under its new form, NYCIDA will provide financing to help NYC nonprofits expand or upgrade their facilities.

The new agency is sure to be a welcome addition to nonprofits in the Big Apple, many who have gotten the their funding from other states.  According to the Mayor’s Office, more than a dozen groups have gotten out-of-state funding, totaling more than $337 million since June 2009.

NPTtv Summary: Watching the Watchdogs

Note: This is a summary of one of the stories from the latest webcast of The NonProfit Times TV.

It looks like it's the watchdogs turn to be watched.

Mark Fitzgibbons, an attorney and direct response fundraising expert, has launched  This new website is designed to make sure charity regulators are following the laws when it comes to their review of charitable organizations.  According to Fitzgibbons, these regulators are often the biggest violators of the laws governing charities, mostly because they are not accountable.  Charity Regulator Watch aims to change that. 

Still, Fitzgibbons stresses that his site is not meant to be legal advice for charities.  It is just meant to provide information and engage in occasional activism.

New NPTtv Webcast Is Out!

The latest episode of The NonProfit Times TV has just been released.  Here are some of the stories in this week's webcast:

As usual, we will have video recaps of some of these stories shortly.  In the mean time, check out the new webcast!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Study: Nonprofit Managers Looking For the Door

Nonprofit executives aren't too happy with their positions, according to a new survey from CompassPoint Nonprofit Services and the Meyer Foundation. The report, called “Daring to Lead 2011: A National Study of Nonprofit Executive Leadership," shows that nearly two-thirds of nonprofit managers plan to leave their jobs within the next five years.

One of the biggest concerns these executives have remains their boards. The survey reports that only one-fifth of respondents think their boards are doing a good job. In particular, executives are not confident their board of directors have a plan to pick new leaders. In addition, they believe they are still being cautious with the budget following the recession. The survey states that 65% of executives believe that significant levels of recession-related anxiety remain, though this directly related with the amount of cash reserves on hand. For example, those organizations with more than 6 months of reserves reported anxiety at only 15%, as opposed to 33% with only one month of reserves.

You can read about the whole report on The NonProfit Times website. What are your thoughts on it? Have you been noticing similar feelings of anxiety at your organization? Leave your comments below.

Monday, June 27, 2011

New Nonprofit Management Tips

If you often visit The NonProfit Times on the web, you might have noticed a section of the site called Management Tips.  This page features advice for nonprofit managers on a multitude of different topics, from finance to social media.  We just updated this page with new tips for the following categories:

  • Marketing
  • Finance
  • Social Media
  • Revenue
  • Planned Giving
  • Boards
  • Advocacy
  • Database
Here's a sample of one of the new management tips for finance:

Reviewing the substantiation rules

The need for nonprofits to prove that they are doing good rather than scamming the general public is an ongoing one. New regulations are passed every year, but at The Georgia Society of CPAs 2011 Nonprofit Conference, attorneys W. Marshall Sanders and Margaret W. Scott reviewed features of a tax law passed in 1993, Section 170(f)(8) of the Internal Revenue Code requiring donors and nonprofits to “substantiate” a contribution of $250 or more if a tax deduction is to be allowed.

The substantiation must include the following:

• The amount of cash contributed and, in the case of non-cash contributions, a description of the property.

• A statement of whether the organization provided any goods or services in consideration of the donor’s contribution.

• If the donee did provide goods or services (other than intangible religious benefits), a description and good faith value of the goods and services. If religious intangible benefits were supplied, a statement to that effect must be supplied.

There are other aspects of the law to consider:

• No particular format is required for substantiation.

• There is no “family foundation exception” to the rule of Section 170(f)(8).

• The burden is on the donor, not the charity, to obtain the substantiation.

• Unhappy taxpayers continue to litigate the rule, unsuccessfully.

• The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rigorously enforces the rule.

To read the rest of the tips, visit the Nonprofit Management Tips page.

Catholic Relief Services Gets New CEO

Nearly a week after Save the Children appointe a new CEO, Catholic Relief Services has a new executive of their own.  The Baltimore-based nonprofit announced last Friday that Carolyn Y. Woo will replace the retiring Ken Hackett as CEO of the organization.  Woo, 57, had served on the CRS Board of Directors from 2004 until 2010 and is currently the dean of Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame.  She will officially become the seventh chief executive of CRS on January 1st, 2012. 

The Most Rev. Gerald F. Kicanas, Bishop of Tuscon and Chairman of the CRS Board of Directors, said the following about Ms. Woo:

“Dr. Woo is a woman of deep faith with a strong commitment to the mission of the Church. She will bring exceptional abilities and gifts to the task of serving the poor around the world in the name of Catholics throughout the United States.  CRS is so blessed to have had Ken Hackett's leadership these 18 years, now to be followed by another outstanding faith-filled leader in Dr. Woo."
Woo, who was born and raised in Hong Kong, immigrated to the United States to attend college at Purdue University.  There she received her B.S., M.S.I.A., and Ph. D degrees.  During her six years on the CRS Board of Directors, she made several trips overseas to visit the organization's programs and staff.  This included a trip to Banda Aceh, Indonesia after the Indian Ocean tsunami.  She also made stops in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Ethiopia, and Kenya.  She released the following statement on her rise to CEO:

“I am honored to join an organization that is a true manifestation of the compassion of Jesus Christ and the Church's ministry of charity around the world.  I look forward to building on the strong accomplishments of Ken and the global staff of CRS.”
To read the full story, visit The NonProfit Times website.