Friday, July 8, 2011

Discussion: CEO Changes

We just posted a discussion on our LinkedIn profile about the recent CEO changes that have been occuring at nonprofits.  The question is below:

Earlier this week, Steve Gunderson, President and CEO of The Council On Foundations, announced he would be resigning in September. There have also been a number of CEO changes, like at Save the Children and Catholic Relief Services. What advice would you have for these new generation of leaders?

Feel free to start off the discussion by visiting us on LinkedIn.

Japan Easing Towards Nonprofit Groups

Note: This is a summary of an article from an outside news organization.  To read the full article, click on the links in this post.

It's no secret that Japan has a negative view of nonprofit organizations.  During natural disasters, such as the recent tsunami or the 1995 Kobe earthquake, the government advised relief organizations to keep away.  Those that came anyway found that it was almost impossible to get anything done.  This is because the country lacks a long history of private philanthropy.  Support for those in need is supposed to come from the family, and nonprofits are viewed as interfering.  And with restrictive laws in place, life for nonprofits in Japan is very difficult.  All this is about to change, however, according to a story in The Economist.  Well, at least for the most part.

On June 22, a law was passed in Japan that will allow nonprofits to get tax relief much easier.  Currently, only 223 of the 90,000 NPOs in Japan have a special tax status.  To put this in even greater perspective, that number is at 160,000 in the UK and 1.8 million in the US.  The new law will drastically change the way the current cumbersome process is handled.  Now, municipal authorities will handle the certification process instead of the national tax agency handling certification.  This is a big deal, as the latter views most NPOs as a detriment to the country's finances.  Other changes include:

  • The so-called "public support test" will be scrapped, removing a huge burden for nonprofits eligibility.
  • Contributions will be nearly 50% tax-deductible.  This is an increase from the current 10% level
When the law comes fully into effect, it will be a huge boon for any future disaster relief efforts.  The way nonprofits are viewed by Japanese officials may never change, but this law will at least make it easier for them to operate in times of need. 

If you want to read the full story, head on over to The Economist.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Nonprofits Gain Reprieve From Minnesota Debt Crisis

If you've been following the news lately, you might have heard about the Minnesota government shutdown.  It all started when Gov. Mark Dayton, a Democrat, attempted to close a $5-billion deficit by increasing taxes on residents making $1 million or more, as well as instituting some budget cuts.  The Republican controlled state senate, however, wanted only spending cuts.  Since no deal was made by midnight on June 30th, all non-essential government services were halted. 

This created a scare for some nonprofits in the state, such as BLIND Inc, who feared that that shutdown would severely handicap them and the people that rely on their services.  However, a district court eventually ruled that BLIND Inc and several other Minnesota nonprofits count as essential services, allowing them to operate as normally.  Here is an excerpt from the just released story from The NonProfit Times:

On the first day of rulings, Gearin ruled that the services provided by BLIND Inc. and Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services were essential. She also included the state’s licensing agencies so licenses can be renewed, but she did not include the agency that issues nurse registration.

The ruling came as good news to Shawn Mayo, executive director of BLIND Inc. in Minneapolis, which offers training to the blind. She said her organization was able to continue without cutbacks in services because it could draw from general funds. It has 15 full-time staff and three summer temporary staff. It will be adding five more summer temps next week. The organization serves 40 to 45 people and will begin its children’s program the second week of July.

Mayo said the staff was discussing options even before the shutdown and was willing to take whatever steps necessary to keep running.

“We were quite concerned about how long we could continue to provide services and about further sustainability,” Mayo said. She added that even though her organization can operate, it is a referral agency, so she is concerned that counselors to whom clients would have been referred and who are out of work may face serious backlogs when they do return to work.

“Our students are thrilled (about the ruling),” Mayo said. “They didn’t have anywhere else to go. And they’re what it’s really about.”

You can read the full story at The NonProfit Times website.

Catch Up on eNewsletters From The NonProfit Times

Did you know you can view all of our past eNewsletters on The NonProfit Times' website?  By visiting our eNewsletter page, you can take a look at all of our past (and current) messages.  This is a handy feature for a number of reasons.  First, if you were ever thinking of subscribing to them, you will now get a better idea of the kind of content you will be receiving.  On the other hand, it allows you to catch up on issues you might have missed if you hadn't been subscribed since the first newsletter came out.

As a reminder, here are the newsletters we currently offer:

-NPTimes Weekly-Get updates on the latest trends in nonprofit management. Sent every Monday.

-NPTimes Jobs-Delivers the latest news on nonprofit jobs, including the latest positions from our job board. Sent every Tuesday.

-Exempt-The companion eNewsletter to The NonProfit Times’ sister publication, Exempt Magazine. Sent  third Tuesday of each month.

-NPTimes TechnoBuzz-The latest trends in nonprofit technology can be found in this eNewsletter. Sent second Tuesday of each month.

-NPTimes Instant Fundraising-Need help with fundraising for your organization? This is the newsletter for you. Sent every Wednesday.

-NPTtv Newsletter-Sent every other Wednesday with the release of the new NonProfit Times TV webcast. Includes links to the individual stories in the new episode.

All of these newsletters are available to view in our archive, so check them out.  Just scroll down past the article categories to the section entitled "eNewsletters" and select the edition of the newsletter you want to view.  And if you are interested in signing up for any of these e-mails, visit our newsletter subscription page.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Management Tip: 7 Essentials to Attracting Great Employees

Here is a recent management tip direct from The NonProfit Times website.  Check the management tips page often, as new ones are added every week.


Wondering why your organization has trouble attracting good employees?

Well, that article in The New York Times reporting your CEO has been found certifiably insane sure didn’t help, but in fact when it comes to hiring and retention, the times they are a changing.

In their book “Brand For Talent,” Mark Schumann and Libby Sartain offer information meant to show that getting and keeping top employees means awareness that present-day employees are not the same as those who grew up during the Depression, even if they are dealing with the Great Recession.

Schumann and Sartain offer seven essentials that can help deal with a new situation.

• Wake up. Today’s job-seekers see themselves, not you, as the consumers. With a world of information at their fingertips, and the savvy to maneuver it, they are looking for something that satisfies them.

• Look ahead. You might have to market yourself as a good place to work. Think sensibilities, challenges, lessons, opportunities, the future.

• Create. A company must creatively market its employer brand to each segment of worker it hopes to secure.

• Segment. As with marketing, segmenting means adapting the talent brand message for each segment based on insight into audience needs and preferences.

• Implement. Be recognized, believed, personalized, and remembered.

• Sustain. There must be alignment of the culture, corporate identity and the consumer and employer brands.

• Survive. Be aware of and utilize social media to your benefit.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Convio Expands Across The Pond

Just in time for Independence Day, Convio has announced plans to purchase the British company Baigent Digital.  The Austin-based online fundraising and constituent management (CRM) firm, which serves more than 1,400 nonprofits, payed $2.9 million for Baigent, and may be on the hook for another $400,000 depending on the performance of the company. 

Founded in 1997, Baigent is one of the UK's leading digital strategy, design and technology implementation firms.  The current plan is for Convio to offer their fundraising services to British charities.  At a later, yet to be determined date, they will offer additional services, including CRM.

You can get the full scoop on this story by visiting The NonProfit Times, or you can go to for even more info.

Council on Foundations CEO Set to Step Down

Steve Gunderson, President/CEO of The Council on Foundations, has announced his intentions to resign his position on September 1st.

In a statement posted on CoF's website, Gunderson said that it was "the right time for a transition" in leadership.  He went on to say that he reached his decision after a lengthy discussion with Board Leadership.  No successor has been named at this time, but Gunderson is confident the Board will appoint a new CEO who will continue the organization's success and "propel the council to new levels of greatness."

Gunderson leaves behind a very impressive list of accomplishments at The Council on Foundations.  Among other things, he was responsible for helping the organization move from its DC offices to its current home in Arlington, VA.  He also added 100 members to their roster in the past two years, while maintaining strong retention rates at the same time.  Avid readers of The NonProfit Times will also know that he was named to our "Power and Influence Top 50" lists in each of the past five years. 

Gunderson's leadership will surely be missed at CoF, but executive transitions happen all the time as our readers know well.  Please feel free to post your reactions to this news in the comments section below, and remember to read the full story at The NonProfit Times.