Friday, July 15, 2011

NJ Considering Mandatory Disclosure Requirement

We just put up a new story on the website that may be of some interest to nonprofits in New Jersey.  Our own Sam Fanburg reports that the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs (NJDCA) is accepting public comment on a proposed mandatory donor designation disclosure.  If it were to pass, nonprofits would be required to give donors a way to designate funds for specific programs.  Here are some more details from the story:

According to the "pre-proposal" under N.J.A.C. 13:48-11.2, the NJDCA believes that “if particular programs are the inducement for a donor to make a contribution to the charity, the donor should be advised that he or she has the option to direct the charity to use his or her contribution to fund that program.” Any nonprofit that receives more than $250,000 in its previous fiscal year would have to include a designation allowing donors to choose what specific program their contribution would fund.

In a seven-page letter addressed to the acting director of the NJDCA, Errol Copilevitz, a partner in the Kansas City, Mo., firm of Copilevitz & Canter, LLC, tackled his own misgivings about the proposal finding a misunderstanding of fundraising by the state. “The rule fails to recognize a basic axiom of charitable fundraising, to-wit: it costs money to make money,” he wrote.

The proposed rule makes no allowance for cost and would mislead donors into believing their designation will require “100 percent of their donation to go to program services (when such a request is impossible),” according to Copilevitz. Especially in a nonprofit’s infancy, many times it costs more than a dollar to raise a dollar, but securing that initial relationship with donors allows an organization to cultivate future contributions.

As you can see, there are some concerns being raised about this proposal.  In addition to Copilevitz, the Center for Non-Profits in New Brunswick, NJ also has some issues with it.  Among other things, they believe it could lead to additional administrative costs such as printing, fund allocation and bookkeeping.  If your organization wants to make any comments on the proposal, send it to this address:

Thomas Calcagni, Acting Director
New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs
P.O. Box 45037
Newark, NJ 07101

And be sure to read the full article on The NonProfit Times website.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Commission Adopts Model Protection Of Charitable Assets Act

Here is an excerpt from a story we recently published on our website:

The Model Protection of Charitable Assets Act (MPCAA) received approval from the Uniform Law Commission (ULC) Tuesday during the ULC’s annual meeting in Vail, Colo.

Approval means that individual states can use the act or any part of it as a model for regulation of nonprofit organizations, though they are not required to use any of it. The new act replaces the Uniform Supervision of Trustees Charitable Purposes Act, passed in 1954.

In a statement after the vote, the ULC said the goal of the PCAA is to “protect the role of the states with respect to charitable assets, by clarifying the role of the Attorney General.

“The attorney general’s authority in most states is broad and this act will not limit or narrow that authority, while providing many states the first clear statutory articulation of that authority.”

You can read the full story by visiting The NonProfit Times on the web.

26 Years of Live Aid

Yesterday was the 26th anniversary of the Live Aid concerts in London and Philadelphia.  Musicians like Freddy Mercury, Bob Dylan, U2, Paul McCartney, and more came together to raise money for the famine that was ongoing in Ethiopia.   

Even with today's technology, the concept of Live Aid is still extremely impressive.  At the time, the event was one of the most ambitious broadcasting events of the time, with both concerts being carried by different networks: BBC in London and ABC in America.  In addition, MTV carried an entirely separate feed of the US concert.  During the broadcast, viewers were urged to call in and donate money to the cause.

And donate they did; the concerts raised over $100 million for famine relief in Africa.  Adjusted for inflation, that number would be $200 million today.  Imagine if one of your fundraisers got that kind of money; you'd be set! 

While there were other fundraising concerts before and after, Live Aid was an important event in the history of philanthropy and fundraising. It led directly to other "aid" concerts, like Farm Aid, and was the pre-cursor to benefit concerts like those for Haiti and Japan, and Stand Up 2 Cancer, aired on most major television networks.  Feel free to share your thoughts on how Live Aid may have impacted philanthropy and fundraising below, as well as any memories you may have of the concerts.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Ethnic Donors: NPTtv Interviews Nelson Bowman

In fundraising, targeting the best prospects is very important.  In order to raise the most money possible, you have to be able to identify the top donor groups out there, and focus a lot of attention on them.  Nelson Bowman, director of development at Prairie View A&M University, spoke to The NonProfit Times TV about why targeting ethnic donors should be a key priority for fundraisers.  Specifically, we asked him the following questions:

  • Why should nonprofits be thinking about specifically targeting ethnic groups when it comes to their appeals and giving programs?
  • How is messaging different when targeting specific ethnic groups?
  • Anything else to think about besides the message or the type of message? Are there other aspects to the giving and the philanthropy among those ethnicities that a charity would have to think about before setting out in that direction?
  • Any other specific strategies or other strategies that charities should be thinking about when they set out to appeal to other ethnic groups?
  • Do charities target ethnic groups now, or is it a matter of making it front of mind and reminding them that the demographics showing that you should be appealing to different donor groups by ethnicity?
  • Anything else charities should think about when just starting out a program like this, to focus a little more on ethnic groups in their appeals; is there a good first step or two that they should do before they engage?
Bowman answered all of these questions, and also touched on how important it is to be ethnically sensitive to these donors.  If your organization has been thinking of reaching out to these groups, this video is a must watch.  You can view the full interview over at The NonProfit Times TV.

NPTtv Summary: Bates Tops List Of Most Expensive Colleges

Note: This is a summary of a story from the newest episode of The NonProfit Times TV.

Looking to spend a little more on colleges this year?  Then these schools will be right up your ally.

The US Department of Education has released a list of the most expensive colleges in the country.  Maine’s Bates College, with a price tag of $51,300, was named the priciest private, nonprofit college for 2009-2010.  In comparison, the average price of tuition for a public university was under $6,400.  Here are some other colleges on the list:
  • Connecticut College: $51,115
  • Middlebury College, Vermont: $50,780
  • Sarah Lawrence College, New York: $41,968
While private schools tend to cost more than public universities, keep in mind that the average tuition for a nonprofit college in 2009-2010 was $21,324 without room and board.

NPTtv Summary: Clinton To Launch Micro-Lending Plan

Note: This is a summary of a story from the newest episode of The NonProfit Times TV.
In an effort to help small business owners in regions that were devestated by the recession, Former President Bill Clinton has launched a micro-lending plan that he hopes will bring much needed capital to these struggling businesses. 

Called Kiva City, it was announced during the annual Clinton Global Initiative Summit. The effort will be headed by micro-lending nonprofit Kiva, as well as Visa, Inc. Kiva City will offer small business lending strategies to suffering American cities like Detroit, Milwaukee, and Pittsburgh. They will also give out loans of about $7,000, which will be used to pay rent, buy equipment, or cover other daily operations.

NPTtv Summary: End of Nonprofit Board Ban?

Note: This is a summary of a story from the newest episode of The NonProfit Times TV.

Could a 15-year ban be coming to an end?

If The Office of Government Ethics (OGE) has its way, federal employees will be allowed to serve on nonprofit boards without approval from their agencies.  The organization published a proposed rule in the Federal Register to do away with that regulation, which has existed since it was first passed in 1996.  They noted in their new proposal that the supposed conflicts of interest between an employee’s job and their financial duties to a nonprofit are more theoretical than real.  Therefore, they argued, the regulation was not necessary.

Whether this rule will become law is anybody's guess, but it's certainly something to keep an eye on.

NPTtv Summary: We're Out Of Here: Two Nonprofit CEOs Call It Quits

Note: This is a summary of a story from the newest webcast of The NonProfit Times TV.

Two major nonprofit CEOs came back after the July 4th weekend to decleare their independence from their organizations.

Steve Gunderson, of the Council on Foundations, and Robert D. Reischauer, of the Urban Institute, announced they were stepping down from their positions. Gunderson, who was CEO for six years, announced he would be retiring effective September 1st. In an open letter on the COF website, he said it was “the right time for a transition.”

Reischauer, who lead the Urban Institute for 11 years, will step down as CEO at the end of 2011. During his tenure, the organization established the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center and refocused its interdisciplinary research on welfare reform for low-income working families.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

New NPTtv Out Tomorrow

The newest webcast of The Nonprofit Times TV will be out tomorrow!  Here's a sneak peek at the stories you can expect to see:

  • "We're Out Of Here"
  • "New Federal Rules For Boards"
  • "Clinton Launches Micro-Lending Plan"
  • "The Most Expensive Colleges"
  • "Targeting Ethnic Donors"
We will provide the links to each of these stories tomorrow, as well as summaries.  Stay tuned!

Monday, July 11, 2011

AFP Poll: Changes To Charitable Deduction Will Hurt Giving

Fundraisers have made it clear they expect a drop in donations if the Obama Administration's plan to limit the charitable deduction is approved, according to a story that was just published on our website.  How much that decline would be, however, is up for debate.

The plan, which is part of the White House's Fiscal Year 2012 budget, would cap itemized deductions at 28 percent for the richest Americans.  In a Quick Poll by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), three-quarters of those surveyed said the plan would negatively affect giving.  When it comes to how much giving would be affected, however, participants were split.  Here's how the numbers break down:

  • 27 percent predict a 25-percent drop in gifts
  • Another 27 percent believe it will be around a 5 to 10-percent decrease
  • Finally, 23 percent think the decline will be at 5 percent
 Fewer than one in 10 fundraisers thought there would be no effect on giving, while 14 percent remained unsure.  You can read the whole story, including some reactions from the CEO of AFP, at the The NonProfit Times.