Friday, November 9, 2012

9 Ideas For Finding Volunteers For Special Events

Finding individuals who are willing to be long-term volunteers for your nonprofit can be difficult. Many people in this country want to do whatever they can to help out organizations, but they don't necessarily want to do it all the time. That's why one-time special events can be very appealing to potential volunteers.

There are plenty of individuals out there who would love the chance to be a part of making your event a success; it’s just a matter of reaching them. In his book "The Idiot's Guide to Recruiting and Managing Volunteers," John L. Lipp wrote that you have to exhaust all avenues of communication to reach these potential volunteers. He suggested using the following techniques:
  • Start by asking individuals who are part of your active volunteer program. As soon as you have a date confirmed for your event, send them a “save-the-date” message;
  • Do the same thing with people who volunteered for your last special event. If your event includes sponsors, talk to them and see if they are interested in providing employees to help support it;
  • Contact service clubs and professional organizations, especially those that have a connection to your cause, and ask them about making a commitment to provide a minimum number of volunteers for your event;
  • Target people with specific skills;
  • Reach out to organizations that specialize in recruiting volunteers for special events and one-time opportunities;
  • Utilize the Internet to promote your event and volunteer opportunities;
  • Contact local religious groups; and,
  • Consider offering your clients an opportunity to volunteer for your special event.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Ex-Nonprofit CFO Sentenced

The former Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of a nonprofit in Metairie, La., has been sentenced to two years in prison after being convicted of embezzling nearly $25,000 from the organization and a company employee.

Kelley Williams was also ordered to pay $245,386 in restitution by U.S. District Judge Martin L.C. Feldman, according to a report in The San Francisco Chronicle. The 38-year-old Williams must also serve three years of supervised release following her prison term.

Federal prosecutors charged Williams with forging the name of the nonprofit's president on checks she made payable to herself, which were then deposited into her bank account. She attempted to disguise these payments by making use of computer accounting software, prosecutors say.

While the name of Williams' former employer is not identified in court papers, it was revealed that the organization provides personal care attendants, transportation, and training to individuals with developmental disabilities.

You can read the full story in The San Francisco Chronicle.

Webinar: The Nonprofit CFO’s Survival Guide

Being a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of any business has its challenges, but it's even more difficult to be a CFO of a nonprofit. These individuals are under constant pressure to achieve various tasks -- automate processes, improve productivity, create greater levels of transparency and visibility -- making life very difficult for them.

Luckily, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Join The NonProfit Times and Intacct Corporation on Dec. 6 at 11:00 AM PST for a free webinar: The Nonprofit CFO’s Survival Guide. Joined by a panel of experts, Abraham Matthew, manager at CliftonLarsonAllen LLP, will bring his 10 years of experience of working with nonprofits to help CFOs better succeed at their craft. Matthew and the panel will be discussing the following topics:

  • Fund Accounting: Supporting separate, balanced sets of books.
  • Multiple Locations and Entities: Addressing centralized and local requirements.
  • Controls and Cash Management: Distributing responsibilities while keeping tight controls.
  • Grants: Tracking general vs. restricted dollars.
  • Reporting and Visibility: Achieving transparency, accountability, and trust.
  • Cloud Computing: Taking advantage of cloud computing to meet nonprofits' toughest challenges.
Any nonprofit CFO who is currently having trouble with any of the above topics should mark the date for this webinar on their calendar. Registration is free so sign up today!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Platform For The Nonprofit Sector

With Election 2012 now over, and President Barack Obama officially re-elected to a second term, we thought it was a good opportunity to bump up this post. President Obama will likely deal with issues of importance to the nonprofit sector again, perhaps even revisiting a potential cap on the charitable deduction, so it's important to see what the nonprofit sector wants out of the next four years


In a special video filmed the day of The NonProfit Times' Power and Influence Top 50 Gala in Washington, D.C., 22 of the leading nonprofit executives let the two major party candidates know what the sector expects from the next administration when it comes to funding and cooperation. The video was released on the NPT website this morning, and a copy was delivered to both Gov. Romney and President Obama.

One of the key messages they delivered to the next occupant of the Oval Office was to increase dialog between Washington and the sector, and staying out of its way so that charity executives can do their jobs. They also urged the candidates not to attack charitable deduction or other tools, warning that they are needed to maintain the safety net for those less fortunate. The Obama administration has repeatedly tried to limit charitable deductions as a way to reduce the deficit.

The executives in the video include Robert F. Ashcraft, Diana Aviv, Brian Gallagher, and Aaron Hurst. The full list of participants can be viewed on the NPT website.

You can watch the video, which runs at around 8 minutes, on our website. Let us know what you think of the executives' message in our comments section.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Introducing NPT Grants

Looking for grant opportunities? The NonProfit Times is pleased to announce a new addition to our site: NPT Grants. This new feature allows our readers to browse the latest grants from around the web. We will be adding more in the coming weeks and months.

Here's how it works: There are a number of different grant categories available (i.e. "Conference Funding"). Grants that match those categories will be posted within those categories, with links to the application at the end of each description. From there, you can decide whether or not your nonprofit would be a good match.

Here's one of the many grants we already have available:

Type of Grant: Conference Funding
Grant Name: Small Scientific Conference Grant Program
Agency(s): Food and Drug Administration
Closing Date for Applications: July 16, 2014


Does your organization want to hold a scientific conference? The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is awarding grants to nonprofits and other groups that are interested and eligible to receive funding. Every application submitted should contain a cover letter that clearly explains the primary objectives of the conference, anticipated outcomes, and the FDA Office/Center that the application should be forwarded to for consideration.

Eligible Organizations:
  • Public/State Controlled Institutions of Higher Education
  • Private Institutions of Higher Education
  • Nonprofits with 501(c)(3) IRS Status (Other than Institutions of Higher Education)
  • Nonprofits without 501(c)(3) IRS Status (Other than Institutions of Higher Education)
The amount of financial assistance requested from the FDA cannot exceed $50,000. Award periods will typically last one year, though applicants may request a multi-year project, up to five years, for permanently sponsored conferences held annually or biennially on a recurring topic or theme. You can find out more information at:


Head to the NPT Grants page to look at the other opportunities available!

The Buzz On Executive Compensation

Compensation for nonprofit executives is a big topic of conversation these days. Organizations that receive a lot of tax payer money are under heavy pressure to not give their top employees salaries or perks that seem, in the public eye, to be excessive. Some states have even proposed legislation placing caps on executive salaries.

With The NonProfit Times' 2012 Nonprofit Organizations Top Executive Positions Salary and Special Perks Report, you will have all the information you need to ensure that your top employees are not being given salaries or benefits that are out of line with the competition.

The report uses the findings of NPT's 2012 Nonprofit Organizations Salary and Benefits Survey to examine the top 15 executive level positions within the nonprofit sector including base salary, bonus practices, total cash compensation, salary increases, employee turnover, and more. The 15 positions examined in the report are as follows:

  • Chief Executive Officer/President/Executive Director;
  • Chancellor/President;
  • Chief Operating Officer/Associate Executive Director;
  • Executive Vice President;
  • Chief Administrative Officer;
  • Chief Advocacy Officer;
  • Chief Development Officer;
  • Chief Financial Officer;
  • Chief Human Resources Officer;
  • Chief Information Officer;
  • Chief Marketing Officer;
  • Chief Medical Officer;
  • Chief Program Officer;
  • Chief Scientific Officer; and,
  • Chief of Staff.
To give you an idea of the kind of information you will find in the Top Executive Positions Salary and Special Perks Report, here are the top 10 perks that were given to CEO/President/Executive Director positions:
  • Car or Car Allowance: 44.96% of respondents
  • Additional Vacation Days: 37.98%
  • Excess Life Insurance: 27.13%
  • Reserved Parking: 15.50%
  • Supplemental Executive Retirement Plan: 14.73%
  • Supplemental Disability Insurance: 13.18%
Head to our online store to purchase the 2012 Executive Salary and Perks Report, or any of the other four Salary and Benefits Reports we have available.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Ariz. Group Ordered To Release Donation Records (UPDATED)

Gov. Jerry Brown (D-Calif.)
UPDATE: The Los Angeles Times has reported that Americans for Responsible Leadership has released the names of its contributors. The release identified the nonprofit Americans for Job Security as the organization behind the $11-million donation. That money was then passed to Center to Protect Patients Rights to ARL.


The California Supreme Court ruled Sunday that a Phoenix, Ariz.-based Political Action Committee (PAC) had to release its donation records to state records.

The state's highest court made the 7-0 ruling on a rare Sunday conference call, ordering Americans for Responsible Leadership (ARL) turn over records relating to an $11-million donation to a business campaign that opposed two propositions by Gov. Jerry Brown. The court ruled that ARL had to submit the records to the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) an hour after their ruling, according to The Sacramento Bee.

As of this writing, however, ARL has yet to submit the records, having already unsuccessfully attempted to get the court to extend the deadline to 9 a.m. local time today. Matt Ross, a spokesman for ARL's legal time, said in a written statement to The Sacramento Bee that "While we are working to deliver the records, we still believe that the FPPC does not have the authority to take such action and have filed a request for immediate stay with the United States Supreme Court."

That letter was sent to Justice Anthony Kennedy, who wrote the majority opinion in the controversial Citizens United case, which focused on campaign spending by corporations and nonprofits. In the letter, attorney Thad A. Davis wrote that the FPPC was unfairly targeting ARL because it was targeting Brown's initiatives.

For its part, the FPPC wants to review the donations records to determine whether ARL violated state rules that require nonprofits to disclose the names of its donors if their money was earmarked for a specific initiative. Depending on when they receive the records from the group, it remains to be seen whether the FPPC has enough time to make ARL disclose the names of its donors if a violation is found.

The NonProfit Times blog first reported on this story last week when a judge from the Sacramento Superior Court ruled that the FPPC could investigate ARL's donation records. That decision was eventually appealed to the California Supreme Court.