Friday, January 4, 2013

First Year Fundraising Campaign Goals

Fundraising campaigns are rarely completed in just a single year. The nature of a long-term campaign means the number the organization wants to reach will be quite high, meaning the time-frame can be as long as five years. All of the years are important in a campaign but, as M. Jane Williams explained, the first year carries the most weight.

Williams wrote in her book, "Big Gifts," that the first year of a fundraising campaign can determine the overall success of the project. A rousing first year will boost the morale of your fundraisers, whereas a lackluster performance will cause concern. To ensure you get off to a good start, Williams recommended making use of schedules. These will help organize your campaign so you know by when you need to accomplish certain goals (i.e., X amount of dollars should have been raised by X date).

For the first year of your campaign, Russell V. Kohr wrote in the “Handbook of Institutional Advancement” that the following goals should be accomplished:

  • Complete the first draft of the long-range plan;
  • Share plan with trustees and selected potential benefactors;
  • Revise plan as necessary;
  • Trustees approve plan and campaign goal;
  • Development office prepares statement of gift opportunities;
  • Development office drafts case statement that is then shared with key people in the organization, trustees, and selected friends;
  • Survey various constituencies intensively;
  • Research prospective donors of major gifts;
  • Begin solicitation of major gift, corporate, and foundation prospects;
  • Increase annual giving solicitation;
  • A group -- such as the president, chairman of the board of trustees, and the chairman of the trustee committee on development -- enlists a national campaign chairman and members of the major gifts committees;
  • Role of the president and other administrative officials in the campaign is determined; and,
  • Begin solicitation of trustees.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Mass. AG Asks Nonprofit For Overdue Reports

A Dorcester, Mass., nonprofit faces civil penalties if it does not file a series of overdue annual reports in the next few weeks with state regulators.

According to a report in The Dorcester Reporter, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley's office sent a letter to the New Vietnamese American Community of Massachusetts, Inc., on Dec. 20, requesting missing annual reports from 2008 to 2011. Nonprofits and public charities in the state are required by law to submit their annual accounting reports with the AG.

"As a result of the organization’s failure to file as required, the Division is authorized to bring an action to restrain the organization from transacting business in the Commonwealth,” wrote Amy Bryson, the compliance officer, in the Dec. 20 letter. "Furthermore, the Division will not issue a certificate of solicitation while your organization is not compliant with the filing requirements."

New Vietnamese's alleged lack of action regarding its annual reports has sparked concern among Vietnamese-Americans in Dorcester, according to the newspaper. Members of that community met at the offices of VietAID, a local development organization, to discuss whether they need to create a new organization to represent Vietnamese residents. The Reporter spoke with one resident, who said that others in the community had alleged the organization has not been transparent with them.

Diane Huynh, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino's liaison to the Vietnamese community, acknowledged to the paper that New Vietnamese does not always share information with the city.

You can read the full story in The Dorcester Reporter.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Fiscal Cliff Deal: How Does It Affect Nonprofits?

Politicians and the members of the media have been talking about the "fiscal cliff" -- the combination of expiring tax cuts and automatic spending cuts -- for so long, it almost seemed anti-climatic when the country tumbled off it yesterday.

Although the Senate had successfully passed -- 89-8 -- a bill that would have averted the cliff, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives declined to take up the bill, opting to consider it on New Year's Day instead. The bill was passed that evening, which closed the door on tax rates and delayed the spending cuts for another two months.

President Barack Obama campaigned on raising taxes on those making $250,000 or more and, though he wasn't able to get Congress to pass a bill with that threshold, taxes were raised on the wealthiest Americans (specifically, individuals earning $400,000 and couples earning $450,000). That is the main headline from the bill, but it also will have an effect on the nonprofit sector.

In an article on The NonProfit Times website, it was revealed that the legislation will cap deductions for wealthy itemizers. It also reduces the amount of itemized deductions by a fixed percentage for each dollar of income (AGI) above a specified amount (up to 80 percent of the total). In this case, it would be 3 percent above the threshold.

Does this mean the charitable deduction has been affected? Not yet, said Joseph Rosenberg, a research associate at the Urban–Brookings Tax Policy Center in Washington, D.C. He told The NonProfit Times that since the cap is based on income, "it essentially operates as an income tax surtax, not a cap on itemized deductions (i.e., deductions retain the full marginal tax value for most taxpayers)."

That doesn't mean nonprofits are out of the woods yet. In a statement shortly after the bill was passed, President Obama expressed his desire to pursue further deficit reduction through a combination of spending cuts and increased revenue from tax reform, which could potentially place a cap on charitable deductions. The spending cuts could also impact organizations, depending on what government programs are targeted.

Stay tuned to the NPT website for more details on the fiscal cliff deal as they emerge.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Ring In 2013 With The New Issue Of NPT

Just in time for 2013, NPT Publishing Group has a New Year's gift for all of our readers: The new issue of The NonProfit Times. The Jan. 1 covers pressing issues impacting the nonprofit sector, including the impact of current hot topics such as Superstorm Sandy and the "fiscal cliff."

Here's a quick look at some of the major stories in the new issue:

Special Report

  • Accounting Software: Installing new accounting software can be a real pain. This special report includes information on how to avoid a disaster installation, featuring tips from the leading experts in the field.
  • Camp Fire Stokes New Image And Council RevampingA mission statement doesn't mean much to a teenager. That’s why Camp Fire USA ditched it. Well, not entirely.
  • Insurance Undertow For Flood Car DonationsThe National Automobile Dealers Association in McLean, Va., estimated that as many as 250,000 cars were damaged or destroyed during super storm Sandy. But, the phones aren't ringing much at 1-800 Charity Cars or at the National Kidney Foundation.
  • Hospital Wraps Employee Giving In A Gift BoxTy the Giving Guy isn't a typical employee at the Atlanta, Ga.-based hospital system. But, he’s not supposed to be, either. He’s the mascot for Emory Healthcare’s employee giving program.
  • It's Simple MathAs the debate and acrimony in Washington, D.C. continues regarding the absurd notion that the federal charitable deduction plays an important role in the nation’s “fiscal cliff,” voices were raised in New York City. The voices were of hope and charity.
  • Young VolunteersThe television news show "60 Minutes" aired a feature story this past November on “Children Helping Children.” It centered on Craig Kielburger, who at age 12 took action against child labor and exploitation in Pakistan, eventually recruiting his friends to the cause and founding Free the Children. Some 17 years later it is an international charity with more than 1.7 million youth involved in education and development programs in 45 countries.