Friday, October 25, 2013

5 Techniques To Safeguard Your Technology

The Internet is a useful place for nonprofits to be, but it can also be a veritable danger zone for your technology. If you aren’t careful, you could find yourself on the receiving end of a malicious virus that could severely hamper all the hard work your organization has done.

Luckily, there are plenty of ways to keep your information out of harm's way before you dive into the web.

In the book "Nonprofit Management 101," Holly Ross, executive director at the Drupal Association in Portland, Ore., encouraged nonprofit managers to take the security of your devices seriously. She recommended the following five techniques to keep your operation running smoothly:
  • Firewall: This is basically a gate between the outside world and your network of computers. It’s essential that you have a firewall set up to keep spammers, hackers, and other malicious people from infiltrating your network to use it for nefarious purposes.
  • Antivirus protection: Antivirus software should be installed on each of the computers on your network. Worms and viruses continue to be written every day, so it’s essential that you purchase the regular update packages for whichever program you choose to use.
  • Backup: Most people view backing up as insurance for extreme situations such as natural disasters, but the backup is most important in many day-to-day situations.
  • Passwords: The simplest thing you can do to protect your organization’s data and files is to put in place a strong password policy. Ensure that staff are both using different passwords for logins and changing their passwords frequently.
  • Physical security: Equipment like laptops, printers, and desktop computers should be secured to desks with cable locks so they can’t be removed.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Feds: Charity Boss Stole $4 Million

Brian James Brown, the former head of a charity advocating for Native Americans, pleaded not guilty Monday to charges that he stole $4 million from the organization.

According to a report in The Oregonian, Brown was arrested on Sunday at Portland International Airport, just as he was returning from a month-long trip to Thailand. Authorities say that his excursion was paid for, in part, by the funds allegedly stolen from National Relief Charities (NRC).

The arrest comes 11 days after a federal grand jury in Portland handed up an indictment against Brown, which charged him and unnamed co-conspirators with attempting to defraud NRC. The indictment further stated that Brown stepped down as head of the organization in 2005 to form his own nonprofit, Charity One Inc., which did business as the American Indian Education Endowment Fund.

Brown allegedly convinced NRC to fund Charity One with $4 million from 2006 to 2009, saying the funds would be used to offer scholarships to Native Americans.

"Instead," the government wrote in a news release, "Brown and unnamed co-conspirators allegedly used the entire $4 million for their personal benefit."

To keep the checks of either $100,000 or $200,000 coming in, Brown allegedly delivered falsified financial statements to prove that the money was being used appropriately.

Brown was allowed to go free after his arraignment as he awaits his Dec. 17 trial. He was ordered by U.S. Magistrate Judge Dennis J. Hubel to surrender his passport, wear a GPS ankle monitor, and stay at home from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.

You can read the full report in The Oregonian.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Featured Nonprofit Job: Chief Operating Officer

San Diego Rescue Mission is looking to hire a Chief Operating Officer (COO). Do you think you have what it takes to succeed in this position? If so, read on for more details.

The chosen candidate for this position will direct and coordinate both the clinical and operational activities relative to the day-to-day Mission operations, ensuring the internal operations run smoothly and efficiently to maximize Mission resources. Other primary responsibilities include:

  • Work with Board of Directors and committees to establish policies and programs and administers such programs.
  • Establish appropriate metrics and structure to ensure the effective implementation occurs to support both the long-term and short-term objectives.
  • Measure the effectiveness and progression of the strategic plan.
  • Identify, develops, implements, maintains and updates consistent policies, procedures and practices to gain operational efficiencies across all programs and services.
  • Lead, coach, develop and retain the Mission high-performance management teams with an emphasis on developing capacity in strategic analysis and planning and budgeting.
  • Manage staff with multiple competing priorities and preferences.
Qualified applicants for this job should have a Bachelor's degree though an advanced degree is preferred. Candidates are also required to have at least five years of experience in finance, operations or related positions. You can find out more about this job by heading to the NPT Jobs Career Center.

(Also check out San Diego Rescue Mission's other featured job -- VP of Development)