Sunday, December 26, 2010

A good resource listing

Got a note a few days back from Shawn Fisher at Online Schools about a listing of resources for students in nonprofit management at various online schools.

This blog is included (if mis-named) along with a ton of great places for you to check out.

In addition, Online Schools offers you a search option to find online educational opportunities in nonprofit management--but only at the Master's level. Since I know of a number on online schools, none of which weren't listed as "recommended, it's hard to tell what drives the recommendations, but still the resource list is good.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Just in time for the holidays

The IRS has announced that they are going to be scrutinizing nonprofits even more in the coming year. Good idea, but poor timing, to say the least.

That said, better oversight is important, and I fully support it, within the context of the new 990, and focusing on both educating nonprofits in how to best report and then going after people who abuse the system.

I read earlier some blogs that decried this "new attack on charities" but really, with so many nonprofits and so much abuse, we need some help in policing the sector. The IRS audits went up 30% from 2008-2009 and another 12% in 2010.

This article from the Chronicle of Philanthropy does a good job of laying out what's coming and what you should be paying attention to. Payroll taxes and loans to executives and trustees (which always falls into the category of what were you thinking?) are high on the list.

Check out the article and be prepared.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Is there an app for common sense?

Got an iPhone? Want to make a donation to a worthy nonprofit via an app that the charity provides? No can do.

What? We're in an era where just about everything except using the toilet is migrating to smart phones and you can't donate from your phone? What's that about?

Well, ONLY if your smart phone is an iPhone, according to this article from the New York Times posted yesterday. An Android phone is fine. Hmmmm, and I thought Apple was always on the cutting edge of awesome.

This is ridiculous, and good for Beth Kanter for spearheading a movement to get it changed.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Nonprofit Culture--a decoding

Just got my copy of a great new book on nonprofit culture. It's called The Nonprofit Organizational Culture Guide: Revealing the Hidden Truths that Impact Performance, by Paige Hull Teegarden, Denise Rothman Hinden, and Paul Sturm.

This book has a ton of good usable information for your nonprofit. Check it out!

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Cautionary Tale

Regular readers will remember me discussing the very sad case of Family Connections, the terrific Austin, TX nonprofit that had to close down after its ED stole hundreds of thousands of dollars not only from that nonprofit, but also from her church and the state association of nonprofits like Family Connections. She vanished after an audit, but was arrested last week after returning from Venezuela.

Why discuss this now? Well, millions of people in the US are being besieged now for year-end tax deductible donations from charities far and wide. Stories like this make it harder for nonprofits of all types and sizes to convince people to part from their money.

So, if your organization is out and about asking for donations, one thing not to do is hesitate when someone wants information on your nonprofit's finances, outcomes and impact. And that means you have to have your data and positive stories ready in advance.