Thursday, July 31, 2014

New Media Matters: Small nonprofits can shine online

By Paige Henson
Macon Telegraph

"There’s a special place in our hearts for local nonprofits -- those amazing change-makers performing miracles for others on a dime and only a handful of volunteers.
"Thankfully, with a savvy social media coordinator on board, smaller nonprofits can stand on a level playing field with larger groups to get the public attention they deserve. If you’re a small nonprofit, here are a few tips to propel you ahead on a crowded landscape.
"• Beth Kanter at is the nonprofit guru of this generation. She blogs, publishes, posts, tweets vast information especially geared to nonprofits needing assistance with technology. Subscribe to Beth’s emails and stay on top of online information.
"• You are already networking using social media to get the word out about your group. But how about exploring tools like: (for creating ready-to-use forms); (to appeal to a wider audience); (to publish visual presentations); (to get board members on track with super-simple explanatory videos); (for conducting easy research); and (for creating infographs that will increase readership)?

Read more here:

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Advanced Marketing Opportunities for Nonprofits

By John Rampton

"I’m passionate about helping Nonprofits.  Nonprofits are some of the most giving people that I have every met.  I personally have worked with Open To HopePrimary Children’s Hospital and The Institute for Applied Tinkering.  All three nonprofits have experienced the need for additional help online to which we’ve helped!

"Nonprofit companies have very different goals and a different way of operating than your traditional business; so many of your typical online marketing strategies simply aren’t optimized for nonprofits. Fortunately, some of the major online players like Google, YouTube, and Facebook took this seriously and created customized options to help nonprofits really succeed. Too many companies still aren’t taking advantage, so if you work with a nonprofit, the sooner you can learn about the opportunities out there, the better.

         Read more:

Monday, July 28, 2014

Toward a Nonprofit Theory of Leadership and Organizational Culture

From NPQ (The Nonprofit Quarterly)
and The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits

Nonprofit organizations are different from business and government. One would reasonably expect to manage and govern them differently. However, in the absence of a general framework for nonprofit management, third sector organizations are under persistent pressure to look like something else. On the one hand, nonprofits are advised (sometimes by “venture” philanthropists) to become more entrepreneurial and business savvy, orienting their organizations more closely to market forces. At the same time, organizations are urged to make increasing the reliability and accountability of their “outcomes” their highest priority, by controlling internal processes and structuring and orienting themselves as hierarchies.

The following statements on Leadership and Organizational Culture are excerpted from Principles & Practices for Nonprofit Excellence, a 40-page document available free at MCN’s web site. These 19 Practices are designed to set out an explicitly nonprofit set of expectations for leadership from board members, managers, and volunteers, in which these organizations gain from broad participation in important discussions and decision-making.

           Read more:

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

How to Use Your Group's History to Help Communicate Your Mission

From The Chronicle of Philanthropy

Creating an organizational history is no small task. But the myriad story-telling formats and new user-friendly digital tools can make it an exciting undertaking.

Whether you want to refresh an existing account or create an interactive timeline, telling your group's story can help you keep its history alive and the organization true to its mission.

History projects don’t have to be limited to major anniversaries: Annual updates can reflect leadership changes and shifting priorities from the previous year.

Join us on Wednesday, July 23, at noon Eastern time for a discussion about how to create and use your institutional history to best advantage.

The Guests:      

Peter F. Bird is the president and chief executive of the First Foundation, in Nashville. He wrote the organization’s first history in the early 1990s and updates it every year.
Jessica I. Elfenbein is a historian and senior associate dean at the Graduate School at the University of South Carolina. She has written extensively about philanthropy and worked to reconnect dozens of nonprofits, foundations, and civic organizations with their historic roots through a special archives project at the University of Baltimore.
The Host:Megan O'Neil is a reporter for The Chronicle. She covers fundraising, technology, and more.
Chronicle live video discussions do not require registration. Simply return to this page at the date and time of the presentation to participate or sign up for a reminder on Google+. To ask questions, simply post them in the comments section below before or during the event.

          Read more:

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Critics Say IRS Short Form for Charities Opens Door to Abuse

           From The Chronicle of Philanthropy

The head of the Internal Revenue Service says the 1023-EZ form introduced this month for small groups seeking nonprofit status will help the agency reduce a huge backlog of charity applications, but some nonprofit leaders fear the short form will make it harder for the IRS to weed out bad actors, Time magazine writes.

As of July 1 organizations with income of less than $50,000 and assets of less than $250,000 can use the three-page EZ form to apply for 501(c)(3) status rather than filling out a detailed 26-page form and providing multiple supporting documents, as had been required for all charity submissions.

The change will mean tens of thousands of 501(c)(3) applications a year no longer go to the IRS exempt-organizations unit for review. John Koskinen, the IRS commissioner, told Time that “efficiencies” engendered by the new form will allow the the agency to conduct “a faster and better review” of bigger groups while attacking an existing backlog of 66,000 charity applications.

Tim Delaney, president of the Council of Nonprofits, said the new form will make it easier to get charity status “than it is to get a library card,” potentially opening the floodgates for groups with no real charitable purpose. Marcus Owens, a lawyer and former chief of the IRS nonprofits unit, predicted the change will cause “dark money”—political spending via 501(c)(4) social-welfare groups—to “begin to flow into the (c)(3) world.”

Read a Chronicle of Philanthropy article about the controversy over the EZ form for charities.


Monday, July 14, 2014

IRS speeds up tax-exempt process for small non-profits amid scandal

By Leslie Larson
Daily News

The IRS is now bending over backward to help small charities get tax-exempt status.Amid the FBI investigation and congressional inquiry into allegations of targeting conservative groups, the IRS now says it won't screen 80% of the charities seeking tax-exempt status.

In the new expedited process, 501(c)(3) nonprofits with less than $50,000 annual income need only complete a three-page form online and pay a $400 fee to receive automatic approval from the Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division, according to Time magazine.
This replaces

the previously unwieldy 26-page form and non-profit narrative that was reviewed by the division — a process that created a 66,000 application backlog and left charities in the lurch since donations were not yet tax-deductible.

          Read more

Friday, July 11, 2014

Charleston Association of Grant Professionals (CAGP) to meet Tuesday, July 15

The Charleston Association of Grant Professionals (CAGP) will meet Tuesday, July 15 in the auditorium at the Charleston County Public Library, 68 Calhoun St. in Charleston  from 5:45 – 7:30 p.m.

 The speaker will be Anne Weston Sass, Grants Director at Roper St. Francis Foundation. Anne has 21 years of experience in the field of fundraising - from grants and major gifts development to membership and donor relations. She is not only extremely knowledgeable about grants but is also an outstanding presenter. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear from a true professional!

The topic is “Writing Good Goals and Measurable Objectives – Key to a successful grant proposal"

Anne Sass is Grants Director at Roper St. Francis in Charleston, South Carolina. Since joining the system in 2008, she has led the AccessHealth Tri-county Network initiative as part of her responsibilities as the healthcare system’s chief grants development and administrative officer.

Ms. Sass focuses on developing strategic community-based grant initiatives that provide access to healthcare and care coordination for some of the tri-county’s most vulnerable populations. She serves on the AccessHealth Tri-county Network Board as Past Chairman. Trained as a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, she is a member of the Grants Professional Association and treasurer of the state chapter. Her more than 20 years in institutional advancement include experience at three universities, an art museum, and a zoo. She began professional life as a book publicist in New York City. A South Carolina native, Ms. Sass graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Randolph-Macon Women’s College with a B.A. in English and completed the Radcliffe Publishing Course at Harvard University.