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Affiliate Spotlight: RAND Strategic Solutions, LLC

Posted By Josh Hirsch, Wednesday, April 25, 2018

RAND Strategic Solutions, LLC specializes in strategic planning consulting and provides business planning solutions to help you maximize your resources and your impact in the community. We make sure you have the right focus and direction [strategy], ensure you really know what keeps you up at night [risks], and help you figure out what to do if that happens [risk mitigation]. Whether you are a new non-profit looking to develop a strategic plan or a well-established non-profit needing to update or refresh your existing strategic plan, we will help you create, develop, or strengthen your plan to achieve measurable results. RAND Strategic Solutions, LLC will also link your plan to scorecards and metrics as well as integrate and align risk, resource planning, and performance management with your strategies, helping you increase your appeal to funding sources.

RAND Strategic Solutions, LLC offers a variety of customized products and services for your non-profit business based on your requirements, your needs, and your clients:

  • Strategic plans (development and refresh)
  • Strategic roadmaps
  • Measurable goals and objectives
  • Strategy and risk integration
  • Identification of enterprise risks
  • Scenario planning
  • Performance management
  • Scorecards and metrics
  • SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats)

RAND Strategic Solutions, LLC brings many years of experience to the strategic planning and risk management arena, having served clients in disciplines such as finance and accounting, human resources, facilities management, check and electronic payments as well as the performing arts

and abstract art and sculpture. Clients have included businesses, non-profit organizations, individuals, and the public sector. NAICS Code: 541611

RAND creates everyday solutions for everyday business.

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Rising Leaders Spotlight: Tara Pregnolato - Peggy Adams Rescue League

Posted By Josh Hirsch, Tuesday, April 24, 2018

There are few opportunities to meet others who work in the industry of nonprofits. Being surrounded by so many other brilliant minds and capable people with talents and things beyond what you can offer. Taking all of that back and absorbing that networking, and bringing that back to each of our organizations will benefit everybody in a tremendous way.

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7 Things Every Nonprofit Should Know About Restricted Assets

Posted By Delferine Spooner, Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Your nonprofit is on a mission. Like any other business, your work requires careful accounting and financial reporting. Unlike other businesses, your not-for-profit organization has special requirements on the use and reporting of restricted assets.

The following are some of the most common issues encountered and tips for dealing with them.

  1. Fundraisers can create unintended restrictions. Donors like to support programs and projects near and dear to their heart. Your fundraising staff is skilled at designing heartfelt appeals. If you’re not careful, overly specific fundraising language can create restrictions that limit your ability to operate. Keep your accounting staff looped into the fundraising communications planning and approval process to avoid problems down the road. When in doubt, run it by your auditor.
  2. “Restricted cash” may include more than you think. Many nonprofits present cash and cash equivalents that have restrictions in multiple line items on their statements of financial position. In some cases, these line items are labeled something other than “restricted cash” or “restricted cash equivalents,” such as:
  • Advances of grant funds,
  • Pledged cash and cash equivalents,
  • Cash received with donor-imposed restrictions,
  • Contractual insurance reserves, and
  • Bond-sinking funds

A new accounting standard gives guidance on how you should report the above items in your statement of cash flows.

  1. Restrictions may not be released evenly throughout the year. Often organizations receive funds earmarked for programing in future periods. These restricted funds may also be tied to program deliverables rather than “evenly divided” across a period. Take meals, for example. A homeless shelter receives a donation for meals served in the 2018 calendar year. The shelter may serve significantly more meals during the fall and winter months. Generally, that donation’s release from restriction should vary by volume of meals served rather than be evenly divided across 12 months.
  2. Grants may include “use it or pay it back” provisions. You receive a grant for a project or program in a particular fiscal year. The project or program is delayed and some grant funds have not been spent. Any “use it or pay it back” restrictions need to be identified early in the operational planning process. Prioritize that spending to ensure funds don’t need to be returned to the funder.
  3. Insurance contracts and employee benefit plans may create asset restrictions. Sometimes organizations don’t realize that the language in their self-funded workers’ compensation or employee medical plans may place restrictions on assets. Finance/accounting needs to review the actual plan documents.
  4. Donations of stock and other investments can be dicey. Investment asset donations for endowments, scholarships, and other purposes should be reviewed by accounting, preferably before they’re accepted—for sure before they’re budgeted or spent. Are restrictions only on the investment principal or are there restrictions on income it produces as well? Are realized capital gains treated differently from unrealized capital gains? Are there special reporting requirements? Tax implications?
  5. Real estate property may have long-term restrictions. Some Housing and Urban Development (HUD) programs require recipients to own the property for 40 years. Your organization might be offered donations of buildings that have restrictive covenants. Property and equipment should be reviewed to identify any restrictions.

Original post can be found here.

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2017 Hats Off Nonprofit Awards Volunteer of the Year, Ava Goldstone, Honored with International Youth Award

Posted By Josh Hirsch, Monday, March 26, 2018

Original story can be found here

Ava Goldstone, an 18-year old young woman who has helped to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars and volunteered countless hours to support children with disabilities, has been named the 2018 CARTER Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy, Individual, by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).

The CARTER Award for Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy honors a young person with a proven record of exceptional generosity who demonstrates outstanding civic and charitable responsibility and whose philanthropy encourages others to engage on a community, national, and/or international level.

"I feel so fortunate to be recognized by the Association for Fundraising Professionals for my role in bringing the Boundless Dreams Playground to fruition,” said Ava. “Once built, Boundless Dreams will be a hub of energy and excitement for my community."

Ava, a senior at Pine Crest School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, has become a champion for children with disabilities through her work and fundraising for The Miracle League of Palm Beach County (MLPBC). The League is a nonprofit that provides activities for children with disabilities through baseball.

Ava started her engagement as a volunteer buddy, helping children hold a bat, hit a ball, and run the bases. Soon, however, she wanted to do more, so she secured an internship with MLPBC, helping to organize the organization’s first annual Dinner on the Diamond, which ultimately raised $60,000.

But Ava’s work was just starting. Noticing that a nearby playground was not accessible for children with wheelchairs and other supporting equipment, she began to research and raise funds for new equipment that would accommodate all of the children participating in MLPBC, as well as other children in the community. Her Boundless Dreams Playground project was born.

Ava’s ambitious goal was $210,000. She began her fundraising efforts by creating a calendar of MLPBC kids in action, which sold out, and then spearheading a mini-golf event. Each event raised $2,500. She then worked with staff at MLPBC to write two successful grants to the Women’s Impact 100 and the Men’s Impact 100, which awarded Boundless Dreams $100,000 and $50,000, respectively.

Most recently, Ava participated in the Palm Beach Philanthropy Tank, where she presented her project to four community philanthropists. Her Boundless Dreams Playground project was awarded the top grant of $15,000.  Two other philanthropists in the audience saw her presentation and were so inspired that they invited her to submit requests for funding.  Ava made in-person presentations to both of these philanthropists (one foundation and one individual), and received two grants totaling $40,000—reaching her final goal of $210,000!

“The impact Ava is having on the world around her is incredible for someone so young. We can all learn from the selfless and creative example she sets, no matter what our age,” said Bob Carter, CFRE, chairman of Carter, a consulting firm that helps nonprofits across the globe maximize their philanthropic potential. “Not only should we listen to young adults, but we should also encourage their generous acts of kindness and charity, especially when many people only get to see the darker side of human nature. It is Carter’s intention, and has been since our founding, to help ensure philanthropy’s future by internationally highlighting outstanding young people like Ava.”

With over 60,000 people in Palm Beach County with special needs, the construction of the Boundless Dreams Playground will provide all children with the access to a barrier-free and inclusive play area.  The City of Delray Beach, Fla., will have its first barrier-free playground and has agreed to take care of the ongoing maintenance of the playground.  Ava’s work with The Miracle League also has sparked her desire to advocate for the special needs community in her future educational and occupational endeavors.

“What else can you say about a person who has demonstrated the kind of generosity, spirit, and commitment that Ava has?” said Mike Geiger, president and CEO of AFP. “What she has done is so impressive for a person of any age, and the impact she has made will be felt for decades to come in her community. All of us at AFP are humbled to be able to recognize her for her extraordinary philanthropic work.”

More information about Ava Goldstone, along with the AFP International Fundraising Conference, can be obtained by contacting Michael Nilsen at (425) 241 – 4675 or mnilsen@afpnet.org.

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Rising Leaders Spotlight: Jordan Hopkins - Easterseals Florida

Posted By Josh Hirsch, Friday, March 16, 2018
Updated: Thursday, March 22, 2018

 

"I want to learn more about myself as a leader. Learn how to grow and develop myself in leadership capacities. I also want to make positive sustainable change for my personal and professional life. It’s going to be a blessing to have this network of people coming from different cultures, ethnicities, backgrounds, experiences and I can learn from their life walk. As well as the curriculum this program has. Both of these things will be beneficial."

-Jordan Hopkins, Easterseals Florida

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