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Using Storytelling to Connect to Your Community

Posted By Sophia Raymond, Tuesday, July 17, 2018
Updated: Thursday, July 26, 2018

While opinions vary about the impact the new tax law will have on charitable giving, most nonprofit experts agree that now more than ever, we need to focus on meaningful connections with our stakeholders. In this Q&A, author Andy Goodman shares how nonprofits and their leaders can use stories to connect their communities, funders, beneficiaries, and employees with their organization’s cause and vision. Read more...

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Charitable giving exceeded the $400 billion mark in 2017

Posted By Sophia Raymond, Tuesday, July 17, 2018
For the first time ever, charitable giving exceeded the $400 billion mark in 2017, spurred by growth from all four sources of giving. Check out the infographic from Giving USA. Read More...

Tags:  Charitable Giving  Charities  Fundraising  Giving USA 2018  Membership  Nonprofit  Philanthropy 

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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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