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May Member Spotlight: Junior Achievement of the Palm Beaches & Treasure Coast

Posted By Charlotte Gill, Tuesday, May 26, 2020

 

As schools turned to distance learning during the coronavirus outbreak, Junior Achievement of the Palm Beaches & Treasure Coast has helped to make sure students continue getting educated on career readiness, entrepreneurship skills, and financial literacy.

 

The organization’s Google Classrooms and virtual Career Speaker Series have served more than 10,000 students in Palm Beach County schools. They have offered “real-world” experiences for students and helped them prepare for a bright future.

 

As part of our May member spotlight, Nonprofits First asked Katie Spitzig, the agency’s Middle and High School Programs Manager, to explain what Google Classrooms is all about and tell us what Junior Achievement of the Palm Beaches & Treasure Coast does in the community.

 

1) Explain your Google Classroom learning project.

 

Katie Spitzig: Junior Achievement of the Palm Beaches & Treasure Coast has created Google Classrooms in order to serve teachers, students and parents within our community. The specially-created digital classrooms provide resources which help to foster career readiness, entrepreneurship skills, and financial literacy. Our grade level specific classrooms include lessons, worksheets, interactive activities and educational games which teachers and parents can use to help their students understand these important life skills. 

 

We are constantly updating our Google Classrooms with new programs, lessons, activities and career speaker videos and encourage the community to join our classrooms and check back often! 

 

2) Explain, in general, the work Junior Achievement does in the community.

 

Katie Spitzig: Junior Achievement of the Palm Beaches & Treasure Coast helps to bridge the gap between the business world and the education world by creating experiential learning opportunities for local students. We work with volunteers to teach programs K-12 which support Junior Achievement’s three pillars: work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy. Junior Achievement works to empower young people to own their own economic success through volunteer-delivered programs. Our goal is to not only inspire our local youth and prepare them to be productive members of a global society but in doing so, also prepare our local families as well.

 

3) Are there other virtual programs that Junior Achievement offers?

 

Katie Spitzig: In addition to our Google Classrooms, Junior Achievement has also partnered with The School District of Palm Beach County and our local business leaders to create a Virtual Career Day. Elementary students from around the county will watch videos created by local volunteers from a variety of professions in which they discuss their career path and a typical day in their life. Students will then work to explore different careers and reflect on their personal interests and future potential career paths.

 

Currently, our Google Classrooms and virtual Career Speaker Series have served over 10,000 students in Palm Beach County schools! With so many Career Days being cancelled in the District, we are excited to offer these “real-world” experiences for our local students and help them to prepare for a bright future!  

 

4) How has Nonprofits First helped your organization?

 

Katie Spitzig: Junior Achievement of the Palm Beaches & Treasure Coast values its relationship with Nonprofits First because they help to ensure that we maintain excellence in nonprofit management. The partnership is essential as it helps Junior Achievement with networking, professional development, grant writing assistance and so much more!  

 

Learn more about Junior Achievement of the Palm Beaches & Treasure Coast here.

 

If you know a great story about a local nonprofit, please share it with Charlotte Gill, Nonprofits First’s director of development and business strategies. Her email is: cgill@nonprofitsfirst.org



Tags:  Education  Member Spotlight  Nonprofit  Palm Beach County 

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Member Spotlight: South Florida Science Center and Aquarium

Posted By Charlotte Gill, Friday, March 27, 2020

Learning about science doesn’t have to stop just because we are limited in where we can go during the coronavirus crisis.

 

South Florida Science Center and Aquarium in West Palm Beach is still open – virtually. They offer many programs on their website related to science, technology, engineering and math.

 

We are spotlighting the Center this month, and asked Melinda Grenz, the director of marketing, to highlight their new virtual activities.


1) Explain what the Center offers the community.

 

Melinda Grenz: The South Florida Science Center and Aquarium provides curious minds of all ages with an entertaining and educational journey through the latest discoveries in science and technology.

 

Featuring more than 100 interactive exhibits, dozens of public programs and events, a fresh and saltwater aquarium, planetarium, conservation-themed miniature golf course and the world’s most advanced human brain exhibit, the South Florida Science Center offers a mind-opening experience for all!

 

2) What are your operations now during the coronavirus crisis?

 

Melinda Grenz: Although our Center is temporarily closed, our mission “to open every mind to science” continues through our new virtual programming.

 

We still strive to be a STEM education resource for your family and will offer weekly live science demos, aquarium programs, exhibit tours and more. These programs are designed to keep the next generation of learners engaged and plugged into the world of science, technology, engineering and math.

 

Learn all about our virtual science program at www.SFScienceCenter.org/Virtual

 

3) What do you recommend families do to keep their children interested in science while schools are closed?

 

Melinda Grenz: Keeping your child engaged in science while school is out doesn’t have to be a chore. We recommend utilizing the fun and exciting new virtual technologies that organizations are starting to launch in our local community and world-wide. The programs we offer are on a weekly schedule so you can plan ahead and even tag along with science experiments from your very own home!

 

4) How has your membership to Nonprofits First helped your organization?

 

Melinda Grenz: We are very excited about our new membership with Nonprofits First. We plan to benefit from their education and professional development programs, accreditation standards, grant research assistance, volunteer outreach, and more. The networking events and award ceremonies will be icing on the cake!

 

Learn more about the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium here: www.SFScienceCenter.org

 

 

 

If you know a great story about a local nonprofit, please share it with Charlotte Gill, Nonprofits First’s director of development and business strategies. Her email is: cgill@nonprofitsfirst.org

 Attached Thumbnails:

Tags:  Charities  COVID-19  Membership  Nonprofit  Palm Beach County  STEM  Technology  Virtual Learning 

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February Member Spotlight: Loggerhead Marinelife Center

Posted By Charlotte Gill, Wednesday, February 26, 2020

February Member Spotlight: Loggerhead Marinelife Center

 

Right in our backyard is a leading ocean conservation organization: Loggerhead Marinelife Center (LMC).

 

This nonprofit does research, rehabilitation and education on the endangered population of sea turtles. It's great to watch them grow as they expand “out-of-the-classroom” learning programs in Palm Beach County and beyond.

 

As our February member spotlight, we asked Amanda Moore from the Center to explain her organization’s mission and programs in more details. We also asked her to share how the Center has relied on Nonprofits First’s workshops and services to help it become a stronger organization.

 

 

What is Loggerhead Marinelife Center?

 

Amanda Moore: Loggerhead Marinelife Center (LMC) is a nonprofit sea turtle research, rehabilitation and educational institution that promotes conservation of ocean ecosystems with a focus on threatened and endangered sea turtles. The Center features an on-site hospital, research laboratory, educational exhibits and aquariums.

 

The Center’s conservation team works with 90 local and international organizations across six continents to form partnerships and share conservation initiatives and best practices that are core to its mission of ocean conservation.

 

The Center is expanding and has launched its Waves of Progress capital expansion campaign, designed to accelerate and amplify LMC’s conservation and education impact. 

 

Tell us about your programs/tours.  

 

Amanda Moore: LMC's Education programs aim to empower and inspire individuals to engage in the conservation of the world's ocean by providing STEM-based knowledge and resources to take responsible action. Our education programs are designed for individuals of all ages and demographics. To accommodate a larger audience, our team offers programs and tours in ASL and English.

 

Designed as “out-of-the-classroom” learning experiences, our programs take guests into the field to understand South Florida’s natural ecosystems, including hammock and dunes. Throughout the week, guests can enjoy tours of the Center through our Public Guided Tours, Public Guided Tours - Evenings, Private Guided Tours, and Virtual Tours. In the Summer, guests have the opportunity to participate in engaging programs, such as Sea Turtle Walks, Hatchling Releases, Hatchling Feedings, and Sunrise Nest Excavations. 

 

What’s new at your organization?

 

Amanda Moore: In January, LMC launched its inaugural Hike2O event in partnership with the Florida Trail Association. Participants set foot on the Ocean to Lake trail, which connects Lake Okeechobee to the ocean. Guided by trail experts from LMC and the Florida Trail Association – Loxahatchee Chapter, participants hiked through some of the most iconic ecosystems of South Florida. The three-day, 2-night backcountry benefit supports marine conservation and education outreach to non-coastal schools across South Florida and promotes environmental stewardship of Florida’s fresh and saltwater systems.

 

In addition to this new event, LMC continues to add programming for individuals of all ages and demographics. 

 

Why do you support Nonprofits First?

 

Amanda Moore: Nonprofits First is a great addition to the community, the organization empowers nonprofit organizations to excel by providing resources and professional development opportunities. The workshops are designed to provide actionable tools to the nonprofits and focus on issues related to finance, fundraising, and training.

 

The organization provides support to our South Florida communities and helps amplify the impact of the work of nonprofits. With the assistance of Nonprofits First, local nonprofits can thrive, expand and enhance their mission.

 

Learn more about the Center here.

 

If you know a great story about a local nonprofit, please share it with Charlotte Gill, Nonprofits First’s director of development and business strategies. Her email is: cgill@nonprofitsfirst.org

Photo courtesy of Loggerhead Marinelife Center

Tags:  Charities  Education  Membership  Nonprofit  Science  Storytelling 

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January Spotlight: Fushu Daiko (Japan Arts, Inc.)

Posted By Charlotte Gill, Thursday, January 30, 2020

January Spotlight: Fushu Daiko (Japan Arts, Inc.)

 

This month, Nonprofits First is focusing our member spotlight on a world many of us aren’t familiar with: traditional Japanese performing arts.

 

Fushu Daiko (Japan Arts Inc) educates and enriches our community through performances, classes, workshops, and outreach programs related to the experience of taiko drumming. 

 

There’s a lot to learn and understand, so we asked Ben Miller, executive director of

Fushu Daiko, to explain his organization and its mission in Palm Beach County and beyond.

 

 

1)  What does Fushu Daiko do?

 

Ben Miller: Fushu Daiko educates and enriches the South Florida community by presenting traditional Japanese performing arts in a modern and innovative form that is unique to South Florida - reflecting the multicultural make-up of our ensemble and the South Florida culture in which we live. In performances, classes, workshops, and community outreach programs, we promote healthy individuals and connected communities through the energetic experience of taiko drumming. 

 

2)  How popular are your classes? 

 

Ben Miller: Our classes surge in popularity during our festival season from January to April. During this time, many people see us for the first time and become interested in learning taiko for themselves. 

 

We hold ongoing taiko training for adults at our South Florida Taiko Dojo in Davie. Classes are held on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays. Class size ranges from six to 15 drummers.

 

People can sign up for a free intro class by visiting our website:

http://www.fushudaiko.org/classes.php

 

After their free intro, we encourage them to drop in to our basic taiko class for a $20 fee.  

 

3) Why is it important for people to learn about traditional Japanese drumming?

 

Ben Miller: The nature of Taiko Drumming itself offers many healing and spiritual benefits. The effects created by entraining rhythms within and between the drummers and audiences enhance and align biorhythms. This strengthens the immune system, releases toxins, and helps to increase a state of wellbeing. Taiko drummers find practicing and performing can be a great stress relief.  Audience members often report experiencing emotional releases and being moved to tears by the taiko performance. 

By practicing taiko drumming, communication skills are also improved and self-confidence in built. The strenuous physical activity that taiko requires keeps the muscles in shape and helps to release pent up or unresolved emotions. The joyful celebratory nature of taiko drumming helps to lift the spirits of those who are in the presence of the spectacle and vibrations. 

 

4) Why did you become a member of Nonprofits First?

 

Ben Miller: We joined Nonprofits First because we are a young and developing nonprofit in need of all the support we can get.  Nonprofits First give us the confidence and resources to expand our fundraising efforts, grow our capacity to serve, and strength our existing organization. They also happen to be a really nice group of people who are enthusiastic about their mission. 

 

 Learn more about Fushu Daiko here.

 

If you know a great story about a local nonprofit, please share it with Charlotte Gill, Nonprofits First’s director of development and business strategies. Her email is: cgill@nonprofitsfirst.org

 Attached Thumbnails:

Tags:  Arts  Cultural Council  Culture  Japan Arts  Membership  Nonprofit  Palm Beach County  Storytelling 

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IRS Updates Filing Requirements for Exempt Organizations

Posted By Charlotte Gill, Wednesday, December 18, 2019

The Taxpayer First Act, enacted July 1, 2019, requires tax-exempt organizations to electronically file information returns and related forms. The new law affects tax-exempt organizations in tax years beginning after July 1, 2019.

 

The following IRS forms are included in the mandate:

• Form 990, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax.

• Form 990-PF, Return of Private Foundation or Section 4947(a)(1) Trust Treated as Private Foundation.

• Form 8872, Political Organization Report of Contributions and Expenditures.

• Form 1065, U.S. Return of Partnership Income (if filed by a Section 501(d) apostolic organization).

 

Those who previously filed paper forms will receive a letter from the IRS informing them of the change. Filing deadlines vary by form type. The IRS will postpone the required e-filing of Form 990-EZ for one year, while optional e-filing continues to be available. Although Forms 990-T and 4720 will come under the e-filing requirement next year, the IRS will continue to accept these forms on paper pending conversion to electronic format.

Form 8872

The IRS will no longer accept paper Forms 8872 reporting on periods after 2019. Forms 8872 reporting information for periods starting on or after Jan. 2020, will be due electronically by Section 527 organizations. These include political parties, political action committees and campaign committees of candidates for federal, state or local office.

Among other requirements, most tax-exempt political organizations have a requirement to file semiannual, quarterly or monthly reports on Form 8872. To file electronically, the organization must have the username and password it received from the IRS after electronically filing its initial notice (Form 8871). Organizations can file electronically using the IRS website at IRS.gov/polorgs. To replace a username or password, please contact:

IRS

Attn: Request for 8872 Password

Mail Stop 6273,

Ogden, UT 84201 Fax (855) 214-7520

Form 990 & 990-PF E-filing

Under the legislation, most e-filings won’t be due before Dec. 15, 2020, from charities and other exempt organizations that generally file Form 990 or 990-PF by the 15th day of the 5th month after the tax year-end. In other words, Forms 990 and 990-PF with tax years ending July 31, 2020, and later MUST be filed electronically. Forms 990 and 990-PF filings for tax years ended on or before June 30, 2020, may still be on paper. In the case of a short tax year or certain other circumstances detailed in the 990 or 990-PF Instructions, the IRS will continue to accept paper filing as its systems are yet unable to receive these forms electronically. More information on software providers is available at https://www.irs.gov/e-file-providers/exempt-organizations-mef-providers.

Form 990-EZ Transition Relief

For small exempt organizations, the legislation specifically allowed a postponement (“transitional relief”). For tax years ending on or before July 31, 2020, the IRS will accept either paper or electronic filing of Form 990-EZ, Short Form Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax. For tax years ending Aug. 31, 2020, and later, Forms 990-EZ must be filed electronically. Generally, Form 990-EZ is for organizations with annual gross receipts less than $200,000 and total assets at tax year-end less than $500,000.

Paper Forms 990-T & 4720

In 2020, the IRS will continue to accept paper forms. These include Form 990-T, Exempt Organization Business Income Tax Return, and Form 4720, Return of Certain Excise Taxes Under Chapters 41 and 42 of the Internal Revenue Code. The IRS plans to have these returns ready for e-filing in 2021 (reporting on tax year 2020).

Pre-existing E-file Rules

In effect, the legislation supersedes the pre-existing e-file regulation for large exempt organizations. Until tax years beginning after July 1, 2019, exempt organizations with total assets of $10 million or more at tax year-end that had filed 250 or more returns of any type during the calendar year were required to e-file Forms 990 and 990-PF. E-filing was also required of Form 8872 filers that had or expected more than $50,000 of contributions or expenditures in the calendar year. These prior rules will continue to apply to some e-filings made in 2020.

Form 1065 E-filing

For most Section 501(d) apostolic organizations which use Form 1065, the e-filing legislation won’t apply to returns due before Oct. 15, 2020. Generally, the Form 1065 deadline is the 15th day of the 3rd month after the tax year-end. Appropriate software is offered by the providers listed on the IRS 1065 MeF Providers web-site.

Taxpayer First Act

The Taxpayer First Act aims to expand and strengthen taxpayer rights and to reform the IRS into a more taxpayer friendly agency. The legislation requires the agency to develop a comprehensive customer service strategy, modernize its technology and enhance its cyber security. More information on the Taxpayer First Act is available at IRS.gov.

________________________________________

If you have a technical or procedural question about Exempt Organizations, visit the Charities and Nonprofits homepage on www.IRS.gov. 

If you have a specific question about exempt organizations, call EO Customer Account Services at 877-829-5500.

Tags:  Accounting  Charities  Finance  IRS  Nonprofit  Reporting  Taxes 

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