Monday, December 31, 2007

GIVE WELL GIVE OFTEN - NONPROFIT TREND OF THE WEEK

New Feature! Nonprofit Trend of the Week

Nonprofit Innovations


disclaimer: this is NOT a plug - please read to end of article for pro's and con's!

A friend introduced me to a for-profit product that dovetails well with nonprofit values. Produced by GiveWell.com , the product itself is called the "Healthcare Gift Card". There are pros and cons (discussed below), but first, what is it? Givewell bills itself as:

...a new way to help employees cover health and wellness costs. It is designed to encourage healthy living and staying well.

Employees can use it to cover a variety of healthcare costs including co-pays at doctor’s offices and pharmacies or for vision care, dental care, health club memberships and elective procedures at businesses that accept Visa debit cards.


Pros


Giftwell tells us that

Because the Healthcare Gift Card is targeted to work only with health and wellness providers, you can be assured your gift card will be used as a “gift of health.”

Better than giving someone cash and worrying that they'll use it on something less necessary? Hmmm...this may also be a "Con". Is a massage more necessary than gas or groceries? Can individuals not be trusted to use cash (or cash equivalents) for something they need? Is the glass half empty or half full here?

Cons

It's worrisome that a card like this can only exist in a country that doesn't provide adequate health care in the first place. Might it not be like saying "here, I know you're poor and can't afford to go to the dentist, so here's a little reminder of that"?

More worrisome is a hidden charge. After nine months if the card hasn't been used, the purchased starts incurring a monthly charge. That's kind of insane, I wouldn't want to give out a card unless I was darn sure it was going to be fully used!

The real evil here is that the stats show most folks don't use (or fully use) the gift cards they receive, perhaps Givewell's business model is based on this premise (not on the actual sale of the cards)...

But before we throw the baby out with the bathwater...there is some intriguing kernel of information here. Could you sell the card (at a markup) as a fundraiser? Could you set up to accept these cards (fee for service?) and have your donors decide who to give them to?

I think there's something here, but as always, let the buyer beware.


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Saturday, December 22, 2007

THE REVISED 990: IT'S HEEEERE!

You've been waiting for it (dreading it?) and now it's here. Get ready, the IRS has announced the release of the revised Form 990 (complete with schedules A - R)! How many years have we been hearing the rumblings about excessive compensation? about professional fundraisers? about risk management? about enhanced transparency? Well, the pavement has met the road folks. Read the IRS announcement here.
Effective for the 2008 tax year (returns filed in 2009), the revised form will be phased in over a three year period for smaller organizations.
The revision reflects many changes since the draft was released (the IRS received more than 650 public comments!!!)

For the 2008 tax year (returns filed in 2009), organizations with gross receipts over $1.0 million or total assets over $2.5 million will be required to file the Form 990. For the 2009 tax year (returns filed in 2010), organizations with gross receipts over $500,000 or total assets over $1.25 million will be required to file the Form 990... Also, starting with the 2010 tax year, the IRS will increase the filing threshold for organizations required to file Form 990-N (the e-postcard) from $25,000 to $50,000.

You can find the 2008 Form 990, comments, etc. on the IRS Charities and Nonprofits web site.


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Friday, December 21, 2007

NONPROFIT GOVERNMENT GRANTS - THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

I came across this item in OMB's comments to the IRS (in response to the revised 990):
Federal agencies provide over $450 billion in government grants annually; a substantial portion of which goes to nonprofit organizations.

No deep thoughts today, just this: That's BILLIONS not millions. That's a lot of change. Let's use it to make a difference!



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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

28 DAYS FOR CHARITABLE GIVING (Oh...and Merry Christmas)

Leave it to a nonprofit accountant to write about tax-time instead of Christmas Cheer and Silver Bells! Seems like only yesterday I was writing about holiday fundraising appeals, but it turns out another year has flown by!

Here's a re-cap on tax-exempt giving:

The Nonprofit Eye on IRS Regs, Tis The Season to Be Giving

sixtyPercent on the great Tax Advantages of Giving Gifts of Stock

Beth Kanter's posts on Fundraising Widgets and on Donor Documentation

and let's not forget the IRS's own roundup of Tax-Exempt Giving

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Monday, December 03, 2007

NONPROFIT JOB HUNTING

Following the old adage "write about what you know", today's focus is job hunting!

One great part of working in the nonprofit sector is how many industry specific job rags there are to choose from. If you asked me where to look I'd say (in no particular order): "Opportunity Nocs, Nonprofit Oyster, Idealist, Chronicle of Philanthropy".

But there is so much more:
Idealist.org A project of Action Without Borders, global clearinghouse of nonprofit resources, including jobs, internships, mailing lists, and nonprofit resources by state & country.
Opportunity NOCS
A resource for nonprofit jobs and employment opportunities.
Nonprofit Oyster
Offers job postings for meaningful career opportunities, and the ability for job seekers to post their profiles online for employers to access. They donate 5% of their profits to support nonprofits whose missions are particularly close to their hearts.
Craig's List, Nonprofit Jobs
Bay Area based community bulletin board, that posts nonprofit job openings by city and/or country from all over the world now.
Social Work and Social Services Jobs Online
jobs in social work, counseling, psychology, sociology, mental health, case management, employee assistance, volunteer management, substance abuse treatment, domestic violence, community development, mentoring, youth development, child welfare, developmental disabilities and all other areas of social services

Young Nonprofit Professionals Network Career Centre Job listings are geared toward professionals in the beginning of their nonprofit careers. Focus on San Francisco's Bay Area.
Nonprofit Jobs Nonprofit jobs and executive employment listings. Special e-mail lists for New York City, Washington DC, Los Angeles Boston, and San Francisco

Deep Sweep
a large selection of nonprofit jobs listed in one place for free. Resource linking nonprofit professionals to outstanding career opportunities.
Foundation Center/Philanthropy News Digest Job Corner
30-50 new jobs added weekly, mostly development positions, but other nonprofit jobs are posted as well. EJob Alert available.
Nonprofit Career Network
Provides job and volunteer listings, resume posting, and nonprofit directory.
Nonprofit Jobs Cooperative
A collaboration of nonprofit management centers from across the United States . One-stop source for nonprofit jobs from coast to coast. CA jobs tend to be mainly in Southern CA .
Young Nonprofit Professionals Network
Posts jobs with Bay Area nonprofit organizations, searchables by job title, position type, organization type, and/or Bay Area region.

DotOrgJobs.com- An employment resource for the non-profit world, featuring job openings at foundations and non-profit organizations.
Access: Networking In The Public Interest-Employment opportunities in Nonprofit Organizations around the US. Updated daily. Includes Full time, Volunteer and Internship Opportunities. Nonprofit Career Fairs and Expos.

Human Services Career Network - United States-focused service matching professionals and employers in the social service sector. Databases of resumes and positions are available.
Nonprofit Career Network - Resource center for individuals seeking jobs in the nonprofit sector. Post your resume on-line and search a database of job listings and job fairs.

Professionals for Nonprofits - A staffing company that specializes in providing permanent and temporary staff to nonprofits. Extensive job listings.

Nonprofit Jobs & Executive Search - Nonprofit executive, senior management and fundraising jobs and executive searches conducted by recruiters, headhunters, and employers in the nonprofit, government, health, higher education, human rights, social services, advocacy and public sectors.
LifeWorth- Online information service about careers in progressive business, global candidate search and selection service, and seminars, workshops and publications on professional development. Only useful if looking for international jobs (UK, Dubai, Canada)
Check out the latest additions to the job search list.

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