Friday, October 5, 2012

Webinar: Streamlining Finances And Preventing Fraud With Cloud Computing

UPDATE: Thanks to everyone who attended today's webinar. If you missed the event, you can view the slides and recording on our online library.

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Along with the American Marketing Association, Intacct Corporation, and Bill.com, The NonProfit Times is inviting you to attend a free webinar on October 5 at 12:00 PM CDT: "How to Streamline Finances and Prevent Fraud with Cloud Computing."

Are you struggling with financial reporting and analysis? Are excel driven manual processes draining your accounting team’s productivity? Learn how organizations like yours are streamlining their finances and preventing fraud by migrating to cloud-based solutions.

Rene Lacerte, founder and CEO of Bill.com, and Vijay Ramakrishnan, director of product marketing at Intacct, will share their expertise on this topic with attendees. Together, they will explain how cloud-based financial systems will:

  • Reduce overhead in your finance and IT department;
  • Increase transparency and accountability; and,
  • Protect your organization from fraud.
All you have to do to attend this webinar is visit the sign-up page and register; there is no fee associated with the event.

Will Romney Cap Charitable Deduction?

During an interview Monday with a Fox affiliate in Colorado, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney suggested that, if elected, he would consider placing a $17,000 cap on charitable deductions for middle-class families.

As reported in The Wall Street Journal, Romney also said that this cap would be lower for wealthier individuals. The Republican candidate has previously stated that he would cut tax rates across the board by 20 percent, and would limit or end other tax breaks as a way to pay for this change. His new focus on deductions would be another way to generate revenue to pay for the tax breaks.

"You could use your charitable deduction, your home-mortgage deduction, or others—your health-care deduction, and you can fill that bucket, if you will, that $17,000 bucket that way," Romney told Fox affiliate KDVR in Denver. "And higher-income people might have a lower number."

Romney is not alone in proposing limits on charitable deduction. President Barack Obama has repeatedly tried to cap it at 28 percent for families with more than $250,000 in annual income. The attempt has been met with heavy resistance from leaders in the nonprofit sector, who argue that it would cause individuals to give less to charities. In The NonProfit Times' "Platform for the Nonprofit Sector," 22 nonprofit executives once again urged both candidates to avoid caps on charitable deduction.

According to data from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), about 30 percent of Americans who file tax returns itemize their deductions. The average break for those who itemized in 2009 was around $26,000. In his 2011 tax returns, Romney claimed $2.25 million in charitable deductions.

You can read the full story in The Wall Street Journal.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Study: Planned Giving Donors In Unlikely Places

A new study by the Stelter Company in Des Moines, Iowa revealed that nonprofits may need to reinvent the way they go searching for planned giving donors.

The report 2012 Stelter Donor Insight Report, revealed that of the 401 individuals surveyed, one-fifth say they had never donated to the nonprofit at the time of their planned gift. Another 20 percent said they had been donating to the nonprofit for less than five years. This seems to indicate that a significant portion of donors are defying the traditional loyalty model ascribed to planned givers.

"This was one of the findings that we think is key to unlocking success for nonprofits," said Bev Hutney, Stelter's director of innovation and research, in a press release. "For example, just introducing the topic of planned giving much earlier in the conversation and targeting a wider group of people than what they do currently could really make a significant difference for a charitable organization,”

Another surprising aspect of the Stelter Study was the revelation that the individuals who are most likely to make a planned gift are adults aged 40 to 49. Specifically, 40 percent of Americans in that age range say they will "definitely or probably" make a planned gift, while only 10 percent of those aged 70 and older say the same.

Below are additional findings that came from the Study:
  • The South has emerged as an increasingly lucrative market for nonprofits, with 29 percent of best prospects and 20 percent of current planned givers.
  • In terms of political leanings, a greater percentage of planned givers are registered Republicans (39 percent) than Democrats (25 percent). But of the best prospects, 33 percent are Democrats while only 24 percent are Republicans.
  • Never-married singles make up only 13 percent of current planned givers, but they represent 23 percent of best prospects.
You can download the full version of the 2012 Donor Insight Report on Stelter's website.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Top 10 Tips For Finding A Nonprofit Job

Looking for a nonprofit job? You're not alone, unfortunately, which means you will have your work cut out for you.

Just because it's hard doesn't mean it's impossible, however. The NonProfit Times has a variety of resources to help job seekers, including our career center, Jobs blog, and our weekly Jobs eNewsletter. All of these are deisgned to make finding a job easier, but they aren't the only answers.

Tom Friel, the retired chairman and chief executive officer of Heidrick & Struggles International, recently spoke to Bridgestar, an initiative of the Bridgespan Group, and offered up his top 10 tips for finding a nonprofit job:

  • Do a thorough and honest assessment of your motivations, skills and capabilities, and record them.
  • Decide very specifically what you want to do and make sure your qualifications match the job requirements. 
  • Learn who the key players are at your target organizations and find a way to get in front of them. 
  • Consider an interim path to your goal if necessary, such as consulting, temporary assignments, internships or volunteering. 
  • Use your personal network smartly and efficiently. It is larger than you think. 
  • Recognize that most people will want to help you, but they won't do your homework for you. 
  • Get connected with recruiters and other intermediaries who are specifically involved in the searches that fit your capabilities and objectives. 
  • When preparing for a meeting, think about the needs of the person with whom you're meeting. Over time. if you help your contacts, they will help you. 
  • When given an interview, prepare thoroughly and ask thoughtful questions. 
  • When your job search is completed, thank the people who helped you. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

5 Reasons Your Nonprofit Needs To Go Mobile

Remember when the only thing a cell phone could do was make calls? That seems like a foreign idea these days, with smartphones dominating the mobile landscape. These devices can not only make phone calls, they can also send text messages, take pictures, and surf the Internet.

That last point is of particular importance for nonprofits, as users now have on-the-go access to their websites. Yet unless your site is designed for mobile, it won't be too appealing to the eye. If you haven't yet optimized your website for mobile use don't worry, it's not as hard as it sounds.

As Heather Mansfield explained in her book "Social Media for Social Good," updated technology has made it easier than ever to stream mobile websites. She listed five reasons that your nonprofit needs to get to work on creating a mobile site:

  • To improve group text messaging campaigns: Linking web pages on which readers can “Learn More” or “Take Action” need to be designed so that they can be read quickly and efficiently on smartphones.
  • Making smartphone apps more functional: Make sure that the navigation of the website is easily readable on a smartphone being that it’s a small screen. Polish everything to make it easy for the viewer.
  • Empower QR code campaigns: If nonprofits are asking supporters to use smartphones to scan a QR code that links to a webpage, a QR code needs to be implemented to link to a mobile site.
  • Improve location-based community campaigns: Giving the viewers a mobile site where they can see lists of places, checks-ins, and venues, offers them an opportunity to follow the campaign through the community.
  • To optimize search engine browsing: Customize the key search terms for maximum optimization for search engines. The mobile browsers are hungry for new content, so jump on the bandwagon.

Monday, October 1, 2012

The October 1 Issue Of The NonProfit Times

This has been a pretty busy Monday for The NonProfit Times. Not only have we released our Platform for the Nonprofit Sector video, but our October 1 issue has also been unveiled. Below is a brief look at the content you can expect to find in this month's edition:

Special Report

  • Exclusive NPT Research: Donors who send in a check after receiving a direct mail appeal are less likely to go online to checkout the charity than they were four years ago, according to exclusive research done by NPT in conjunction with Opinion Research Corporation.
Articles
  • Watchdog Barks Louder On Cost Allocation IssuesA move by one of the nonprofit sector’s watchdog organizations is being described as going back to the “dark ages” when it comes to nonprofit accounting.
  • Nonprofit Gamer Finds Healing In ChangeGames can do a lot. For Jane McGonigal, a game saved her life. After a concussion that didn't heal property in 2009, McGonigal said that for months she felt like dying, fearing that she’d never get better, that the pain would never end.
  • Health Charities Try To Keep The Competition Friendly: This article details how the chase for charitable donations pits health charities against each other. Organizations studied include Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson Research, and Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Column
  • Wrong Number: Nick Starvaz, president of Synergy Direct Marketing Solutions in Akron, Ohio, lays out the case for tele-fundraising, defending the practice from a recently published article by Bloomberg Markets.