Friday, July 12, 2013

Newtown Shootings Donations To Be Distributed

The community foundation formed after deadly school shootings in Newtown, Conn., has released its initial recommendations about how to distribute the donations received since its inception.

The Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation raised $11.4 million with the help of the United Way of Western Connecticut in the aftermath of the Dec. 14 shootings that left 26 dead, including 20 children. The foundation initially decided to distribute $7.7 million of those funds to the families and survivors, and created a committee to decide how to divvy up the remaining money.

According to a report on NPR, that committee, headed by Kenneth Feinberg and Camille Biros, announced its recommendations at a public forum Thursday at Newtown's Edmond Town Hall. They recommended the remaining $7.7 million be distributed as follows:
  • The 26 families of the deceased would each receive $281,000.
  • Two teachers who were injured would get $150,000 between them.
  • The 12 surviving children who witnessed the shootings would get $20,000 each.
While some praised the plan during the public forum, not everybody was satisfied. Caryn Kauffman, who represents a coalition of victims of prior mass shootings, asked during the meeting why the funds were not going to all of the victims.

"The intent was to give the money to the victims. We're starting from a false premise and this process is re-victimizing the victims," she said, according to the NPR report.

The $7.7 million is expected to be distributed on Aug. 16. You can read the full story on NPR's website.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Poor Fundraising Derails $28M NJ Community Center

Plans for a $28-million Jewish community center have been halted after fundraising for the project ran dry. Only six more weeks of construction were required.

According to a report in The Times of Trenton, plans for the community center, which was being built by the Jewish Community Campus (JCC) Council of Princeton Mercer Bucks, are likely finished as the organization has been unable to secure more funds.

“We’ve been trying to get this back on track,” Howard Cohen, president of the JCC, said in an interview with The Times. “So far, we haven’t succeeded, which means short of a miracle or something else, we can’t continue.”

Planning for the new community center began in 2006 after the old JCC, which is now the Ewing Senior and Community Center, was sold. The Council secured approval from the borough of West Windsor to build the 77,000-square-foot community center in 2007, the construction of which was made possible by using the money from the sale of the old JCC and by borrowing $11 million.

Since the Jewish community in West Windsor had been talking about a new community center for many years, Cohen told The Times he expected that donors would line up to contribute. The donations were not as plentiful as anticipated, however, and construction halted in mid-October when the JCC could no longer pay the construction bills.

According to the New Jersey Jewish News, the JCC is not only short on its construction funds, it also lacks the money to pay back the $11-million loan it received at the beginning of the project. Approximately $6 million of that loan is due in December.

While the Council is attempting to restart the project, Cohen said that he is not optimistic. “At this point, I’m not sure what kind of help there really is,” he said. “The odds are not in our favor.” He also noted that the property could soon go into foreclosure.

You can read the full story in The Times of Trenton.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Russia: Nonprofits Violated 'Foreign Agent' Law

Russian prosecutors announced Tuesday that 215 nonprofits working in the country have violated a recently passed law that places heavy restrictions on outside organizations.

Russia passed a law in November that, among other restrictions, requires organizations to register as "foreign agents" if they receive financing from overseas and are deemed to be engaging in political activities. According to a report in The New York Times, Yuri Chaika, Russia's general prosecutor, said that the 215 organizations named in his report received 6 billion rubles, or about $180 million, over a period of three years yet had violated various aspects of the law.

He noted that 22 of the groups continued to use overseas funds, which is forbidden by the law, while an additional 17 received funding through foreign embassies.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly accused foreign governments of using nonprofits to disrupt the country's political system but, in a statement on Tuesday, suggested Chaika show the groups some leniency.

“Analyze this practice to avoid errors and to see if any organization has been rated as a foreign agent, although it does not engage in politics,” he said, according to the news agency Interfax, The Times reported.

You can read the full story in The New York Times.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Making The Switch To Monthly Giving

Monthly giving programs are on fundraisers' radars these days as some nonprofits have found it to be a great source of revenue and engagement. That doesn't mean it's easy to switch to it when your nonprofit is already practicing annual giving.

During Fundraising Day in New York 2013, sponsored by the New York City chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), Valerie Arganbright of Appleby Arganbright and Jason Lott of Human Rights Campaign, discussed the challenges organizations can face when switching from annual to monthly giving. They warned that adopting a new fundraising method means learning a new way of doing business, which means you should learn the following rules:
  • Asking, who is the business owner for the monthly giving?
  • Deciding how and when revenue will be recognized.
  • A decision about monthly giving as the number one ask and one-time giving as the only other option.
  • Consistent branding.
Arganbright and Lott also said that nonprofits should make the following considerations when evaluating the pros and cons of a monthly giving campaign:
  • Monthly activation rates, particularly by channel;
  • Decline and attrition rates;
  • Average gift of new monthly donors by channel; and,
  • Actual performance against budget.

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Top 10 Nonprofit Jobs That Employ The Most People

According to a recent study by the Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society, nearly 7.4 percent of the world's workforce are employed at some type of nonprofit. The report doesn't state what types of jobs are the most popular, but that's exactly the kind of data The NonProfit Times' Salary and Benefits Reports has handy.

The Reports, released by NPT annually, contain data collected from over 1,000 nonprofit professionals through a survey conducted by Bluewater Nonprofit Services. This information is invaluable to organizations that are unsure whether their compensation packages are in-line with similar agencies.

The Reports also provide useful glimpse inside the nonprofit workforce, which includes the jobs that employ the most people. According to last year's data, the 10 most popular positions were:

  • Director Care Counselor -- 8.75 percent
  • Personal Attendant/Home Health Care Worker -- 4.54 percent
  • Case Manager, Mid-Level -- 3.59 percent
  • Program Manager -- 3.35 percent
  • Program Director -- 2.59 percent
  • Senior/Adult Program Assistant -- 2.55 percent
  • CEO/President/Executive Director -- 2.47 percent
  • Program Coordinator -- 2.22 percent
  • Teacher, Pre-School/Kindergarten -- 2.15 percent
  • Teaching Assistant, Pre-School/Kindergarten -- 2.14 percent
We are currently in the process of collecting data for our 2013 Reports, and recently extended the deadline for participants to complete their surveys to July 26th. Those who complete on-time will have a chance to win a free iPad Mini and will receive a complete executive summary of the survey results.

Start the 2013 Salary and Benefits Survey today and help all nonprofits with their financial needs.