Struggling to Measure Charitable Impact

For nonprofit leaders today, it’s no longer good enough to have programs and activities that are popular and apparently well-received or to have services that beneficiaries often use.  Recently, more and more funders are insisting that grant recipients demonstrate “impacts” of the funding they provide. That’s according to a recent “benchmarking survey,” Nonprofit Standards (June 2019), from BDO’s Institute for Read More

Philanthropy Thought Leaders: Climate Change

In Philanthropy Thought Leaders: Hot Topics (June 24, 2019), we explained how our online feeds each day bring us a continual flow of "tantalizing information; ... "intriguing articles and writings with a "philosophical 'big-ideas' tone." That June post highlighted a few of them discussing the nature and future of philanthropy itself. In More Thoughts from Philanthropy Thinkers (July 23, 2019), we included selected Read More

Wayfair: How Is It Affecting Nonprofits?

Wayfair is a giant retailer of home furnishings and decor that sells products online.  If you watch at least 15 minutes of television a day, you will have heard its ubiquitous jingle – “Wayfair, you’ve got what I need.” It’s a pleasant-enough tune but the sheer repetition all day every day turns it into a cloying, demonic, force eventually compelling you to log on to and look at lamps and area rugs you Read More

A New eDonor Bill of Rights

More than a quarter-century ago, the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) spearheaded an effort to create a list of “rights” to define and govern the important interactions between charitable donors and the organizations they choose to support financially.  Now, there's a new version for eDonors.  In 1993, AFP joined with the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), the Giving Institute: Read More

Overtime Regulations: Final … at Last!

Since the middle of 2016, we’ve reported on the fate of federal labor-law regulations championed by the Obama Administration that were designed to give a huge “raise” to many workers around the United States. These rules changed the formula that employers - for-profit and nonprofit alike - use to determine which employees are eligible for overtime pay for putting in more than a set number of hours in a day or Read More

Disclosure of Donors: Latest Update

If you aren’t clear about whether a tax-exempt organization must disclose its donors or not, the rest of us say: “Welcome to the club.”   It’s been a roller coaster ride of twists and turns for the past 18 months or so; confusion is the new normal on this issue. But now’s a good time to sum up what’s been going on, particularly because the federal government has just issued proposed new regulations that need Read More

Financial Quicksand for Nonprofits

From time to time, we report on the findings of surveys in the nonprofit sector including those related to financial issues. It’s important to stray, occasionally, from the (often confining) prism of commentary by experts, academics, and advisors to hear what the people in the trenches have to say. For instance, we’ve posted about the results of BoardSource’s 2017 “Leading With Intent” Survey as well as the Read More

Artificial Intelligence & Nonprofits: A Primer

Most people expect to understand and be comfortable with Artificial Intelligence (AI) about as soon as they conquer - say - ancient Sanskrit. It’s one more weird technology thing, many fear: a science fiction nightmare that will take over our lives or - worse still - replace us altogether. It’s tough to work up enthusiasm for, much less welcome, a scary new storm cloud like that rolling in from the Read More

A Sunsetting Foundation in Its Twilight Hours

In June 2017, in The “Sunsetting” Foundation: Trend of the Future? we wrote about the small but growing trend of foundations to “sunset”; that is, to choose to end activities and formal corporate existence by a certain date instead of going on “in perpetuity.”  When any corporation, for-profit or nonprofit, is formed, there is generally no mention at all of the duration of the entity. The default ending date for a Read More

Online Charitable Giving: Cal AG’s New Guide

In the past decade or so, charitable giving and fundraising have been turned upside by the swift and dramatic rise of the internet.  As quickly as new means of asking for and giving money to charity have developed, legislators and government officials have responded as swiftly as possible to keep up with developments in this brave new electronic world.  The individual states - rather than the Internal Revenue Read More