Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tell Us How Your Nonprofit is Doing (Update to Spring 2009 Survey)

As our long-time readers know, we see one of our key roles as helping to inform our nonprofit community about what other nonprofits are doing. As the general economy shows signs of emerging from the recession, we want to hear what you are seeing and doing as an update to our survey in the Spring of 2009. We really need your input by Friday, December 10.

Following is a short, 19 question, multiple choice survey. Most questions are focused on 2010 and plans for 2011 - with a few questions about what you have done since mid-2008 to deal with the recession.

Though some of the information may seem detailed, we have attempted to structure it so you can answer off the top of your head without any research. Don’t hesitate to skip a question. We would appreciate just one leader from your organization filling out the survey - Exec Dir/CEO/COO/CFO/Bd Chair or Treasurer.

Please complete our on-line survey by clicking here.

Thank you for your time,


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Nonprofits Rush to Solicit Donations via Text, but the System Is Flawed

The earthquake in Haiti was an “aha!” moment for nonprofits, demonstrating within hours the vast potential to raise money by text messaging.

Using a simple five-digit code and the word “Haiti,” the American Red Cross raised some $2 million in the first 24 hours after the devastating Jan. 12 earthquake — almost as much as was raised in the previous year by nonprofits with text-to-give programs in 2009.

Over all, the Red Cross pulled in more than $30 million by mobile phones for its work in Haiti, setting off a scramble among nonprofits to figure out a way to replicate that success.

“We got calls from thousands of nonprofits wanting to get started with mobile giving,” said James Eberhard, founder of Mobile Accord, whose subsidiary, mGive, was behind the Red Cross’s Haiti campaign.

Read the entire article.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Form 990 Tax Return Is More Than Numbers - BKD Insights Archive

The Form 990 is prepared by not-for-profit organizations to comply with IRS annual filing requirements. Your Form 990 also may be used to rank your organization against other organizations in your area and throughout the United States, comparing such items as spending on your mission, fundraising efficiency and organizational efficiency. A study of 30 metropolitan markets across the United States was just released, which ranked Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as the most charitable conscious city with a median score of 59.38. Baltimore, Maryland was ranked the least charitable conscious with a median score of 51.89. The national average was 55.68, with 70 being the highest possible score.

There are several organizations that evaluate charities, including the Better Business Bureau and Charity Watch, but the largest is Charity Navigator, a not-for-profit organization that evaluates charities and rates them based on organizational efficiency and growth capacity. These services are usually free to the public to view; all you need to do is sign up for an account.

Read the full article.

Questions? Contact Debi L. Ladyman, CPA, Partner at 317.383.4072 or
dladyman@bkd.com or Joe Vande Bosche, CPA, Partner at 317.383.4039 or jvandebosche@bkd.com.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Can Five Short Questions Change the Nonprofit World?

"I often get into discussions with my nonprofit clients about "What is success for your organization? What is the change you are trying to create?"

We know it can be hard to measure success and we know we must first define it for our organization. Here is a short article about a national initiative that hopes to gain traction in getting all of us to think more about the impact we create through our organizations. I'm not sure that these would be my five questions, but I absolutely support the end goal." Bryan

Independent Sector, BBB Wise Giving Alliance, and GuideStar USA are collaborating on an effort to get charities to answer five fundamental questions about how they operate. The very process of answering the questions could help charities with strategic planning or describing themselves more clearly to the public, say proponents of the effort, called "Charting Impact." If the idea catches hold, it could also provide a standardized framework through which to evaluate charities.

The five questions are:

* What is your organization aiming to accomplish?
* What are your strategies for making this happen?
* What are your organization's capabilities for doing this?
* How will your organization know if you are making progress?
* What have and haven't you accomplished so far?

The effort, supported by the Hewlett Foundation, is currently being tested
by a few dozen charities.

Read the full article.