Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Nonprofit Hub - The Top 10 Articles of 2013

What is it about Top 10 lists? We can't let January escape us without pulling out one of the interesting nonprofit Top 10 lists we received. Here are the article titles and you can link through at the bottom. Perfect for that freezing winter day when you can't or don't want to do any real work.

1. 7 Tips on Asking for Donations-It's Intimidating, We Get It
2. Nonprofit Mission Statements-Good and Bad Examples
3. Why Online Fundraising is the Future [INFOGRAPHIC]
4. The Top 4 Nonprofit Social Media Campaigns of 2013 (And What You Can
5. 7 Steps to Compelling Staff Bios on Your Nonprofit Website
6. These 12 Ways to Thank Donors Will Keep Them from Saying Goodbye
7. The Art of Storytelling Through Nonprofit Website Design
8. 15 Ways to Transform Your Board of Directors into Fundraising Champions
9. 10 Grant Writing Mistakes That'll Cost You the Mother Lode
10. The Anatomy of an Ask [INFOGRAPHIC]

Check out www.nonprofithub.org.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

CEO Survival: Don’t Get Ahead of Your Board

(The Nonprofit Times)

The first commandment of CEO survival is to never to get too far out in front of the board of directors because they too have a responsibility to shape the future. But you do need to be a little ahead of them . . . Just not so much that they notice and get offended.

If you’re confused, you’re not alone. Most veteran nonprofit CEOs have a sack full of stories about interactions with their board. One of the mistakes that is most frustrating — and potentially damaging — is getting too far ahead of a board of directors. The result is the collapse of a seemingly promising idea or policy change, and possibly a severe dent in the CEO’s credibility.

What follows are some thinking points to help negotiate this always treacherous interpersonal whitewater. Click through to read the full detail of these various issues.

· Too far out on growth

· Too creative

· Acting before deliberating

· Too risky

It’s a structural dilemma, but most of the pathways to success are based on the second commandment of CEO survival: Lead with ideas, later talk about plans.

Full article.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Summary of Practices from the 2013 AFP Liquidity Study

by Dave Voris of Horizon Bank

Current interest rates are pretty lean in terms of what any corporation or Not-for-Profit can earn on investments. Yet, here I am a banker, obviously interested in building the Not-for-Profit business at Horizon, who is writing an article targeted toward Not-for-Profit investment activities. So, what am I to say and what is the Not-for-Profit community supposed to believe within the above context? Thus, I'll simply follow Horizon Bank?s tagline of Exceptional Service and Sensible Advice to discuss important issues exactly like I teach my undergraduate finance students at the Kelley School of Business on the IUPUI campus. Moreover, we also have some recent research called the 2013 Liquidity Study published by the Association of Financial Professionals to help complement my comments.

The summary conclusions for Not-for-Profit organizations as gleaned from 885 respondents in the 2013 Association of Financial Professionals? Liquidity Study may be helpful: 
- Safety of principal was reported as the driving principle of the respondents? investment strategies with 68 percent indicating that safety is the most important short-term investment objective.
- Liquidity, which may be defined as having access to cash based upon an organization?s need to meet either planned or unplanned obligations, actually experienced a material shift as an investment policy objective. In the 2013 AFP Liquidity Study, 29 percent of respondents indicated their organization?s most important cash investment policy objective is liquidity, which is an increase from 18 percent in 2011.
- Yield has remained a distant third as a short-term investment policy objective with only two percent of the respondents reporting this as the most important investment policy objective.

Additional Findings from the 2013 AFP Liquidity Study:
- About 75% of organizations have a written document defining their policies for short term investments, and about 84% of those organizations with investment policies review them on some type of regular basis.
- 50 percent of short-term investment balances are maintained in bank deposits, which include non-interest bearing deposits, time deposits, structured bank deposit products, and structured certificates of deposit.
- 74 percent of short-term investment balances are maintained in what is generally described as three safe and liquid investment instruments: bank deposits (defined above), Money Market Funds (MMFs), and U. S. Treasury securities.

This is the first in series of articles written to provide insights on making wise investment decisions and the tough choices your nonprofit is facing in this low interest rate environment.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Welcome Charitable Allies!

We are excited to have Charitable Allies join our sponsor team. Charitable Allies is a 501c3 nonprofit that was created to provide affordable legal services and support to nonprofits. Whether you are in startup mode, have an HR issue, are considering a merger or closure or have another legal need, we encourage you to explore what they have to offer. www.CharitableAllies.org

New Year Brings Internal Assessments for Nonprofits

By Zachary S. Kester, JD, LLM, CFRM, at Charitable Allies

Every year in January many nonprofit organizations wisely take time to regroup and assess what worked and what didn’t in the previous year. Now is also an excellent time to review compliance requirements that some nonprofits inadvertently overlook.

This checklist can be very helpful in making sure your organization is off to a good start. Taking the time to assess your organization is a valuable tool enabling you to avoid distracting inquiry letters from regulatory agencies as well as awkward conversations among nonprofit management and boards of directors.

Through this annual assessment process, many organizations find at least one issue that they need to address. But many nonprofit managers and board members don’t know where to go for cost-effective, experienced and sophisticated legal advice. They should consider Charitable Allies, a 501(c)(3) educational charity and public interest law firm for nonprofits.

With highly experienced legal, accounting and training personnel, Charitable Allies (www.charitableallies.org ) provides all manner of legal and educational services for boards, officers management and staff of myriad charities throughout the sector. From basic one-time questions about a single matter to training for boards and officers to complex reorganization or merger of activities, Charitable Allies is your go-to cost-effective provider of legal services to nonprofit organizations.

You can contact Zac Kester, Executive Director, at 317-429-1649 or zkester@charitableallies.org.