Member-Run Consulting Collective Launches To Help Mission-Driven Businesses and Business-Savvy Organizations Do Well By Doing Good

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Nov. 9, 2015 /PRNewswire/ – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:Social Intrapreneurs was founded this month by a consortium of social-venture contractors, consulting firms and investor members across the United States and Canada, who are improving their services to social entrepreneurs end expanding their reach globally by banding together and sharing resources and creative synergy. From legal structuring to launch, the collective […]

Why Are Charities Tax-Exempt?

Charitable organizations are eligible to be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. This is based on a common belief that giving to charities is good for society. However, with ever increasing reports of corruption and fraud, very large amounts of monies tied up in endowment funds of universities and foundations, and cries of unfair competition by taxable for-profits, some […]

Seven Strategy Questions: Nonprofit Edition

Seven Strategy Questions by Harvard b-school professor Robert Simons is a good guide to keeping boards of directors focused on strategy and planning. This is critical because the primary value a board provides is strategic direction.

His book is understandably focused on the for-profit corporate world, so I thought it would be useful to pose his seven questions and provide my […]

When You Don’t Disclose Salary Range on A Nonprofit Application

Hi everyone. Today, while driving past a pizza place, I noticed something: The dude who normally stood at the corner wearing a toga and spinning a giant arrow sign pointing the way to the shop had been replaced by what looked like a cardboard cutout. It was holding the giant arrow, but the sign was hooked to a spinning machine. And I […]

I’m Founding A Nonprofit: Should I Pay Myself?

Some leaders want to get their organization off the ground, demonstrate impact, and validate their worth without draining resources during the critical early stages. Others may believe that the organization’s ultimate success (and their ultimate payoff) will increase if they hold off and leverage all resources toward growth.

But sometimes even after an organization has stabilized, founders take no funds or […]

How To Prevent Fraud in Charities

Some frauds are quite audacious and yet quite simple. It is common for the building company undertaking work on your premises to put up advertising hoarding to announce their presence. Fraudsters have been contacting the client (often a school or university) to advise them of a change in bank details for the building company. A neat way to divert funds […]

Wal-Mart Tapped Charity Critics Complain

A collection of labor and community groups filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service accusing Wal-Mart Stores Inc’s charitable foundation of violating its tax exempt status by using donations in an attempt to facilitate store openings in urban areas.

In the complaint, dated Monday and addressed to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, the group claims the Walmart Foundation made donations to […]

Leading Together for Greater Impact

Philanthropy is demonstrating leadership by coming together, pooling resources and capitalizing on our own institutional strengths. I call this process Leading Together.

By organizing around a foundation’s core strengths and by embracing the best thinking from the nonprofit sector, scholarship, science and business, we will be able to have a much greater impact as a community of funders than we will […]

Massachusettes’ ‘Food Rescue’ Distributes Discarded Produce To Charities

At a time when so much perfectly edible food is wasted, more and more efforts are being made to address the issue – but the question remains of how to get “rescued” food that would have otherwise been discarded to the people who need it most.

That’s where a group like Food For Free, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based nonprofit, steps in.

Through its […]

The Red Cross Raised Half A Billion Dollars for Haiti ­and Built Six Homes

In late 2011, the Red Cross launched a multimillion-dollar project to transform the desperately poor area, which was hit hard by the earthquake that struck Haiti the year before. The main focus of the project — called LAMIKA, an acronym in Creole for “A Better Life in My Neighborhood” — was building hundreds of permanent homes.

Today, not one home has […]

Professional Development in The Social Sector

In the process, we learned a lot about social sector organizations, which often have the freedom to explore unorthodox approaches but have limited resources for trial and error. They typically face learning challenges that demand creative solutions, including alternatives for professional development.

Most traditional companies offer employees some form of professional development programming. Employers often work with staff to set goals […]

Explaining The FIFA Corruption Arrests

The world awoke Wednesday morning to the news that a number of high-ranking FIFA officials had been arrested by Swiss authorities in a Zürich hotel, and were facing extradition to the USA on charges of racketeering, money laundering and wire fraud.

And there’s more. A few hours later, the Swiss announced that they had also been busy with their own investigation, […]

Cancer Charities Accused of Stealing $187 Million from Donors

Four charities that claimed to be helping cancer patients were actually lining the pockets of their executives, the Federal Trade Commission said in a complaint filed against the Cancer Fund of America, Children’s Cancer Fund of America, the Breast Cancer Society, and Cancer Support Services.

In one of the largest charity fraud cases ever filed, the executives stand accused of stealing […]

Are Nonprofits Getting in the Way of Social Change?

According to the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, business as usual isn’t enough to deliver the results we need. “The nature of our times is such that the magnitude and degree of complexity of our challenges exceed the capacity of any one sector to resolve,” said Stephen Huddart, McConnell’s president and CEO. To support transformation of the nonprofit sector, McConnell created […]

10 Issues To Address in Your Nonprofit’s Social Media Policy

Copyright and trademark infringement.  Tip: understand the fair use doctrine.  Trap: expecting attribution to offer protection against charges of infringement.
Fundraising and foreign state registration requirements. Tip: check out The Unified Registration Statement.  Trap: disregarding registration laws and their application to funds raised through social media (see the Charleston Principles).
Events and foreign state qualifications to do business.  Tip: think about whether you are responsible […]

Miley Cyrus’ New Nonprofit Helps Homeless, LGBT Youth

When Miley Cyrus wears pasties or posts photos of her pink armpits, it’s not to be a provocateur. The 22-year-old says she’s just being herself, and she wants all young people to have that same opportunity.

That’s why she’s launching the Happy Hippie Foundation to help homeless and LGBT youth, adding that not all her past relationships were “straight, heterosexual” ones. […]

The Supply and Demand of Diversity and Inclusion

The question I am asked most frequently—after “Vu, have you tried using Proactiv?”—is “Vu, would you consider joining so-and-so board/committee? If not, can you connect me to other leaders of color who might be interested?” Apparently, everyone is having a hard time finding people of color for their board of directors and 80’s-karaoke-night planning team.

There are tons of reports and […]

When Is In-Kind Giving Tax-Deductible?

The IRS regulations when it comes to gifts in kind can be confusing.  But they’re well worth leveraging.  As noted by Brian Mittendorf, Professor of Accounting and MIS at The Ohio State University Fisher School of Business, “The IRS rules are such that a company is likely to see greater tax benefits from donating inventory than from donating cash.”

With that […]