The GuideStar Blog retired September 9, 2019. We invite you to visit its replacement, the Candid Blog. You’re also welcome to browse or search the GuideStar Blog archives. Onward!

GuideStar Blog

Alternatives to Unemployment Taxes for 501(c)(3)s

Note: The following discussion is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to serve as legal or tax advice. For specific information about unemployment taxes for 501(c)(3) organizations, consult an attorney or tax advisor.

In all states, 501(c)(3) organizations are required to pay for unemployment claims in one of two ways: through state unemployment insurance tax (SUI) or as a reimbursing employer paying the state only for claims paid out to former employees.

Many nonprofit organizations still do not realize they have the second option. Here are the pros and cons of paying SUI taxes vs. reimbursing the state.

What to Keep in Mind When Considering On-line Tools for Your Event

Organizations holding fundraising events such as walks, auctions, and golf tournaments are using on-line tools to lower costs and minimize time spent tracking the details of attendance.

Are e-mail invitations and on-line registration right for your event? What is involved? Here are some things to consider:

Nonprofits' Three Greatest Challenges

To paraphrase the 1992 Clinton campaign, "It's the money, stupid." That's what nearly half—46 percent—of Newsletter readers told us in response to the March Question of the Month, "What is the greatest challenge your organization faces?"

Finding the money to accomplish our mission 46%
Other 21%
Getting the word out about us and what we do 17%
Staffing 7%
Strategic planning/setting priorities 3%
Managing donor and funder expectations 2%
Building public trust—in us and/or in the sector as a whole 1%
Obtaining and/or incorporating the technology we need to accomplish our mission 1%
Complying with state and federal requirements for our organization 1%

And if it's not the money, then it's governance/management (discussed below under "Other") or communications issues. Here is what participants told us about these three challenges.

The Importance of Evaluation

Many people think of evaluation as taking a snapshot of outcomes at the end of a program to prove to a funder that it worked or failed. These same people don't hold evaluation in much regard because they feel they are getting too little information too late in the day, especially if their program fell short of expectations or made no difference at all. Evaluation can, and should, however, be used as an ongoing management and learning tool to improve an organization's effectiveness.

From the President's Office, April 2005