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Foundation Status Code Added to GuideStar Charity Check

Foundation status code displayed in a GuideStar Charity Check PDF report

GuideStar Charity Check reports now include foundation status codes, saving subscribers more time than ever.


Volunteering vs. Serving on a Board vs. Donating – What Nonprofit Role is Best for You?

As New York’s leading personalized nonprofit board matching service, BoardAssist is approached daily by New Yorkers who want to make a difference in the nonprofit world but don’t know how to get started. For many, the decision has been made to give back, but they aren’t sure if they want to do so by joining a board, or just volunteering, or simply being a generous donor. For others, they want to join a board but are unclear on what the difference is between a full governing board seat, an advisory board role or a junior board position.

We hope this week’s post explaining the many different ways folks can serve the nonprofit community will help you on your journey. Thanks for considering any of these roles – the nonprofit community needs you!


GuideStar at a Glance for Foundations


As the world's largest source of information about nonprofit organizations,
GuideStar has the tools you need.


How to Turn a "No" From a Foundation Into a "Yes"

 If you've written several grant proposals in your career, chances are you've heard at least one "no." Foundation representatives report that declining grant proposals from worthy nonprofit programs can be the toughest part of their job. While it may be hard, inevitably there is not enough funding to meet all of the deserving needs.


5 Reasons Your Board Should Care About Fundraising Compliance


Charitable solicitation compliance
, which keeps your nonprofit’s state-specific license to fundraise current, is a cornerstone of running  a successful nonprofit. Fundraising compliance is the law, enables your staff and volunteers to fundraise successfully, and encourages savvy donors and grantmakers to give.  Your board of directors should care tremendously about fundraising compliance as it ultimately affects your nonprofit's financial ability to fulfill its mission.


Keep It Simple: Initiatives to Eliminate Busywork and Save Time


It’s time to help nonprofits focus on achieving their critical missions rather than get stuck with endless busywork. GuideStar is proud to share that GuideStar for Grant Applications is now fully integrated and live in the Foundant Technologies
Grant Lifecycle Manager (GLM)! Learn how GuideStar for Grant Applications is helping them streamline the grant application process:

Most people agree that the traditional grant application process has been cumbersome and resource intensive for both grantmakers and the nonprofits seeking funds. Fortunately, based on self-awareness gained through honest and transparent conversations with grantees, many funders are rethinking their grant processes.


IRS Releases Electronically Filed Form 990 Data

 

At long last, the IRS has released large amounts of electronically filed Form 990 data in machine-readable format. Approximately 60 percent of the e-filed returns have been made available now on Amazon Web Services, and the IRS intends to provide monthly updates. Efforts to get the IRS to do this have been underway for almost as long as there has been e-filed data, culminating in a successful lawsuit brought by Public.Resource.Org against the IRS after it refused to comply with a Freedom of Information Act request for the electronic Form 990 records of nine organizations.


Forget Everything You Know About Direct Mail Fundraising

 

Forget everything you know about direct mail fundraising—and all your overblown expectations about email fundraising, too. Toss aside those images of white #10 window envelopes, bulk rate postage, garish teaser copy, and name stickers. Banish all thoughts of the “typical” 1 percent response, $20 average gift, and 30 percent first-year renewal rate.


New Giving Record Is More Than a Number


Perspectives on Giving USA 2016—a look at the relationship between the data, the donations and the people who make philanthropy happen.


Resources for Nonprofits on the New Overtime Rule

new overtime rule will go into effect on December 1, 2016. Under it, an increased number of salaried employees must receive overtime pay for work exceeding 40 hours per week.


7 Hopeful Trends in Philanthropy

The GuideStar Blog welcomes Vu Le as a monthly contributor for his column, Point of Vu. The preceding is a cross-post of a May 9th article from his blog, Nonprofit with Balls

Hi everyone. Last week I was in Minneapolis for the GEO (Grantmakers for Effective Organizations) conference. I was there primarily to give a short talk called “Want to Help Communities of Color? Stop "Trickle-Down Community Engagement” and avoid work. But I stuck around for most of the conference, mainly because funder conferences always have way better food and booze. I was trying to hoard appetizers, having developed this unconscious fear of being in places traditionally reserved for funders. If I was going to get found out as an unwashed nonprofit Wildling and asked to leave, by golly I was going to take as many grilled artichoke hearts with me as I could.


Thinking of hosting your own Impact Call?


For a little over two years, GuideStar's held quarterly Impact Calls as an excercise in addressing new definitions of transparencyLoosely based on the quarterly earnings calls held by publicly owned companies, the goal of our Impact Call is not simply to report our results, but to jump-start the conversation on how transparency is defined and conveyed across the sector. 

Is your organization interested in hosting quarterly Impact Calls? Download our free PowerPoint template and get started today!


Little Fundraiser Annie: The Gift Will Come in Tomorrow

 

To be a major gifts fundraiser is to be like that iconic redheaded orphan, Annie. Tomorrow always looks better and it is only a day away. Just as we know the sun will come out tomorrow, you know that the gift will come…eventually. However, donors are much less predictable than the sun. They make decisions on timetables that work for them.


How to Build a CRM That Works for You

 

Pew Research Center recently conducted a survey to determine who did – and didn’t – go online. The folks who don’t use the Internet? About 39% of adults ages 65 and older. That compares to only 3% of 18-29 year-olds.

With just about everyone – and everything – accessible online and at the touch of a button, individuals now feel they can access needed information and connect with others just as easily as attending events and seminars in-person or networking one-on-one.


Is the IRS Form 1023-EZ Too EZ?

 

In a recent post, I talked about some of the numbers regarding the IRS Form 1023-EZ application for tax-exempt status, which allows some organizations with annual receipts of $50,000 or less to apply on-line using a much simpler form and process than that required by Form 1023. Today I want to talk about some of the issues that have been raised by the new form.


Donors Don’t Want Their Gifts Spent on Overhead … Or Do They?

 

“Overhead” can be a dirty word in nonprofit circles. It’s typically referred to as the costs associated with actually running a nonprofit – administrative costs, fundraising costs, staff costs, etc.


Following Up on the Investing in Infrastructure Letter

 

As our president and CEO, Jacob Harold, noted last month, GuideStar and similar infrastructure nonprofits are the plumbing for the sector. Such organizations ensure that the information necessary for a strong sector is easily available and help to multiply the impact of philanthropy.

In the Investing in Infrastructure letter that GuideStar and 21 other organizations shared in May, we thanked funders that support infrastructure while asking the sector to consider the importance of our work. We provide the resources that ensure an effective, functioning, and vibrant nonprofit community; to continue to do so and to allow the sector to grow, infrastructure organizations need to grow, too.


Top Trends in Volunteering and Volunteer Screening


What motivates someone to volunteer for your nonprofit? How many hours a month do volunteers give to their favorite organizations? And how can we ensure volunteers and the populations they serve are safe? These are all questions you may ask when evaluating your volunteer programs. The trends around volunteerism in the United States change all the time, as do the trends around screening, vetting, and rescreening volunteers. In a primary research study conducted by Verified Volunteers, more than 350 nonprofit organizations throughout the country were surveyed to see where they stand when it comes to their volunteer screening programs. The resulting report, Verified Volunteers Volunteer Screening Trends & Best Practices Report 2016, reveals several key trends and answers to your most pressing questions.