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How to Fire People for Your Nonprofit’s Sake

Mitt Romney got pretty beat up in the media in 2012 when he said, “I like being able to fire people.” It made him sound like a cold, power-hungry corporate executive. It was also tone deaf because Americans wanted a president to create jobs and not terminate them with glee.


Nonprofit Rate of Job Growth Outpaces For-profit Rate by Over 3-1 Over Last Decade

Data just released by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics using a technique first developed by the Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies shows that the nonprofit sector continued its steady record of significant job growth through 2016, the latest date for which data are available, outpacing the rate of for-profit job growth by over 3 to 1.


Hidden Gems of GuideStar Data: Health Care Information

Recently, a representative of a health care consultancy contacted us. He needed to benchmark compensation for a range of medical jobs. Could GuideStar help?

It turns out we could. After talking with the client to define exactly what he needed, our data analysts were able to return (that’s data talk for “pull” or “produce”) a data set with compensation information for more than 2,000 job titles held by 17,000 individuals at 5,000 nonprofit medical facilities. Many of the positions were highly specialized, such as Physician Radiation Oncologist (we found one) and Physician—Women's Clinic (we found three).


Taking the Mystery Out of Filing Comments on Proposed Rules

When you hear about “new proposed federal regulations,” you may immediately think: “I need to learn all about these new regulations so our nonprofit doesn’t get into trouble!” But it’s very unlikely that the proposed rules you heard about will become the “law of the land” as proposed. “Proposed” means just that—a draft change has been suggested and the government is asking for comments before finalizing the rules. So, proposed rules are an open invitation to share your real world expertise, which will provide useful guidance to government and most importantly, improve the experience of your nonprofit, and others. This opportunity is what we refer to at the National Council of Nonprofits as an invitation for “everyday advocacy.”


Government Issues Interim Rule and Request for Comments on Unrelated Business Income Taxes

The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service have issued a Request for Comments on proposed interim and transition rules (Notice 2018-67) for interpreting one of the two major changes to nonprofit unrelated business income tax (UBIT) included in federal tax law enacted last December. The new Section 512(a)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code changes the way nonprofits calculate UBIT; instead of aggregating all of their profits and losses from unrelated business activities, nonprofits must now "silo" their revenues and expenses for each "separate" "trade or business" and pay UBIT on each. Neither of the quoted terms is defined in the law, causing nonprofits, foundations, accountants, and tax lawyers to demand relief and clarity. The proposed rules released last week provide some clear answers and instructions on how to comply with the law immediately, but many questions remain that must be resolved during the formal rulemaking process.


The One Strategy That Will Grow Online Donations for Your Organization

Google announced that they now process more than two trillion searches a year.  That number even surprised the Google experts when it was announced.  What that number means to your organization is that every day there is someone searching for you.  Are you showing up online when they come looking? 

With the volume of searches still increasing every year, online donations have a major upside and potential for growth. Online donations can be greatly increased by starting with one very traditional strategy, defining and targeting your donor prospects.  Marketing in the digital world is, at its core, the same as traditional direct marketing.  You’re making some sort of offer to someone and asking them to take the next step. When you target those prospects with something they find valuable you will get amazing results. 


How Does Your Nonprofit’s Social Presence Look? It Could Probably Be Better

Social media like Facebook and Twitter are, beyond any shadow of a doubt, two of the most powerful marketing tools in human history. No other platform allows you to reach such a large audience so quickly—and no other platform allows you to ensure that of that audience, the vast majority are interested in what you’re selling them. This is even true if you’re running a nonprofit.


Beware of “Truths” in Fundraising

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Counterintuitive is usually defined as something contrary to what one would intuitively expect. For example, marketing pros discovered long ago that the fewer choices we’re presented with, the more likely we are to actually choose one, whether it’s a lot full of new cars or a shelf full of pasta sauces in the supermarket.

Fundraising is often counterintuitive as well. Here I’ll share four instances. In my book, The Busy Volunteer’s Guide to Fundraising, you’ll find a fuller discussion of many others.


Philanthropy and the Destructive Illusion of “Leveling the Playing Field”

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A few months ago a program officer and I were talking about the lack of funding that goes to communities-of-color-led nonprofits (only about 10% of philanthropic dollars go to organizations of color). He shook his head in sympathy and frustration, sipping on his coffee. “There has to be a way to level the playing field,” he said. This was probably the third time that quarter I had heard that phrase uttered by a funder. 


GuideStar Pro Now Includes Financial Analysis Tools

Recently, we added a Financial Trends Analysis to GuideStar Pro—at no additional expense to GuideStar Pro subscribers. This resource was developed in partnership with Nonprofit Finance Fund© (NFF) and applies NFF analysis to data hosted by GuideStar. It upgrades the Peer Comparison function from Financial SCAN to a Peer Analysis feature, which allows GuideStar Pro subscribers to compare up to five organizations across several business model indicators.