Nonprofit Currents
Aug. 27, 2014

7 lessons for nonprofit organizations from the startup world
From Entrepreneur
Philanthropy is a surprisingly complex world. There is just as much competition, red tape and politics as in finance or the startup world. Other complexities exist between the old guard of philanthropy and the new, disruptive groups of young people in social good. Both groups are fighting to achieve their goals and get their share of voice and funds. There are many theories and approaches to philanthropy and how these organizations can and should be run, which can be both empowering and frustrating for those trying to impact social change.More

Self-reporting tool for nonprofits draws howls from watchdogs
From Think Advisor
Who's better at telling donors about a nonprofit's fundraising performance, the charity itself or a "watchdog" group? The launch this summer of a new tool that would allow nonprofits to self-report their performance has brought the issue to the fore, resulting in an exchange of charges and countercharges. The Direct Marketing Association Nonprofit Federation, an association of nonprofits and firms that solicit funds through direct marketing, rolled out the Nonprofit Accountability Dashboard "to demonstrate to the public that participating nonprofit organizations are transparent on fundraising."More

The IRS grants first tax-deductible status to a bitcoin nonprofit
From Upstart
BitGive relauched as the first bitcoin charity to be granted a 501(c)(3) status from the IRS. Receiving a stamp of approval from this government organization bodes well for the future of bitcoin in the United States. Until as recently as this March, when the IRS declared bitcoin a property upon which taxes must be paid based on the grown of its value over time, the tax status of bitcoin was uncertain.More

What exactly is a 'nonprofit hospital?'
From Medpage Today
Decades of legislation have brought about sweeping changes in hospital financing, accounting, and social responsibility, and ushered in a new form of charity care — the nonprofit hospital — for which there is no clear, universal definition. More

Labor Department requires nonprofits pay back wages to disabled workers
From Nonprofit Quarterly
The U.S. Department of Labor has ordered that 17 organizations pay $118,000 in back wages to 1,193 workers, almost all with disabilities. Twenty-nine organizations were investigated; for the most part, they were nonprofits with federal licenses to pay less than the standard minimum wage to workers whose productivity is affected by a disability. There are 126 organizations in the state with such licenses, employing 13,000 disabled Pennsylvanians who earn an average of $2.40 an hour.More

Human resource departments gain power at half of nonprofits
From The Chronicle of Philanthropy
Nearly half of nonprofit human-resource executives say their influence has grown in the past year, while 21 percent report increases in their department's size, according to a new survey. They say the change is largely the result of new leadership or senior management better understanding the role of human resources in achieving organizational success. Forty-six percent say their status is the same, and 4 percent say their influence has decreased. As an example of what has changed for the worse, some executives say they no longer report to the chief executive or chief operating officer as they did in the past.More

7 lessons for nonprofit organizations from the startup world
From Entrepreneur
Philanthropy is a surprisingly complex world. There is just as much competition, red tape and politics as in finance or the startup world. Other complexities exist between the old guard of philanthropy and the new, disruptive groups of young people in social good.More

4 questions to develop your storytelling strategy
From The Chronicle of Philanthropy
The first question in developing a "story strategy" — a communications and organizing strategy that uses stories — is not, "How do we tell this particular story well and get it to go big?" Instead, the first question is, "What do we want to achieve?"More

After public outcry, IRS to 'reconsider' its attempt to police nonprofit speech
From Forbes
Americans sent a clear message to the Internal Revenue Service about its proposal to restrict the speech rights of nonprofit groups like the Alliance for Justice, NAACP and the National Rifle Association: Stop.More

How a nonprofit is teaching women to run for office
From Fast Company
According to the National Women's Political Caucus, of the 535 seats in the 113th U.S. Congress, just 18.5 percent — or 99 members — are women. In 2013, just 24.1 percent of the 7,383 state legislators in the United States were women. But a New Haven, Connecticut, nonprofit is doing its best to change that. The Women's Campaign School at Yale isn't officially a part of the storied university, but its alumna are similarly distinguished. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona have completed the rigorous, hands-on campaign training that is designed to teach women how to run a successful political campaign.More

What all nonprofits (and donors) should know about fundraising
From The Huffington Post
Asking for a favor is one of the most important techniques of fundraising. That's according an expert who has helped raise an estimated $200 million for nonprofits as a volunteer in his home town of Santa Barbara, California.More

Study: Number of data staff at nonprofits increases
From The NonProfit Times
Nonprofits are bringing more data experts onto their staff in the face of rising concerns about data security, according to results of the Nonprofit Technology Network's 8th Annual Nonprofit Technology Staffing and Investments Report. The report, which included responses from 781 of the organization's members, revealed that nonprofits have an average of 4.4 technology-responsible staff members, up from 3.4 last year. "Leading organizations" (nonprofits at the forefront of technology innovations) had the highest number at 15.1; "struggling nonprofits" (those struggling to even operate) had 1.6.More

Ice bucket challenge may change nonprofit world
From The News Journal
The ice bucket challenge's phenomenal success is making other charitable organizations rethink how they connect with a younger generation of potential donors. Since the ALS Association began tracking the campaign's progress on July 29, it has raised more than $70.2 million from millions of new donors in what is one of the most viral philanthropic social media campaigns in history.More