Nonprofit Currents
Dec. 18, 2013

Treasury and IRS rules on nonprofits' political activity misses the mark
From The Washington Post
Many Americans disapprove of the soaring amounts of money flowing to political campaigns through “social welfare” groups, which are not required to disclose their donors. Many others are angry about revelations that Internal Revenue Service (IRS) workers applied extra scrutiny to applications for tax-exempt status from conservative-leaning nonprofit groups. But a recent proposal from the Treasury Department and the IRS to address nonprofit political activity misses the mark — and stands to undermine nonpartisan civic engagement.More

How much profit does a nonprofit need?
From Nonprofit Quarterly
Nonprofits need profit. Because every nonprofit is unique, the amount depends upon individual circumstances. This article will identify the key variables and explain how any organization can calculate the minimum profit it needs to prevent slow, steady erosion of the quality of its output. The calculation is so simple it can be done without pencil and paper, but it has far-reaching implications. The key variable is capital. More

Retiring boomers cause workforce concerns for nonprofits
From Employee Benefit News
As baby boomers are planning to retire in the next five years, nonprofit organizations are readying for the challenges ahead. And two-thirds say they anticipate feeling the effects, according to a new survey from the Plan Sponsor Council of America and Principal Financial Group. The survey, which includes responses from 403(b) plan sponsors, also reveals that 69 percent of respondents expect to hire new employees to fill retirees’ old roles, but it won’t be easy as 38 percent of respondents anticipate facing recruiting difficulties.More

Facebook's donate button helps nonprofits — and Facebook
From CNet
Facebook is making it easier for people to use the social network to make charitable contributions to nonprofits with a new donation feature. The feature, rolled out to members on Dec. 16, lets people click a "Donate Now" button on a participating nonprofit's post that shows up in News Feed. The donate button is also available on a nonprofit's Facebook Page. For members who have previously made purchases through Facebook, the donation process amounts to just two clicks. Otherwise, would-be givers will have to enter their credit card information, which Facebook automatically keeps on hand for future purchases.More

A new nonprofit model: Meet the charitable startups
From Forbes
Startup companies are traditionally for-profit enterprises, but in recent years philanthropic ventures have begun adopting the technological know-how and scrappy mentality of startups to develop a new breed of lean nonprofits.“‘Startup’ has always meant a for-profit company, but a charity can operate much like one,” agrees Y Combinator accelerator founder Paul Graham via email.More

Benefits questioned in tax breaks for nonprofit hospitals
From The New York Times
The billions of dollars in tax breaks granted to the nation’s nonprofit hospitals are being challenged by regulators and politicians as cities still reeling from the recession watch cash-rich medical centers expand. Hospitals, among the largest landowners in many communities, are often designated as nonprofits, allowing them to benefit from state and federal tax breaks for providing “charity care and community benefit.” The exemptions collectively amount to more than $12 billion annually, health economists say.More

Treasury and IRS rules on nonprofits' political activity misses the mark
From The Washington Post
Many Americans disapprove of the soaring amounts of money flowing to political campaigns through “social welfare” groups, which are not required to disclose their donors. Many others are angry about revelations that Internal Revenue Service (IRS) workers applied extra scrutiny to applications for tax-exempt status from conservative-leaning nonprofit groups.More

CloudPay aims to shift credit card fees to local nonprofit giving campaign
From The Santa Cruz Sentinel
With a healthy breakfast under his belt, Jon Underwood pulled out his smartphone to pay the cashier at River Café in Santa Cruz, Calif., and in about a minute gets a text message saying he's just donated to his favorite local nonprofit organization. "See? It's faster than paying with a Visa," he said.More

Fraud doesn't take a holiday: Beware of card testing
From SNPO
If your organization accepts payments from a payment gateway or eCommerce site, you may be exposed to a new form of fraud called card testing. Unfortunately, there is no fail-safe system to protect against it, but your close attention to daily batch and authorization details will go a long way in alerting you of a possible problem. Fraudsters obtain credit card information from a variety of sources. More

Bills might rescue volunteer emergency responders from ACA
The Nonprofit Times
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) has some volunteer emergency responders smoldering with concern. Volunteer firefighters and emergency medical technicians are considered employees for tax purposes. But with the ACA’s employer shared responsibility mandate, which requires entities with more than 50 employees who work more than 30 hours a week to provide health insurance to their employees, volunteer fire companies and emergency medical services are left wondering if that applies to them. More

The new philanthropy: Exploring the way society allocates charitable resources
From MinnPost
There is an emerging style of philanthropy that will not accept anything except solutions and cures. Gradually it will constitute a significant element in the way society allocates charitable resources. This new philanthropy is characterized by impatience, empiricism, and calculated risk —contradictory yet persistent aspects displayed by this new breed of donors. The division between for — and nonprofit, the idea of tax deductibility, public recognition of donations — all seem to be losing importance.More