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As 2014 comes to a close, SNPO would like to wish its members, partners and other industry professionals a safe and happy holiday season. As we reflect on the past year for the industry, we would like to provide the readers of Nonprofit Currents a look at the most accessed articles from the year. Our regular publication will resume Jan. 14.


IRS to rubber-stamp tax-exempt status for most charities after scandal
From TIME
From July 16: Amid ongoing controversy over its scrutiny of nonprofits, the Internal Revenue Service has decided it will no longer screen approximately 80 percent of the organizations seeking tax-exempt charitable status each year, a change that will ease the creation of small charities while doing away with a review intended to counter fraud and prevent political and other noncharitable groups from misusing the tax code.
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IRS to rewrite nonprofit rules amid criticism
From POLITICO
From June 4: The IRS will rewrite, without holding a public hearing, a proposed rule on the political activities of nonprofit groups, regulations that stemmed from the tea party controversy that rocked the agency last summer. The IRS said it will start writing a revised regulation amid criticism from both the left and especially the right on the proposal to tighten rules governing the tax-exempt status of so-called social welfare organizations.
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5 things volunteers need to hear you say
By Deborah Wipf
From July 2: Volunteers who are dedicated, trustworthy and willing to work hard are incredible assets to any nonprofit organization. If your current volunteer program is struggling, you might be surprised at how many people would be willing to serve if they were offered the chance. Paying closer attention to how and what you communicate just might be the catalyst you need to grow your volunteer team. Here are five things volunteers need to hear you say.
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4 questions to develop your storytelling strategy
From The Chronicle of Philanthropy
From Aug. 13: 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?" In the case of the first reader, the answer is right there: to encourage people to support your organization financially or take part in your programs. Really, those are two separate but related objectives, and each probably calls for a different audience.
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Advanced marketing opportunities for nonprofits
From Forbes
From July 30: Nonprofit companies have very different goals and a different way of operating than your traditional business, so many of your typical online marketing strategies simply aren't optimized for nonprofits. Fortunately, some of the major online players like Google, YouTube and Facebook took this seriously and created customized options to help nonprofits really succeed. Too many companies still aren't taking advantage, so if you work with a nonprofit, the sooner you can learn about the opportunities out there, the better.
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Study: Donors care more about how money is spent than results
From The Chronicle of Philanthropy
From Nov. 5: Donors are more interested in how a nonprofit's funds are spent than in the results it achieves, according to a study. About 46 percent of people surveyed by the BBB Wise Giving Alliance, a charity watchdog, said they base their trust in a nonprofit on its finances, which include the amount spent on overhead costs like salaries and fundraising versus allocations to its programs. Only 11 percent of donors said the results a charity gets from its activities engendered the most trust in that organization.
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Study: Boards, senior staff holding up nonprofit mergers
From The NonProfit Times
From Feb. 26: Doug Ulman remembers the day that everything went south. It was a Wednesday in October 2012, and Ulman, CEO and president of the Livestrong Foundation, had just received the inevitable news he had been dreading for months: The United States Anti-Doping Agency’s long-awaited and damning report, which concluded once and for all that Lance Armstrong, the cancer charity’s founder and chairman, was guilty of doping during his legendary cycling career.
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When marriages between nonprofits and corporations sour
From Fortune
From July 2: What do you get when Pampers and UNICEF marry up to take care of babies? Tetanus shots. Lots of them. In June, Procter & Gamble's Pampers brand celebrated the ninth anniversary of its partnership with UNICEF, where Pampers donates a portion of its proceeds to UNICEF for tetanus shots. So far, P&G says it has raised $50 million through Pampers to purchase 300 million tetanus vaccines around the world. These types of corporate-nonprofit setups are on the rise, in large part because companies are recognizing the positive halo they give their brand.
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As wealthy give smaller share of income to charity, middle class digs deeper
From The Chronicle of Philanthropy
From Oct. 8: As the recession lifted, poor and middle class Americans dug deeper into their wallets to give to charity, even though they were earning less. At the same time, according to a new Chronicle analysis of tax data, wealthy Americans earned more, but the portion of the income they gave to charity declined. Using the IRS data, The Chronicle was able to track gifts to charity at the state, county, metropolitan-area and ZIP code levels.
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Minimum wage: Tough choices for states, cities and nonprofits
From Nonprofit Quarterly
From April 23: Hopefully, nonprofits are on the side of raising the minimum wage in their states and ensuring that their own employees are beneficiaries. This year already, five states — Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Minnesota, and West Virginia — and the District of Columbia have increased their minimum wage levels above the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour. That means more than half of the states will be above the federal minimum wage. Other states with increases progressing in their legislatures include Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Vermont.
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