May 22, 2015

Financial Management

Volunteers as a Key Element of Nonprofit Org Design: Braille Institute San Diego

NewsThe key to incorporating volunteers is to commit to the concept and make it part of your core organizational identity and design.

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The Lessons of Somaly Mam’s Return: Charities Disgraced by their Founders

 

MamThe news last year that Somaly Mam was starting a new charity dedicated to fighting human trafficking and sex slavery raises the question of how a damaged icon like Mam can rebuild her charitable brand.

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Board Fractures, Director Leaves—How Do You Get People to Do Stuff?

board-fractureThe description of the infighting at the Pinellas County Homeless Leadership Board is excruciating, but there may be a relatively simple solution to the impasse.

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A Case of Deadly Donor Dependence: A Caution for the “Lucky”

 

ballet

Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet in New York City will close its doors after losing its major donor/founder. We love to dream of those massive angel grants but they can be fatal.

 

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Déjà Vu All Over Again: Nonprofit Survey Results

Deja VuWhen looking at reports on the state of the nonprofit sector, NAF executive director Kate Barr finds themes that recur, over and over, and have for 25 years.

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Some Chutzpah! Former ED of Failed Nonprofit Claims She’s Owed $1.2 Million

MonopolyWe may be used to the scorched-earth corporate executive being given generous severance, but how about the ruinous nonprofit CEO?

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Rural Hospitals Serving as Economic Anchors—If They Can Financially Survive

Hospitals in rural communities can be important economic anchors, but unless they get the economic boost that comes from expanded Medicaid, they could become  uncompetitive and financially troubled.

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State Audits on the Way for University Foundations in North Dakota

 

UniversityThe state legislature in North Dakota has redefined the scope of the state auditor to include the ability to audit not only state universities, but also the private foundations that are affiliated with them.

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Court of Appeals to Directors of Nonprofits: “Nonprofit” Does Not Mean “No Risk for You”

Risk

 

The business judgment rule offers directors some protection, but it is not an all-purpose shield against claims based on dereliction of duty, let alone disloyalty or self-dealing.

 

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An Unusual Employee Onboarding Requirement—Or Is It?

Holocaust MuseumNonprofits might want to think about this values-laden example of an employee onboarding process and consider what they themselves can do.

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NeighborWorks Doesn’t Miss a Beat after Unwarranted “Exposé”

 

Crisis FundWhatever came of that scathing Bloomberg News article about NeighborWorks? We can’t find anything, and the NeighborWorks America network is simply plugging along doing what it has always done to rebuild and revitalize urban and rural communities.

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As FEGS Tries to Transfer Programs, Staff Resign and Costs Mount

NewsPerhaps unsurprisingly, the FEGS bankruptcy appears to be messy and costly despite attempts to control it.

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For Discussion: Ukrainian Pianist Dropped from Toronto Symphony for “Offensive” Tweets

Toronto Symphony memberIs asking a prominent figure in a public-facing institution to restrain her political tweets legitimate, or a violation of her free speech rights?

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Timing Could Be Deciding Factor in Sweet Briar Case: Will Court Act Quickly to Prevent Damage?

 

TimeIf the court doesn’t take action on Sweet Briar soon, the whole process may become moot as students and teachers prepare to flee.

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National Review Magazine Goes Nonprofit to Prepare for Growth

National ReviewDylan Byers of Politico reports that, lured by the potential of tax-deductible donations, the conservative National Review is apparently transitioning to become a nonprofit.

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A Museum’s Unpaid Pledges Raise Questions on Capital Campaign Preparedness

Royal MuseumThe Royal Ontario Museum has produced a great cautionary tale about the need for clear policies relative to pledges made during capital campaigns.

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Building a Culture of Philanthropy in Your Organization

HallwayResearch shows that an organization’s culture dramatically affects its effectiveness. Culture is pervasive, affecting all areas of the organization, including fund development.

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A Radical Proposal to Convert the Assets of Blue Shield of California

MoneyIs another conversion foundation in the works in California with the revocation of Blue Shield’s state tax-exempt status?

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Loud New Voices Emerge to Protect Quiet Library Spaces

LibrariesLast week, attention was drawn to the precarious place of public libraries in various parts of the country.

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A “Shark Tank” Competition for Nonprofits Emerges in Boston

SharksIn Boston, venture capitalist Todd Dagres says he is organizing a Shark Tank-style competition for early-stage nonprofits and he’s inviting contestants.

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Nonprofit Leaders: Optimistic yet Exhausted in Face of “Recovery”

RecoveryA new study indicates that recovery from the recession may not be as quick and complete as nonprofit leaders would like. These leaders retain their optimism, but many feel exhausted and stressed much of the time.

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Anatomy of a Mega-Nonprofit Headed for Bankruptcy

WarningNew York City is likely to be a source of deep information about what precedes nonprofit failure in the next little bit. The sources will include documents like this affidavit from FEGS.

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Deep Recession Cuts at State Colleges and Universities Persist

DollarsLast week, Arizona leaders completely eliminated state funding for two of their largest community colleges. These activities follow similar cuts throughout the state higher education system and in college systems across the country.

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Getting the Most out of Evaluation

DataJust as every nonprofit organization or program is unique, so every evaluation presents its own challenges and opportunities; one size does not fit all.

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Special HSC Commission Will Autopsy Failures in NYC Human Service Groups

AutopsyThis should be a treasure trove of lessons: an expert group autopsy of a group of high-profile failed organizations in New York.

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“Just a Volunteer” No Excuse for Fatal Inattention of Board Chair

ResponsibilityA defunct Roxbury community health center owes $760K in fees to the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance, which is now under the purview of the ex-president of the center’s board.

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Curating Change: The Merger of Two Historic Women’s Organizations

Nonprofit DeathsThis case study looks at the factors that led up to the International Museum of Women’s (IMOW) decision to merge with the Global Fund for Women (GFW) in March of 2014. If IMOW was so successful in achieving its mission and advancing global gender equity, what events led to its decision to merge?

This mini–case study is part five of a series of studies featured in NPQ’s winter 2014 edition, “Births and Deaths in the Nonprofit Sector.” Click here to read part onepart two, part three and part four.

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Death by Social Enterprise: The Case of the Missing $19 Million

Missing moneyAn eighty-year-old social service organization announced its closure in January, but what exactly brought it to its knees? A revenue scheme?

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Frank Music in NYC: A Tiny Cultural Institution Closes for Good

Music notesAnother brick-and-mortar casualty as an era draws to a close with the loss of a historic landmark.

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Sector Jumping among Higher Ed Institutions Doesn’t Change Their Stripes

 

sector-jumping-masksSome for-profit colleges are eying the nonprofit sector for a better perch, despite the ban on “ownership.” It takes a little financial creativity and a lot of conflicts of interest.

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