Information is power. And regularly supplying information to your not-for-profit’s board of directors is the key to the board properly fulfilling its duties. This doesn’t mean you have to share every internal email or phone message. Board members should, however, receive and understand information that will help them work together and better serve your organization.
Three types of information are important to share with your board:
Social impact bonds provide a relatively new method of funding social programs. Several U.S. cities already pay some not-for-profit social service providers through such programs. Might your organization benefit?
In a nutshell
Traditionally, government agencies extend funding to nonprofit social service providers to pay for specific activities or delivery models. But what if the nonprofit lacks the upfront money to pursue the required outcomes? Few organizations have the deep pockets necessary to fully finance programs themselves.
Debt is an integral part of many for-profit companies’ strategic plans, yet it has traditionally carried a stigma in the not-for-profit world. That view is changing, as more organizations borrow money for major capital purchases, new program funding and other reasons. But before your nonprofit borrows, it’s important to understand that it takes prudent financial management and reliable donor support to pay back a loan.
Exhaust other options
You may think your organization has a good rationale for borrowing,
Every not-for-profit organization needs a comprehensive succession plan to ensure smooth leadership transitions. Here are five tips for making a written plan successful:
1. Look within. It’s important to develop employees who can move up the ladder when an executive director or other senior manager leaves. But don’t rule out hiring an outsider. Promoting from within can be difficult for smaller organizations with limited “bench strength.”
Many not-for-profit youth sports leagues are at risk for fraud and don’t even know it. Because cash transactions are common and leagues usually are managed by volunteers with little oversight, it’s easy for crooked individuals to take advantage of the situation. Unfortunately, sports league fraud is usually committed by board members or officers who are well known and respected in their communities. How then can your league prevent this crime?
By far the most important step you can take is to segregate duties.
What do charitable donors want? The classic answer is: Go ask each one individually. However, research provides some insight into donor motivation that can help your not-for-profit grow its financial support.
The biennial U.S. Trust® Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy, conducted in partnership with the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, regularly finds that wealthy donors are primarily motivated by philanthropy.
Whether you’re planning to raise funds for your not-for-profit with a simple bingo game or raffle, or with a more elaborate casino night, you need to understand and follow the federal rules that govern these kinds of activities. Gaming activities can open the door to unexpected taxes and trigger requirements for specific IRS filings.
Filings and special taxes
If you regularly conduct a gaming activity, you may be required to report it to the IRS.
Interest in not-for-profits’ governance practices from lawmakers, watchdog groups and the general public has been growing in recent years. If your board hasn’t reviewed its roles and responsibilities recently, now is a good time.
3 primary responsibilities
Nonprofit board members — whether compensated or not — have a fiduciary duty to the organization. Some states have laws governing the responsibilities of nonprofit boards and other fiduciaries. But,
Is your not-for-profit association offering enough (or the right) programs to keep members active and engaged? New programs require time, effort and money. So when you commit to developing one, you want to get the biggest bang for your buck. Here are some simple dos and don’ts:
DO consult your members. Through focus groups, surveys and informal conversations, gather information about issues your membership is facing. Note gaps between your current program offerings and members’ wants and needs.
Many not-for-profits are adopting a marketing tactic that has been used successfully by for-profit companies. Social listening costs relatively little and can give you valuable insight into issues that resonate with your supporters. This allows you to tailor communications to better reach them.
Identify and engage
Social listening starts with monitoring social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram for mentions of your organization and related keywords.