Healthy Skepticism: Hiring a Professional Fundraiser

The competition for donor contributions continues to rise as more nonprofit organizations register with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). With this increase in competition, many nonprofits are choosing to hire a professional fundraiser to help maximize their earnings potential. Before hiring your own, you should consider the following factors: Is it necessary? Some organizations give …

Keep Reading

IRS Tax Exempt Priorities for 2016

A few weeks ago the IRS Tax Exempt & Government Entities Commissioner released a Workplan Briefing for the Government’s fiscal year 2016. She listed five strategic issue areas, below, in which they will focus resources in the next year. Exemption: issues include non-exempt purpose activity and private inurement Protection of Assets: issues include self-dealing, excess …

Keep Reading

A Little-Known Element on the Form 990

If your nonprofit organization regularly solicits and receives multi-year promises to give, you most likely occasionally have the situation where a promise that was made in a past year becomes uncollectible. Where does this write-off or loss get reported on the Form 990? As a reduction in contribution income on the Statement of Revenue (Part …

Keep Reading

How to Account for Donated Auction Items

Believe it or not, it’s already the holiday season where not only do you begin thinking about what your loved ones want as gifts but also how to properly pull off your annual fundraising gala. Many not-for-profit events not only have entertainment, a call to action, and great food, but also have silent or live …

Keep Reading

The Burk Donor Survey

The 2014 Burk Donor Survey was released earlier this year. This survey is a study that was done by fundraising expert Penelope Burk, which analyzes the changes in donor giving each year. More importantly, it gives insight to how donors intend to give in the upcoming 12-month period. This survey asked 23,000 donors in the …

Keep Reading

Involvement of Nonprofit Board of Directors

Recently I came across an article by Accounting Today that discussed a survey of over 100 not-for-profit leaders who were asked to gauge what they felt about their board members and those members’ involvement. Most spoke positively of their board but reported some challenges broken down below: 15% of the leaders felt the board carefully …

Keep Reading

Internal Control Policies Reported on the 990

Lately I’ve received several questions about the policies and procedures listed on page 6 Part VI Section B, three of which are a written conflict of interest policy, whistle blower policy, and a document and retention policy. The concern always seems to be, what if the organization doesn’t have these policies in place? The IRS …

Keep Reading

Why Your Nonprofit Needs a Mobile Site

It should be no surprise that the use of cell phones has increased. While it has been the source of a lot of talk over the years, it appears we’re finally at a tipping point. Emarketer created a chart to show the shift in search volume in the U.S. since 2011. Their results concluded that …

Keep Reading

Accounting for Joint Activities

Determining whether an organization conducts joint activities and properly accounts for these activities can be challenging at times, as it can be subjective depending on the fundraising activity. In our experience, we have encountered not-for-profit organizations with joint activities that could partially be divided into separate expense categories. Not-for-profits have three categories to allocate expenses …

Keep Reading

What Percent of My Donation Goes to the Cause of the Organization?

I can’t count the number of times friends and family have asked me what percent of their donation goes towards the cause or programs of a charitable organization. There’s a common argument that the amount of expenses listed in the program column of the Statement of Functional Expenses on the Form 990 is the percent …

Keep Reading