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Pages tagged "Creating Fiscal Sustainability"


The magic key that will transform the nonprofit sector

main.jpgWe’ve all heard it, I’m sure. Culture eats strategy for breakfast. Right?

Whether or not you’ve heard this aphorism, I’d be willing to bet you’ve experienced it. I sure have – in different sizes and types of organizations, and in different ways within those organizations.

But never have I been more frustrated by this truth than when it relates to the lack of a culture of philanthropy in a nonprofit.

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Sustaining the future

25_WT_EU_CAMPAIGN_BEST_OF_web_900px.jpg“Foundations are really nothing without nonprofits," said John Fetzer from the Northwest Area Foundation at Pollen’s Sustain-A-What event. It was a good line to open with when speaking to a room full of nonprofit practitioners because who doesn’t want to feel like they matter? It definitely got tweeted out on the #sustainawhat hashtag, and set the tone for the rest of the talk – we were not gathered to be yelled at about earned income strategies or that we needed to act “more like a business.”

Because let’s face it, when people talk about nonprofit sustainability, that’s often what they are referring to – how are you going to make money that’s not a grant or donation? What is your clever strategy for monetizing your content or the populations you serve? How are you going to work in ways that make business people and lawyers feel comfortable about it? 

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Embarking on social good: Questions to ask and legal structures defined

main2.jpgAt some point during our lives, we may come up with a great idea to improve our society. These ideas often emerge when we identify an unmet need or gap in service. But then what?  Coming up with the idea can seem like the easy part. Figuring out what to do next, how to turn your passion into a reality, can be the daunting part.

Years ago, there was a go-to option for someone who wanted to pursue social good – becoming a 501c3. You had to fill out the 30-page application, pay a fee to the IRS, wait, then wait some more – sometimes upwards of a year — to finally get the go ahead to accept donations for your project.

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We have an operating budget!

We've got big news.

No, we're not making any presidential endorsements. We are, however, beyond excited to announce that for the first time ever, YNPN Twin Cities has an approved operating budget and fundraising plan!

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Nonprofit doesn't always = good

Rotten applesWorking in the nonprofit sector is usually viewed as a noble pursuit. The hours are usually long, the tasks you juggle are complicated, and the pay and benefits are usually lower than for-profit equivalents, but the rewards are often about making the world a better place. It’s become a punchline in Silicon Valley that all of these startup businesses are “making the world a better place,” but many nonprofits can legitimately claim that. Working for an organization whose values line up with your own can be incredibly rewarding. However, just knowing an organization has a 501(c)(3) tax status does not guarantee that an organization is truly a benefit to the public. Just like any sector, there are nonprofit organizations where fraud, mismanagement and illegal activity can be found.

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501c3 for YNPN-TC

main.jpgHello friends of YNPN-TC! It seems like every time we turn around there are new and exciting things happening with our organization. Over the past year YNPN-TC board members and volunteers have been involved in a series of meetings regarding our fiscal sustainability as an organization. Part of this process has involved an in-depth, thoughtful look at our legal and tax status and what changes, if any, we should make.

The news I have to share today is that we are making a change - our Board of Directors has voted to pursue 501c3 status. This isn’t a very controversial decision, and many YNPN-TC members might think we are already a 501c3. It is however a very awesome and exciting development when it comes to thinking about what type of organization YNPN-TC is, the work we want to do in the future, and most importantly how we want to continue to serve the talented young professionals of the nonprofit sector in our community. Special recognition must go out to board members Carl Atiya Swanson and Lindsay Bacher for their leadership during this process as well as the countless additional volunteers, members, and friends of YNPN-TC who provided us with their time, opinions, and expertise.

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Show US the Money

"The state of worrying where your next meal is going to come from – you have uncertain income or you have more expenses than you can manage and you have to juggle all these things and constantly being pre-occupied about putting out these fires – takes up so much of your mental bandwidth, that you have less in terms of cognitive capacity to deal with things which may not be as urgent as your immediate emergency, but which are, nevertheless, important for your benefit in the medium or longer term."

That’s research fellow Anandi Mani quoted in The Guardian on the hypothesis of a study showing the negative effects of financial worry on decision-making. In the study, two groups – one rich and one poor – were given two test scenarios. The first scenario presented an “easy” car repair costing $150, and the second scenario presented a “hard” $1,500 repair, and then both groups took IQ puzzle tests while pre-occupied with their scenario. Both groups performed comparably on the easy repair, but the poor group struggled in the hard scenario. The study found that “their average IQ was 13 points lower when they were thinking about serious financial troubles.”

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