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Cross-Border Philanthropy & Counterterrorism Regulations: Guidance for U.S. Grantmakers

May 1, 2018

Opportunities abound for U.S. grantmakers to make a positive difference around the globe. Funders, however, need to be aware of important U.S. regulatory requirements, particularly those pertaining to anti-terrorist financing, governing international grantmaking.Many internationally engaged U.S. foundations, donor-advised funds, and corporations are not fully aware of anti-terrorist financing regulations, nor of the correct steps to follow, and the potential consequences of not following mandated steps. In addition to adverse publicity and damage to a foundation or company's reputation, these consequences can include asset freezing, civil penalties, the loss of 501(c)(3) status, and even criminal prosecution.Cross-Border Philanthropy and Counterterrorism Regulations: Guidance for U.S. Grantmakers examines the relevant regulations and U.S. agencies responsible for enforcing them; discusses the consequences of noncompliance; provides recommendations on how best to reduce the risks of diverting funds; and identifies key resources to help grantmakers stay on the right side of anti-terrorism laws.

The Financial Health of the United States Nonprofit Sector: Facts and Observations

January 1, 2018

The Financial Health of the United States Nonprofit Sector examines the finances of more than 219,000 U.S. nonprofits for FY 2010-2014. The findings are sobering:Around 50 percent have less than one month of cash reservesSome 30 percent have lost money over three yearsSome 7-8 percent are technically insolventIn this report, we provide some context setting with a brief overview of the size and scale of the US nonprofit sector and why its financial health matters. We look at the financial vital signs of the sector, analyzing key financial metrics segmented by size, sub-sector, and geography1. We describe practical steps that trustees and their organizations can take to strengthen their financial position. Finally, we offer some long-term ideas for how funders and the rest of the ecosystem can actively reduce the risks of financial distress in the nonprofit sector. We conclude with an appendix of tables summarizing key financial health indicators for the sector.

The Financial Health of Philadelphia-Area Nonprofits

October 1, 2017

As nonprofit organizations in the five Pennsylvania counties of Greater Philadelphia (Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia) emerge from the financial crisis of the last decade and head into a very different and hard-to-forecast political and economic environment in the future, financial discipline, smart growth and strong governance are more important than ever. Accordingly, many nonprofit executives and governing boards are asking new questions about the organizations they govern. What risks do we face?1 How risky are we in relation to our peers? Are we doing the right things to understand and mitigate our risks? How should we balance financial risk against programmatic reward? What should we do to reduce the potential hardships from financial distress?

A Guide to Good Practices in Foundation Operations

June 1, 2017

Foundations are an essential part of our society and our economy. They control billions in assets and award billions in grants. They are an integral part of civil society.But foundations are also notoriously idiosyncratic, with different missions, methods, and practices. Although diversity is generally positive, in this case it creates a costly, inefficient, and unresponsive grantmaking process that blunts the philanthropic sector's total impact.A Guide to Good Practices in Foundation Operations suggests ways foundations can eliminate inefficiencies while retaining the qualities that make them unique:Be transparent to the publicBe rigorous—but remain respectful of your applicantsBe responsive to your constituentsBe proactive about diversity, equity, and inclusion

21st-Century Tools for 21st-Century Foundations

May 1, 2017

The world has changed dramatically since the first community foundation opened its doors in 1914.Today, these organizations play vital roles in more than 750 communities, but they also face competition from new philanthropy vehicles. This report looks at resources and tools that can help community foundations continue to identify and meet needs in their communities.

Completing Your Charting Impact

March 29, 2017

Charting Impact is a common framework that allows staff, boards, stakeholders, donors, volunteers, and others to work together, learn from each other and serve the community better. It complements planning, evaluation, and assessment that organizations already undertake, and can be used by nonprofits and foundations of all sizes and missions. Charting Impact is a joint project of Independent Sector, GuideStar, and the BBB Wise Giving Alliance.This discussion guide explains the five questions at the heart of Charting Impact and offers guidance for developing your organization's responses to them. This material should help your discussions with key members of your organization as you consider how to communicate your goals, strategies, capabilities, progress indicators, and accomplishments through this framework.

GuideStar's Six Tips for Busting the Overhead Myth

September 1, 2016

Despite concerted efforts by nonprofit leaders, the Overhead Myth—the idea that you can evaluate nonprofits by looking at how much they spend (or don't spend) on overhead—persists.GuideStar's Six Tips for Busting the Overhead Myth suggests concrete actions that nonprofits can take to reduce the Overhead Myth's stranglehold on donors, the media, and the general public. It also links to numerous resources that can help you take the campaign against the Overhead Myth further.

Highlights of IRS Form 990 2016

February 1, 2016

IRS Form 990 contains a wealth of information—far too much to discuss in a quick overview. Here, however, is a review of the parts of the form as well as an introduction to several of the fields people find most useful and tips for deciphering the information you'll find in the 990.

Beyond Employee Giving: How LinkedIn Approaches Corporate Social Responsibility (And How You Can, Too)

December 1, 2015

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is more than a PR exercise that makes people like your company. It is a sound business strategy that strengthens customer loyalty, increases employee satisfaction, and improves the bottom line.Beyond Employee Giving explores the different faces of corporate social responsibility, looks at LinkedIn's overwhemingly successful CSR strategy, and defines how you can start or enhance your own CSR program.

Nine Things You Might Not Know about U.S. Nonprofits

November 1, 2015

Do you know...How many nonprofits are registered with the IRS?Nonprofits' role in the U.S. economy?That there are different kinds of nonprofits?That not all nonprofits can accept tax-deductible contributions?Find the answers to these questions and more in Nine Things You Might Not Know about U.S. Nonprofits. This report is an introduction to the vast, complex system that is the nonprofit sector. Think of it as a kind of Nonprofit 101.

The Nonprofit Research Collaborative Summer/Early Fall 2011

September 1, 2011

Fundraising data are typically collected at the organization level and seldom aggregated across different types and sizes of charitable organizations. This Nonprofit Research Collaborative Summer/Early Fall 2011 report is one step in the direction to collect data about current charitable organizational practices around fundraising. The survey asked about the directions of change in giving in the first half of 2011, fundraising methods used, where organizations are investing more in fundraising, and when (or if) organizations track fundraising costs, including direct expenses and staff time. A special section of the survey asked about campaigns—including special projects, capital, endowment, or comprehensive campaigns.

New Rules for Grantmakers and Donors: An Overview for Private Foundations, Organizations Sponsoring Donor-Advised Funds, and Donors

August 1, 2011

New Rules for Grantmakers and Donors: An Overview for Private Foundations, Organizations Sponsoring Donor-Advised Funds, and Donors addresses the steps funders and donors must take to be compliant with IRS regulations:reviews the steps grantors and contributors must take to comply with revised requirements published in IRS Revenue Procedure 2011-33;outlines the importance of documenting this research;discusses the consequences of failing to follow the new IRS rules;provides a convenient checklist to help grantmakers and donors keep their charitable contributions 100 percent IRS compliant.