Providing employees with credit cards may seem convenient. But sharp criticism will likely follow if the cards are misused or appear to have been. And while large nonprofits typically have strong internal controls that minimize the risks, smaller organizations may need to take steps to protect themselves from credit card abuse. That begins with establishing a formal credit card policy.
Continue reading Implement a policy for credit card use
Donations to nonprofits plunged during the latest recession and have been edging their way to healthier levels ever since. But many contributors today can afford only small gifts in a still-tight economy. Enter the micro-donation.
Continue reading Micro-donations Good things come in small packages
With so much attention these days paid to fundraising ratios, many nonprofits feel pressure to minimize their fundraising expenses. This makes allocating joint costs — costs associated with activities that have both fundraising and other functions — appealing. But before you take that step, make sure that you’re familiar with some frequently misunderstood accounting rules.
Continue reading Joint costs: The right way to allocate
DOL issues guidance on independent contractors
New U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) guidance addresses the standard for determining whether an employee is misclassified as an independent contractor under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The guidance incorporates the “economic realities” test and provides broader FLSA coverage than the common law control test, which focuses on the employer’s control over the worker.
Continue reading Newsbits
Public confidence in nonprofits varies
A survey conducted by the Chronicle of Philanthropy — the first to measure public confidence in charities since 2008 — has found that two-thirds of Americans have a fair amount of confidence in charities. More than 80% indicated that charities do a “very good” or “somewhat good” job helping people.
Continue reading Newsbits
An employee handbook sets the stage for many scenarios, from vacation requests and maternity leaves to performance reviews and termination procedures. As certain situations arise, knowing the rules can prevent surprise, confusion and resentment on both sides of the table.
Continue reading Your employee handbook, It may be time for a tune-up
More and more nonprofits are joining forces to better serve their client populations and cut costs. But such relationships can come with complicated financial reporting obligations. Your organization’s reporting requirements will depend on the type of relationship you enter.
Continue reading Collaborative activities Are you reporting them correctly?
With the 2016 election season picking up steam, nonprofits need to exercise caution not to stray into political activities that could put their tax-exempt status on the line. But while the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) clearly prohibits certain activities and expenditures related to the political process, other activities may be permissible.
Continue reading Tread carefully this election season
Every organization is different, but most nonprofits follow a somewhat predictable life cycle. And just as they are for a child, the early years for organizations are full of important milestones. A nonprofit’s first steps can make the difference between a sustainable organization with the capacity to fulfill its mission and a floundering failure that fades out fast.
Continue reading The nonprofit life cycle – Start-ups face challenges, opportunities
Dividends, interest, rents, annuities and other investment income are generally excluded when calculating unrelated business income tax (UBIT). But tax law provides two exceptions where such income will indeed be deemed taxable. And with IRS scrutiny of unrelated business income intensifying these days, nonprofits need to know about these potential pitfalls.
Continue reading When investment income counts as UBI