Nonprofit

Tax-exempt organizations face tough restrictions and scrutiny. Our Nonprofit blogs provide vital resources and highlight legislation, volunteerism and industry conferences to keep you up to speed on current trends.

    Nonprofit Boards and Risk

    Originally published in Philanthropy News Digest While most nonprofits know they need to be forward thinking in order to create change, many are (understandably) focused on the day-to-day delivery of programs and services and don't know how to proceed. It's a challenge to strategize [...]

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      Nonprofit Conference Highlights

      I recently helped host Green Hasson Janks’ 2018 Nonprofit Conference: The Future of Nonprofit Innovation and Technology. As a board member of two nonprofit organizations, Hillsides and Executive Service Corps Los Angeles, the conference had very useful information that can be shared with my boards. [...]

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        Getting Your Board on Board with Fundraising

        Originally published in Notations on Non-Profits  Without fundraising, most nonprofits would cease to exist.  However, BoardSource’s 2017 Leading with Intent report once again had fundraising performance as one of the top three most important areas needing improved Board performance. There is no [...]

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          2017 Tax Reform Act – Unrelated Business Income

          Originally printed in February 2018 issue of Los Angeles Business Journal The 2017 Tax Reform Act that was passed on December 22, 2017 has significant changes that impact tax exempt organizations. As trusted advisors serving more than 100 nonprofit clients, Green Hasson Janks has highlighted [...]

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            Tax Reform Impact on Nonprofits

            The proposed tax legislation will certainly have a significant impact on individuals and business entities. Some of the changes may also have some unintended consequences for exempt organizations, primarily 501(c)(3) organizations. Below are some highlights that were covered at the Western [...]

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              Developing the Right Board For Your Mission

              Excerpt from the Green Hasson Janks Nonprofit Whitepaper, The Give and The Get: The Future of Philanthropy. Most important is to have the right board make-up. A successful board needs wide diversity of skills among its members, both in their backgrounds and in their experience. This variety will [...]

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                Mission Related Investing

                In our recently released whitepaper, The Give and The Get:  The Future of Philanthropy, we noted that many nonprofits are now investing funds in a way that promotes equity.  These investments are made with the intent to generate a measurable, beneficial social or environmental impact alongside a [...]

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                  Nonprofit Challenges – An Insider’s Perspective

                  This year I attended the The American Institute of CPAs  Not-For-Profit Industry Conference in Washington D.C. I reported back on some key takeaways from the conference during our annual accounting and tax update on July 19. I also find it important to share insights from my conversation with Eliz [...]

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                    Who Really Owns Art: Legal Guide to Art Collecting

                    By: Christian Tom What laws govern the ownership of artistic work? There have been numerous cases brought to court in the past few decades regarding the subject of legal title of artwork. One of the most famous and public cases was the Republic of Austria v. Altmann, in which the plaintiff, Maria [...]

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                      IRS Online Resources for Exempt Organizations

                      It can be challenging for exempt organizations to keep track of all the requirements needed in order to maintain their tax exempt status. There are a vast number of topics that exempt organizations should be aware of such as annual filing requirements, unrelated business income, car donation [...]

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                        Travel Ban Impact on Nonprofits

                        There are several nonprofit organizations in the United States with missions aimed at assisting refugees. These nonprofits provide direct assistance, such as food and clothing, to individuals who are currently living in a foreign country, or help refugees that have recently arrived in the U.S. find [...]

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                          Private Foundations and Self – Dealing

                          Private foundations enjoy the benefit of being tax exempt but often face more restrictions and scrutiny than public charities.  Green Hasson Janks Principal Lauren Haverlock takes an in-depth look at one of the most rigid restrictions for private foundations – self dealing. Click here to download [...]

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                            The Benefits of Program-Related Investments

                            In our previous blog, No Strings Attached, we discussed the importance of unrestricted general operating support from grant makers.  However, general operating support may not be the best – or only way – to assist every grantee organization. Instead of, or in addition to a grant, program-related [...]

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                              Due Diligence During a Merger

                              It is a rare feat when two nonprofit organizations are able to come together and join resources to increase the collective impact they have in the community. It is just as rare to have enough donor contributions that allow them to do so. The amount of time, work, and of course, due diligence, that [...]

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                                Nonprofit Compensation

                                By: Blair Howard (Intern, Green Hasson Janks) and Lauren Haverlock (Principal, Green Hasson Janks) Managing executive compensation for the highest paid executives in any company can be difficult, but it becomes much more complex when discussing tax-exempt organizations. Not only must a nonprofit [...]

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                                  Charity Navigator

                                  By: Diane Hernandez The record-setting stock market performance and increase in housing prices has enabled the United States economy to grow largely in recent years. This underlying trend, and an increase in a much larger diverse and intellectual population, has given rise to the financial health [...]

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                                    How Nonprofits Can Do More With Less

                                    By: Justin Wedell (guest blogger, Nonprofit Empowerment Program, Cornerstone OnDemand Foundation) For anyone even tangentially involved in the world of nonprofits, doing more with less has probably been a common motif throughout your experience. To be fair, there’s nothing wrong with efficiency [...]

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                                      Encore Fellows to the Rescue for Nonprofits

                                      By: Judy Bamberger (Guest Blogger, Encore Fellows Program Manager, Social Venture Partners) Over the next decade, the population over age 65 will increase dramatically from 10 percent to 25 percent. How can society take advantage of these extensive skills, knowledge and life experiences? In [...]

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                                        Utilizing Your Volunteer Army

                                        Volunteers are an integral part of the nonprofit world. Most nonprofits can’t operate without their volunteers. Not only do they provide their time and skills to help support your cause at no cost, but volunteers are ten times more likely to donate to your organization. The more volunteers and the [...]

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                                          Five Secrets For Volunteer Success

                                          By: Karen Baker (Chief Service Officer, State of California and CaliforniaVolunteers) Volunteers are a great resource of additional people that can help a nonprofit fulfill its mission — they represent time, talent, and treasure. When I recently spoke at the Green Hasson Janks 2015 Nonprofit [...]

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                                            Emerging Trends in Child Welfare

                                            By: Ritchie Geisel (Guest blogger, Bienvenidos Children’s Center) Southern California nonprofit social service agencies have faced many challenges in recent years, beginning with funding cuts resulting from the Great Recession and California’s budget crisis — many of which have yet to be restored. [...]

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                                              Messaging and Storytelling for Impact Giving

                                              At our recent 2015 Nonprofit Conference we decided to do things a little differently and scheduled two concurrent breakout sessions. I had the pleasure of attending the Messaging and Storytelling for Impact Giving workshop and introducing the presenter, Terrence McNally, a strategic communications [...]

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                                                Tackling “the impact question”

                                                By Jennifer Shen (Partner and Co-Founder, Blue Garnet) How many times have you heard the word “impact” or “outcomes” this week? We’re betting quite a few — we’d even say they’re buzzwords of the year. In fact, at the recent 2015 Green Hasson Janks Nonprofit Conference, the discussion touched on [...]

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                                                  2015 Nonprofit Conference Overview

                                                  By: Diane Hernandez (Associate, Green Hasson Janks) The Green Hasson Janks 2015 Nonprofit Conference was a huge success, thanks to the knowledge and insights shared by each of the panelists and guest speakers. The theme this year was “The nonprofit leaders’ journey from ordinary to extraordinary: [...]

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                                                    Ordinary to Extraordinary – What Does it Take?

                                                    At our nonprofit conference last week, themed “The nonprofit leaders’ journey from ordinary to extraordinary:  Tell me something I don’t know,” Pegine Grayson, vice president of Philanthropic Services at Whittier Trust, was one of our panelists. After the conference I asked Pegine if I could [...]

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                                                      Bipartisanship Over Taxes Does Exist!

                                                      By: Richard Ruvelson I am taking this opportunity to pass on information gleaned from the Nonprofit Law Prof blog dated July 13, 2015. It is reassuring to know that, even during contentious times at the beginning of a presidential-election campaign, bipartisanship still exists. This particular blog [...]

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                                                        FASB exposure draft – how to make a comment

                                                        By Margaret Karren On April 22 the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued an exposure draft which would significantly change the existing not-for-profit financial reporting model.  Comments are due by August 20, 2015. I decided to try making a comment to see how the process worked.  I [...]

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                                                          FASB Exposure

                                                          By Margaret Karren The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has issued an exposure draft for the presentation of financial statements of not-for-profit entities. The comment period ends on August 20, 2015, public roundtables will occur in September and October 2015, and the FASB board [...]

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                                                            Becoming a Better Ambassador

                                                            In my last blog posting I mentioned reading BoardSource’s 2015 Leading with Intent. The report is a comprehensive review of nonprofit board practices, policies and performance and builds on data that BoardSource has collected and analyzed for over 20 years. One of the takeaways for me was that [...]

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                                                              Marketing Your Nonprofit to Donors Through Advocacy

                                                              By: Larry Kaplan, Nonprofit Consultant, Larry Kaplan Consulting Last month, I was featured in Green Hasson Janks' panel discussion on marketing your nonprofit to donors.  Some of you might wonder why an advocacy specialist would be on a panel about marketing and fundraising.  Simple – advocacy is [...]

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                                                                Marketing 101 for Nonprofits

                                                                By: Laurel Mintz, Founder & CEO, Elevate My Brand As a nonprofit you wear many many hats. Some hats are organizational, some hats are fundraising.  The one hat that is usually missing or terribly frayed is marketing.  As discussed at Green Hasson Janks' December 2nd nonprofit workshop, [...]

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                                                                  Marketing Best Practices for Nonprofit Organziations

                                                                  By: Margaret Karren We had a lively panel discussion yesterday at our Green Hasson Janks Nonprofit Workshop on "Marketing Best Practices for Nonprofit Organizations."  The panel was moderated by our own Director of Marketing Kari Schott. The panel discussed ideas and best practices around marketing [...]

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                                                                    Give, Get or Get off

                                                                    This past February, we kicked off our 2014 nonprofit workshop season with a panel discussion on Board governance – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly:  The Path to a High-Performing Board.  One of the questions we heard from the audience was "Should our Board have a giving requirement, and if so, how [...]

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                                                                      Strategic Planning

                                                                      Having a strategic plan is essential to ensure a nonprofit’s vision and mission are fulfilled.  Not every plan is a strategic plan though, and too often strategic plans collect dust on a shelf, rather than being a living and breathing document. TCC Group’s "Ten Keys to Successful Strategic Planning [...]

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                                                                        Focus on Fraud

                                                                        Fraud not only hurts a nonprofit organization financially, it hurts the people it serves and the community that supports it.  Due to the negative publicity that can result, it is often kept quiet.  But management and Boards of nonprofit organizations need to be aware of the risks and ensure [...]

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                                                                          Trying to Get Your Board to the Next Level?

                                                                          By: Margaret Karren I often hear Executive Directors say that they have board members who aren’t living up to their expectations or they are having trouble recruiting new members.  If this sounds like your organization consider forming a Governance Committee.  The core responsibilities of this [...]

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                                                                            Insights and Perspectives from a New Board Member

                                                                            By: Pratish Patel On Tuesday, February 18, I had the privilege of attending the workshop “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: The Path to a High-Performing Board,” which was hosted by my very own firm Green Hasson Janks. I am an Audit Associate at Green Hasson Janks and have been with the firm for just [...]

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                                                                              Tips for a High-Performing Board Meeting

                                                                              Yesterday’s panel discussion on best Board practices explored some interesting ideas around Board engagement and fundraising.  We will continue the discussion through upcoming blog postings. A few tips for making Board meetings more effective were mentioned yesterday, and as a reminder: The most [...]

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                                                                                The Path to a High-Performing Board

                                                                                On Tuesday, February 18, we will kick off the first of our quarterly nonprofit workshop series for 2014 with " The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly:  The Path to a High-Performing Board," which will include a panel discussion on best Board practices. Why is an effective Board so critical?  Well, in the [...]

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                                                                                  Volunteer Trends and Challenges

                                                                                  Last April, I blogged about the value of volunteers from a financial statement standpoint, and there is no doubt that volunteer engagement is crucial to most nonprofit organizations.  Volunteers increase capacity, are cost effective and extend a nonprofit’s reach by getting the word out, engaging [...]

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                                                                                    Frequently Asked Question: Check Signing Thresholds

                                                                                    At a recent Finance Committee meeting of one of my clients, a question was raised about appropriate check signing levels.  While every organization is different, the following three part signing resolution can be considered a guide for medium-sized organizations: Up to $10,000, any one officer or [...]

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                                                                                      Food Banks in Need

                                                                                      With most of us looking forward to a day of over-indulgence with friends and family at the dinner table tomorrow, there are many who will be visiting community kitchens and missions for a donated meal, or sadly, even going hungry. On November 1, 2013, food stamp benefits were cut to more than 47 [...]

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                                                                                        Government Shutdown – Week Two Status Check

                                                                                        As another week closes on the Government shutdown, we reflect on the impact felt so far by our nonprofit clients: Social Security and Medicare Benefits – these continue to be paid out, but there could be delays in processing new disability applications if the shutdown continues.  Unemployment [...]

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                                                                                          Exploring the World of Contributions – Bequests

                                                                                          During our August nonprofit workshop, our nonprofit team shared the latest in accounting and tax updates, as well as insights from AICPA’s recently revised Audit & Accounting Guide for Not-for-Profit Entities. We posed various questions during our workshop and over the next few blog postings, [...]

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                                                                                            Too Much Partying: Tea and Otherwise

                                                                                            By: Richard Ruvelson Former Commissioner of Internal Revenue Mark Everson met with a group of Green Hasson Janks clients and tax personnel on Wednesday August 7, 2013. Everson currently serves as the Vice Chairman of alliantgroup, a national tax consulting firm that works closely with businesses [...]

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                                                                                              Fraud in the Nonprofit Sector

                                                                                              By:  Margaret Karren While attending the 2013 AICPA Not-for-Profit Industry Conference this past week in Washington D.C., I learned some interesting facts and statistics about employees committing fraud in the nonprofit sector. A typical fraud in a nonprofit organization is for $100,000. Billing [...]

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                                                                                                Buy More Cookies!

                                                                                                By: Margaret Karren Anna Maria Chavez from the Girl Scouts of the USA kicked off the Not-For-Profit Conference as the keynote speaker. Her topic "The Full Slate - The Economic Imperative of Leveraging the Full Potential of Women in the Modern Workforce". Ms. Chavez spoke of the great history and [...]

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                                                                                                  Volunteers – The Rules of Engagement

                                                                                                  Last week I blogged about the recent court ruling regarding interns and earlier in the year I blogged about the value of volunteers. The use of interns and volunteers by nonprofit organizations comes with legal risks, and it’s worthwhile to remember the 4 basic rules when working with volunteers: [...]

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                                                                                                    Are Nonprofit Internships at Risk?

                                                                                                    This week’s ruling in New York by a Federal judge that Fox Searchlight Pictures violated minimum wage and overtime laws by not paying interns should lead nonprofit organizations to reassess their policies for using interns. In the ruling, the judge held that Fox Searchlight Pictures should have [...]

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                                                                                                      Healthcare Reform – Are You Ready?

                                                                                                      I thought I’d share some key takeaways from a recent presentation I attended on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Most organizations have not… Determined the expected financial impact of health care reform Modeled scenarios to determine the cost-benefit of offering or not offering [...]

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                                                                                                        The Value of Volunteers

                                                                                                        Volunteers increase capacity, are cost effective and extend a nonprofit’s reach. They have value, even though the value of their services may not meet the criteria for recognition in financial statements. The Independent Sector has released the new value of volunteer time - $22.14 per hour for [...]

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                                                                                                          Voluntary Classification Settlement Program

                                                                                                          By: Richard Ruvelson I wanted to expand upon a topic that I covered during our last Nonprofit Workshop, on February 19th. The IRS has expanded upon it’s Voluntary Classification Settlement Program (VCSP) for organizations wanting to reclassify workers as employees for future tax periods and has [...]

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                                                                                                            Form I-9 Audits on the Rise

                                                                                                            Federal law requires every employer hiring an individual for employment in the United States to verify his or her identity and employment authorization through completion of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. 2012 saw a record number of Form I-9 audits and enforcement actions. U.S. [...]

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                                                                                                              “Makers: Women Who Make America”

                                                                                                              By Margaret Karren Congratulations to Faye Washington of YWCA Greater Los Angeles. Ms. Washington was named as a Southern California Champion on the PBS airing of “Makers: Women Who Make America”. Check out this link to share in Ms. Washington’s vision and see her great accomplishment of the [...]

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                                                                                                                OMB Proposed Guidance

                                                                                                                By: Margaret Karren After much talk during 2012, there is hope for reform of A-133 audits. The proposed changes will increase the efficiency and eliminate unnecessary requirements. OMB Proposed Guidance On January 31, 2013, the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued for a 90 day comment [...]

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                                                                                                                  Form 990 Core Form Instructions Released

                                                                                                                  By: Richard Ruvelson While many tax-exempt organizations have been concerned about the provisions of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, there are some other tax “reporting” issues that I want to remind tax-exempt organizations to consider over the next few weeks. Form 990 Since the 2012 [...]

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