Discovering if a Nonprofit is Dishonest

As I noted in my two-part series on how to review a nonprofit's financial records, a good review is only helpful if the organization is an honest one. Fortunately, there are ways to find out if an organization has had problems or disciplinary actions in the past.  Below are the best four tools I haveContinue reading “Discovering if a Nonprofit is Dishonest”

Reviewing a Charity’s Financials with their 990 – Part 2

In part one, we reviewed how to use a nonprofit's Form 990 to determine it's mission, and to understand program versus operational expenses. We reviewed both the black and white answer, as well as the muddy gray one. In part two we will do the same as we look at four other parts of theContinue reading “Reviewing a Charity’s Financials with their 990 – Part 2”

Reviewing a Charity’s Financials with their 990 – Part 1

Spending more time researching the nonprofits donors wish to support has become a growing trend. While I support this trend for any donor who has the time, I worry when anyone tries to analyze or compare something that they don't completely understand. Most donors state that the most important thing they wish to review isContinue reading “Reviewing a Charity’s Financials with their 990 – Part 1”

Focus on Outcomes, Not Overhead

Often nonprofit executives are so focused on keeping our budget tight that we forget to ask ourselves, are we cutting corners? What could we do if we had more money? What opportunities to better serve our beneficiaries are we missing by being so fiscally conservative? Most long-time nonprofit leaders have a “do more with less” mindset,Continue reading “Focus on Outcomes, Not Overhead”

Benefits of Donor-Advised Funds

Donor-advised funds (DAFs)–simply defined as funds held within, and managed by, a public charity–are fast becoming THE most popular vehicle for charitable giving in the U.S. Despite the sluggish economy, the number of DAFs in the United States actually grew by 152,365 (3%) in 2009, according to the National Philanthropic Trust's 2010 Donor-Advised Fund Report.Continue reading “Benefits of Donor-Advised Funds”