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”

I Am Thankful For The Work of Philanthropy in my Life

Nonprofits are not just organizations – they are the face (and soul) of our communities. They help millions of individuals every day meet basic needs, such as food, shelter, health care and education. But that us not all nonprofits do for our communities. Nonprofits also give shape to our boldest dreams, highest ideals, and noblestContinue reading “I Am Thankful For The Work of Philanthropy in my Life”

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”

More & More State Programs are Being Shifted to the Nonprofit Sector

While the nonprofit sector fights to keep our federal government from drastically cutting the charitable incentive tax credit, a credit thought to drive substantial funds to nonprofit programs to the nonprofit sector. In an effort to cut budgets without hurting community support, state governments are turning to the nonprofit sector – the sector often forgottenContinue reading “More & More State Programs are Being Shifted to the Nonprofit Sector”

Who is Responsible For Advancing the Practice of Philanthropy?

No matter where I go or who I talk to about philanthropy, I very rarely (if ever) hear concern for the improvement of philanthropic approaches. The bottom line – nonprofits just don't believe they should pay as much attention to the practice of philanthropy as they should to the execution of their programs. In recent years, the GatesContinue reading “Who is Responsible For Advancing the Practice of Philanthropy?”

Is Philanthropy Broken?

Maybe it’s because I’m getting older and I just plan to do what I want to do.  Maybe it’s more confidence. Maybe it’s just more wisdom.  No matter the reason, I feel it’s been long overdue to kick the time-worn “nonprofit template” to the curb.  As a long-time nonprofit executive, with more than 16+ years leadingContinue reading “Is Philanthropy Broken?”