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Sharing the news, tips, press releases, special offers and upcoming events posted by LANO members. Share your good news here! Feel free to cross post the blog links to your Facebook or other media pages, or to email them directly to friends.Please allow 1-2 business days for your blog to appear on the network.

 

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Johnson Amendment Update

Posted By Kelly Pepper, Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations, Monday, July 17, 2017

The amendment to strike Section 116 related to Johnson Amendment enforcement failed by a vote of 24 to 28. The vote on nonpartisanship was not by party line as feared. Two Republicans, Charles Dent (R-PA) and Scott Taylor (R-VA) voted with all Democrats to remove the measure that would make it virtually impossible for the IRS to enforce the Johnson Amendment against even grievous violations of the Johnson Amendment.

 

We are attaching a link to the National Council of Nonprofits’ news release related to the amendment, “Nonprofits to Congress: Don't Politicize Houses of Worship” that we encourage you to share with your staffs and communities. We will update you with more information as it becomes available to us.

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Veterans to be Screened For AAA

Posted By J. B. Hunt, AAAneurysm Outreach, Friday, July 7, 2017

New Orleans-based non-profit AAAneurysm Outreach will partner with the Veterans of Foreign Wars to offer free screenings for abdominal aortic aneurysms at VFW’s national convention in New Orleans July 22-25.

 

As many as 2,000 veterans are expected to participate in this simple ultrasound screening sponsored by AAAneurysm Outreach, W. L. Gore Inc., the Society for Vascular Surgery, and the VFW, and provided by LSU Healthcare physicians and Philips medical equipment, with support from Blue Cross Blue Shield volunteers, Rouses Market and others. 

This is expected to be the largest mass screening event of its kind, and is a way for the sponsors to support military veterans.

 “This screening test is a simple ultrasound of the abdomen, takes only a few minutes and is painless,” according to Claudie Sheahan, MD, Associate Professor of Clinical Surgery at LSU Health Sciences Center, “The images help determine if an aneurysm is present, and when found can be treated to prevent rupturing.”

An abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a ballooning of the artery that carries blood to the lower part of the body. A “Silent Killer,” a ruptured aneurysm is fatal nearly 90% of the time, and there are no symptoms.

This type of aneurysm rupture is the third leading cause of sudden death in men over 60 and was a contributing factor in the recent deaths of actors Bill Paxton, Alan Thicke, and Tommy Ford.

The risk factors for AAA include a history of smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, hardening of the arteries and family history. It’s estimated that more than 1 million people are living with an undiagnosed abdominal aortic aneurysm.  A screening is recommended every five years for those over age 60 or with risk factors.

About AAAneurysm Outreach

Founded in Prairieville in 1999, AAAneurysm Outreach is the nation’s only non-profit providing public awareness, education, outreach and free aneurysm health screenings for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms, a leading cause of death in men and women.

AAAneurysm Outreach provides comprehensive education on this “Silent Killer” for the general population, at-risk individuals including those with hypertension, smokers; individuals age 60+, those with a family history of aneurysms, and clinical data for the medical community.

AAAneurysm Outreach has provided free life-saving health screenings for more than 11,000 people and outreach education programs for hundreds of social organizations, medical associations, non-profit organizations, senior community groups, and faith-based organizations throughout the country. 

Visit www.aoutreach.org, or call 504-598-5241 for more information on AAAneurysm Outreach, abdominal aortic aneurysm risk factors, screening data, free public screening events calendar, and partnership program opportunities.

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Tags:  AAAneurysm Outreach  abdominal aortic aneurysm  aneurysm  Blue Cross Blue Shield  free  free health screening  Gore  health  louisiana  New Orleans  nonprofit  veterans  volunteers 

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Accountable Plans Save Employees Tax Dollars

Posted By Celeste Viator, Hannis T. Bourgeois, LLP, Tuesday, June 27, 2017

With salaries on a plateau or rising only slightly at most not-for-profit organizations, employers should be alert to other ways to give their employees a financial break. Having an accountable plan for business expense reimbursement is one way to save your employees some money.

 

Setting Up a Plan

 

A not-for-profit (or other employer) can't reimburse employees for their business expenses tax-free just because the employees submit expense records. If the not-for-profit also has a properly executed accountable plan in place, it need not report qualifying reimbursed expenses as earnings on the employees' W-2 forms. Thus, the employees won't be taxed on the reimbursed amounts.

 

While the accountable plan isn't required to be in writing, a formally established plan makes it easier for the not-for-profit to prove its validity to the IRS if ever challenged. A written plan also gives the organization a structure for describing its requirements for expense reimbursement.

 

The IRS stipulates that all expenses covered in the accountable plan have a business connection and be "reasonable." This begs the question "What isn't reasonable?" Let's say an organization reimburses an employee at 80 cents per mile, rather than the 54 cents per mile allowed by the IRS in 2016. The IRS would consider the extra 26 cents excessive and treat it as taxable income.

 

Additionally:

  • An employer can't reimburse the employee more than what he or she paid for any business expense.
  • The IRS requires that the employee account to an employer for his or her expenses and return any excess allowance within a reasonable period of time.

Following Reimbursement Rules

If an expense could otherwise qualify as a business deduction for an employee, it generally can qualify as a tax-free reimbursement under an accountable plan. For meals and entertainment, the plan may reimburse expenses at 100 percent that would be deductible by the employee at only 50 percent.

 

You must identify the reimbursement or expense payment and keep these amounts separate from other amounts, such as wages. The accountable plan must reimburse expenses in addition to an employee's regular compensation. No matter how informal your nonprofit, you can't substitute tax-free reimbursements for compensation employees otherwise would have received.

 

Assume, for example, that an employee receives $250 for a day's work -- whether traveling or not -- and on a business trip incurs $75 in reimbursable expenses. You can't treat $75 as tax-free reimbursement and report $175 as taxable income.

 

If you give your employees an advance for expenses and the funds aren't used for qualified expenses, they'll be considered to have been reimbursements under a nonaccountable plan and be taxable to the employee.

 

Accounting for Expenses

 

The IRS requires that the employer keep the following information for business expenses that are reimbursed:

    1. The amount of the expense and the date.

    2. The place of the travel, meal or transportation.

    3. The business purpose of the expense.

    4. The business relationship of the people entertained or fed.

Credit card statements may be used to provide key elements of documentation, such as the place and date of the expense, and employees must supplement the statement with documentation of other elements, which can be provided on a standard expense reporting form.

 

Require employees to submit receipts for any other expenses of $75 or more and for all lodging, unless your nonprofit uses a per diem plan. Such a plan can be used for lodging, meals and incidental expenses only when your employees are away from home on business.

 

The IRS has set standard per day amounts that taxpayers may use in lieu of actual amounts spent for meal expenses incurred while away from home on business travel. U.S. rates are available in IRS Publication 1542, Per Diem Rates, which also includes the IRS per day amounts for combined meal and lodging expenses. When using a per diem for travel — or mileage for vehicle usage — an employer may adopt a lower amount than the IRS maximum.

 

Speaking of mileage, employees need to keep track of that, too. An account book, diary, log, trip sheet or similar record may be used to substantiate a vehicle's business use. This is the best way for employees to maximize and protect this deduction. Keep in mind that commuting mileage generally doesn't qualify.

 

IRS Publication 463, Travel, Entertainment, Gift, and Car Expenses, provides more details on this topic.

 

Enjoy Full Tax Benefits

 

An accountable plan allows you and your employees to enjoy full tax benefits. If you don't have a plan in place, your CPA can assist you in setting one up that will hold up to IRS scrutiny.

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Learn to maximize your nonprofit’s cash flow.

Posted By Amy Warner, CausePlanet, Sunday, June 25, 2017

 

 

 

 

Learn to maximize your nonprofit’s cash flow.

 

Many of us are familiar with managing a budget, but overseeing cash flow requires the ability to create financial reports that genuinely help us react and adjust for the future. Cash Flow Strategies offers a simple and easy approach that involves using cash flow for budgeting, forecasting and monitoring.

 

Coauthors Richard and Anna Linzer show you how cash flow analysis can resolve complex problems. It can also allow you to formulate strategies that enable your organization to achieve more mission for less money.

 

If your bias is toward language over numbers, you’ll find this book surprisingly easy to follow. What’s more, the book includes case studies, examples and a CD that contains a Cash Flow Forecaster and Real Estate Calculator.

 

Learn more about this book and our summary.

 

Questions? Email us at Support@CausePlanet.org.

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2017 American Heritage Awards

Posted By Terence Delaine Jr, Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations, Monday, June 19, 2017

The American Immigration Council, a powerful voice in honoring our proud history as a nation of immigrants, is hosting the American Heritage Awards in New Orleans on Friday, June 23. The American Heritage Awards is their annual gala where they celebrate the talents, contributions, and accomplishments of notable immigrants with a fun night of cocktails, entertainment, and dinner. This year they will be honoring Franco Alessandrini, and Andrei Codrescu.

 

Franco Alessandrini for his incredible accomplishments as a world-renowned Italian-American immigrant painter and sculptor. Mr. Alessandrini’s works are in private and public collections throughout the United States, Europe and South America, including the Monument to the Immigrants, displayed in Woldenberg Park on the Riverfront in New Orleans.

 

Andrei Codrescu is a Jewish, Romanian-American, homme-de-lettres who became nationally recognized through his many years of thoughtful commentary on National Public Radio. Condrescu was raised in anti-Semitic, Communist Romania. He escaped as a young man to Israel, and then landed in the United States in the late 1960s. Codrescu was the Mac Curdy Distinguished Professor of English at Louisiana State University from 1984 until his retirement in 2009 and still considers New Orleans his “home turf.

 

The AIC currently offering $50 off their ticket price for nonprofit members, so don’t miss out! Tickets are available here.

 

Questions? Email them at aha@immcouncil.org

Tags:  networking  New Orleans 

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Infuse passion and creativity into your grant writing

Posted By Amy Warner, CausePlanet, Thursday, June 8, 2017

 

Infuse passion and creativity into your grant writing.

 

Along with strengthening your budget-building skills at LANO’s June 14th webinar, Budget Building for Grant Writers, learn how to incorporate the art of storytelling in your proposal frameworks.

 

No one wants to write or read a horrible grant proposal. An amazing lack of energy and misdirected effort goes into unfunded grant proposals every year despite how worthy the cause may be. It’s quite simple: If you make the task of reading a grant proposal an enjoyable activity by incorporating storytelling, you’ll secure more grants.

 

In Storytelling for Grantseekers, Author Cheryl Clarke aims to pass on her 20-plus years of successful grant writing and instruct you on how to apply storytelling to your proposal.

 

She also discusses many other important grant-writing components. Just a few examples include how to effectively research and identify foundations most likely to award a grant and how to package and market your proposal.

Learn more about this book and our summary.

 

Questions? Email us at Support@CausePlanet.org.

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Creating a Powerful Fundraising Plan

Posted By Nora Ellertsen, The Funding Seed, LLC, Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Creating a Powerful Fundraising Plan

Thursday, June 22, 2017
9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Ashe Cultural Arts Center
1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.
New Orleans, LA 70113

Grow your nonprofit's capacity with a powerful fundraising plan!

What would happen at your organization if you never had to worry about your funding? If you knew how much you needed to raise, and how you were going to raise it?

This workshop will help you make that a reality. You'll learn ways to assess your resources, to set fundraising goals, and to create a calendar that will keep you on track. Participants will receive tools they can take back to their organizations and put to work immediately.

Attendees will receive a Certificate of Participation for completing the workshop.
Registration $40. Discounts available for students, AmeriCorps and organizations registering two or more people.

REGISTER HERE

For questions, to inquire about discount codes or to reserve your seat and pay at the door, email info@thefundingseed.com. Visit thefundingseed.com to learn more about the Funding Seed's other offerings!

Tags:  development  donations  donor retention  donors  fund  fund development  fund raising  funding  fundraisingnonprofit  funds  grant  grant writing  grantwriting  LANO Network  New Orleans  nonprofit sector  non-profits  online fundraising  sustainability  training  workshop 

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Wondering where your organization’s money is going? Strengthen your financial muscles with Zone of Insolvency

Posted By Amy Warner, CausePlanet, Friday, May 26, 2017

 

 

 

 

 Wondering where your organization’s money is going? Strengthen your financial muscles with Zone of Insolvency, a perfect primer for LANO’s June 1st webinar on recovering overhead costs on government contracts.

 

Approximately one-third –– or 450,000 –– nonprofits today function in financial distress, or what author Ron Mattocks calls the “Zone of Insolvency.” Many nonprofit executives believe (erroneously) that operating in financial distress is an unfortunate but necessary part of doing business in the nonprofit sector.

 

The courts have expanded the legal responsibilities and liabilities of boards of nonprofits that operate in the Zone of Insolvency. In many cases, lawsuits and settlements against nonprofit board members and managers have stemmed from decisions while operating in financial distress.

 

Through case studies of organizations that have faced financial distress, Mattocks looks at the issues facing the nonprofit sector and examines the three options every nonprofit operating in the Zone of Insolvency must confront.

 

Learn more about this book and our summary.

 

Questions? Email us at Support@CausePlanet.org.

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Activities with Related Entities: Are You Properly Reporting Them?

Posted By Celeste Viator, Hannis T. Bourgeois, LLP, Wednesday, May 24, 2017

It's no secret that the number of not-for-profit organizations is growing while the number of grant dollars is shrinking. Shifting from competing for grant funds to cooperating with other organizations can create substantial value for not-for-profits and the people they serve. Among the ways that organizations can work together are:

  • Purchasing goods and services together;
  • Sharing facilities;
  • Combining fund-raising activities;
  • Sharing staff members and staff training;
  • Combining activities that advocate for their mutual beneficiaries;
  • Sharing the costs of community needs surveys;
  • Combining marketing of programs;
  • Forming a new organization to deliver a program or to deliver administrative services;
  • Merging together to create one integrated organization; and
  • Combining to create a parent-subsidiary relationship.

In addition to its many benefits, cooperation with another organization has its challenges. For example, an organization needs to motivate employees, ensure the quality of goods and services, identify and respond to risks associated with new programs, and manage the chance of diluting the organization's brand. This article only discusses financial reporting challenges.

 

When two organizations work together to achieve their missions, the way financial information about the cooperative activity is reported depends on which of the various pathways to cooperation the two organizations take. Chapter 3 of the AICPA Audit and Accounting Guide Not-for-Profit Entities (Audit Guide) discusses reporting relationships between the two entities when the purpose of the relationship is to provide goods or services that accomplish the organization's mission or the organization's administrative purposes. This article helps your organization find its way through that complex guidance. (Chapter 4 of the Audit Guide discusses reporting when the objective of the relationship between the entities is investment return and the other entity is not required to be consolidated. Those relationships are not discussed in this article.)

 

For ease in communicating, this article will use the following terms:

  • The reporting organization is the organization that's trying to determine how financial information about the cooperative activities is reported in its financial statements.
  • The entity that is carrying out cooperative activities may be a separate legal entity, but can be an activity shared by two entities that is not housed in a separate legal entity.
  • The other entity is the entity with which the reporting organization cooperates in performing the cooperative activity.

 

Was a New Legal Entity Created to Carry Out the Cooperative Activity?

 

If a cooperative activity isn't housed in a new legal entity, then the reporting organization most likely is a participant in a collaborative arrangement. A collaborative arrangement is a contractual arrangement that involves two (or more) parties in a joint operating activity. The parties are both active participants in the activity, and are exposed to significant risks and rewards dependent on the commercial success of the activity.

 

When involved in a collaborative arrangement, the reporting organization should report costs incurred and revenue generated from transactions between the cooperative activity and third parties (that is, parties that don't participate in the arrangement) in its statement of activities on a gross basis if it is deemed to be the principal participant for a given transaction. The guidance in Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) 605-45 is used to determine whether the reporting organization or the other entity is the principal participant for a given transaction.

 

In some cases, a new legal entity is not created and the governing body of the reporting organization cedes control of its operations to the other entity as part of its decision to engage in the cooperative activity.

 

For example, as part of the negotiations establishing a cooperative activity, the reporting organization might allow the other entity to appoint three of the five members of the reporting entity's governing board — if a simple majority is required to approve board actions, the other entity would control the reporting organization because of its majority voting interest in the board. If the other entity obtains control of the reporting organization, the reporting organization (including the cooperative activity) is consolidated with the other entity beginning on the acquisition date. If the reporting organization will present its own separate financial statements after the other entity obtains control of it (for example, because of certain lender or grantor requirements), the reporting organization should decide whether to establish a new basis for reporting its assets and liabilities based on the other (acquiring) entity's basis.

 

In other cases, a new legal entity is not created and the governing body of the other entity cedes control of its operations to the reporting entity as part of its decision to engage in the cooperative activity. If the reporting organization is required to consolidate the other entity, the reporting organization should account for its interest in the other entity and the cooperative activity by applying an acquisition method described in the "Acquisition by a Not-for-Profit Entity" subsections of FASB ASC 958-805.

 

If a new legal entity was created to carry out the cooperative activity, the reporting organization should determine whether it has combined with the cooperative activity or the other entity in a merger or acquisition transaction. If the governing boards of both the reporting organization and the other entity cede control of themselves to the new legal entity, the reporting organization ceases to exist, and it must determine how to report the creation of the new legal entity housing the cooperative activity. If only the governing board of the reporting organization cedes control to the new legal entity, the new legal entity becomes the acquirer.

 

Similar to the situation in which the other entity acquired the reporting organization, the reporting organization should decide whether to establish a new basis for reporting its assets and liabilities based on the new legal entity's basis if the reporting organization will present its own separate financial statements after the new legal entity obtains control.

 

In most cases, the creation of a new legal entity is neither a merger nor an acquisition. The new legal entity is created to house only the cooperative activity and not the activities of the reporting organization or the other entity. To determine the proper accounting, it is necessary to determine whether the reporting organization controls the cooperative activity.

 

 

Benefits, but Reporting Challenges

 

 

The benefits of working with another entity to perform a cooperative activity usually are worth struggling through the necessary financial reporting challenges. This article is a simplification of a complex area. Your organization should work with its accountants and auditors to determine the appropriate accounting and disclosures.                                     

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2017 AFP Conference Scholarship

Posted By Terence Delaine Jr, Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations, Wednesday, May 17, 2017

LANO is pleased to announce a new partnership with the Greater New Orleans Chapter of AFP that will grant two individual scholarships for LANO Members (Friend of LANO excluded) to attend the Association of Fundraising Professionals Greater New Orleans Chapter Conference at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts in New Orleans on June 15th.

 

Hear keynote speaker Dr. Adrian Sargeant, recognized worldwide as the leading authority on the psychology of giving!


There will also be incredible breakout sessions on topics including:

  • Identifying your best prospects and determining what motivates each prospect to consider major gifts
  • Nonprofit entrepreneurship:  Generating earned income while staying on mission
  • Lessons on creating a winning development program in public and private schools
  • 20 Years of events: Here's What I've Learned
  • Extreme Makeover: Board Edition

And many more. If you or a member of your organization would like to attend for free, please apply below!

 

Scholarship applications are due Wednesday, May 31st by 3 p.m. and recipients will be announced Tuesday, June 6th. 

 

 

 

Apply Here!!

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more Calendar

7/27/2017
Executive Directors' Roundtable - Baton Rouge

7/27/2017
Executive Directors' Roundtable - New Orleans

7/27/2017
Granted: Identifying, Applying for and Managing Grant Funds

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