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REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS FOR PELICAN CENTER FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES SPECIAL PROJECTS COORDINATOR

Posted By Katelyn Smith, Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations, Monday, August 6, 2018

REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS FOR

PELICAN CENTER FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES

SPECIAL PROJECTS COORDINATOR

 

 

I.         PURPOSE

 

            The Pelican Center for Children and Families (the “Center”) invites qualified individuals to submit proposals for providing services as a special projects coordinator for the Center in the capacity of an independent contractor.  Contractor will not be entitled to such benefits as holiday time, vacation time, sick leave, retirement benefits, health benefits or other benefits usually associated with employment.  Contractor will be solely responsible for the payment of any federal, state, social security, Medicare, local or other applicable taxes.

 

II.        SUBMISSION OF PROPOSALS

 

            One (1) original and 2 paper copies of each proposal must be received, either by hand delivery or by certified mail, no later than 4:00 p.m. (CST) on Friday, August 31, 2018 at the following address: 

 

                                    Attn:  Ms. Kären Hallstrom

                                    Vice President

                                    Pelican Center Board of Directors

                                    1615 Poydras St., Suite 1000

                                    New Orleans, Louisiana  70112

                                               

            Any proposals which are received after this deadline will not be considered.  All envelopes containing a proposal must bear the name of the person or entity making the proposal, and must have the following clearly written or typed on the face of the envelope: “Proposal for Pelican Center for Children and Families Special Projects Coordinator.”  No faxed or emailed submissions will be accepted.

 

               All questions relative to this request for proposals (“RFP”) should be directed to Kären Hallstrom, Board Vice President.  Ms. Hallstrom may be reached via telephone at (504) 452-5240 or via e-mail at khallstrom2017@gmail.com.  As set out in more detail below, all questions should be submitted by 4 p.m. (CST), on Friday, August 17, 2018.  The preferred method of receiving questions is via e-mail. Any oral explanations or instructions shall not be binding. All communications regarding the RFP shall be directed to Ms. Hallstrom. 

 

            The Center specifically reserves the right to reject, in full or in part, all proposals submitted, and/or to cancel this RFP, when such action is in the Center’s best interests.  Any contract which may be awarded shall be based upon the proposal which is most advantageous to the Center, costs and other factors considered.  The Center will award the proposed contract without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, veteran status, political affiliation, disabilities, or because of an individual's sexual orientation. All contracts are subject to the availability of funds.

 

III.      TIMETABLE FOR PROPOSALS

 

Issue date of RFP                                                Friday, August 3, 2018

 

Deadline for receipt of questions                                Friday, August 17, 2018

 

Deadline for receipt of proposals                                Friday, August 31, 2018

 

Estimated notification date                                 Friday, September 14, 2018

 

IV.       BACKGROUND

     

             The Center is a not-for-profit corporation organized under Louisiana law with federal 501(c)(3) status with the following guiding principles:

 

VISION

     The Center envisions a future for the State of Louisiana in which every child has a safe, permanent home, has access to an appropriate education and is healthy in mind and body. The Center will support this vision by aspiring to become a statewide, comprehensive resource to support effective practice among professionals serving children and families through education, research and a commitment to best practice.

 

MISSION

     The Center will foster meaningful, ongoing collaboration among the Louisiana judicial system, the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services, Louisiana CASA and other child-and family-serving stakeholders that strive to achieve the following global outcomes for children and families:

  1. Children are, first and foremost, protected from abuse and neglect.
  2. Children are safely maintained in their homes whenever possible and appropriate.
  3. Children have permanency and stability in their living situations.
  4. The continuity of family relationships and connections is preserved for children.
  5. Families have enhanced capacity to provide for their children’s needs.
  6. Children receive appropriate services to meet their educational needs.
  7. Children receive adequate services to meet their physical and mental health needs.

STRATEGIES

     The Center will promote excellence in child welfare practice through documented inter-agency collaboration that is data-driven and needs focused.

     The Center will promote excellence in child welfare practice through cross-system policy development.

     The Center will promote excellence in child welfare practice through the design, development and delivery of inter-disciplinary training and education programs based on evidence-informed and/or promising practices.

     The Center will promote excellence in child welfare practice through the development of shared outcomes, goals and measures and the application of monitoring and evaluation methodologies.

 

           

V.        SCOPE OF WORK

 

            Proposer must be prepared to serve as Special Projects Coordinator for the Center to support the Center’s Executive Director in achieving the Center’s vision, mission and strategies, including but not limited to the following tasks:

1)     Serve as the coordinator of special projects assigned by the Center’s Executive Director;

2)     Organize, staff and facilitate meetings, teleconferences, committees and workgroups that support the Center’s vision and mission;

3)     Assist the Executive Director with research and preparation of documents for grant applications, funding requests and programmatic reports;

4)     Interface with, coordinate and monitor activities of the Center’s contractors as the activities of the contractors relate to overall success of assigned projects;

5)      Participate in state and federal child welfare meetings that support the Center’s vision and mission;

6)     Serve as programmatic liaison to the Louisiana Child Welfare Training Academy, a collaborative partnership by and among the Center, the Louisiana Department of Children & Family Services and the University Alliance (a consortium of Louisiana public university Schools of Social Work, led by Southeastern Louisiana University);

7)     Research and assist with creation of training curricula, information memoranda and best practices bulletins;

8)     Assist the Center’s Executive Director with the Center’s role to implement the Louisiana Court Improvement Program strategic plan and the Center’s presence as a collaborative partner on statewide committees, including the Children’s Law Committee of the Louisiana State Bar Association, the Louisiana Children’s Justice Act Task Force, the “Together We Can” Conference Planning Committee and others as may be required;

9)     Assist the Center’s Executive Director in establishing and maintaining effective working relationships with juvenile judges, court personnel, attorneys, professionals, state and federal child welfare stakeholders and partners and local government officials to further the vision and mission of the Center.

10)  Conduct qualitative and quantitative data research, compile and analyze findings, make recommendations based on findings, and coordinate resulting activities to carry out directives of the Center’s board of directors.

11)  Analyze state and federal law, regulations and policies, and court rules; conduct legal research, analyze relevant issues, and write summary reports, practice briefs, memoranda, articles or such other written materials as directed by the Executive Director in furtherance of the Center’s vision and mission.

 

Proposer must be willing and able to travel statewide periodically and out-of-state occasionally, and devote an average of 40 hours per week to performing these services. 

 

VI.     CONTENTS OF THE PROPOSAL

 

One (1) original and 2 paper copies of each proposal must be provided.

 

            Your proposal should address each of the areas outlined below and provide the information requested.  Your response should include the following:

 

A.    Cost

 

            The information regarding Cost should include:

 

1.     Your hourly rate and/or proposed flat monthly rate;

2.       Your expectations, if any, regarding expense reimbursement, including travel expenses and office/equipment expenses. 

            B.  Qualifications

 

            The information regarding Qualifications should include, but is not limited to the   following:

 

1.   Proposer’s Experience

 

      The proposal must set forth a description of the proposer's experience with regard to the essential functions outlined in Section V, Scope of Work.  Qualifications should include:

·        A graduate degree in law, social work, judicial administration, public administration or a related field, with preference given to a Juris Doctor, with knowledge related to child welfare and/or the juvenile court system.

·        Knowledge of federal and state child welfare law, including the provisions of the Louisiana Children’s Code relative to child protection. 

·        Knowledge of the principles and practice of grant writing, project administration, program management, report writing and/or program evaluation.

·        Knowledge of current literature, principles, practices, best practices and outcome measures related to child welfare and/or juvenile court systems.

·        Experience or willingness to engage in prepared and extemporaneous speaking before large audiences.

·        Experience in analyzing complex issues and writing, with preference given to authorship of published works.

·        Knowledge of continuous quality improvement principles and the ability to draft queries, obtain and analyze data from a variety of sources.

·        Understanding of the value of multi-disciplinary collaboration and group leadership, management and facilitation.

·        Knowledge of strategic planning for short-, mid- and long-term goals and methodologies for monitoring success.

2.   Proposer’s References and Writing Samples

 

      Provide at least two references and two samples of writing. The Proposer’s references shall include, but are not limited to, the following:

·       Name

·       Address

·       Telephone number

·       Email address

·       Letters of reference (if available)

 

      Please note that the Center may or may not elect to contact references provided.

 

VII.     EVALUATION CRITERIA

 

The Center will evaluate all proposals and, if a proposer is to be selected, select a proposer on the basis of the following criteria:

 

A.    Cost (25 percent)

B.    Qualifications (75 percent)

 

VIII.        CONTRACT AWARD

 

            The Center reserves the right to enter into a contract without further discussion of the proposal based on the content of the proposals submitted. Ordinarily, nonresponsive proposals will be rejected outright. Nevertheless, the Center may elect to conduct discussions, including the possibility of limited proposal revisions, but only for those proposals reasonably susceptible of being selected for award.  If improper revisions are submitted, the Center may elect to consider only your unrevised initial proposal. The Center may also elect to conduct negotiations, beginning with the highest ranked proposer, or seek best and final offers.  If negotiations are conducted, the Center may elect to disregard the negotiations and accept your original proposal.  

 

IX.          TERM OF INITIAL AGREEMENT

 

               Proposer should be prepared to start no later than October 1, 2018.  Any contract to be awarded is expected to be for a one year period ending September 30, 2019.   

              

X.           PUBLIC NATURE OF PROPOSAL AND PROSPECTIVE CONTRACT

 

               All proposals submitted in response to this RFP, and any contract which might ultimately be agreed upon, will be open to public inspection by any interested person, firm or corporation. 

 

               It should be noted and understood that all proposals, contracts and other documents presented in connection with this RFP become the property of the Center.

 

XI.          SUBMISSION OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION AND REDACTION OF                PROPOSALS

 

               Trade secrets or other proprietary information submitted by a proposer as part of its RFP may not be subject to public disclosure, provided the proposer specifies the relevant law supporting its request for confidentiality.  However, the proposer must invoke the protections of this section prior to or upon submission of its proposal, identify the specific data or other materials to be protected and state the reasons why protection is necessary. Any aspect of the proposal which addresses the price of providing the requested services will not be considered confidential under any circumstance.  Any proposal marked as confidential or proprietary in its entirety may be rejected without further consideration or recourse.

 

               The proposer must clearly designate the part of the proposal that contains a trade secret and/or privileged or confidential proprietary information as “confidential” in order to claim protection, if any, from disclosure.  The proposer shall mark the cover sheet of the proposal with the following legend, specifying the specific section(s) of the proposal sought to be restricted in accordance with the conditions of this legend:

 

“The data contained in pages _____ of the proposal have been submitted in confidence and contain trade secrets and/or privileged or confidential information and such data shall only be disclosed for evaluation purposes, provided that if a contract is awarded to this proposer as a result of or in connection with the submission of this proposal, the Pelican Center for Children and Families shall have the right to use or disclose the data therein to the extent provided in the contract.”

            Further, to protect such data, each page containing such data shall be specifically identified and marked “CONFIDENTIAL.”  All markings must be conspicuous; use color, bold, underlining, or some other method in order to distinguish the mark from the other text.  You are required to mark the original copy of your offer to identify any information that is exempt from public disclosure.  In addition, you must submit one complete copy of your offer from which you have removed any information that you marked as exempt, i.e., a redacted copy.  The information redacted should mirror in every detail the information marked as exempt from public disclosure.  The redacted copy should:

 

a.                Reflect the same pagination as the original, and

b.               Show the empty space from which information was redacted.  

 

               Proposers must be prepared to defend the reasons why the material should be held confidential.  If a competing proposer or any other person seeks review or copies of another proposer’s confidential data, the Center will notify the owner of the asserted data of the request.  If the owner of the asserted data does not want the information disclosed, it must agree to indemnify and hold the Center harmless against all actions or court proceedings that may ensue (including attorney’s fees), which seek to order the Center to disclose the information.  If the owner of the asserted data refuses to indemnify and hold the Center harmless, the Center may disclose the information.

 

XII.        CENTER DISCRETION

 

               The Center specifically reserves the right to reject, in full or in part, all proposals submitted, and/or to cancel this request for proposals, when such action is in the Center’s best interests.  Any contract which may be awarded shall be based upon the proposal which is most advantageous to the Center and its staff, costs and other factors considered.  All contracts are subject to the availability of funds.

 

XIII.      CHANGES, ADDENDA, WITHDRAWALS

 

               The Center reserves the right to change the calendar of events or issue addenda to the RFP at any time.  The Center also reserves the right to cancel or reissue the RFP.

 

               If the proposer needs to submit changes or addenda, such shall be submitted in writing, signed by an authorized representative of the proposer, and cross-referenced clearly to the relevant proposal section.  All such changes must be received prior to the deadline for proposal submission.

XIV.       COST OF PREPARING PROPOSALS

 

               The Center is not liable for any costs incurred by proposers prior to issuance of or entering into a contract.  Costs associated with developing the proposal, preparing the proposal, and any other expenses incurred by the proposer in responding to the RFP are entirely the responsibility of the proposer, and shall not be reimbursed in any manner by the Center. 

 

XV.        AUDIT OF RECORDS

 

               The State Legislative Auditor or other auditors so designated by the Center shall have the option to audit all accounts directly pertaining to the resulting contract for a period of three (3) years after project acceptance or as required by applicable State or Federal law.  Records shall be made available during normal working hours for this purpose.

 

XVI.       RECORDS RETENTION

 

               The successful proposer shall maintain all records relating to any contract which is agreed upon for a period of at least three (3) years after acceptance by the Center.

 

 

XVII.     CHOICE OF LAW

 

                The resulting contract shall be governed by Louisiana law.     

 

XVIII.   NO MANDATORY ARBITRATION

 

               The resulting contract shall not contain any provision mandating that the parties submit to arbitration.

 

XIX.       FIXED PRICING REQUIRED

  

                Any pricing provided by proposer shall include all costs for performing the work associated with that price.  Except as otherwise provided in this RFP, proposer's price shall be fixed for the duration of any resulting contract.  This clause does not prohibit proposer from offering lower pricing after award.  

 

XX.         NON-INDEMNIFICATION

  

                Any term or condition is void to the extent it requires the Center to indemnify anyone.  

  

XXI.       PUBLICITY

  

                Contractor shall not publish any comments or quotes by Center staff, or include the Center in either news releases or a published list of customers, without the prior written approval of the Center.  

 

XXII.      TERMINATION DUE TO UNAVAILABILITY OF FUNDS

  

                Payment and performance obligations under the resulting contract shall be subject to the availability and appropriation of funds therefor.  When funds are not appropriated or otherwise made available to support continuation of performance, the contract shall be canceled.  

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The Danos Foundation Upcoming Grant Deadline on August 31

Posted By Katelyn Smith, Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations, Tuesday, July 24, 2018

The Danos GIVES grant program awards funding to approved 501(c) 3 or 170 (b) organizations that benefit Education, Healthcare, Environment or Welfare  initiatives in Louisiana. For 2017–2020, special consideration is given to organizations that help resolve community Welfare challenges. This grant program is funded through charitable gifts from Danos employees and supplemented with funds from the company.

 

Grant Application Instructions

Interested in applying for a Danos GIVES grant? Please submit your online grant application by 11:59 p.m. August 31, so Danos GIVES can learn about the mission of your organization and better understand how a grant can help you. Be sure to review our grant eligibility guidelines to make sure your organization is eligible. Please note, applications and attachments will only be accepted through the online portal. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

 

The application consists of five sections:

 

eligibility quiz

contact information

required documents

organization information

purpose of grant request

 

Grant Review Process / Award Timeline

Aug. 31: Deadline for submitting grant applications

Sept. 1 – 30: Grant selection committee reviews and ranks applications

Oct. 1: Ranked applications submitted to the Danos Foundation Board

Dec. 15: Foundation Board selects next year’s grant recipients

Dec. 30: Community Impact Report(s) due from current year grant recipients

Jan. 1 – 30: Grant recipients notified and funds distributed

 

For more information please contact: foundation@danos.com

 

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Beware of Penalties in Transactions With Not-for-Profits

Posted By Celeste Viator, Hannis T. Bourgeois, LLP, Thursday, July 19, 2018

Tax law provisions and IRS regulations may have a significant impact on improper transactions between top officials and a tax-exempt organization.

Under old rules from years ago: When the IRS determined that a top official engaged in a transaction and received an unfair benefit given his or her position in the organization, the only recourse was to revoke the tax-exempt status. This penalty was so severe that it was rarely imposed by the IRS because it would hurt innocent parties.

Under newer rules: The IRS now has an intermediate checks and balances measure to impose financial penalties on parties involved in an excess benefit transaction. With this more reasonable option, the IRS is more likely to penalize individuals.

The relevant provisions, which apply to all transactions with non-profit organizations after September 14, 1994, are commonly referred to as the "Intermediate Sanctions." These sanctions are designed to protect charities and donors from those insiders who wield the influence to permit excessive executive compensation. Intermediate steps allow the IRS to target guilty parties for punishment, rather than inadvertently punishing innocent parties by revoking the charity's tax-exempt status. The IRS later issued regulations to assist in interpreting the law.

Key point: Applying the Intermediate Sanctions penalty doesn't preclude the loss of tax-exemption. Rather, it may be imposed by the IRS in addition to the loss of the tax-exempt status. 

Who is Liable?

Individuals who are in a position to exercise substantial influence over the affairs of a tax-exempt organization at any time during the five-year period preceding the date of the questionable transaction. The IRS calls these individuals "disqualified persons."

The regulations state that "substantial influence" is likely present if an individual:


•Is a voting member of the organization's governing body (such as the Board of Directors or Board of Trustees).
•Is an executive officer of the organization such as CEO, COO or president.
•Manages the organization's finances (such as the Treasurer or CFO).
•Has a material financial interest in a Medicare+Choice provider-sponsored organization, which is owned (at least in part) by an exempt organization.
•Has compensation that is primarily based on revenues from activities that the person controls.
•Manages a segment or activity of the organization that represents a substantial part of the activities, assets, income or expenses. 

Arrangements that are subject to the Intermediate Sanctions Rules are known as excess benefit transactions. The Internal Revenue Code defines an excess benefit transaction as one in which the economic benefit provided, directly or indirectly, by a tax-exempt organization to an individual exceeds the fair market value for the consideration received by the tax-exempt organization.

When Determining if a Transaction is an Excess Benefit, the IRS Considers:

1. The compensation received by the disqualified individual.

2. Any other benefit received (except the value of certain non-taxable fringe benefits and benefits provided to volunteers or charitable beneficiaries). This may include items such as salary, bonus, luxury travel or paid travel of a spouse, property given to the individual and certain insurances paid by a tax-exempt organization.

3. Embezzled amounts. Ironic as it may seem, the regulations suggest that -- notwithstanding the other legal implications — embezzled amounts by a disqualified individual are also to be considered as an economic benefit and are subject to this law.

Note: The regulations don't provide guidance regarding revenue sharing transactions. For top officials and tax-exempt organizations alike, this has been a subject of great confusion in recent years. Both the IRS and the Office of Inspector General have issued conflicting opinions regarding the legitimacy of revenue sharing or gain sharing transactions. 
 
In determining fair market value, the total compensation for the services provided is compared with the amount that would ordinarily be paid for similar services by a similar organization. Unfortunately, what constitutes "reasonable compensation" is often uncertain because every transaction must be evaluated separately given the applicable facts and circumstances.

As with many tax laws and regulations, the regulations are extremely complex. If you're uncertain whether this law applies to you, contact your tax advisor. It's important to correct any possible excess benefit transactions before an IRS audit. If you do that, you should be able to avoid any financial penalties under the Intermediate Sanctions rules.

 

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Monroe Financial Inclusion Summit

Posted By Katelyn Smith, Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations, Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Please SAVE-THE-DATE for AUGUST 8 and plan to join us for the Monroe Financial Inclusion Summit from 11:00 am to 4:30 pm at the Monroe Civic Center, 401 Lea Joyner Memorial Expy., Monroe, LA 71201 . The event is being hosted by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), in partnership with The City of Monroe. 

 

Our agenda will feature programs and resources that are helping households and businesses to build and preserve assets and to access the benefits of the mainstream economy. Topics will include:  building household financial capability and resilience; creating and preserving affordable housing; strengthening small businesses and promoting entrepreneurship; and providing opportunities for unemployed and underemployed workers to improve their skills and increase their income.

 

This is a Save-the-date.  An invitation will be forthcoming with more information about the agenda and registration will open at that time.

 

Event Information: 

Monroe Financial Inclusion Summit

Date:  Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Time: 11:00 am – 4:30 pm

Location:  Monroe Civic Center, 401 Lea Joyner Memorial Expy., Monroe, LA 71201

Lunch:  Provided at no charge; REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED

 

Please watch for registration information to come and, in the meantime, contact Scarlett Duplechain with any questions. Scarlett.duplechain@occ.treas.gov

 

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CPA DAY OF SERVICE

Posted By Katelyn Smith, Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations, Thursday, July 12, 2018

The Society of Louisiana CPAs (LCPA) will host a statewide CPA Day of Service on Friday, September 28. This single, yet powerful, day brings together LCPA members to improve the quality of life within their communities and across the state. LCPA is working to identify non-profits who have service opportunities on September 28 which could benefit from volunteer help for a few hours or the entire workday.

 

“LCPA’s Day of Service is a hands-on, all-hearts-in project that gives our members the opportunity to give back to their communities and serve united as caring professionals,” says LCPA CEO Ron Gitz, CPA, CGMA.

 

If your organization would like to register a service project, simply complete a Non-Profit Project Registration Form. You will be listed on our Day of Service webpage, and interested member volunteers will contact you directly. The details you provide will help our CPAs select the project that best fits their passion, and it raises awareness about your organization too.

 

Need more info? Contact LCPA Communications Director Ann Lupo, alupo@lcpa.org or 504.904.1125.

 

LCPA (lcpa.org) is a non-profit professional association serving more than 7,000 current and future Certified Public Accountants. It is the premier organization of accountants in the state.

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Senior Community Service Employment Program

Posted By Katelyn Smith, Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations, Thursday, July 12, 2018

Enrollment in East & West Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, Tangipahoa, & Washington Parishes

 

Enrollment Guidelines:

·        Over age 55

·        Unemployed

·        Under Federal Poverty Level

Entitles participants to:

·        20 hours per week hands on training

·        Pay of $7.25 per hour while in training

·        Assistance in resume writing, interviewing skills, job search and use of job clubs

·        Free Economic Security Initiative screening to assist you in obtaining additional assistance in improving present economic situation.

If you:

·        Are sincere in seeking either full or part-time employment

·        Improving your economic situation

·       Taking back control of your life

 

Contact us to set up a local interview:

 

Capital Area Agency on Aging

225-922-2525 or 1-800-833-9883

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Baton Rouge Community College Certified Clinical Medical Assistant Course

Posted By Katreena Moses, Baton Rouge Community College Foundation, Thursday, July 5, 2018

Certified Medical Assistant

 

Upon successful completion of course, the student will receive a certificate of completion as having completed the training requirements of the Certified Medical Assistant. This programis designed to provide thorough didactic and practical instruction anda basic system overview of the role of the medical assistant in a practical setting.Classroom lectures cover the theory, anatomy and terminology pertaining to each system. Practical instruction provides hands-on training in the listed procedures verified through a skills check-off system.

 

Upon completion of this competency-based program students are eligible to take the national Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) exam from the National Healthcareer Association.


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Tags:  brcc  CMAtraining  funding available  training 

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Nominate Young Entrepreneurs

Posted By Katelyn Smith, Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations, Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Do you know aspiring young entrepreneurs? Are they creative and motivated, and do they demonstrate a strong work ethic? Please introduce us!

Nominated students will receive information about YEA and how to apply.

 

 

Nominate Here Today: https://www.yeabr.org/nominate/

 

Deadline is August 31st

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The Infamous Overhead Myth

Posted By Sarah Cortell Vandersypen, CFRE, Philanthropic Partners, Monday, July 2, 2018
Updated: Monday, July 2, 2018

The “Overhead Myth” is one of my favorite topics to talk about because it’s one of the most concerning challenges nonprofits – and funders – face.

“Overhead” is the percent of a nonprofit’s expenses that goes to administrative and fundraising costs. For decades, overhead was seen as bad, wasteful. It was seen as money that could be supporting the organization’s mission that was going to bloated administrative and fundraising budgets. Rating agencies, such as GuideStar, Charity Navigator, and the Better Business Bureau, would rate nonprofits based on their overhead percentage as if this was an indication of effectiveness.

Most – if not all – of us in the nonprofit sector know that overhead has nothing to do with effectiveness. We also know that depending on your type of nonprofit, you can have very different overhead costs. And that’s okay.

In 2013, GuideStar, BBB Wise Giving Alliance, and Charity Navigator wrote an open letter to the donors of America in a campaign to end the Overhead Myth. You can read that letter here. They released a second letter to nonprofits in 2014. The same agencies that perpetuated the Overhead Myth now ask us to consider other ways to evaluate nonprofits.

So what are those other ways? How should donors and the organizations themselves evaluate their effectiveness?

  • Does the organization have a clear mission?
  • Can it clearly articulate how its programs address a need?
  • Does it have SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time-specific) objectives?
  • How is it investing its funds to make a real impact?
  • Do you see a ROPI (return on philanthropic investment) of your money?


What other ways do you think donors should evaluate nonprofit organizations?

 

--

Sarah Cortell Vandersypen, CFRE is the owner of Philanthropic Partners, a Baton Rouge-based consulting firm helping nonprofits build their philanthropic capacity. Check out her new website, webinars, and free white paper at https://philanthropic-partners.com.

 

Tags:  fundraising 

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What To Do With Unwanted Donations

Posted By Celeste Viator, Hannis T. Bourgeois, LLP, Monday, June 25, 2018

Everyone agrees that donations are the lifeblood of not-for-profit organizations. At the top of most wish lists is cash, and depending on your situation, you may accept other assets and in-kind contributions.

 

But what should you do when offered donations that are not usable or appropriate? For example, how should a charity react when it is offered an item so worn that the only option is to send it to the local dump? Unfortunately, this can be a drain on the charity's staff. And if there's a fee to use the dump, it can cost the organization. 

Another sticky situation that some not-for-profits face is what to do with donations of real estate. Although property is potentially valuable, many organizations don't have the staff or skills to manage real estate and may not want to accept the environmental liabilities that go along with it. 

 

And how should you cope with contributions of old computers? Since computer parts may contain lead and are considered hazardous waste, many areas charge a fee for proper disposal. 

Of course, not-for-profit organizations don't want to run the risk of offending donors -- especially when a few months down the road, the same individuals might come up with something that perfectly meshes with the organization's needs.

Honesty and politeness are the best policy. Most contributors respond well when gently told that the organization appreciates the gesture, but the donation is something you cannot use. Furthermore, most people understand that a not-for-profit must watch expenses. Explain that it isn't fiscally prudent to accept something, such as out-of-date computers, which will cost the organization money to dispose of. 

Some not-for-profit managers tell donors they can't accept contributions because they lack storage space, while others smooth over any ruffled feathers by letting donors know of other items the organization needs -- including volunteer hours.

Another trick to minimize the problem is to use local media -- send press releases to newspapers and local television stations, for instance -- to get the word out about what your organization really needs and what it cannot accept. 

Or consider making use of clearinghouses in which for-profit organizations advertise what they have to donate -- office furniture and equipment, for example. For a small annual fee, not-for-profits have access to a "bulletin board" and can scan it for items on their wish lists. 

Here are a few other suggestions to minimize any bad feelings and get what your organization really needs.


• Try to steer donors to a more appropriate venue -- another not-for-profit group that might be able to use the items.
• Consult with your not-for-profit adviser about whether it's possible to accept certain assets, such as real estate and the best way to go about handling such transactions.
• Try to find out if the donors have other items that you need and let them know about those needs. When soliciting contributions from for-profits, remind them of what donations can do for their companies in terms of image enhancement and tax benefits. This approach is frequently more effective than talking up the impact a donation has on people's lives.
• Another good method for getting items you need is to ask someone from a particular for-profit company to sit on your board of directors. 

And, of course, the best policy in some situations may be to graciously accept a well-intended, but inappropriate, gift and quietly take it to the dumpster, or to be recycled.

 

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