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Grantwriting for Beginners Workshop - September 5

Posted By Nora Ellertsen, The Funding Seed, LLC, Monday, August 19, 2019

Are you involved with a nonprofit? 
Does your job require you to raise funds for your department or position? 
Do you want to add a valuable skill to your resume? 
Consider grantwriting!

Grantwriting for Beginners is an engaging workshop that gives you the basic tools you need to start writing grants. Participants will learn how to find funding opportunities, tools and tips for writing proposals and ways to make a program competitive for repeat funding.

Attendees will receive a certificate of participation after completing the workshop.

When: Thursday, September 5th from 1:30pm - 4:30pm

Where: Ashe Power House Theater, 1731 Baronne Street, New Orleans, LA 70113

Registration: $40 per person. Discounts available for students, AmeriCorps members and organizations registering two or more people.

Tickets & Info: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/grantwriting-for-beginners-tickets-63995503273

For more on workshops and other services from The Funding Seed, visit www.thefundingseed.com. Email [email protected] to inquire about discount codes or to reserve your space and pay at the door.

Tags:  development  fund development  funding  grant  grant writing  grants  grantwriting  New Orleans  training  workshop 

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Prevent Fraud by Envisioning How it Could Occur at Your Organization

Posted By Celeste Viator, Hannis T. Bourgeois, LLP, Thursday, August 1, 2019
Every year, millions of dollars are donated to not-for-profit organizations. In these cases, the money that's supposed to go to an organization's causes can be diverted to thieves. Not-for-profits aren't immune to the threat of fraud from their own employees. 

Preventing internal fraud within a not-for-profit organization requires many of the same approaches that for-profit companies employ but there are several unique issues.

Here's a list of eight best practices to consider: 
 

1. Follow the money. To prevent fraud, you must first envision how it could happen in your organization. Take a look at the donation process through the eyes of an employee that is intent on embezzling funds. Where are the points of weakness? Are your organization's policies or procedures strong enough to prevent fraud? In some not-for-profit fraud cases, only one employee is responsible for opening the mail and processing donations. To prevent similar frauds, consider the following approach to opening mail that includes donation checks:


◦   Assign two employees to the process. The first employee should open the mail; the second employee should log the amount of the donation. Both employees  should sign off on the log once all of the mail has been opened. 
◦   Open mail in a common area, not at an employee's desk. Unopened mail should be delivered to one container, opened, logged, and placed in a second container.
◦   Have a third employee or manager who is not involved in the mail opening process retrieve the deposits placed in the second basket, review the log prepared during the process, verify that all donations are accounted for and prepare the bank deposit.
◦   Make bank deposits on a daily basis to prevent theft of checks from within the office. While waiting to be deposited, checks should be placed in a safe that requires two unique access codes to open.
◦   Ensure that a manager level employee reviews the logs, bank deposit information and entries made in the organizations financial records for accuracy.

2. Force employees to take time off. Most embezzlement schemes require that the perpetrator performs regular maintenance to ensure that the theft remains hidden from co-workers and management. 

Employees who refuse to use their allotted vacation may be overly dedicated or prefer work to home but they also may be committing fraud. If you see employees who are obviously sick yet refuse to take time off, there may be cause for concern. Not only will sick employees potentially infect others, they may also be working to ensure that their schemes remain hidden. It is impossible to determine an overly dedicated staff member from an embezzler without further investigation. To simplify matters require that all employees, regardless of function, use their vacation allotment and when appropriate, their sick time. 

If your organization has concerns that an employee may be committing fraud, use the time while that employee is on vacation to conduct a review of their work. Make sure that you have a suitably qualified fraud investigator involved to ensure that the investigation complies with your organization's policies — as well as the law.

3. Engage your donors. From time to time, contact donors to verify how much money they have donated during the year. If your organization uses an accountant to produce financial statements, the verification of donations can be included in that process. If a donor disagrees with the amount of the donations shown in your organization's records, it may be an indication of inaccurate accounting or worse. In either event, discrepancies should be investigated to determine the reasons for differences. 

4. Employ data analytics. It is helpful to monitor the amount and frequency of donor contributions over time. Pay particular attention to donors who contribute on a monthly basis and suddenly cease doing so. If the number of checks or the amount of donations changes drastically over the course of a quarter or six-month period, consider contacting the donor to confirm the amounts donated to date.

5. Minimize employee intervention. The theft of donations is relatively easy to complete when employees are directly involved in processing physical checks. If you don't already do so, consider encouraging more donations online. There are a number of cost effective solutions designed specifically for not-for-profits. As an added bonus, the reporting of donations received is less labor intensive than processing donations manually and normally more accurate. 

6. Don't have a culture of too much trust. The spirit with which many not-for-profits operate can produce a culture that erroneously assumes employees and volunteers would never commit fraud. You should apply the same rigor to preventing fraud as for-profit companies.

7. Make sure you know where money is located. It is not unusual for organizations to lose track of how many bank accounts they have. Make sure there is a centralized list of accounts, their purpose, the signatories, and the name of the account officer at the bank. All bank accounts should be reconciled at least every two days to prevent fraud and bank errors from slipping through the cracks. Also, ensure that the bank statements are mailed to your organization's offices and not an employee's home. Leave explicit instructions with your bank that the mailing address for each bank statement cannot be changed from your office address.

8. Don't go it alone. Periodically, your board should commission reviews of the organization's anti-fraud program. A targeted review of your efforts not only ensures that potential gaps are uncovered, it also shows employees that your organization is serious about preventing fraud. It raises the workplace "perception of detection" that if employees decide to commit fraud, they'll be quickly caught.

 

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Nonprofit Fundraising 101 Workshop

Posted By Nora Ellertsen, The Funding Seed, LLC, Thursday, August 1, 2019

Every nonprofit needs to know the options for how it will raise money. This workshop will give you the essential background you need in order to keep your work well-funded.

Participants will learn:

  • Where nonprofits get their funding.

  • Why your nonprofit might choose to prioritize fundraising from grants, individual donors, events, and other sources.

  • What it means to make your funding sustainable.

  • The difference between restricted and unrestricted funding.

  • The Donor Cultivation Cycle- the framework for identifying and building relationships with your donors and funders.


This workshop is ideal for both for those new to the fundraising and nonprofit world and for those with some experience in fund development.

When: Wednesday, August 14, 2019 from 1:30-4:30pm

Where: Ashe Power House Theater, 1731 Baronne St., New Orleans, LA 70113


Registration $40 per person. Discounts available for students, AmeriCorps members, and organizations registering two or more people.

Registration info & tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/nonprofit-fundraising-101-tickets-63994714915


Participants will receive a Certificate of Participation for completing the workshop.


For more on services offered by The Funding Seed, visit www.thefundingseed.com. To reserve your space and pay at the door, or for any questions, please email [email protected]

 

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Tags:  fund development  funding  Fundraising  nonprofit  non-profits  workshop 

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Intermediate Grantwriting Workshop, July 23

Posted By Nora Ellertsen, The Funding Seed, LLC, Friday, July 5, 2019

So you've written a few grants and feel like you've got the basics down.

Are you ready to take your grantwriting to the next level?

Intermediate Grantwriting will help you improve your grant proposals and raise more money for your nonprofit. Through this workshop, you'll learn specific ways to make your proposal more appealing to a funder, including how to make a compelling case to someone unfamiliar with your nonprofit's work and what kind of research and data to include.

Registration $40 per person. Discounts available for students, AmeriCorps members, and organizations registering two or more people. Tickets available at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/intermediate-grantwriting-tickets-63431515370

Participants will receive a Certificate of Participation for completing the workshop.

For more on services offered by The Funding Seed, visit www.thefundingseed.com. To reserve your space and pay at the door, or for any questions, please email [email protected]

 

When:

Tue, July 23, 2019

1:30 PM – 4:30 PM CDT

 

Where:

Ashe Power House Theater

1731 Baronne St.

New Orleans, LA 70113

 

Registration:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/intermediate-grantwriting-tickets-63431515370

 

Tags:  fund development  Fundraising  grant  grant writing  grants  grantwriting  New Orleans  nonprofit  workshop  workshop. grants 

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Unrelated Business Income Tax: The TCJA Has Changed the Rules

Posted By Celeste Viator, Hannis T. Bourgeois, LLP, Friday, June 21, 2019

Many not-for-profit organizations are concerned about the provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) that are affecting charitable giving. But the law also contains some important requirements involving unrelated business income tax (UBIT). If you engage in "unrelated business" — and even if you don't — you could find that your UBIT liability increases under the law. 

 

Calculating Income

The most significant change related to the UBIT comes into play when you're computing your unrelated business income. Under the TCJA, not-for-profit organizations must calculate unrelated business income separately for each unrelated trade or business, with the total equaling the sum of those amounts. (None may be less than zero.) The determination for each business is made without regard to the $1,000 deduction generally allowed. That deduction is applied to the aggregate unrelated business income. 

Importantly, net operating losses (NOLs) can only be claimed against future income from the specific business that generated the loss. (You can still use NOL carryovers from years prior to 2018 to offset all unrelated business income.) Previously, you could apply NOLs from one business to reduce the taxable income of another, as well as to gains from alternative investments or pass-through entities also considered unrelated business income. The loss of this option could mean that nonprofits with multiple unrelated businesses will have more unrelated business income than in the past. 

The TCJA also changes the corporate tax rate to 21% from a range of 15% to 35%. Because not-for-profit organizations pay the corporate rate on unrelated business income, your tax liability potentially could fall even if your unrelated business income grows. 

 

Including Certain Fringe Benefits

Unrelated business income also might increase due to a change in the treatment of certain fringe benefits. Until now, you could provide your employees with qualified transportation benefits (including commuter transportation and transit passes), qualified parking fringe benefits and on-site athletic facilities free of income tax for both you and employees. While these benefits are still not taxable to employees, the TCJA treats your cost to provide them as unrelated business income unless they're directly connected with an unrelated business (for example, parking benefits provided employees of the unrelated business). 

As a result, not-for-profits may owe UBIT even without operating any unrelated businesses. This change, and several others under the TCJA, is intended to treat not-for-profit organizations more like for-profit businesses.  

 

Possible Responses

Your not-for-profit may be able to minimize the effects of the changed rules for unrelated business income. For example, if you operate multiple unrelated businesses, consider housing them in a single taxable corporate subsidiary. This will allow you to offset the businesses' income and losses against each other. Bear in mind, though, that such restructuring can have additional tax and legal implications.

You also might want to conduct an audit of all of your unrelated businesses to ensure you've been accurately capturing all expenses that are allocable to each business. Otherwise, you could be inflating UBIT. Every nonprofit with unrelated business income should have effective methods for tracking and allocating income and expenses, including compensation, investment management fees and overhead.

As for the inclusion of certain fringe benefits, think about replacing them with alternative forms of compensation. It might make sense to simply increase employees' income commensurately so you don't have to worry about triggering UBIT. Who knows? Your employees may well prefer cash. Yes, it will be taxable to them, but the TCJA cut individual tax rates, too, and cash gives employees more discretion.

Navigating the Ins and Outs

The unrelated business income rules, like many of the TCJA's changes, will take some time to understand. Your tax advisor can help you stay on top of developments and chart the way ahead. 

 
 
 

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Southern Poverty Law Center Consultant RFP Request

Posted By Melissa Kemmerly, Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations, Friday, June 14, 2019

Southern Poverty Law Center is looking for a consultant to help lead them through a process of rearticulating their mission statement, strategic planning, and restructuring. As they approach their 50th anniversary in 2021, they intend to take a comprehensive look at who they are and what they do, as well as come up with a vision for their next 50 years.

 

Please see the attached document for additional information.

 

The RFP submission deadline is July 17. 

 

The RFP is broken up into three separate phases. They are open to proposals for just one or two of the phases.

 

Click here to visit Southern Poverty Law Center's website: https://www.splcenter.org/

 

 

Download File (PDF)

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Grantwriting for Beginners - June 13

Posted By Nora Ellertsen, The Funding Seed, LLC, Monday, June 10, 2019
Updated: Monday, June 10, 2019

Are you involved with a nonprofit? 
Does your job require you to raise funds for your department or position? 
Do you want to add a valuable skill to your resume? 

 Consider grantwriting!

Grantwriting for Beginners is an engaging workshop that gives you the basic tools you need to start writing grants. Participants will learn how to find funding opportunities, tools and tips for writing proposals and ways to make a program competitive for repeat funding.

Attendees will receive a certificate of participation after completing the workshop.

When: Thursday, June 13, 2019
9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Registration $40 per person. Discounts available for students, AmeriCorps members and organizations registering two or more people.

Where: Albert & Tina Small Center
1727 Baronne Street
New Orleans, LA 70113

TICKETS AVAILABLE ONLINE: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/grantwriting-for-beginners-tickets-53076476169

 

For more on workshops and other services from The Funding Seed, visit www.thefundingseed.com. Email [email protected] to inquire about discount codes or to reserve your space and pay at the door.

Tags:  development  fund development  funding  Fundraising  grants  grantwriting  nonprofit  nonprofit sector  training  workshop 

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$25 Discount on CACRC Computer Purchase for LANO Members

Posted By Melissa Kemmerly, Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations, Friday, May 31, 2019

CACRC (Capital Area Corporate Recycling Council) is excited to offer this exclusive discount to LANO members!

 

The CACRC is a nonprofit organization committed to both e-scrap reduction by decreasing the stream to landfills and to providing refurbished computers and equipment to schools, nonprofits, and low income families. The organization accomplishes this by electronic refurbishment and recycling-including collection, sorting, dismantling, refurbishing, data wiping , sales, and donations.

 

Throughout the month of June 2019, LANO members can receive $25 off any computer purchased through CACRC!

 

CACRC is proud to offer this discount state-wide (shipping is available) to show their support of Louisiana's nonprofit sector and supporters. 

 

For additional information about this offer, contact CACRC's Assistant Director, Shannon Fish Fertitta, [email protected] 

 

CLICK HERE TO VISIT CACRC'S WEBSITE!

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Negotiate the Terms of a D&O Policy

Posted By Celeste Viator, Hannis T. Bourgeois, LLP, Thursday, May 16, 2019

A not-for-profit organization needs insurance to protect its directors and officers from personal liability in the event of a lawsuit. 

 

Don't fall into the trap of thinking this coverage isn't necessary. Some states have "safe harbor" statutes that are supposed to protect directors and officers of not-for-profit organizations from lawsuits. However, these statutes are not a substitute for directors' and officers' insurance. The protection varies by state and usually doesn't cover all damages and legal defense costs. 

D&O coverage is negotiable, so take the following steps before you get down to the specifics of your policy:

Get the best insurance agent. You want someone to help find the right coverage, not just sell an insurance policy. 

Consult a lawyer. The only way to scope out the breadth of your exposure is to talk to legal counsel.

Review your current coverage. Know what you're currently insured for so you can compare that with a D&O policy.

 

When you sit down to negotiate, the exact provisions depend on the nature of your organization and its management structure. Discuss the following issues:
•What is the deductible that applies to each claim?
•How much will the insurer pay for legal expenses, settlements and judgments?
•What is the time period required for making a covered claim?
•What claims won't the policy cover? Some acceptable exclusions include:

1. Claims the organization makes against its directors. 

2. Claims against a director not related to the organization. 

3. Deliberate fraud.


•Cancellation of the policy should be allowed only for failure to pay the premiums. The insurer should be required to give at least 90 days notice of non-renewal.
•Is there "employment practices" liability to cover any claims brought by current or former employees?
•Does the policy include multiple-year pricing to avoid sudden boosts in premiums?
•Coverage of outside directorships and non-officer employees named in a covered suit with officers and/or directors.
•Ask your insurance broker and lawyer specific questions about how the coverage works in daily circumstances. Think up specific situations that you want to be covered and put them to the test.

Let's say you have staff members conducting door-to-door activities. You probably want a policy that protects against off-site liability. If you rely heavily on volunteers, you need a policy that addresses that situation rather than a less-expensive generic policy.

D&O insurance doesn't cover everything you could possibly be sued for. Unlike automobile insurance, the coverage is custom-built for your organization.

Shop around, compare policies and get price quotes. With careful planning and some smart shopping, you should be able to find a policy that best suits your organization and lets everyone breathe a little easier. 

Know Your Duties

Joining a board can be prestigious and a good career move. But directors must act honestly and in good faith when carrying out their duties or they could be held personally liable. Here are some tips to protect yourself as much as possible: 

Study the organization. Understand its structure. Many charities provide this information to new board members in an orientation manual. If your organization doesn't have a manual, have one made and update it at least once a year.

Attend all board meetings. If you miss a meeting for any reason, get a copy of the minutes and any material considered in your absence. If you're concerned about anything, ask questions.

Document everything. All decisions and discussions at the meetings should be recorded. If you cast an opposing vote or abstain, be sure the vote is in the minutes.

Get advice. When taking a major step as a director, get professional advice in writing. And declare any conflict of interest.

Ask for verification. In some non-profits, board members insist on seeing a copy of the bill for D&O insurance, along with verification that the premiums were paid.
 

 

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Nonprofit Fundraising 101 Workshop

Posted By Nora Ellertsen, The Funding Seed, LLC, Saturday, May 11, 2019

Every nonprofit needs to know the options for how it will raise money. This workshop will give you the essential background you need in order to keep your work well-funded.

Participants will learn:

  • Where nonprofits get their funding.

  • Why your nonprofit might choose to prioritize fundraising from grants, individual donors, events, and other sources.

  • What it means to make your funding sustainable.

  • The difference between restricted and unrestricted funding.

  • The Donor Cultivation Cycle- the framework for identifying and building relationships with your donors and funders.


This workshop is ideal for both for those new to the fundraising and nonprofit world and for those with some experience in fund development.

Registration $40 per person. Discounts available for students, AmeriCorps members, and organizations registering two or more people.

Participants will receive a Certificate of Participation for completing the workshop.


For more on services offered by The Funding Seed, visit www.thefundingseed.com. To reserve your space and pay at the door, or for any questions, please email [email protected]

 

 

Join us Thursday, May 16 from 9am to 12pm

at Ashe Powerhouse Theater

1731 Baronne St

New Orleans, LA 70113

 

Tickets & info: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/nonprofit-fundraising-101-tickets-53076403953

Tags:  development  fund development  fund raising  Fundraising  nonprofit  nonprofit sector  non-profits  training  workshop 

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