The new year is a good time for nonprofits to review policies, procedures, and practices, including state-by-state registration requirements.
As the pandemic continues to dominate the daily dialogue, giving trends have kept apace with the rise in awareness surrounding public health issues. Likewise, racial justice and politics have taken their share of the stage and giving to both causes has increased from previous years. But can we expect giving to be reduced in other sectors as a result? Not necessarily, say survey respondents. Still, it’s helpful to examine your nonprofit’s mission vis-a-vis pandemic relief and other salient issues; strive to ensure that your messaging effectively ties in your mission to those issues that are top of mind for donors.
If your annual gala, donor breakfast, or poker night benefit is responsible for more than 30% of your annual operating costs, it may be time to overhaul your organization’s fundraising plan. COVID-19 has taught us many lessons, one of which is that the unexpected can and does happen. Limitations on in-person gatherings have shuttered many key fundraising events heavily relied on by nonprofits. In the aftermath, some are now struggling to keep their doors open.
How you can use a gift is generally controlled by donor restrictions written into a gift instrument; the instrument can be as simple as an email or a memo line in a check. If there is no restricting language in the gift instrument, the terms of the solicitation (i.e. whatever the charity advertises as the purpose of their solicitation) will govern what you can or cannot do. As to the length of the restriction, any donor restrictions that use the word endowment are considered to create a fund of permanent duration unless other language in the gift instrument limits the duration of the fund.
The popularity of online fundraising was already on the rise before COVID; Blackbaud reports that online fundraising has grown 17% in the U.S. since 2016. Now COVID lockdowns have shattered fundraising expectations for nonprofits who rely heavily on special events, admissions, and fees for service to fill out their budgets. As a result, nonprofits are being challenged to quickly and effectively pivot fundraising efforts to the online space. Here are some of our best tips for success.
AdHoc said it best: For everyone that is feeling outraged by the multiple lives that have been lost at the hands of the police, we’d encourage you to channel that anger into action. For some, that action looks like self-education and awareness, or protesting, or speaking out amongst their friends and community. Another consideration may be giving to one of several organizations working diligently in the fight against systemic racism and violence.
In non-profit finance and accounting, restricted contributions are those given by donors in which the donor intends the funds to be used for specific programs or purposes. As in all matters regarding donations, the stated intent of the donor rules when it comes to the purposes for which donation revenue can be allocated. If the donor allocates funds for program B, and states verbally or in writing that such funds cannot be used for administrative costs (back office, IT support, human resources, insurance, operations, etc.) to support such programming, than they cannot be used for that purpose. However, if no such explicit statement is made by the donor, non-profits can use a reasonable amount of the restricted funds received to pay for administrative costs allocable to the program designated by the donor.