If you haven’t revisited your not-for-profit’s bylaws recently, they may not be as effective as they could be. Your bylaws should cover your nonprofit’s broad charitable purpose and provide procedures for resolving internal disputes, such as the removal and replacement of a board member. If you decide changes are needed, first check to see if […]

The IRS’s staffing shortages have been well publicized. But it’s a mistake to assume that the agency has stopped scrutinizing not-for-profits. Don’t panic if you receive an audit letter. The letter will inform about whether the IRS is conducting an in-person, field audit or a correspondence audit. This second type simply requires you to send […]

Do you want to control costs and improve delivery of your not-for-profit’s programs and services? It may not be as difficult as you think. First, you need to know how much of your nonprofit’s expenditures go toward programs, as opposed to administrative and fundraising costs. Then you must determine how much you need to fund […]

Your not-for-profit’s ability to pursue its mission depends greatly on its financial health and integrity. If your nonprofit is growing and your executives are struggling to juggle financial responsibilities but you’re not ready to hire a full-time chief financial officer (CFO), consider our CFO on Demand services. CFO on Demand is a specialized service we […]

As not-for-profits increasingly take on big issues such as global warming and economic development, some are turning to “collective impact.” This cross-sector approach involves nonprofits, government, businesses and others working together to solve a specific problem. Collective impact adherents often cite five keys for success: a common vision, a shared measurement system, mutually reinforcing activities, […]

Celebrities can provide a big boost to the not-for-profits they publicly support. They can also harm them by association. Accusations connected with the #MeToo movement and other scandals have brought down many stars and caused major headaches for some nonprofits. Don’t wait for a PR crisis. Include a “morals clause” in contracts with spokespeople, make […]

A formal whistleblower policy is critical to protecting your not-for-profit’s financial security and public reputation. Your policy should state which individuals (for example, staffers, volunteers and clients) and activities (such as fraud, conflicts of interest and discrimination) are covered. Also explain how reports will be investigated and what will happen when investigations end. It’s particularly […]

Directors and officers (D&O) liability insurance enables board members to make decisions without fear that they’ll be personally responsible for any related litigation costs. Such coverage is common in the business world, but many not-for-profits incorrectly assume that their charitable mission and the volunteer status of their board insulate them from lawsuits. To determine whether […]

Restricted gifts can be difficult for not-for-profits to manage. Unlike unrestricted gifts, these donations can’t go into your general operating fund and be used where they’re most needed. Some donors will be determined to make restricted gifts, but you may be able to persuade others to remove restrictions if you explain how the money will […]

Signs of financial distress in a not-for-profit can be subtle. But board members have a responsibility to recognize them and do everything in their power to avert potential disaster. Pay particular attention to: 1. Budget bellwethers. Confirm that proposed budgets are in line with strategies already developed and approved. Once your board has signed off […]