News & Articles
Just in time for the holidays, the Dec. 1 issue of The NonProfit Times is now available. The newest edition of the magazine features stories ranging from the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy to the looming “fiscal cliff.” Let’s take a look at some of the stories you will find within the pages, starting with the top stories.
Consumers love to comparison shop. That goat’s milk cheese might be one price in the New Artisanal Premium Cheese Catalog but slightly less from Dean & Deluca’s catalog.
Given the stiff competition for grant funding and the amount of money at stake, the field of grant proposal writing is unfortunately fertile ground for fraud. When someone blows the whistle and the lawsuit flies, the person who wrote the grant proposal is in the line of fire. And, the organization that submitted the proposal — the applicant organization, is likewise in hot water.
In August of 2005, I served as cabinet secretary for Louisiana’s Department of Social Services. Our team of more than 5,000 public servants was responsible for the well-being of children in state custody; aid to low-income working families; child support enforcement; and, vocational rehabilitation clients.
Now that the election is over it’s time to look at the realities of federal decision-making and how those choices are likely to affect nonprofits. The federal government’s budget process is enormous, complicated, and intensely political. But there are a few central trends that even now can be discerned in the fog. Others are not yet clear, but seem inescapable.
The challenges of any emergency response get more complicated when the responders, too, are impacted. Charities throughout the northeast were knocked out by the storm called Sandy but many found a way to still deliver services.
As the so-called “fiscal cliff” looms in January, charities are wary of not only losing direct federal funding for some programs but also fear being overwhelmed to make up the difference in potentially lost services.
Holiday season in the United States brings a lot of familiar sights, though none may be as iconic as the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle campaign. Volunteers from the charity stand outside shops ringing bells and soliciting donations. This practice is the same all across the country except in a town in Wisconsin, where an unexpected volunteer is leading the way: A miniature horse.
All eyes right now are on the so-called fiscal cliff and while most of the arguments echoing in the congressional halls are about whether there should tax hikes on the wealthiest 2 percent, there are some issues that will directly impact the nonprofit sector. For example, there are still talks about capping the charitable deduction to generate revenue for the government, to which most in the sector are adamantly opposed.This is where effective advocacy can come into play.While nonprofits are forbidden to directly influence lawmakers, they can use their supporters to rally for causes like the charitable deduction. In the book “Five Good Ideas,” Sean Moore wrote about how organizations should scrap the focus on the nuts and bolts of advocacy in favor of a reliance on concepts, approaches, and mindsets that can help them become a constructive player in public policy.Moore laid out five ways to avoid the common pitfalls organizations face while lobbying:
- Understand how the government thinks. Key to successful persuasion is understanding those who you are trying to convince: Their values, objectives, needs, and way of looking at the world.
- Undertake do-it-yourself public policy. One of the most important things you can do is provide public officials with material they can use in a format with which they are familiar.
- Build political capital. Whether its leadership realizes it or not, every organization has political capital. This includes the reputation and accomplishments of your nonprofit and its leaders.
- Be strategically opportunistic. Aim for a balance between being reliable and avoiding being taken for granted. Be prepared to be active, but wait for the opportunity where you can have the greatest influence.
- Find your champions. Having a champion is a litmus test for your work: If you can’t get someone to play this role, that may be an early warning about the practicality of what you are asking.
With data being announced in small bites, organizers of #GivingTuesday, an annual day of giving launched this past Tuesday, are optimistic the event had an impact.
Current Print Edition
July 1, 2015Table Of Contents
Volume 29 No. 8
In The News