Serving nonprofits. Strengthening communities.

Colorado Nonprofit Association has been working for and with the Colorado nonprofit sector since 1986. Get involved today!

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2014 National Voter Registration Day

Nonprofits play various roles in building healthy communities. Nonprofits rely on our communities to provide support for our causes, volunteer for our events, and keep us informed on how we can best help. Community involvement is also vital for ensuring elected leaders govern wisely on behalf of the people they represent. Nonprofits can also play a role in supporting the civic health of our communities by ensuring that people can participate in elections.

On September 23, 2014, volunteers, civic groups, and nonprofit organizations across Colorado and the United States
will “hit the streets” for National Voter Registration Day (NVRD). NVRD is the nation’s largest one day effort to register voters and to celebrate the right to vote.  NVRD is a great opportunity to register thousands of Coloradans and ensure they can cast votes in the November 4 election.

By participating in NVRD, your nonprofit will empower the people you serve and build support for your cause! Check out Nonprofit Vote’s ‘Seven Reasons to do Voter Registration’ for even more reasons to get involved.

How your nonprofit can help.         

Hold an on-site voter registration drive. Whether you want to reach out to the people you serve or provide a service to your staff, registering voters at your offices is a rewarding activity!

Contact the Colorado Participation Project for tools and resources to help you set up and conduct your voter registration drive within the law including training, materials, and publicity.

Sign up as a NVRD Partner. If you sign up as an NVRD partner, you’ll receive toolkits and resources to help you plan your own NVRD event! Click here for more information and to sign up.

Promote NVRD to your supporters. The NVRD website has materials you can use to promote NVRD to your supporters including posters in multiple languages, sample email and social media messages, and graphics.

Rules on conducting a voter registration drive.

Voter registration drive organizers must complete online training and a test on applicable laws, and then register with the Secretary of State. Click here for more information on the registration process and other frequently asked questions about voter registration drive rules in Colorado.

Click here to view a one page fact sheet on conducting a voter registration drive in Colorado from the Fair Elections Legal Network.

Resources

Visit Nonprofit Vote for a 12-step checklist, a ‘Ready, Set, Register’ video, and other voter registration resources and toolkits.

Visit Colorado Participation Project for technical assistance and other voter engagement resources.

Visit our Voter Engagement page for more resources for nonprofits on voter engagement.

 

 

Support the America Gives More Act to Foster Increased Giving and Grantmaking!

Two hundred Colorado nonprofits sign letters to Senators Bennet and Udall

Two hundred and two Colorado nonprofits, businesses and individuals signed our letter urging Senators Bennet and Udall to take up and pass the America Gives More Act (H.R. 4719) before they return to Colorado in late September for the November election! This act helps provide the resources necessary for America’s nonprofits to serve millions of individuals and families every year through incentives for charitable giving and grantmaking. Click here to view the final letter sent to Senator Bennet, and here to view the final letter sent to Senator Udall.

Thank you to all those who signed on to the letter in support of the Act – your effort is truly valued and appreciated. The Colorado Nonprofit Association will continue to work diligently with our members of Congress to advance this important issue. We need your support, and there are still many opportunities to take action before the end of the year*:

How to Take Action

Contact your Senators directly.

Call their DC offices and ask them to support H.R. 4719. Click here for talking points and tips for your call. Senator Michael Bennet: (202) 224-5852. Senator Mark Udall: (202) 224-5941

Send a written message in support of H.R. 4719. Click here to download a sample message for Senator Bennet or Senator Udall (please note that letters sent by postal mail may be delayed for several weeks due to screening).

Use Twitter to urge @SenBennetCO and @MarkUdall to support #HR4719 and #protectgiving.

  • Sample message from the National Council of Nonprofits: “Don’t leave Washington in September until the Senate passes the America Gives More Act; our communities are counting on you!”

* As long as it is not a substantial part of their overall activities, nonprofits have the right to contact members of a legislative body to influence legislation.  Such communications should be tracked and must be reported to the IRS on Form 990.  Read our toolkit for more information on nonprofits’ lobbying limits and reporting requirements.

The America Gives More Act combines the following five bills to support the nonprofit sector’s vital efforts.

Allowing individuals to claim the charitable deduction for contributions made up to April 15 on last year’s income tax returns (H.R. 3134). This would encourage donors to increase their giving between January 1 and April 15 as they fill out their annual tax returns. Nonprofits could benefit from more gifts earlier in the calendar year rather than relying heavily on year-end gifts.

Making the incentive for tax-free contributions to nonprofits from seniors’ Individual Retirement Accounts (“the IRA Rollover”) permanent (H.R. 4619). Taxpayers 70 ½ and older donated more than $140 million in just the first two years that this law was in effect. On several occasions, Congress has allowed this giving incentive to expire or renewed it retroactively. More donors could plan gifts if they could be certain that this giving incentive is available permanently.

Making the tax deduction for donations of food inventory permanent (H.R. 4719). This giving incentive would enable food banks to provide an estimated 1.5 billion meals over the next ten years, according to Feeding America. As one in five Coloradans reported food hardship over the last four years, encouraging more donations of wholesome food would help address this ongoing challenge. When this incentive was renewed retroactively or allowed to expire, hunger relief organizations missed out on potential donations of fresh food.

Making the tax deduction for donations of land for conservation permanent (H.R. 2807). Our nation’s land trusts have worked with landowners to increase the pace of land conservation to over a million acres per year. Making this incentive permanent would encourage more donations by generous landowners.

Simplifying the tax on private foundation investments to a flat 1 percent rate (H.R. 4691). This would simplify the current two-tiered rate to a flat rate thereby allowing foundations to devote more resources to the community.

Our Actions to date on H.R. 4719

On September 12, 2014 the Colorado Nonprofit Association sent a sign on letter from 202 Colorado nonprofits, businesses and individuals to Senators Michael Bennet and Mark Udall to support the America Gives More Act. Click here and here to read the final letters sent to Senators Bennet and Udall, respectively.

Colorado Nonprofit Association sent a letter to all of Colorado’s Representatives on July 16, 2014 expressing support for H.R. 4719. Click here to read the letter.

We also joined over 850 nonprofits throughout the country by signing on to an open letter to House members from Independent Sector and in being listed in a July 16 advertisement in Roll Call. Click here to view the list of signers by state.

The America Gives More Act and “Tax Extenders”

In 2006, Congress first adopted giving incentives for food inventory, conservation easements, and the IRA rollover for a two year period as part of the Pension Protection Act of 2006. Since 2008, these provisions have been up for renewal every two years. Frequently, they have been renewed along with a package of “tax extenders” – specific tax provisions benefiting individuals and businesses. Tax extenders are generally renewed for temporary periods of time so that Congress can evaluate their impact periodically.

Occasionally, Congress has renewed tax extenders late in the tax year or renewed them retroactively after allowing them to expire.  As a result, they have sometimes been unavailable at the times that donors were willing and able to give.  Since Congress did not pass legislation to renew the tax extenders package in 2013, they expired on January 1, 2014 and will not be available for the 2014 tax year unless Congress takes action to restore them.

On July 17, 2014, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to approve H.R. 4719 by a vote of 277-130. 56 Democrats joined 221 Republicans to approve the bill (Colorado’s Representatives cast party-line votes). As H.R. 4719 will reduce federal revenues by $16 billion over ten years, many Democrats expressed their desire that the bill contain revenue offsets.

Previously, the Senate introduced S. 2260 to restore giving incentives for conservation easements, food inventory, and the IRA rollover for two years along with many other “temporary” tax provisions benefiting individuals and businesses (also called “tax extenders”). The Senate Finance Committee passed S. 2260 but the bill has not been heard on the Senate floor yet.

More information on H.R. 4719

Member Appreciation | HomeCare & Hospice of the Valley

May is Member Appreciation Month!  Thank you to our ALL of our members – nonprofit, business and individuals.

Click here for all our member features.  Today we feature:

HomeCare & Hospice of the Valley

Our mission is to support you and your loved ones with peace, comfort, and dignity, by improving the quality of life for patients and their families who are facing a life-limiting illness by addressing physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.

We provide three core areas of service to patients and their families who reside in any of the local communities in the Roaring Fork, Colorado, Crystal, and Eagle River Valleys.  Through our home health programs, our goal is to provide supportive care in the home for those who have functional limitations, and for those who have rehabilitation and short term illnesses, provide care and teaching to help those patients achieve their maximum health potential. Our Home Health services provides care for individuals with diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s, cancer, heart disease, strokes, extensive and complicated wound care, as well as diabetes management. Additionally we provide Rehabilitation care including physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapists.  Our Hospice services provides care to individuals who are diagnosed with a life-limiting illness who have a prognosis of six months or less to live. Our Private Pay Services offers private duty nursing by certified nursing aides or personal care assistants. Care provided is a 2-hour minimum to 24 hours/day, 7 days/week.

We work with all insurances to obtain as much coverage as possible for our services.

HomeCare & Hospice of the Valley is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation. We are the only locally owned non-profit provider of HomeCare and Hospice services.

Member Appreciation | Johnson & Wales University

May is Member Appreciation Month!  Thank you to our ALL of our members – nonprofit, business and individuals.

Click here for all our member features.  Today we feature:

Johnson & Wales University

Johnson & Wales University is an accredited nonprofit, private university in Denver. More than 1,500 students from 50 states and 14 countries are making their careers happen at the Denver campus, offering a range of undergraduate, graduate and continuing education programs in arts and sciences, business, criminal justice, fashion merchandising, culinary arts, hospitality and nutrition.

Johnson & Wales University was originally recruited to Denver in 2000 by several prominent Denver business and civic leaders. With the acceptance of $3 million in seed grants by two Adolph Coors Co. foundations, Johnson & Wales University purchased 13 acres from the University of Denver’s Park Hill Campus. Johnson & Wales University now owns the entire 25-acre campus and has invested more than $95 million in purchasing, renovating and adapting state of the-art facilities, culinary laboratories and campus residence halls.

This year, the university plans a $30 million renovation project that will completely restore Foote Hall and Treat Hall, the most iconic building on the Denver campus and a registered national historic landmark. Treat Hall was built in 1890 as the original building for the Colorado Women’s college but has been vacant since 1982. Johnson & Wales University will restore the historic Treat Hall to its former prominence and build on its legacy of academic excellence.

Founded in 1914, Johnson & Wales University has three additional campuses in Providence, Charlotte and North Miami. In honor of the university’s 100th anniversary, centennial events are planned throughout this year to champion Johnson & Wales as a pioneer university—modeling experiential learning that is now emulated throughout higher education.

Member Appreciation | Denver Tramway Heritage Society

May is Member Appreciation Month!  Thank you to our ALL of our members – nonprofit, business and individuals.

Click here for all our member features.  Today we feature:

Denver Tramway Heritage Society

The Denver Tramway Heritage Society operates the Platte Valley Trolley which runs along the South Platte River every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from May through October. Our volunteer crews take visitors on a 25 minute trip sharing the rich natural and history seen along the river with stops at the REI, Denver Aquarium, and Children’s Museum of Denver. We also offer special charters and during every Broncos home game run the Bronco Trolley bringing fans to the game from the REI.

2014 marks our 26th year of operation. Our mission includes the preservation of Denver’s electric transit system history so that future generations will understand the role the Denver Tramway Company played in shaping Denver’s growth and development.

We also operate free of charge on the first Tuesday evening of each summer month thanks to a grant from Target. We can be found at www.denvertrolley.com and www.facebook.com\denvertrolley

Member Appreciation | Institute for Environmental Solutions

May is Member Appreciation Month!  Thank you to our ALL of our members – nonprofit, business and individuals.

Click here for all our member features.  Today we feature:

Institute for Environmental Solutions

The Institute for Environmental Solutions (IES) is an independent nonprofit organization that engages stakeholders to deliver technically sound solutions to complex environmental and health problems—without unwanted side effects. IES was established in 2004 to find science-based solutions for complex environmental problems through stakeholder inclusion, education, and real-world projects.

The IES Tree Project improves Colorado cities using tree science. Through collaborative, multi-disciplinary partnerships, we restore natural systems and urban green infrastructure, and educate children and adults to become environmental stewards. Trees have positive and negative impacts on our environment and health. Trees generate oxygen, improve air quality, recycle water, and control soil erosion. But the wrong tree in the wrong place reduces air quality, increases energy use, or dies before returning environmental benefits. IES planting programs lead to a healthier environment and a better understanding about the importance of making smart decisions when investing in trees.

The mission of IES’s Save Our Water Project is to reduce toxic chemicals entering our water supplies and reduce human exposure to these toxins. Many toxic chemicals are commonly found in personal care, household, and cleaning products, such as soaps, lotions, detergents, and toothpaste and are harmful to wildlife and humans. Through interactive workshops, IES teaches adults and kids how to reduce their chemical footprints. By adopting free and low-cost pollution prevention strategies, IES-trained Blue Crew Water Stewards (children and adults) demonstrate effective environmental and health protection.

IES is proud to be a member of the Colorado Nonprofit Association since its founding in 2004.

Member Appreciation | Florence Crittenton Services

May is Member Appreciation Month!  Thank you to our ALL of our members – nonprofit, business and individuals.

Click here for all our member features.  Today we feature:

Florence Crittenton Services

Florence Crittenton Services has a 120-year history of advancing Denver’s marginalized women and their children. Today the agency helps the community’s most vulnerable youth—teen mothers and their children—succeed.

Pregnancy is the number one reason a girl drops out of school. Lack of child care is a major factor. A multi-generational strategy helps move the teen-mother-and-child continuum towards full opportunity. Florence Crittenton Services operates a triad of programs to educate, prepare, and empower teen mothers: (1) Florence Crittenton High School, (2) Early Learning Center, and (3) Student and Family Support Program. This holistic service approach provides an integrated solution focused on dropout prevention, academic progression, degree completion, post-secondary readiness, maternal-child health, socio-emotional and life-skills training, parenting education, birth-to-three development, and preschool readiness.

“To see a teen mom gain confidence as a student, young parent and as the head of a teen family household is truly powerful.”

—Michael J. Kehoe, Board Chair

“My daughter was five months old when she started at the Early Learning Center,” says 17-year-old student Annarae. “By the time she was three, Luz knew the ABCs, and how to count to 10 in both English and in Spanish.”

Youth at the site face great odds—91 percent qualify for free-and-reduced lunch and 64 percent lack stable housing, including periods of homelessness. Helping vulnerable youth succeed and stay on course requires targeted intervention from multiple angles. Florence Crittenton Services’ formula for success includes improving the education, health, economic, and social capital standing of both teen mother and child.

Member Appreciation | SafeHouse Denver

May is Member Appreciation Month!  Thank you to our ALL of our members – nonprofit, business and individuals.

Click here for all our member features.  Today we feature:

SafeHouse Denver

SafeHouse Denver was established in October, 1977 as an emergency shelter for battered women and children. In 1993, recognizing that shelters solve only part of the problem, SafeHouse extended its programming by providing non-residential counseling and advocacy services and expanding its community education efforts. Today, SafeHouse Denver is the only agency in the city of Denver providing both emergency shelter and non-residential programming specifically for adults, children and youth who are victims of domestic violence.

SafeHouse Denver’s mission is to assist adults, children and youth in reclaiming their right to a life free of domestic violence. The agency provides a broad spectrum of effective, culturally-competent services to adults, children and youth who have been impacted by domestic violence.

In 2013, SafeHouse Denver’s programs and services provided the following: answered 15,664 calls on our 24-Hour Crisis and Information Line, providing callers with counseling and referrals to other community resources; provided 169 women and 89 children fleeing domestic violence with 8,747 nights of safe shelter and support services at the Emergency Shelter program; provided 920 children and adults, including 17 male victims, with counseling and advocacy services through the non-residential Counseling and Advocacy Center (CAC); and the Community Education and Awareness program reached 931 individuals through educational presentations on domestic violence.

Member Appreciation | Be the Gift

May is Member Appreciation Month!  Thank you to our ALL of our members – nonprofit, business and individuals.

Click here for all our member features.  Today we feature:

Be the Gift

Be the Gift is a faith based, community wide organization that provides home repair for Single Mom home owners and their children as a gift, with no cost to them.

We give them a safe, healthy, functioning home to raise their children. With care and compassion, our goal is to raise their quality of life.

Member Appreciation | Hope House of Colorado

May is Member Appreciation Month!  Thank you to our ALL of our members – nonprofit, business and individuals.

Click here for all our member features.  Today we feature:

Hope House of Colorado

Teen moms are one of the most overlooked populations in our community — and they face daunting challenges:  67% of teen moms live below the poverty line, less than half will graduate from high school, and less than 1% will earn a college degree.

Hope House of Colorado is metro-Denver’s only resource providing parenting teen moms free Residential, Mentoring, GED, and College/Career Support services, equipping them for self-sufficiency. Additional empowering services include Parenting and Life Skills classes, Healthy Relationship classes, Certified Counseling, and our Career Partner Program, which provides employment opportunities with local businesses.

This spring Hope House launched its Early Learning Program due to the fact that the children of teen parents are 50% more likely to repeat a grade and are less likely to graduate from high school.  This program is designed to help these children develop the skills they need to succeed in school.

All Hope House programs are designed to empower teen moms who are working toward self-sufficiency.  The Residential Program house is in Arvada, and the Resource Center, where all Community Programs are located, is in Westminster. Hope House relies on numerous volunteers and local business partnerships to accomplish its mission; last year 220 volunteers gave over 11,300 hours of their time to Hope House.

“Hope House is based on the belief that teen moms who are motivated to be a good parent can break generational cycles when provided a safe, structured environment, access to education and life skills, and long-term relationships with healthy adults,” says Executive Director Lisa Steven.

hopehouseofcolorado.org

Member Appreciation | Seniors’ Resource Center

May is Member Appreciation Month!  Thank you to our ALL of our members – nonprofit, business and individuals.

Click here for all our member features.  Today we feature:

Seniors’ Resource Center

Seniors’ Resource Center (SRC) has an important role in the metro area; as an agency that brings together direct services, offers knowledgeable referrals based on our extensive network, and manages the type of follow up that gives seniors the extra help they need when they can no longer fully manage on their own. Since 1978 SRC has served older adults in the Denver metro area with a comprehensive multi-program approach to senior care.  Each program can stand alone or be combined to deliver an array of services. SRC assists thousands of individuals each year with direct services.

Our goals are:

  • to provide the means to live independently during the aging process,
  • to reduce the barriers to supportive care that so many elders face and
  • to provide options that work in the daily lives of seniors as well as in the lives of their caregiving family members.

Through SRC’s quality services seniors can continue to be capable of living safely in their homes while remaining able to stay engaged in their communities.

Member Appreciation | Community First Foundation

May is Member Appreciation Month!  Thank you to our ALL of our members – nonprofit, business and individuals.

Click here for all our member features.  Today we feature:

Community First Foundation

For nearly 40 years, Community First Foundation has been bringing donors and nonprofit organizations together. We inspire philanthropy and build strong communities by:

  •  offering financial support and educational opportunities to strengthen nonprofits.
  •  helping nonprofits prepare for the future. We’ve provided matching grants to help more than 65 nonprofits establish endowments to sustain their services for years to come. 
  • funding community programs, inspiring philanthropy and assisting individuals and businesses with charitable giving.
  • Managing ColoradoGives.org, a year-round, online giving website, for nearly 1,500 nonprofits. This site also serves at the platform for the popular Colorado Gives Day annual event.

The National Standards Seal indicates official confirmation from the Council on Foundations that Community First Foundation meets the most rigorous standards in philanthropy. We are also the proud recipient of the 2013 National Philanthropy Day in Colorado Outstanding Foundation award.

To learn more about us and our services for the community, visit CommunityFirstFoundation.org or contact us at 720.898.5900.

Member Appreciation | Mental Health Center

May is Member Appreciation Month!  Thank you to our ALL of our members – nonprofit, business and individuals.

Click here for all our member features.  Today we feature:

Mental Health Center

The Mental Health Center has reason to celebrate this year. July 1, marks our 25th anniversary of working with our partners to build a healthier, stronger generation that will provide a foundation of mental wellness for generations to come.  The Mental Health Center of Denver’s mission of enriching lives and minds by focusing on strengths and recovery drives our belief that stronger communities are built on a foundation of mental wellness.  We give those living with a mental illness a chance to regain control of their lives by involving them in shaping their own recovery. Through our ground-breaking approach to mental health treatment, we know that people do recover from mental illness and that treatment works and improves the lives of people of all ages. More than 75% of people receiving treatment at the Mental Health Center of Denver go on to lead healthier, productive lives.  We are recognized as the National Center of Excellence for recovery-focused mental healthcare. Our progressive approach to prevention, treatment and recovery are a model for community mental health centers nationwide. As a private, not-for-profit community mental health center, we provide a comprehensive, innovative and accessible array of mental health, substance abuse, housing, educational and employment services. By collaborating with our community partners, the Mental Health Center of Denver provided treatment and outreach services to 37,800 children, families and adults last year. For more information, please visit www.mhcd.org.

Member Appreciation | Qualistar Colorado

May is Member Appreciation Month!  Thank you to our ALL of our members – nonprofit, business and individuals.

Click here for all our member features.  Today we feature:

Qualistar Colorado

Qualistar Colorado is a statewide, independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of child care across Colorado. As a wealth of scientific evidence makes clear, the environments in which a child grows up have a powerful impact on how the child develops and what he or she learns. A number of large-scale research studies show that the birth-to-5 period in a child’s life is critical, accounting for 80 percent of his or her brain development. A healthy child, even just a baby, is an active participant in that development, exploring the environment, learning to com­municate, and beginning to construct ideas and theories about how things work in the surrounding world. The pace of learning, however, depends heavily on the environment. Whether it’s at home or at a family child care home, a preschool or licensed child day care center, these are all places where a child potentially engages and learns. That’s why the quality of these environments is so important. Qualistar Colorado is dedicated to setting higher quality standards for child care programs across the state. Qualistar accomplishes this work in three ways: 1) by measuring quality through its Qualistar Rating™ and other assessments, 2) by helping parents understand what constitutes quality child care and to then make good decisions through their resource and referral system, and 3) by improving teacher/provider quality through professional development, scholarships and capital improvement grants.

In 2014, Qualistar Colorado is celebrating 10 years of serving early childhood education programs, professionals, and parents in Colorado.  To learn more about Qualistar and its programs and services visit www.qualistar.org.

Member Appreciation | Colorado Geographic Alliance

May is Member Appreciation Month!  Thank you to our ALL of our members – nonprofit, business and individuals.

Click here for all our member features.  Today we feature:

Colorado Geographic Alliance

The Colorado Geographic Alliance (COGA) is a statewide partnership among educators in public, nonprofit, and private sectors providing current teachers and those in training with professional development, networking, model programs, and robust geography education resources.  COGA communicates with multiple audiences, builds a strong community of geography education advocates, and promotes public awareness about the importance of geographic literacy and skills.  Part of National Geographic Society’s Geographic Alliance Network, COGA’s programs teach students to care for the planet, its resources, and inhabitants.  Geography – analyzing the distribution of people, places, and things across Earth’s surface – must be valued as a core subject and taught and learned with depth and relevance, understood by educators, policy makers, entrepreneurs, and the public as an essential key to unlocking knowledge and prosperity.

COGA has collaborated to develop workshops for teachers to hear from content experts in the social studies disciplines.  COGA hosted a successful conference with the National Council for Geographic Education, organizing field trips and supporting multiple educators in Colorado from small, rural districts to attend the Denver conference.  Inspiring students to think differently about the Earth, COGA supported visits of the Giant Map of the Pacific to schools around the state.  Geography knowledge and geospatial skills are vital for Colorado’s students.  Emergency response to wildfires, cybersecurity for businesses, and water scarcity are just a few of the issues facing the state that require high school graduates to have a solid foundation in geography, preparing them to succeed as citizens in an increasingly global society.

Member Appreciation | Eide Bailly

May is Member Appreciation Month!  Thank you to our ALL of our members – nonprofit, business and individuals.

Click here for all our member features.  Today we feature:

Eide Bailly

Founded in 1917, Eide Bailly is a Top 25 CPA firm in the nation, with 22 offices in 10 states. Eide Bailly has worked with nonprofit organizations since the Firm’s beginnings, and currently serves more than 1,600 nonprofit clients, more than 150 of which are here in Colorado. The partners and staff in our nonprofit industry group have made career commitments to work with nonprofits and focus their training and education on this sector. These professionals understand the issues faced by our nonprofit clients, allowing them to provide qualified and insightful advice and solutions.

Our commitment to serving non-profits goes beyond providing a full array of services; we are also committed to supporting the causes of non-profits through the donation of time, talents and other resources.

In October 2013, Eide Bailly held the inaugural Resourcefullness Awards, in which the Firm gave three $10,000 awards – one each in Colorado, Arizona, and Minnesota – to nonprofits in honor of creative and sustainable revenue generation efforts. Mark your calendars for June 25th, when we will begin collecting submissions for the 2014 Eide Bailly Nonprofit Resourcefullness Award!

Member Appreciation | Up & Up Creative

May is Member Appreciation Month!  Thank you to our ALL of our members – nonprofit, business and individuals.

Click here for all our member features.  Today we feature:

Up & Up Creative 

Up & Up Creative specializes in helping nonprofits use the power of branding to reach more people, raise more money and do more good.

We believe that nonprofits can only have an impact when people understand the importance of their work – not only what they do, but why it matters. We work with nonprofits, both large and small to:

1.     Elevate and bring your brand to life.

Your brand is how others think and feel about your organization. We help you define how you want to be perceived and then bring that brand to life.

2.     Make the complex simple.

Many organizations struggle with how to explain who they are and everything they do. We help nonprofits craft clear messages and design materials that are easy to understand because they are organized, prioritized and have clear calls to action.

3.     Raise more money.

Powerful messages and professional designs help nonprofits cut through the clutter and appear to be “buttoned up” which helps donors feel confident in investing with you and your mission.

4.     Strengthen your presence

Consistency in your brand across all mediums will help your nonprofit build recognition and awareness. We help nonprofits write the plan and create the collateral, whether it be a website, brochure, fundraising campaign, annual report or other branding project.

Check out some examples of Up & Up Creative’s work. Visit www.upandupcreative.com/portfolio.

Want to see if Up & Up Creative can help you? Jami would love to meet you for coffee. Give her a call at 720.295.1710 or email hello@upandupcreative.com.

Member Appreciation | Denver Scholarship Foundation

May is Member Appreciation Month!  Thank you to our ALL of our members – nonprofit, business and individuals.

Click here for all our member features.  Today we feature:

Denver Scholarship Foundation

Brenda Flores graduated from Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU-Denver) in the spring of 2013 as the first member of her family to earn a college degree.  Brenda’s story, like many Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) Scholars, began with the dream of going to college in hopes of creating a better future.

Brenda began her path to college during her senior year of high school at John F. Kennedy High School where she began working with the DSF College Advisor in the Future Center.  With help from DSF, Brenda began to research and apply for scholarships, including the DSF scholarship.  She knew that college would only be possible with the help of scholarships.  Luckily, Brenda qualified for and received the DSF scholarship, which set her on a path to college completion.

Because Brenda chose to attend a DSF partner college, Brenda received additional financial aid through her school.  The DSF scholarship not only served as financial support for Brenda, but it was the leverage for additional financial aid that allowed to Brenda to continue on her path to graduation.

Last May, Brenda graduated from MSU-Denver with a degree in Business Management.  She was hired by Oppenheimer Funds three days later.

Brenda’s success is a perfect example DSF’s impact on Denver students.  Today, Brenda gives back to the community that helped her through college.  Brenda now serves on the Denver Scholarship Foundation Alumni Committee, where she helps makes college possible for other Denver Public Schools graduates.

Member Appreciation | Fireside Production

May is Member Appreciation Month!  Thank you to our ALL of our members – nonprofit, business and individuals.

Click here for all our member features.  Today we feature:

Fireside Production

Fireside Production specializes in creating professional videos that captivate viewers and inspire results.  Our team is made up of former television news professionals experienced in producing memorable pieces efficiently and effectively.

One of the core values at Fireside Production is to make an impact.  We’ve built our company on a foundation of giving back to the community in which we live and work.  This commitment inspired our Fireside Day of Service.  Each quarter, our team donates a half-day to volunteer for one of our non-profit Clients.  We create a short video to highlight the work of that non-profit and our Day of Service activities.

Fireside Production also offers discounted services to support the work of our non-profit community.  Fireside Production was honored with the Denver Business Journal 2012 Partners in Philanthropy Award in the small business category.  Our team was also recognized with a Communitas Award each of the past two years.

Fireside Production is a member of the Colorado Nonprofit Association and is proud to support its mission.

Member Appreciation | Arapahoe Philharmonic

May is Member Appreciation Month!  Thank you to our ALL of our members – nonprofit, business and individuals.

Click here for all our member features.  Today we feature:

Arapahoe Philharmonic

Founded in 1953, the Arapahoe Philharmonic is among the longest established, continuously operating musical resources in Colorado. After thriving under just two conductors between 1953 and 2012, T. Gordon Parks and Vincent C. LaGuardia, Jr., we celebrate our 60th anniversary this season with an exciting new conductor, Devin Patrick Hughes. The orchestra’s musicians are primarily volunteers playing for the love of music, with a core of compensated section principals who provide technical leadership and support the excellence of performance.

Concerts in our home of Mission Hills Church in Littleton feature repertoire spanning the centuries, from the great masters to composers of the current day. The Philharmonic is invested in future generations, presenting annual children’s concerts, sponsoring outreach to schools, and presenting two collegiate-level competitions, the T. Gordon Parks Memorial Collegiate Concerto Competition and the Vincent C. LaGuardia, Jr. Collegiate Conducting Competition. This summer we will launch the inaugural Vincent C. LaGuardia, Jr. Composition Competition for young composers.

The Arapahoe Philharmonic presents its final performance of the season on Friday, May 9 at 7:30 p.m. The Colorado Chorale and soloists mezzo-soprano Jennifer DeDominici, tenor Javier Gonzalez and baritone Steven Taylor join the Philharmonic for highlights from Georges Bizet’s beloved opera Carmen. Our 2014-2015 season will be announced in April. For more information, visit www.arapahoe-phil.org.

 

Member Appreciation | Solve IT

May is Member Appreciation Month!  Thank you to our ALL of our members – nonprofit, business and individuals.

Click here for all our member features.  Today we feature:

Solve IT

Solve IT’s mission is to make a positive impact on the lives and organizations of our clients as well as our local community through the effective use of technology. We accomplish this with our nonprofit clients by having a dedicated Nonprofit Practice Manager who is passionate about leveraging technology to help you accomplish YOUR mission. Solve IT then provides the planning, implementation, and support needed as a part of your team.  We are here to serve!

With a growing team of over 30 caring people and 13 years in business, Solve IT can provide your organization with the full resources of an IT department at a fraction of the cost. This includes day-to-day responsive end-user support, proactive maintenance of your technology, project implementation, all the way up to CIO strategic planning. All of this is rooted in our commitment to help your organization succeed through effective use of technology.

If you want to learn more about Solve IT, call our Nonprofit Practice Manager, Tim Sullivan. He has worked in and for the nonprofit sector for 20 years and has served over 50 nonprofits in the Denver area. You can also catch him speaking or training at various nonprofit events throughout the year. Tim can be reached at 303-800-9300 x126 or by email at tsullivan@solveit.us.

Member Appreciation | Women’s Bean Project

May is Member Appreciation Month!  Thank you to our ALL of our members – nonprofit, business and individuals.

Click here for all our member features.  Today we feature:

Women’s Bean Project

For 25 years, Women’s Bean Project has been employing chronically impoverished and unemployed women through a transitional job in gourmet food and handcrafted jewelry manufacturing. Women receive immediate income and support services to overcome barriers to employment and learn the basic job readiness, interpersonal and life skills needed to create a brighter future for themselves, their family, our community and the economy. Women’s Bean Project is a solution for domestic poverty. According to the Social Enterprise Alliance, based on research conducted by economists, the net value of a job created by social businesses such as Women’s Bean Project is at least $80,000 per year. This figure takes into account a number of primary effects, including direct income, added consumption, social benefits and avoided social costs, as well as a number of secondary benefits. Women’s Bean Project has helped more than 700 women move out of dependency and into personal responsibility and self-reliance through on-the-job training, as well as stabilization and personal development services. By employing women who come from backgrounds of chronic unemployment and poverty, Women’s Bean Project helps them set a new course for their lives – creating a new future for themselves, their families, our communities and our economy. Women’s Bean Project employs approximately 60 women each year who would otherwise not be employed, equating to $4.8 million in stimulus to the economy each year. Our CEO, Tamra Ryan just published her first book called “The Third Law” (http://www.thethirdlaw.net). The Third Law shows us that even as women work to change their lives there are forces pushing back on that change, societal obstacles that must be overcome and internal demons that must be squelched.

Member Appreciation Feature | Karis Community

May is Member Appreciation Month!  Thank you to our ALL of our members – nonprofit, business and individuals.

Click here for all our member features.  Today we feature:

Karis Community

The Karis Community (Karis) mission is to provide a transitional, community-living opportunity for restoring basic life skills and improving the social well-being of individuals recovering from serious and persistent mental illness.

Karis, the only community-model residential program serving the mentally ill population in the Denver area, was founded in 1976 for the purpose of supporting people in transition. In 1978, Swanee Hunt and Mark Meeks assumed the administration and over the next two years, they changed the name to Karis Community and shifted the focus to mental health. The name Karis means grace, and it aptly describes the Karis Community organization, because Karis is a place where adults working to manage illnesses such as Major Depression, Bipolar Mood Disorder and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder are received, nurtured, challenged and launched. Karis provides a homelike environment for up to eighteen people.

When Karis was founded, the human and economic costs of mental illness and health care were a pressing issue in the United States. Thirty-eight years later, the costs are, if anything, greater. An estimated 26.2 percent of Americans ages 18 and older — some 58 million people — suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder annually.

Karis Community has taken an innovative approach in addressing mental health concerns. Karis utilizes the Karis Empowerment Program (KEP) to provide a cost-effective, personalized alternative to hospitalization—a residential therapeutic community, the only such community in the state (and one of a few nation-wide). The result has been an exceptionally high number of Community members who go on to long-term independence.

www.kariscommunity.org

2013 Urban Institute Study on Nonprofit Contracts and Grants

Background

In 2013, 56,000 nonprofit organizations nationwide had grants and contracts from federal, state, and local governments. These contracts accounted for nearly $81 billion in revenues for nonprofit organizations.

Although nonprofits are vital partners in delivering public services, breakdowns in the contracting process can undermine the nonprofit-government partnership. When governments fail to pay the full costs of delivering public services or fail to make payments on time, nonprofits may experience strains on their finances that could impact their staff and the people they serve. Nonprofits are discouraged from working with governments by practices such as complex application and reporting requirements, and midstream changes to existing contracts.

National Study of Nonprofit-Government Contracts and Grants 2013: State Profiles

On May 15, 2014, the Urban Institute released state profiles for the 2013 report. The survey focused on nonprofits with over $100,000 of expenditures reported on Form 990. The survey included all categories of nonprofits except for hospitals and universities.

Click on the following link to read the National Study of Nonprofit-Government Contracts and Grants 2013: State Profiles.

Click here to view the two page summary for Colorado.

Although Colorado is doing “less worse” than many states in terms of problems with nonprofit-government contracts, the report indicates that most nonprofits are experiencing problems in contracting with local, state, and federal governments to serve our communities. (Please note that a lower number in terms of ranking means a higher percentage of problems reported compared to other states).

Here are some of the key findings:

  • 1,232 Colorado nonprofits have grants and contracts worth $1.681 billion from all levels of government
  • Most Colorado nonprofits surveyed experienced problems with the complexity and time of applying for contracts and grants (66%) as well as reporting requirements (61%)
  • Although Colorado’s had the best ranking (51st) of states reporting that contracts don’t cover the full costs of delivering services, 28% of respondents reported problems.
  • 35% of Colorado nonprofits reported midstream changes to grants and contracts.
  • Many nonprofits reported limits on program (40%) and general administrative/overhead in their contracts (35%)
  • Many Colorado nonprofits experienced declines in revenue from the federal (47%), state (32%), and local governments (35%) in 2012.
  • Regarding actions taken to address declines in revenues, Colorado was below the national average in all categories except for freezing or reducing employee salaries (58% Colorado, 53% National)

National Study of Nonprofit-Government Contracts and Grants 2013

The Urban Institute released the nationwide findings of the survey on December 5, 2013. Click here to view the report

Advocacy on Nonprofit-Government Contracting

The National Council of Nonprofits has published a number of resources and reports to help states understand and address breakdown in nonprofit-government contracting.

On May 15, the National Council of Nonprofits released a new report entitled Toward Common Sense Contracting: What Taxpayers Deserve

National Council of Nonprofits Recommendations

The National Council of Nonprofits has released its own accompanying report detailing the 12 commonsense policy proposals that can and should be adopted to mitigate the problems delineated by the Urban Institute.

Links

Find out more about efforts throughout the country to streamline and improve nonprofit government-contracting by visiting www.govtcontracting.org.

In 2010, the Urban Institute issued the results of its first government and contracts survey, documenting contracting problems between human services nonprofits and governments at the local, state, and federal level.

Annual Meeting & Legislative Reception

Thurs | Feb 20 | 4:00  | History Colorado Center | FREE

Join the Colorado Nonprofit Association staff for the Annual Meeting of the Members. We will review 2013 accomplishments, elect new board members and respond to member questions. Guest speaker is Brian Griese, former Denver Bronco and founder of Judi’s House.

Immediately following the Annual Meeting is our Legislative Reception co-hosted by the Colorado Center for Hospice & Palliative Care. This is an opportunity you do not want to miss! Many of our state legislators attend this event and look forward to meeting you!

Cash bar, beverages and light snacks are provided.

 2014 Annual Meeting Documents for Download

Location

History Colorado Center | 1200 Broadway | Denver, CO 80203

Parking

Parking is available in the Civic Center Cultural Complex garage at 12th Avenue and Broadway, directly across the street from the History Colorado Center. Enter on 12th Avenue, just west of Broadway. Rates begin at $1 per hour, and are posted inside the front entrance. Limited parking is also available in the garage adjacent to the History Colorado Center at 1255 Broadway. Enter on Broadway just north of the main entrance. Metered spaces and surface lots are also available nearby.

2014 Nonprofit Day at the Capitol

Please note that registration for Nonprofit Day at the Capitol is closed. Contact Mark at mturner@coloradononprofits.org with any questions.

This full day event on Wednesday January 29 is designed to help your nonprofit be able to advocate for your issues with state legislators and ensure their awareness of your organization and its contributions to the community. Participants will have the opportunity to set up meetings with their state legislators, practice effective lobbying strategies with legislators, and learn about key policy issues affecting the Colorado nonprofit sector.

Preparing for Nonprofit Day at the Capitol

Set up your appointments with legislators in advance of Jan. 29.  Meeting with your legislator is the most important thing you can do during Nonprofit Day at the Capitol.  Offer multiple times to the legislators you wish to meet.

Plan for your meetings with legislators.  Plan in advance what to discuss and draft up your talking points.  Prepare any handouts to leave with legislators.  Research information on the legislators you are meeting.

Review any training materials and resources available to you before the event.  We will send out helpful materials, web links, and other resources before the event to participants.

Plan your day.  Whether or not you have meetings scheduled with legislators, you should review the agenda and determine how to make the most of the day. Here are some ideas:

  • Meet Legislators and Their Staff. We will be hosting a breakfast for legislators, so this is a great way to introduce your organization.
  • Attend our Lobbying Coaching sessions. This is your opportunity to practice meeting with legislators, refine your talking points, and get feedback from our lobbying team.
  • Attend Committee Hearings. All legislative committee meetings are open to the public. Any person can sign up to express opinions on bills before the Colorado General Assembly. Many nonprofits testify on bills impacting their organization and the people they serve, so this is a great way to witness legislative debates and learn how to participate. Committee schedules will be distributed at the event.
  • Go on a Capitol Tour. Tours are helpful for understanding how to navigate the Capitol and learn about its history. Click here for more information on Capitol tours.
  • Observe Chamber Hearings. You will get a chance to watch the legislature make key decisions and cast voters on matters of importance to Coloradans.

Apply what you have learned.  After the event, consider what you have learned and how to make working with legislators an ongoing part of your organization’s work.  Consider how to include it in organizational planning and how to encourage your organization to devote sufficient resources to accomplish desired policy objectives.

Agenda

2014 Nonprofit Day at the Capitol Agenda

Locations:

Colorado State Capitol 200 E. Colfax Avenue, Denver, 80203 (www.leg.state.co.us)

Denver Art Museum (DAM), Schlessman Hall, 100 W. 14th Avenue Parkway, Denver 80204** (http://denverartmuseum.org/)

Agenda

8:00 am:  Registration/Breakfast (DAM)

8:20-8:40 am:  Welcome remarks (DAM)

Speakers: Senator Lucia Guzman (D-Denver), President Pro Tempore; Representative Brian DelGrosso (R- Loveland) Minority Leader***

8:45-9:00 am:  Morning Announcements (DAM)/ walk to Capitol

9:15-9:45 am Watch morning business in House Chamber (House Gallery, third floor of Capitol)

9:30 -10:15 am Capitol Tour (1st floor tour desk, Capitol) (sign up on sheet or Google form)

10:00-11:30 am:

  • Appointments with legislators (Capitol, if scheduled)*
  • Committee hearings (see House and Senate calendar for schedule and locations in Capitol)

10:15 -11:15 Lobbying Coaching (DAM) (sign up on sheet or Google form)

11:30 am -1:30 pm: Lunch. Affordable Care Act Panel

Speakers: Senator Irene Aguilar (D-Denver); Rep. Beth McCann (D-Denver); Tom Massey, Dept. of Health Care Policy and Financing; Lindy Hinman, Connect for Health Colorado, David Meyers, Metro Community Provider Network

1:30 pm-2:30 pm:

  • Appointments with legislators (Capitol, if scheduled)*
  • Committee hearings (see House and Senate calendar for schedule and locations in Capitol)

1:45-2:45 pm Lobbying Coaching (DAM) (sign up on sheet or Google form)

2:00 -2:45 pm Capitol Tour (1st floor tour desk, Capitol) (sign up on sheet or Google form)

3:00 pm Drop off your evaluation form (Capitol basement)

*To make the most by participating in this day, we encourage you to schedule appointments in advance with your state legislators. We have asked legislators to set aside time on this day to meet with nonprofits. However, you are responsible for scheduling your own appointments. More information below on Legislator Appointments.

** Due to the limited availability of Capitol rooms, many events during 2013 Nonprofit Day at the Capitol will take place at the Denver Art Museum.

***Bios will be included in your registration packet.

Parking

Cultural Complex Garage- This garage at 12th Avenue and Broadway near the Denver Art Museum opens daily at 6 am. As of August 2013, rates range from $1 for less than an hour up to $9 per day maximum. The early bird parking rate is $6 per day. Rates are posted inside the garage entrance. Click here to view the parking map.

There are also several all-day parking lots around the Capitol area.   Rates may vary from $10-15 per day.  The Capitol also has a limited number of handicapped parking spaces at 14th and Sherman. You must have a disability placard or license plate.

Transportation

Driving- The Denver Art Museum is accessible from I-25 and I-70 and is a few blocks southwest of the Capitol. Click here to view driving directions from all directions.

Public Transportation- The Capitol is located one block southeast of Civic Center Station, which can be accessed by Light Rail from the 16th Street Mall. Check with RTD at www.rtd-denver.com for specific schedules.

Lodging

If you prefer to stay in Denver overnight, either before or after the event, there are number of hotels in the area that are close to the Capitol.  Please contact the hotels directly for rates and visit sites like www.hotels.com or www.tripadvisor.com for information on accommodations and user reviews.

Registration

All registrations will be processed through the Association website. Attendance will be capped at 75 registrants. Should this cap be reached, a waiting list will be set up to permit additional registrations should any registrants cancel prior to the day of the event.  Cancellations are subject to applicable policies for the Association’s professional development programs. Day-of registrations will not be permitted.

Resources

The following resources can help with planning to meet with your state legislators and understanding the legislative process:

OMB Guidance on Indirect Costs

What It Does and Why It Matters (National Council of Nonprofits)

Charitable nonprofits and foundations will benefit significantly from the comprehensive “once-in-a-generation” overhaul of federal grants policies and procedures that the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued on December 26. Most notably, OMB’s Final Guidance makes clear that a nonprofit’s indirect costs (sometimes called overhead or administrative costs) are legitimate expenses that need to be reimbursed for the organization to be sustainable and effective.

The OMB Guidance explicitly requires pass-through entities (typically states and local governments receiving federal funding) and all federal agencies to reimburse a nonprofit’s indirect costs by applying the nonprofit’s federally negotiated indirect cost rate, if one already exists. If a negotiated rate does not yet exist, then nonprofits are empowered either to request negotiating a rate or to elect the default rate of 10 percent of their modified total direct costs (MTDC).

 Here are a few highlights of the new OMB Grants Guidance (National Council of Nonprofits):

Indirect Costs: The OMB Guidance explicitly requires pass-through entities (typically states and local governments receiving federal funding) to either honor a nonprofit’s negotiated indirect cost rate if one already exists or negotiate a rate in accordance with federal guidelines. Nonprofits will be empowered to elect an automatic indirect cost rate of 10 percent of modified total direct costs (MTDC) – which can be used indefinitely if they so choose – or negotiate a higher rate.

Direct Costs: The guidance makes clear that, in certain circumstances, program administration (e.g., secretarial staff dedicated to a specific program) can be reported as direct, rather than as indirect, costs.

Audit Rules: The new guidance also raises the threshold for a single audit (A-133) requirement from $500,000 to $750,000, thus reducing costs for smaller contracts and grants.

Streamlining Federal Guidance: The new guidance consolidates and streamlines eight OMB circulars, including OMB Circulars 110 and 122 that relate to charitable nonprofits. As a result, applications and reporting will be standardized and streamlined to provide more consistency across various federal agencies.

Effective Date: Unclear, but presumably a year after publication in the Federal Register on December 26, 2013.

In a statement, the National Council of Nonprofits summarized the significance of the new OMB guidance this way:

“The new guidance means that nonprofits should be able to focus more on their missions and should be under less pressure to raise additional funds to essentially subsidize governments. In turn, charities with no government contracts or grants could see less competition for scarce philanthropic dollars. This is a major win for the entire charitable nonprofit community.”

For more information on the next steps nonprofits should be aware of, take a look at the one-pager entitled “OMB Guidance on Indirect Costs: What It Does and What It Means”  released by the National Council of Nonprofits. It explains the changes, highlights who benefits from the changes (nonprofit contractors, foundations, and nonprofits without government contracts/grants) and how they benefit.

To read the OMB report click here.

 

 

 

 

2014 Session of the Colorado General Assembly

1074 Bill Signing

2014 Colorado Legislative Session Report

Click here to read the report.

Colorado Nonprofit Association tracks state bills of interest of substantial impact on the nonprofit sector in the state of Colorado.  Click here to view the legislative matrix.

For more information on these bills or questions, contact Mark at mturner@coloradononprofits.org

Governor Signs HB 14-1074

On Friday March 14, the Governor signed HB 14-1074. This new law allows nonprofit property owners to include reasonable expenses for improvements to the property when determining rents for nonprofit tenants. Previously, owners could only charge an equitable portion of reasonable expenses for maintenance and operation of the property. HB 14-1074 expands the definition or reasonable expenses to include depreciation, long-term maintenance, capital improvements, and water and energy efficiency upgrades.

We supported HB 14-1074 because it allows nonprofit building owners to charge rents appropriate to cover the costs of improving the property and making it more resource efficient for tenants. This would encourage more nonprofit property owners to share space with other nonprofits. Previously, if a nonprofit building owner made improvements that reduced the overall expenses of the property, the owner could actually have to lower rents and pay for the improvements with other sources of funding.

Special thanks to Representatives Lois Court (D-Denver) and Brian Delgrosso (R-Loveland) and Senator Johnston (D-Denver) for sponsoring this bill and the Alliance for Sustainable Colorado for bringing this bill forward.

Click on the links to view the bill and the fiscal note.

 

 

 

New IRS Procedure for Reinstatement of Tax Exemption

On January 2, 2014, the IRS released Revenue Procedure 2014-11 providing four procedures for retroactive reinstatement of exemption for organizations whose tax-exempt status was automatically revoked for failing to file required annual information returns for three consecutive years. Three of these procedures allow for retroactive reinstatement and one procedure applies to cases that are inapt for retroactive reinstatement.

Organizations that failed to file Form 990-EZ or Form 990-N for each of three consecutive years may apply through a streamlined retroactive reinstatement procedure within 15 months of the date of revocation. Organizations that file Form 990 or are otherwise ineligible for the streamlined procedure may apply for  retroactive reinstatement but application requirements vary depending on whether reinstatement is requested within or after 15 months of the date of revocation. Organizations ineligible for these three procedures may still apply for reinstatement, which, if granted, will be effective from the post-mark date.

Additionally, the revenue procedure outlines requirements for establishing “reasonable cause” for failing to file for three consecutive years. This reasonable cause statement must accompany two of the procedures. The notice outlines factors that could have a positive effect on the IRS’ determination of reasonable cause. Finally, the revenue procedure addresses automatic revocations occurring after reinstatement. The new Revenue Procedure is effective for all applications filed after  January 2, 2014.

Click here to read more about the new procedure

Colorado Nonprofit Association Comments on IRS Rules on 501(c)(4) Political Activity

IRS Likely to Revise Proposed 501(c)(4) Political Activity Regulations

The IRS announced on May 22 that it is likely to revise proposed regulations on 501(c)(4) political activity in light of receiving more than 169,000 public comments. Public hearings on the regulations will be postponed until after the regulations are revised.

Comments Submitted to the IRS on Proposed Regulations for 501(c)(4) Organizations.

On February 26, 2014,  we submitted comments to the IRS on their proposed regulations for political activity by 501(c)(4) organizations. We appreciate the complexity of developing clear rules to appropriately limit campaign activities by 501(c)(4) organizations and address the issues of “dark money” in our nation’s campaign finance system. However, the proposed rules could have adverse consequences for 501(c)(3) organizations, which is why the IRS should work with tax-exempt organizations and other stakeholders to draft a new set of rules. Our main concerns with the proposed regulations are as follows:

Lack of a clear limit for 501(c)(4) campaign political activity. Since the proposed rules request feedback from the public rather than proposing a limit, it is unclear if the new rules would limit or completely prohibit campaign political activity by 501(c)(4)s.

501(c)(4)s’ communications to influence legislation are limited or prohibited if they refer to candidates for elected office and occur within a month or two of an election or primary. Critical pieces of legislation or ballot measures are sometimes considered during such “blackout” periods. Exempt organizations should not be excluded from vital public policy discussions because they happen to occur close to a general election or primary.  

Nonpartisan activities to educate voters and encourage their participation are deemed “Campaign Related Political Activity.” The rules would limit or prohibit nonpartisan voter engagement activities by 501(c)(4)s and treat them the same as activities to influence votes on candidates for elected office.

Contributions from a 501(c)(4) to any other exempt organization are prohibited if the recipient engages in “Campaign Related Political Activity.” A 501(c)(3) organization must certify that it does not engage in “Campaign Related Political Activity” in order to receive any contribution from a 501(c)(4). The rules do not appear to exclude 501(c)(3)s with 501(c)(4) arms. This could also affect 501(c)(3)s that conduct nonpartisan voter engagement activities, ballot measure advocacy, or lobby during a “blackout” period.

The rules would place new limits on nonpartisan advocacy and civic engagement activities if applied to 501(c)(3)s. Federal law already prohibits 501(c)(3)s from supporting or opposing candidates and limits their lobbying activity. The proposed rules would limit nonpartisan lobbying during “blackout” periods and voter engagement activities currently permitted by federal law for 501(c)(3)s.   

To read our full statement click here. We will update this page periodically with updates on developments with these IRS regulations.

Proposed IRS Regulations on Political Activity by 501(C)(4) organizations

On November 29, 2013,  the IRS issued a notice of proposed rulemaking to provide clear guidance to 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations on political activities. The proposed rule defines “candidate-related political activities” to include not only communications that express views on candidates, but also communications that identify candidates close to an election and many voter engagement activities. The notice also requests feedback on “what proportion of an organization’s activities must promote social welfare… and whether additional limits should be imposed on activities that do not further social welfare.”

The notice raises questions of whether similar rules should apply to 501(c)(3) organizations. Click here to view the notice. Comments may be submitted by Feb. 27. 2014 electronically at http://www.regulations.gov/ (IRS REG–134417–13) or by postal mail at CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG–134417–13), Room 5205, Internal Revenue Service, P.O. Box 7604, Ben Franklin Station, Washington, DC 20044. Comments may also be viewed at regulations.gov

Click here to read our fact sheet on the IRS regulations

2013 Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) Report

The IRS has been the subject of Congressional scrutiny and media controversy due to release of a report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. The report explained that “The IRS used inappropriate criteria that identified for review Tea Party and other organizations applying for tax-exempt status based upon their names or policy positions instead of indications of potential political campaign intervention.”

Use of this inappropriate criteria resulted in part to an unexpected increase in applications for 501(c)(4) status. IRS officials also admitted to predominantly targeting Tea Party groups for additional review.

In response to the criticism regarding their policies, on June 24 the IRS released an Initial Assessment and Plan of Action for moving forward, which also acknowledges the Inspector General’s comment on the IRS’ inappropriate review criteria.

As a result of the controversy, the IRS is allowing 501(c)(4) organizations to apply for an expedited process for recognition of exemption if their applications have been pending for 120 days or more. The IRS released a letter detailing the process taken to apply for expedited review. The process includes strict guidelines to ensure that 501(c)(4) organizations report to both the IRS and the FEC (Federal Election Committee) and that their primary purpose is social welfare, rather than campaign activity or partisan interests.

Government Contracts and Grants

New Federal Grants Guidance Addresses Nonprofit Concerns, Streamlines Reporting and Accounting

The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) today released its long-anticipated overhaul of federal grants policies and procedures, and charitable nonprofits achieved several important goals that will strengthen organizations performing work in communities on behalf of governments and the nonprofit community as a whole.

Titled “Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards,” the final guidance will require state and local governments using federal funds to reimburse nonprofit contractors and grantees for reasonable indirect costs, sometimes called administrative or overhead expenses.

To read more about this, visit our OMB Guidance on Indirect Costs webpage.

2013 Urban Institute Study on Nonprofits Contracts and Grants

In 2010, the Urban Institute issued the results of its first government and contracts survey, documenting contract problems between nonprofits and governments at the local, state, and federal level. The survey found that more than half of nonprofits nationwide had difficulty with governments not paying on time, changing contract terms after the contract had already been signed, financial barriers to applying for and reporting on contracted projects.

The Urban Institute’s latest survey proves these problems are still firmly entrenched. These problems cost nonprofits and prevent them from carrying out their charitable mission and from being as effective as possible. This harms the government, it harms nonprofits, and it harms the people nonprofits serve.

To read more about the 2013 Urban Institute report and its results, visit our webpage on the study.

 

 

 

 

Meeting With Your State Elected Officials

AB

Personal visits are a highly effective way to help legislators understand your position or program.  Legislators welcome visits from constituents.  They want you involved!  However, these are busy people, so time is critical; plan ahead and use the time well.

You have two state legislators:  one state senator and one state representative.  If you don’t know who your legislators are, you can find your district by looking up your residence or place of business at the General Assembly.  Project Vote Smart allows you to look up your legislators by nine digit zip code.

If you make an appointment when the legislature is in session, remember that there is no guarantee the legislator will be able to keep it.  Legislative schedules change at a moment’s notice.  Don’t take this personally; it’s just how it is.   In all of your visits, expect to be brief, specific, and polite. 

Tips for an Effective Meeting

Before the meeting:

  • Make it easy for your legislator to meet with you:  offer several dates and do your best to accommodate their schedule.
  • Make an appointment in advance – expect to get about 15 minutes.  Call the Capitol for your legislator’s number or visit the legislative directory.
  • Be on time; be prepared; be polite; and be brief.
  • Wear business attire.
  • Try to learn in advance where your legislator stands on the issue.

At the meeting:

  • Don’t be surprised if they don’t know too much about your issue – that’s why you are there.
  • Be prepared to explain how the bill will affect you and others in the district.
  • Memorize a 90-second speech prior to your meeting.  It should include:
    • Who you are and any related group or Coalition.
    • The topic you came to discuss (e.g., the name and number of a bill).
    • Your ask (e.g., “We want you to vote FOR…..”).
    • A fact sheet with basic information about your issue and/or group.

(This way, if the appointment is interrupted, you’ll still have made your point; if the appointment continues, you can elaborate on these key points.)

  • If you don’t know the answer to a question say, “I don’t know the answer to that, but I will find out and get back to you…” – and then DO.
  • Before leaving, ask how you can be of help to him or her (more information?  A site visit?).
  • Follow up with a thank you note and provide any information that was requested from the meeting.

Additional Resources

2014 Nonprofit Day at the Capitol 

 

 

Preparing for Nonprofit Day at the Capitol- Fact Sheet How To’s

What Are Fact Sheets?

Fact Sheets introduce you – and your issue – in a format useful to busy people.  They come in many styles, shapes, and sizes, but every advocacy group needs at least one. Good fact sheets recognize that busy people need something short and punchy to grab their attention (Anything long and complicated may not just be ignored, it can be counter-productive). Fact sheets can do many things:

  • identify your group with a particular issue;
  • set out facts – key statistics relating to a problem, issue, or group;
  • provide answers to commonly-asked questions (fact sheets can use a Q&A format);
  • set out information using graphics or charts;
  • inform, persuade, educate (e.g., about a legislative proposal or budget request);
  • make an argument for a particular course of action.

Good fact sheets rely on format…

  • 1-2 pages maximum;
  • Avoid long sentences or wordy paragraphs;
  • Something easy to read, with sub-headers, “bullets,” and possibly graphics; and
  • A lay out that carries the eye from basic facts to logical conclusions or the “pitch,”

as well as content…

  • Your most compelling, most useful statistics;
  • Information arrayed to “make an argument,” targeted to a particular audience;
  • “Homey” examples, or simple ways to convey complicated points;
  • Reflecting careful thought about the audience, and what facts work best with them;
  • Drawing a conclusion or suggesting something the reader can do,

In Short:  good Fact Sheets include most or all of the following:

  • basic definition(s);
  • basic statistics; and
  • basic information
  • organized to draw a conclusion or invite the reader to take some action, plus….the name/address/telephone number and contact person of the group responsible

Additional Resources

2014 Nonprofit Day at the Capitol 

Download (DOC, 1.83MB)

ABInformation provided by Aponte and Busam.

Preparing for Nonprofit Day at the Capitol- Lobbying by Letter or Email

Letters are an important, even critical, way to influence legislation.  Letters to the writer’s own Senator and Representative are especially important.  Alternatively, many state legislators have email addresses where you can send your thoughts. Here are some guidelines:

  • Make clear your position, and exactly what you want your legislator to do.
  • Write in your own words and include your own thoughts.  Tell how the legislation will affect you and others like you.
  • Show as much knowledge as you can, but don’t worry if you’re not an expert:  your personal experience is the best evidence.
  • Avoid sending form letters, but if you send one, be sure to personalize it with a hand-written note.
  • Don’t threaten, browbeat, or get nasty.
  • Write briefly, on one subject at a time, and refer to bills by name and number.
  • Don’t try to become a pen pal; if you write too often you become a nuisance.
  • If you ask a question and don’t get a reply, follow up with another letter asking clearly for a response.
  • When a legislator votes as you asked, send a thank-you note.

In short, an effective letter or email would include:

  • Who you are (I am a voter in your district, and I belong to the 350-member Association of Pizza-Eating Voters…)
  • What you want done (We are writing to ask your support of House Bill 1234 when it comes before your Committee…)
  • What the bill does for the District (This bill would require all local public feeding programs – e.g., school lunch, senior citizen – to serve pizza three times a week).
  • Who supports it in the District (This bill is supported by a broad coalition of pizza makers, tomato growers, sausage producer, etc. in your District…)
  • What you want done again, in slightly different words (Please make this possible, by voting for HB 1234 in Committee and again later on the House Floor…)
  • Your name, address, and telephone number (Please feel free to contact us; we would be happy to answer any questions or be of other assistance in this matter.)

During the legislative session, letters should be sent directly to the state Capitol, and may be addressed:

Senator (or Representative) ____________________________

Colorado State Capitol

200 East Colfax

Denver, CO 80203

Additional Resources

2014 Nonprofit Day at the Capitol 

Download (DOC, 1.83MB)

ABInformation provided by Aponte and Busam.

Preparing for Nonprofit Day at the Capitol- Legislator Appointments

As a participant in Nonprofit Day at the Capitol, you are responsible for setting up any appointments with legislators. While we have encouraged legislators to make themselves available, Colorado Nonprofit Association will not schedule appointments for participants.

Doing some homework on state legislators’ background can be helpful preparation for forming a professional relationship with them.  Visiting legislators’ websites, searching for articles in the Denver Post, visiting their social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) regional newspapers, or political blogs can give you a sense of their priorities.

This is where you come in!   Nonprofits are experts when it comes to their missions and the people they serve.

  1. Determine which legislators to meet.   While you are welcome to try to make an appointment with any legislator, most likely your time will be best spent meeting with legislators who represent the district(s) where your nonprofit is located and legislators who would most benefit from your expertise.  These meetings can be used to strengthen alliances with legislators who care greatly about your issues already, or to educate those who are less familiar with your organization and its mission.
  2. Find contact information.  Legislators’ capitol contact information can be found in the pink book.  For legislative matters, it’s best to contact them at the Capitol. Outside of session, it may be more practical to contact legislators at home particularly those who live a good distance from the Capitol.   They may choose to give you more personal and private means of contact (i.e. cell phone, home phone, personal email, etc.) if they are comfortable being contacted that way but it’s best to defer to their contact preferences.
  3. Set up an appointment.  When you get in touch with the legislator or a staff member, set up a definite time and date to meet.   While some legislators may set up longer appointments, you should be prepared to meet for about 15 minutes.  Be prepared to reschedule at the last minute if necessary because things change rapidly at the Capitol.  But don’t get frustrated, it’s very important that they stay in touch with people and employers in their district.

Generally, the chambers tend to meet as a body between 9:00 am to about 11:00 am or perhaps noon.  Any morning committees will meet “upon adjournment” or “upon recess,” meaning they will meet as soon as chamber business is completed.   Sometimes, committees will take working lunches but generally legislators will break for lunch between noon and about 1:30, so their break could consist of a lunch meeting, office time, or free time.

Afternoon committees usually meet starting at 1:30 and those meetings can last late into the afternoon or evening sometimes.   If your legislator is in a committee meeting on the 13th, he or she may not be able to meet in the afternoon, so it’s helpful if you have some flexibility on meeting dates and times.  Please consult the General Assembly website for committee schedules.

Additional Resources

2014 Nonprofit Day at the Capitol 

Download (DOC, 1.83MB)

Year-End Survey

We’re nearing the end of 2013. How did nonprofits fare this year, and what do we expect to see in 2014?

In the news…

 

In terms of revenue for 2013, do you expect your organization to…?

Download (PDF, 78KB)

 

Demand for Services

Download (PDF, 72KB)

 

Disaster-Related Giving

Download (PDF, 74KB)

 

Cost-Saving Measures

Download (PDF, 78KB)

Remember Us Dec. 10

Impact Thousands of Nonprofits

Support Colorado Nonprofit Association on Colorado Gives Day!

Colorado Nonprofit Association supports the thousands of nonprofits that make a difference in our state every day. But we cannot do it alone. Your charitable contributions to Colorado Nonprofit Association help us achieve our mission and support all nonprofits in Colorado. When you donate to Colorado Nonprofit Association through Colorado Gives Day, the value of your donation will be increased by the FirstBank Incentive Fund.

Visit Colorado Nonprofit Association’s page at ColoradoGives.org to schedule a one-time donation now that will process on Dec. 10 or make a donation on Dec. 10.

CGD 2013_Master

24 Hours to Give Where You Live

On Dec. 10 Coloradans will come together again to raise millions of dollars for nonprofits like ours. Last year a remarkable $15.7 million was distributed to Colorado nonprofits. Presented by Community First Foundation and FirstBank, Colorado Gives Day asks you to give to your favorite charities.

Protecting Charitable Assets

Recent national investigative reports on nonprofits have raised questions about how nonprofits prevent charitable fraud and protect charitable assets.  On October 26, the Washington Post ran an article titled “Inside the Hidden World of Thefts, Scams and Phantom Purchases at the Nation’s Nonprofits” accessible at the Washington Post webpage.

Earlier in 2013, the Center for Investigative Reporting and the Tampa Bay Times claimed “The 50 worst [nonprofits] have raised more than $1 billion in the past 10 years, but only a fraction went to anyone other than the charities’ operators and professional solicitors.” The article then details egregious abuses where organizations chose poignant causes or names similar to well-known and trusted nonprofits to maximize giving. Proceeds from donations ended up going into the pockets of their administrators or for-profit companies owned by the nonprofit’s executives, according to the article.

The Washington Post Story

The Washington Post published an exposé on October 26reporting that the American Legacy Foundation, a nonprofit funded by the federal government that funds health research on the effects of smoking, disclosed a diversion “in excess of $250,000 committed by a former employee” on its 2011 Form 990. That “diversion” was actually $3.4 million in losses to former employees who had made illegal purchases with the nonprofit’s money.

The Post further details how Legacy officials delayed bringing in investigators to look into the matter for almost three years. Legacy, however, has taken responsibility for its share of the shortcomings. “We’re not innocent in this,” said Legacy chief executive Cheryl Healton in the article, “We are horrified it happened on our watch. . . . The truth hurts — we screwed up.”

The Washington Post states that while some of these diversions have come to public attention, many others — such as the one at the American Legacy Foundation — had not been reported in the news media before. The article claims that nonprofits routinely omit important details from their public filings, leaving the public to guess what had happened — even though federal disclosure instructions direct nonprofit groups to explain the circumstances. Approximately half of these organizations did not disclose the total amount of assets lost in their Form 990 disclosure reports, according to the Post.

Response from Nonprofit Leaders

The National Council of Nonprofits responded to the story by arguing that both stories show that nonprofits were victims of fraud and unethical acts by individuals. The Washington Post story identified 1,000 nonprofits who reported a material diversion of assets over a four year period out of more than a million nonprofits.  But the article appears to draw  general conclusions of widespread fraud in the nonprofit sector..

When volunteers and donors lose confidence in charitable organizations because of news reports of unethical conduct, it can have a detrimental effect on support for nonprofits generally. Given that more than half of nonprofits surveyed by National Council of Nonprofits reported not having enough resources to match increased demand in the coming year, this scandal could be particularly harmful for the nonprofit sector.

Steps Your Nonprofit Can Take

The starting point for nonprofits is to remember that nonprofits are not immune from these kinds of crimes and they can take steps to prevent fraud and abuse. All members of charitable organizations, from the board down, must model accountable and ethical behavior consistently and transparently. The National Council of Nonprofits makes the following recommendations:

Be aware of accountability programs such as the Principles and Practices and Standards for Excellence® programs that are offered by many state associations of nonprofits across the country? These programs not only address state specific legal requirements, but equip nonprofits with best practices tools and educational programs that promote effective and ethical nonprofit governance. Click here to view Colorado’s Principles and Practices for Nonprofit Excellence.

Drilling to prevent fraud is another useful tactic. Like fire and safety drills, nonprofits can drill their employees to recognize ethically questionable situations and teach them how to report and avoid them. You can use this nice checklist from Venable, a law firm with expertise in charitable nonprofits, which describes prevention measures nonprofits can adopt.

Adopting a “code of ethics” or a “statement of values” can help clarify and reinforce ethical obligations with the entire staff. The NCN has posted resources to help your leadership team create these documents and provides some effective examples from other nonprofits.

Independent Sector has also addressed ways in which nonprofits might demonstrate their ongoing commitment to the highest possible standards of ethics, accountability, and transparency. They include the following:

Improve policies and practices. Board members, with nonprofit leaders, every few years should scrutinize their governance policies and practices. They may find it helpful to compare them with the broadly accepted IS Principles for Good Governance and Ethical Practice.

Make suggestions. Suggesting areas that ought to be part of the Principles for Good Governance and Ethical Practice will strengthen ethics and accountability standards.

Calling for adequate resources will enable federal and state oversight officials to enforce the law. Federal and state law enforcement officials are responsible for oversight and enforcement of the law. If violations occur it is up to them to take appropriate action to ensure that bad actors are prosecuted.

Be more proactive and responsible. This will help improve our practices and safeguard our organizations. With strong checks and balances in place, nonprofits and foundations are in a better position to identify problems before major damage is done.

Talking Points

Nonprofits are transparent. The Forms 990 that were used for these and other articles are available to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Many nonprofits also make their federal filings available to the public on their websites.

Fraud can happen to anyone. The American Legacy Fund was established by state attorneys general as part of the settlement of the states’ lawsuit against tobacco companies, and state attorneys general (current and former) continue to occupy many seats on the fund’s board. If the attorneys general, who know what to look for, could not prevent fraud from happening or know to intervene while it was happening, that shows that it can happen anywhere to any organization.

Nonprofits work to prevent fraud. The nonprofit community must earn the public’s trust every day not only by complying with the law but also by modeling and promoting integrity, transparency, and accountability.

Overhead costs are essential to nonprofit operations. Putting administrative control systems in place to prevent fraud (through training and deterrence) costs money. However, grant makers say their money can only be used for programs and government contracts with nonprofits prevent reimbursement of such overhead costs.

To read more on these ideas click here.

Responses from Nonprofit Sector Coalitions

Click here to read the National Council of Nonprofits’ response in the November 11 Huffington Post.

Click here to read Independent Sector’s press release in response to the Washington Post article.

 

 

Sample: Attendance Policy

Link: Sample Board Attendance Policy


Purpose
This policy is intended to support full contribution of all board members. All board members receive a copy of this official policy. The policy is reviewed once a year and maintained in each member’s Board Manual. The policy has been reviewed and authorized by the board (see signature and date below).

Definition of a Board Attendance Problem… [Read more]

 

 

Site: managementhelp.org

Registration of Charity Auctioneers

Colorado Secretary of State (Revised July 8, 2010)

Whenever the question arises as to whether an auctioneer needs to register, the Secretary of State’s staff will request a copy of a contract or written agreement between the auctioneer and the charity to see if the specific arrangements require registration as a paid solicitor or professional fundraising consultant under the Charitable Solicitations Act. Each auctioneer registration question will be very fact-specific. In each case the following questions should be considered:

1. Is the auctioneer a paid solicitor or a professional fundraising consultant?

A paid solicitor means a person who, for monetary compensation, performs any service in which contributions will be solicited in Colorado.

A professional fundraising consultant is a person retained by a charity who plans, manages, advises, consults, or prepares material for the solicitation of contributions, but who does not solicit contributions.

A professional fundraising consultant must be retained by a charity for a fixed fee or rate. If the auctioneer’s compensation is contingent upon the amount of contributions, then the auctioneer is not a professional fundraising consultant.

2. Is the auctioneer compensated for soliciting contributions?

Solicit means to ask for money on the plea or representation that such money, or any portion thereof, will be used for a charitable purpose or will benefit a charitable organization. The term “solicit” includes, but need not be limited to, the following methods of requesting such money: (a) any oral or written request; or (b) a plea or representation that the sale of an item, or any portion thereof, will be used for a charitable purpose or will benefit a charitable organization. It includes the use of the name of any charitable organization in an appeal as an inducement or reason for making the sale.

3. If the auctioneer is compensated for soliciting contributions, then s/he meets the definition of a paid solicitor.

The only statutory exceptions to the definition of paid solicitor are:

(a) A person whose sole responsibility is to print or mail fund-raising literature;
(b) A lawyer, investment counselor, or banker who renders professional services to a charitable organization or advises a person to make a charitable contribution during the course of rendering such professional services or advice to the charitable organization or person;
(c) A bona fide volunteer;
(d) A director, officer, or compensated employee who is directly employed by a charitable organization which, at the time of the solicitation, had received a determination letter from the internal revenue service granting the organization tax-exempt status pursuant to 26 U.S.C. sec. 501 (c) (3), (c) (4), (c) (8), (c) (10), or (c) (19). For purposes of this paragraph (d), such a determination letter shall not have retroactive effect.
(e) Any employee of the department of revenue collecting voluntary contributions for organ and tissue donations under the provisions of sections 42-2-107 (4) (b) (V) and 42-2-118 (1) (a) (II), C.R.S.; or
(f) A person whose only responsibility in connection with a charitable contribution is to provide a merchant account to process credit card payments using the internet.

Examples of Charity Auctions

Example 1 – Decedent’s estate plan requires the sale of all estate assets and the distribution of all sale proceeds to decedent’s heirs with no gifts or distribution to charity. In this instance, no registration is required – no charitable contributions are solicited and no charitable donation is going to charity.

Example 2 – Decedent’s estate plan requires the sale of all estate assets and the distribution of all sale proceeds to charitable organization(s) specified by the decedent; no mention of the charitable interest by the auctioneer before or during the auction. In this instance, no registration is required – no contributions are solicited and all charitable donations are made by the decedent.

Example 3 – Decedent’s estate plan requires the sale of all estate assets and the distribution of all sale proceeds to a charitable organization(s) specified by the decedent; auctioneer advertises the charitable interest to promote the estate auction in advance and during the auction encourages bidding on the basis that bidders are benefitting a charitable cause. In this instance registration is required – a charitable appeal is used to advertise the estate auction and bidders are encouraged throughout the auction, e.g., “to bid as much as they can afford since all proceeds benefit a good cause.” Given the principal/agent relationship[1] between the estate’s fiduciary and the auctioneer, the estate should be registered as a charitable organization and the auctioneer as its professional solicitor. Registration is easily avoided by not utilizing any charitable appeals to promote the auction or encourage bidders, but if a charitable appeal is used, then compliance with registration and reporting is required.

Example 4 – Charitable organization conducts auction of sports memorabilia to support its programs and services. In this instance, registration is required by both the charity as a charitable organization and by the auctioneer (fundraiser) as a professional solicitor

[1] The auctioneer in this case is more than just a vendor providing a service for the estate.

Ongoing Filing Requirements for Nonprofits

IRS Annual Form 990 Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax

Submit Form 990 to:
Internal Revenue Service
Ogden, UT 84201-0027
Due Date: 15th day of the 5th month after fiscal year ends.
Information: (800) 829-1040
Forms: (800) 829-3676
Web Site: www.irs.gov/eo

Public Charities
For details, please refer to the IRS website to determine which of Form 990, Form 990-EZ or Form 990-N to file.

Private Foundations
Must submit Form 990-PF.

Colorado Secretary of State

Submit Online Registration Renewal via the Colorado Secretary of State’s website (online only).
Due Date: 15th day of the 5th month after fiscal year ends.
Information: (303) 894-2200
Form: On-line Registration Renewal
Fax: (303) 869-4864
Web Site: www.sos.state.co.us

Submit the Annual Business Report via the Colorado Secretary of State’s website, or mail to:
Colorado Secretary of State
Business Division
1560 Broadway, Suite 200
Denver, CO 80202-5169
Due Date: Annually on the month of incorporation of the organization
Information: (303) 894-2200
Form: Annual Business Report
Fax: (303) 869-4864
Web Site: www.sos.state.co.us

 

 

Disclaimer:

These articles, samples, and resources are offered for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. If used, your organization should tailor samples to best fit the organization’s specific circumstances. We encourage your organization to seek appropriate professional assistance as needed.

Guidelines for Starting a Nonprofit

The process of starting a nonprofit organization generally involves:

I. Developing bylaws and setting up the board of directors.
  1. Bylaws govern the internal structure of the organization, including the governing board by:
  2. Structuring the board of directors
  3. Creating the operational and administrative mechanisms
  4. Drafting those structures and mechanisms into bylaws
  5. The composition and recruitment of the board of directors is critical. In particular, it is important to carefully select the initial directors and to determine the manner by which future directors are selected.

 

II. Incorporating as a nonprofit corporation in Colorado.

Incorporation is a relatively simple procedure. The Articles of Incorporation must contain language required by the IRS to obtain charitable status.

III. Obtaining tax-exempt, charitable status from the IRS and Colorado; Obtaining income and sales tax exemptions and completing Colorado charitable registration.

See Initial Filing Requirements.

The application process is the most time consuming part of the process. Generally, the two substantive pieces of information required by the IRS are:

  1. A statement of activities specifically detailing the proposed activities of the new organizations
  2. Estimated budgets for three years

Frequently, the IRS review of the application includes a request for additional information. The purpose of this information is to determine whether or not the organization’s purposes and proposed activities qualify as charitable under the Internal Revenue Code. Budget information is used to determine if the organization is “publicly supported”. Together they indicate whether or not an organization can qualify as a charity eligible to receive tax-deductible donations. Also, note that actual financial information will be required after the expiration of a five year period to confirm that the organization is publicly supported.

IV. Developing policies to meet the requirements of the Internal Revenue Code.

Documents include compensation; conflict of interest; document retention; and whistle-blower policies. Also prepare documents to comply with state law, annual reporting requirements, and establish recordkeeping systems.  See Principles & Practices for Nonprofit Excellence in Colorado.

V. Finally, in consultation with legal counsel, establish:
  1. A Board meeting minute policy and other corporate record keeping practices.
  2. Risk management and insurance.
  3. Contracts and relationships with third parties.

Also note that after start-up, legal questions frequently come up, such as those on: maintaining tax exemption, governance and board procedures, liability, licensing and intellectual property, charitable contributions, employment matters, contract review and drafting, and real estate matters.

Helpful Links:
Applying for Tax-Exempt Status Mini Course
IRS Nonprofit Life Cycle
Colorado Secretary of State – Charities
Colorado Department of Law – Charities
Colorado Department of Revenue

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer:

These articles, samples, and resources are offered for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. If used, your organization should tailor samples to best fit the organization’s specific circumstances. We encourage your organization to seek appropriate professional assistance as needed.

 

 

 

Starting a Nonprofit: Initial Filing Requirements

Incorporate in Colorado

Submit Articles of Incorporation to:
Colorado Secretary of State
Business Division
1560 Broadway,Suite 200
Denver, CO 80202-5169

Information: (303) 894-2200
Fax: (303) 869-4864
Web Site: www.sos.state.co.us
Filing Fee: $50

Obtain Federal 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Status

Submit IRS Form 1023, Application for Recognition of Exemption to:
Internal Revenue Service
P.O. Box 12192
Covington, KY 41012-0192

Information: (800) 829-1040
Forms: (800) 829-3676
Web Site: www.irs.gov/charities
Filing Fee: $850 ($400 if revenues less than $10,000/year)

Obtain Colorado Corporate Income and Sales Tax Exemptions

Submit Colorado Department of Revenue Form DR 0715 with Articles of Incorporation, a financial statement, and the 501(c)(3) Determination Letter from the IRS to:
Colorado Department of Revenue
1375 Sherman Street, Room 286
Denver, CO 80261

Information: (303) 238-3278
Forms:
Web Site: www.revenue.state.co.us
Filing Fee: $0

Register with the Colorado Secretary of State

Before soliciting charitable contributions or engaging charitable sales promotions, charitable organizations must register on-line with the Secretary of State.
Division of Public Charities
Colorado Secretary of State
Business Division
1560 Broadway
Suite 200
Denver, CO 80202-5169

Information: (303) 894-2200
Fax: (303) 869-4864
Web Site: www.sos.state.co.us
Filing Fee: $0

 

Disclaimer:

These articles, samples, and resources are offered for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. If used, your organization should tailor samples to best fit the organization’s specific circumstances. We encourage your organization to seek appropriate professional assistance as needed.

 

 

Things to Consider Before You Start a Nonprofit

If you are interested in starting a nonprofit, there are several things that you should consider doing before you start the process.

  1. Volunteer.  Preferably, volunteer with organizations that are similar to the one that you may be starting.  Volunteering will help you learn about the structure, operations, and services of an organization, and will help to give you the experience you’ll need to be successful.
  2. Ensure that you aren’t duplicating services.  Competition for funding is generally fierce, so it is important to make sure that you have something unique to give the community you are looking to serve. Rather than competing with existing organizations, is it possible to work with them?
  3. Is your cause for the public good?  501(c)(3) charities receive their tax-exempt status based on the idea that they are serving the public good.  For example, if you’d like to start a fund exclusively for the benefit of your niece who has been diagnosed with cancer, it would not qualify for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status.  See the IRS Exemption Requirements – 501(c)(3) Organizations.
  4. Do you, your board members, and anyone else that will be working with you have the experience and expertise to establish a sustainable organization?  Consider this carefully.  Perhaps your cause could be better served if you worked or volunteered for an organization rather than start a new one from scratch.
  5. Be aware of all federal and state legal requirements there are for nonprofit organizations.  Start with the IRS Life Cycle of a Public Charity and Colorado Secretary of State – Charities Page.  Also, see Principles & Practices in Nonprofit Excellence in Colorado, which outlines nine principles and 120 best practices for nonprofits in Colorado.
  6. Is fiscal sponsorship a good option for your organization?  See Example 4 – Charitable organization conducts auction of sports memorabilia to support its programs and services.  In this instance, registration is required by both the charity as a charitable organization and by the auctioneer (fundraiser) as a professional solicitor.[1] The auctioneer in this case is more than just a vendor providing a service for the estate.

 

 

Disclaimer: These articles, samples, and resources are offered for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. If used, your organization should tailor samples to best fit the organization’s specific circumstances. We encourage your organization to seek appropriate professional assistance as needed.

What is Fiscal Sponsorship?

A fiscal sponsor is a nonprofit organization that shares its corporate and 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status with another charitable group. By doing so, the sponsor accepts all financial and legal liabilities for that group. Although entering into a fiscal sponsorship agreement is a serious undertaking with legal responsibilities and ramifications, it is an excellent opportunity to significantly assist a group or groups whose objectives align with your mission.

Prior to sharing your organization’s tax-exempt status, it is imperative to seek expert advice. The appropriate legal framework is essential to sustaining a healthy and beneficial relationship. It is also important to emphasize that there are many variations in fiscal sponsorships, and therefore a contract should be customized to meet particular circumstances and needs. Fiscal sponsorship has the potential to increase the number of constituents served and goals accomplished while assisting a new or small group. However, if proper precautions are not taken, your organization may be subject to any legal penalties incurred by questionable activities performed by your sponsored organization.

For many reasons, a potential fiscal sponsor should thoroughly review an organization before entering into an agreement to sponsor it. Due to the legal and financial accountability of the sponsor for the sponsored organization, conflicting opinions regarding how money and internal functions should be handled could become a problem. Also, the sponsored organization could be involved in things that might negatively impact the reputation of the sponsoring organization simply because of its association. And it is possible that the partnership is simply not a good fit. But despite the risk, the ability to enable more nonprofit services to be offered may be worth the effort.

Helpful Links:
Colorado Nonprofit Development Center
National Network of Fiscal Sponsors
7 Terms For Understanding Fiscal Sponsorship – NPTimes

 

 

Advice From a Fiscal Sponsor

The Colorado Nonprofit Development Center (CNDC – Member since 1999) is the only nonprofit in the region offering emerging, transitioning and established organizations comprehensive fiscal sponsorship. Since accepting its first project in 2000, CNDC has worked with more than 100 charitable projects and has the experience of working with small to large projects at all stages of development.

 CNDC recommends that nonprofit organizations which provide fiscal sponsorship –
  1.  Account for and report on the projects’ funds separately and provide regular and timely financials to project   leaders;
  2. Maintain adequate insurance to assume financial and legal responsibility for the project;
  3. Never use funds dedicated for project purposes for any other purpose;
  4. Disclose to the project in advance any charges, such as insurance premiums or legal fees, for which the project is liable;
  5. Establish and maintain sound policies, systems, procedures, and internal controls that extend to the project;
  6. Review, approve, and sign all contracts, leases and other legally binding project commitments; and
  7. Have a written fiscal sponsorship agreement detailing the terms and expectations of the relationship.

By outlining expectations and responsibilities on both sides of the fiscal sponsor relationship and keeping lines of communication open, a fiscal sponsorship arrangement can be mutually beneficial for both sides.

 

Disclaimer:

These articles, samples, and resources are offered for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. If used, your organization should tailor samples to best fit the organization’s specific circumstances. We encourage your organization to seek appropriate professional assistance as needed.

Life In The Cloud

This presentation will take you through the many aspects of cloud computing and what it means to operate your non-profit on the cloud.

Nonprofit Activities During an Election

There are rules governing what charitable nonprofit organizations can and cannot do leading up to and during an election. The most important thing to remember is that a 501(c)(3) nonprofit must remain nonpartisan at all times. An organization may support or challenge a piece of legislation or an issue, but may not support or criticize an elected official or candidate for office. If a particular issue is a hot partisan item and each candidate has a clear and opposing view on the issue, nonprofits should exercise caution in how outspoken they are about that issue so that they do not appear to be supporting one candidate.

Voter and Election Activities All 501(c)(3) Organizations CAN Do on a Non-Partisan Basis

  • Voter registration
  • Voter education on the process of voting (where to vote, information on elections and election process)
  • Voting rights and election reform
  • Get Out the Vote (GOTV)– Encourage and facilitate voting of your community and members. Federal funds may not be used for voter registration. Nonprofits may target GOTV activities towards traditionally underserved or underrepresented areas or populations; they may not target populations based on their political or ideological leanings.
  • Election day activities – Election Monitors, non-partisan GOTV, etc.
  • Voter education on the candidates and ballot issues
  • Supporting and opposing ballot questions – These activities are subject to normal lobbying limits. There are no limits on non-partisan voter education on ballot measures that presents both sides of the question. Regular lobbying limits apply if your organization endorses “yes” or “no.”
  • Publish legislative scorecards – Scorecards must be provided for all officials eligible to vote.
  • Scorecards leading up to an election should be prepared and used in the same manner as in non-election times. It is best to avoid publishing scorecards leading up to an election if your organization has not regularly published them in the past.
  • Candidate questionnaires – Questions must be nonpartisan and cover a broad range of topics. If a particular topic is a partisan debate topic, such as abortion, gun control, etc., avoid asking questions about that topic. Reprint the exact answers of the candidates, and give equal opportunities to all candidates to answer and publish answers from all candidates.
  • Candidate forums – All candidates must be invited and equally encouraged to attend. If a majority of candidates cannot attend, be sure to remain nonpartisan in questions and cover a broad range of topics. If a particular topic is a partisan debate topic (such as abortion, gun control, etc.) avoid asking questions about that topic.
  • Candidate education – Educate all of the candidates equally on public interest issues.
  • Rent mailing lists and facilities to organizations, legislators, and candidates – Rentals must be made at fair market value and if made available to members of one party, must be available to members of all other parties. It is best to follow rental procedures established independent of election cycles.
  • Establish a controlled 501(c)(4) organization

 

Election Activities 501(c)(3) Organizations CANNOT Do

  • Endorse candidates for public office*
  • Make any campaign contributions*
  • Make expenditures on behalf of candidates
  • Restrict rental of their mailing lists and facilities to certain candidates
  • Ask candidates to sign pledges on any issue (tacit endorsement)
  • Increase the amount of incumbent criticism as election time approaches
  • Publish or communicate anything that explicitly or implicitly favors or opposes a candidate

*While nonprofit organizations cannot participate in or contribute to a candidate’s campaign, volunteers, staff or board members of an organization may do so provided that they are acting as individual citizens, not on behalf of the organization.

Funding Lobbying Efforts

Organizations supported wholly or in large part by government grants are subject to the different, more stringent rules of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-122. With three very limited exceptions, nonprofits are not permitted to use federal funds to engage in lobbying activities, although they are permitted to lobby with money from other sources.

The three exceptions are:

  1. Technical and factual presentations to legislative bodies on topics directly related to the grant. (The legislative body must have requested the information.)
  2. Lobbying state legislatures to influence legislation that would help to reduce the cost of carrying out program activities, or to avoid the impairment of the organization’s ability to carry out its program activities. (The lobbying must be pragmatic in nature, not ideological.)
  3. Lobbying activities specifically authorized in the grant or contract.

Private foundations are not permitted to lobby or earmark grants for lobbying. They can make general purpose grants or even grants for a specific initiative with a lobbying component as long as the initiative’s non-lobbying component of the budget is greater than the amount given by private foundations.

Community foundations can earmark grants towards lobbying, but they are subject to the same limitations as other 501(c)(3) nonprofits and any money they give specifically for lobbying counts against their financial limit.

Registering as a Lobbyist in Colorado

 

“Most commonly, if you are communicating with a covered official to influence legislation, you are required to register as a lobbyist. (A covered official is the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, or a member of the general assembly. ‘Covered officials’ also includes members of any rulemaking board or commission, or a rulemaking official of a state agency.)” – Colorado Secretary of State, Lobbyist FAQs

To register as a lobbyist in Colorado, visit the Lobbyist section of the Secretary of State’s website.

Learn more at the Secretary of State’s Lobbyist FAQ pages.

 

Lobbying Disclosure Reporting

You will need to file a report of your lobbying income and expenditures every month, even if there were no lobbying income or expenses for that month. You will also need to report on the bills that you are currently tracking for your organization along with any positions taken on those bills. Reports are due by the 15th of the following month; check the Secretary of State’s lobbyist calendar for a yearly schedule.

To file your lobbyist report online, access the Online Lobbyist System and log in with your username and password. Enter your lobbying expenses for the month, and file your report. In the final step, be sure to click “Submit Report” or it won’t be processed!

 

 

Making the 501(h) Election

To make the 501(h) election, file IRS Form 5768 “Election/ Revocation of Election by an Eligible Section 501(c)(3) Organization to make Expenditures To Influence Legislation” and return it to the IRS before the end of your fiscal year. This is a very simple, one-page form that can be downloaded from www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f5768.pdf. If, for some reason, you want to cancel the election and return to being governed by the “substantiality” rule, the IRS must be notified before the beginning of your fiscal year (use the same form).

 

 

What Are the Financial Limits on Nonprofit Lobbying?

The general rule governing all nonprofits under section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code is that “no substantial part” of their activities may be directed toward influencing legislation. The substantiality rule may be interpreted quite widely and be dependent on the nonprofit’s prominence, perceived impact on public opinion and use of unpaid volunteer labor. An organization with a committed cadre of volunteers that successfully lobbies to pass or defeat a bill may be considered to have substantially influenced legislation, even though it did not spend any money.

In 1976, sections 501(h) and 4911 were added to the Internal Revenue Code to set clear definitions of financial limits and acceptable activities and allow public charities to “elect” to be governed by these regulations instead of the broad “substantiality” rule. (Do note that those organizations supported in large part by government grants are subject to different rules discussed later.) The IRS released the final regulations in August 1990. Nonprofits electing to come under sections 501(h) and 4911 may spend the following percentages of their “exempt purposes expenditures”* on lobbying activities:

Budget size* Total annual expenditures that may be spent on lobbying
Up to $500,000 20%
$500,000 to $1,000,000 $100,000 + 15% of budget in excess of $500,000
$1,000,000 to $1,500,000 $175,000 + 10% of budget in excess of $1,000,000
$1,500,000 to $17,000,000 $225,000 + 5% of budget in excess of $1,500,000
Over $17,000,000 $1,000,000

*For most organizations, exempt purposes expenditures are the budget. Exempt purpose expenditures do not include tax on unrelated business, expenses associated with unrelated business, capital expenses for new buildings or permanent improvements, expenses for a separate fund raising unit, or the services of a fund raising consultant. Note that the above amounts are for “direct lobbying.” No more than 25 percent of the permitted amounts may be spent on “grassroots” lobbying. In addition, there is no limit
on the amount of lobbying that may be conducted by volunteers who are not reimbursed. oybki

Unless your organization is involved in a substantial amount of lobbying, you are unlikely to even come close to the financial limits. The 501(h) election actually allows for much simpler record keeping – organizations which lobby under that “insubstantial part test” are required to provide the IRS with a detailed narrative description of their activities. oybki

Even if you do exceed the limits, you are subject to a tax penalty but do not immediately lose your exemption. The excise tax is one quarter of the amount of the excess lobbying expenditures. The IRS uses a four-year averaging period, and only if you exceed the limits by more than 50 percent over the entire period are you in danger of losing your exemption. Lobbying expenses are counted on a rolling average over four years.

Please also see the FAQ on Making the 501(h) Election.

What Is NOT Lobbying?

If your organization makes the 501(h) election, you should be aware that many activities do not count as lobbying, including:

1. Distributing materials and other communications of direct interest to members of your organization that express a point of view on legislation but do not urge action by the members.

2. Making available the results of analysis or research on a legislative issue, as long as the facts are presented fully and fairly.

3. Responding to written requests from a legislative body (not an individual legislator).

4. “Self-defense” lobbying on matters that affect the organization’s existence, powers and duties, tax-exempt status, or deductibility of contributions.

5. Discussing broad social issues, without mentioning specific legislation.

 

 

See the full set of “What Is Lobbying?” FAQs:

What is Grassroots Lobbying?

Grassroots lobbying is a communication with the public that, like direct lobbying, also is intended to influence legislation, makes reference to specific legislation reflects a point of view and includes a “call to action.” The difference is that a grassroots lobbying communication encourages members of the general public to contact government officials about legislation. Generally, if a communication does not have a viewpoint or a call to action but provides information on a law to the public, it should not be considered lobbying. Again, if the communication is directed at voters and intended to encourage them to vote a certain way on a ballot measure, it is direct lobbying. There is an exception for paid mass media advertisements on “highly publicized legislation,” which are presumed to be grassroots lobbying if they run within two weeks of a vote on legislation, even if the ad does not encourage members of the public to contact government officials.

 

 

See the full set of “What Is Lobbying?” FAQs:

What Is Direct Lobbying?

Direct lobbying is any attempt to influence legislation through communication with any member or employee of a legislative body, or with any other government official who may participate in the formulation of legislation. Encouraging your members to express your organization’s position to these individuals is also direct lobbying.

There is a three part “test” to determine if a specific activity constitutes direct lobbying:

1. The principal purpose is to influence legislation,

2. There is reference to a specific piece of legislation (even if the legislation is not currently under consideration), and

3. A point of view is expressed. Usually, some kind of action is advocated.

 

See the full set of “What Is Lobbying?” FAQs:

What Is Lobbying?

Lobbying is defined by federal tax law as any attempt to influence specific legislation. Lobbying can be done by (1) contacting or urging the public to contact policy makers for the purpose of proposing, supporting, or opposing legislation or (2) by advocating the adoption or rejection of legislation. Regulations divide lobbying into two types, direct and grassroots. Specific rules apply to each type. Policy Makers refers to anyone who has direct influence over the outcome of a piece of legislation and could include:

• Legislators

• Legislative aides

• Governor

• Lt. Governor

• President

• Others

In the case of ballot initiatives or referenda, voters are considered policy makers, because they decide the outcome of legislation at the voting booth. Any communications made to members of the general public encouraging them to vote a certain way on ballot measures is direct lobbying.

 

See the full set of “What Is Lobbying?” FAQs:

FEMA Public Assistance Program

Update

FEMA Public Assistance Applicant Briefings have been scheduled for the following counties (dates and locations included below, more locations and dates will be added to this list moving forward). Please distribute or make available to your membership as appropriate. The briefing locations will also be posted to the corecovers.info web page, also available from the Flood Recovery tab on coemergency.com.

Adams County – Friday, October 4 – 12:30

Adams County Government Center

S. Adams County Parkway

Brighton, CO 80601

Meeting will take place in Platte Valley rooms B-D

 

Morgan County – Tuesday, October 8 – 9:00

Morgan County Community College

920 Barlow Road

Fort Morgan, CO 80701

Meeting will take place in the Founders Room

 

Logan County – Tuesday, October 8 – 2:00

Logan County Courthouse

315 Main St

Sterling, CO 80751

Meeting will take place on 2nd Floor

 

 


Update

The Department of Homeland Security has released a publication, Audit Tips for Managing Disaster-Related Project Costs. 

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Office of Inspector General (OIG), prepared this guide for recipients of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) public assistance and hazard mitigation funds. Using it will help you to:

  • Document and account for disaster-related costs,
  • Minimize the loss of FEMA disaster assistance program funds,
  • Maximize financial recovery, and
  • Prevent fraud, waste, and abuse of disaster funds.

Click here to download the publication (PDF).

 


 

Preliminary Damage Assessments for Eligible Private Nonprofits

Severe Storms, Flooding, Landslides and Mudslides (DR‐4145‐CO) Beginning September 11, 2013

Certain private nonprofits (PNPs) impacted by catastrophic flooding beginning September 11, 2013, may be eligible to apply for FEMA’s Public Assistance (PA) program. Disaster related costs incurred by private nonprofits must be located in designated areas of the Presidential Declaration of Major Disaster. The PA program provides supplemental Federal disaster grant assistance for debris removal, emergency protective measures, and the repair, replacement, or restoration of disaster‐damaged, publicly owned facilities, to include those of PNPs. Please take time to research the PA program on FEMA’s Public Assistance webpage as it is an excellent resource to provide a program overview and answer initial questions you may have. In the near future, your private nonprofit will be provided the opportunity to participate in applicant briefings and kick‐off meetings where additional program information and timelines will be provided.

Which private nonprofits are eligible under the Public Assistance program?

Eligible private nonprofit organizations or institutions are those that own or operate facilities that are open to the general public and that provide certain services otherwise performed by a government agency. If you are uncertain of your organization’s eligibility after reviewing Public Assistance program guidance, please follow the steps in the next section and an eligibly determination will be made at a later time. These services include:

  • Education (Colleges and universities, Parochial and other private schools)
  • Utility (Systems of energy, communication, water supply, sewage collection and treatment, or other similar public service facilities)
  • Emergency (Fire protection, ambulance, rescue, and similar emergency services.)
  • Medical (Hospital, outpatient facility, rehabilitation facility, or facility for long‐term care for mental or physical injury or disease.)
  • Custodial Care (Homes for the elderly and similar facilities that provide institutional care for persons who require close supervision, but do not require day‐to‐day medical care.)
  • Other Essential Governmental Services (Museums, zoos, community centers, libraries, homeless shelters, senior citizen centers, rehabilitation facilities, shelter workshops and facilities that provide health and safety services of a governmental nature. Health and safety services are essential services that are commonly provided by all local governments and directly affect the health and safety of individuals. Low-income housing, alcohol and drug rehabilitation, programs for battered spouses, transportation to medical facilities, and food programs are examples of health services.)

How do private nonprofits participate in Preliminary Damage Assessments (PDAs)?

Although local jurisdictions are already conducting their own initial damages assessments, official Public Assistance PDAs involving FEMA and the State of Colorado will begin September 23, 2013, starting with municipal and county governments. Private nonprofits are asked to participate in the PDAs by providing disaster related emergency response and damage cost estimates to the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM). To provide information about your PNP and disaster related costs, please follow the link to DHSEM’s PNP preliminary damage assessment webpage. This page is where PNPs may provide a description and location of damages along with an estimate of total emergency response and damage costs.

How will this information be used?

Information entered via the webpage will be used for two primary purposes: first, it will serve as a contact list for PNPs interested in participating in the PA program; and second, the estimated costs will be evaluated for general eligibility and tallied by county. Direct messaging regarding the PA program and next steps will be provided to the PNP’s primary point of contact. The number of private nonprofits indicating interest in the program, along with associated damage estimates, will assist FEMA and DHSEM in determining the best path forward in resourcing and facilitating the reimbursement of eligible expenses to PNPs.

What Happens Next?

After providing information into the webpage, FEMA and DHSEM will reach out to your private nonprofit with next steps and may request additional details on the damage description and estimated costs entered into the website. Your PNP will then be provided an opportunity to attend an applicant briefing to learn additional details on all aspects of the PA program.

Source: State of Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, 09‐20‐13

Photo courtesy The National Guard

Amendment 66 and Proposed Colorado School Finance Changes

We are grateful for the support and hard work of nonprofits throughout the state on Amendment 66.  Over the last few months, we’ve reached out to nonprofits to generate discussion and support for a new approach to school finance in Colorado. While voters determined that now is not the time to raise taxes to change how we fund Colorado’s  schools, we are proud of the work by Colorado nonprofits to move this discussion forward.

Having a strong P-12 education system is vital for our children, the prosperity of our communities and  the effectiveness of our nonprofit workforce. Colorado’s fiscal policies should support the ability of our state to provide essential public services. We supported Amendment 66 as a step toward finding long-term solutions to our state’s fiscal challenges. Every Coloradan has a stake in the outcome of discussions like these.

For every nonprofit who endorsed, reached out to their communities, and discussed Amendment 66  with their boards, we greatly appreciate  your efforts.  For those nonprofits who had doubts about raising taxes or the reforms in contained in Amendment 66, we invite and welcome your views.  The problems Amendment 66 sought to address are not going away.   As trusted nonpartisan voices who can develop solutions  to community problems, nonprofits have a key role to play in discussions like school reform and state revenues.   Our voice will make a difference.

We look forward to continued dialogue on these and other issues  important to  our state’s future.

Sincerely,

Renny Fagan, President and CEO

Reason for Support

Colorado’s schools and teachers are responsible for preparing our students for a changing and competitive world. Our investments in a high quality education system should give our state and our children the opportunity to be successful.  These investments should reflect a commitment to reduce class sizes, get the best teachers in the classroom, and provide more modern and technologically advanced classrooms.

As nonprofits require a skilled and educated workforce to strengthen communities and enrich lives, the success of Colorado’s schools is integral to an effective nonprofit sector. Colorado Nonprofit Association supports Amendment 66 to strengthen the K-12 education system for our children, our communities and for Colorado’s future.

About Amendment 66

Amendment 66 would raise an additional $1 billion per year for Colorado’s K-12 schools. Click here to view how this funding is distributed.

Amendment 66 raises revenue to implement changes made by SB 13-213 to:

Making these investments requires additional revenues.  Amendment 66 asks voters to increase tax from 4.63 percent to 5.0 percent on the first $75,000 of taxable income, and to 5.9 percent for taxable income above $75,000. Median income households would pay an additional $133 per year or roughly $.0.36 a day. Click here for more information on how tax rates would be affected.  Click here to use the tax calculator and estimate the effect on your income taxes.

Amendment 66 also modifies Amendment 23 to achieve greater stability and flexibility in the state budget. Rather than increasing school funding each year by inflation no matter what, Amendment 66 requires that – at a minimum – 43 percent of the state’s general fund be designated to Pre-K through 12th grade education each year, in addition to the new revenue generated by this initiative. Colorado has spent 46 percent of general fund dollars on average over the last thirteen years, according to Colorado Legislative Council.

Resources

 

Social Impact Bonds (SIBs)

Summary

Social Impact Bonds would provide a new type of funding mechanism, which links governments, private investors, and service providers together to address social issues largely for preventative measures and programs. Through a SIB, both private investment and government funds are used to support service delivery. In addition to delivering the service, SIBs are focused on achieving defined outcomes and providing a return to private investors through government cost savings and achieved efficency.

Contract payments may depend, in whole or in part, on achievement of outcomes, so programs financed using SIBs include independent evaluations to measure the success and scalability of programs. Programs that are deemed appropriate to implement using SIBs generally provide evidence of the need of the program, the potential for success and savings to a community or government, scalability and overall cost-effectiveness.

SIBs, or Pay for Success programs, encourage partnerships between public, private, and philanthropic sectors to provide upfront capital, focus on program effectiveness, and potentially increase the capacity of programs by partnering with government.

Several efforts are underway to pilot SIBs in the United States including municipal programs in Massachusetts and New York City to address issues related to chronic homelessness and youth corrections. The FY2012 federal budget also proposed $100 million in SIBs dedicated toward workforce development, education, juvenile justice, and childhood disabilities.

In Colorado, the city of Denver and Governor’s office are both looking at using SIBs to address local social issues. Colorado is the only state in the U.S. where both the state and a municipality are planning to work together to pilot SIBs.

Additional Resources:

Nonprofit Informational Session Presentation August 12, 2013

Harvard Kennedy School Social Impact Bonds Technical Assistance Lab

SIBs 101

Hudson Institute’s Panel Discussion

The White House’s Office of Management and Budget, “Paying for Success

Costa, K., Shah, S., Ungar, S. “Social Impact Bonds: Frequently Asked Questions,” Center for American Progress, December 5, 2012

Testimony from the Connecticut Association of Nonprofits on SB 105 on Social Innovation Investment.

Testimony by Cal Nonprofits at a hearing on social investment financing (video starts at 3:04:15).

Radio Boston- Social Impact Bonds

Requests for Information (RFI)

On September 3, 2013, the Office of Governor John Hickenlooper and City and County of Denver released RFIs on social impact bonds and pay-for-success contracts.

Click here to view the RFI from  the City and County of Denver. Questions may be addressed to SocialImpactBonds@denvergov.org

Click here to view the RFI from the Governor’s Office.  Questions may be addressed to Gov_PayforSuccess@state.co.us

Nonprofits Urge Inclusion of the Charitable Deduction in Revised Tax Code

Actions

On July 12 and July 26, we sent letters to Senator Bennet urging the Senate Finance Committee to retain the charitable deduction as they reform the tax code.

The July 12 letter states our case for retaining the deduction.

We also asked nonprofits to make their case for retaining the deduction and we included selected comments in the July 26 letter.

Several other national nonprofit associations took action as well:

Nearly 1,250 nonprofits signed on to Independent Sector’s open letter to Senators.

The National Council of Nonprofits and the Hawaii Alliance of Nonprofit Organizations submitted op-eds to The Hill and Huffington Post.

Background

On June 27, 2013, United States Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and Ranking Member Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) sent a letter to committee members announcing a blank slate approach to revising the tax code.

Under a “blank slate” approach, tax credits and deductions – including the charitable deduction -would not continue unless Senate Finance Committee members propose its continuation.

The letter suggested that deductions, credits or exemptions should not be part of a proposed revised tax code “…unless there is clear evidence that they: (1) help grow the economy, (2) make the tax code fairer, or (3) effectively promote other important policy objectives.”

The letter also asked Senate Finance Committee members to formally submit legislative language or detailed proposals by July 26 to include deductions in a revised tax code. The Chairman has indicated that the Committee will take up take reform proposals in the Fall of 2013.

Social Enterprise Road Trip

Monday | June 10 | 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. | Denver | $125/$175 (includes breakfast & lunch)

Presented by Caryn Capriccioso & Rick Zwetsch, InterSector Partners L3C, and Julie Voyles, JVoyles Nonprofit Consulting

Road Trip™ is the next step in a comprehensive program designed to help you and your nonprofit explore, design and develop a social enterprise in support of economic opportunities for your clients and enhanced revenue sustainability. The day-long session is a good fit for those who attended Getting Started with Social Enterprise or nonprofits that have been exploring this topic for a while without lift-off.
Road Trip™, an abbreviated version of Expedition™ from Social Enterprise Ventures, LLC, presents nonprofits with a hands-on overview of the seven key steps required to launch a successful social enterprise. While it is not possible to perform a feasibility study in a short classroom setting, the participants in a Road Trip™ will explore the seven steps through worksheets and group exercises, and participate in a mock social enterprise business plan and sales presentation. This session is a pre-requisite for applying to be part of the Social Enterprise Cohort launching in September.
In this session, we’ll utilize and build on the Road Trip™ curriculum including several key steps in social enterprise exploration/development.

Sharing Financial Information that Matters to Your Board

Tuesday | June 4 | 10:00 -noon | Denver | $35/$55

Presented by Mark Holdt, Mountain Sage Consulting

Does your board “check out” during the financial report?  Most financial information shared with boards is difficult to understand and inadequate to provide them with vital information.  This session will provide you the tools to unlock your financial information and present it in a useful format to your board.

Financial Management 101

Wednesday | May 22 | 8 – 11 a.m. | Denver | $40/$60

Presented by Lee Bengston & Laura Jorstad, NFP Partners

As an Executive Director, Board member or key manager of a nonprofit organization do you feel secure in your understanding of your financial management responsibilities? Do you find communicating with your finance department, board, and stakeholders challenging? This workshop will get you on top of your game. It covers the basics of financial management and what you need to know to become an effective financial manager. In this workshop you can expect answers and practical guidelines that address the following questions.

  • What are the respective roles of the Board of Directors and management in financial management?
  • What is internal control and how to set it up?
  • What are the components of a strong financial infrastructure?
  • How is nonprofit financial reporting different?
  • What are some key accounting concepts and practices that I need to know?
  • What are the key financial statements and what do they mean?
  • What are key ratios and supplemental performance measures?
  • Where can I get more information and guidance on financial matters?

Workshop Format – The workshop features practical information presented by experienced nonprofit financial professionals with hands-on exercises, and time for working together in small groups, using authentic examples that portray both good and bad financial management practices and reporting. Workshop participants will receive pertinent backup information in handouts or web links for use in improving financial management in their own organizations.

Requirements – Workshop participants should bring recent copies of their organization’s financial reports that are presented to the Board or used internally.

Presenters – The workshop facilitators are Lee Bengston, CPA and Laura Jorstad of NFP Partners, a consulting organization that provides software tools and outsourced accounting services to nonprofit organizations in Colorado. Lee has more than 40 years of experience as an accounting technology consultant to commercial businesses, government agencies and nonprofit organizations. He formedNFP Partners six years ago to focus on improving financial management in the nonprofit sector.

Laura Jorstad joined NFP Partners three years ago and manages the growing outsourced accounting services part of the practice. Laura has extensive experience as a Finance Manager for government and nonprofit organizations.

Administering Medical Leaves of Absence

Tues | May 21 | 12 – 1 MST (11-12 PST) | FREE for members

One of the most complex areas of employment law is compliance with the multitude of laws granting employees job protection while absent from work for a medical condition. In this session we will discuss the various laws that apply to medical absences,  what steps an employer must take in response to the absence or leave request, how long an employee is entitled job-protected leave, responding to light duty requests, and finally when, if ever, can the employer can take action to terminate an employee. The session will focus on federal law – but state laws will be mentioned.

Presenter: Ellen Aldridge, Labor & Employment Risk Manager, Nonprofits Insurance Alliance Group

Comments Submitted on Proposed Combined Federal Campaign Rules

Final Rules Issued on the Combined Federal Campaign

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management issued final rules on changes to the Combined Federal Campaign. Although OPM received many comments from charities expressing concerns with the rules, the final rule includes some provisions of concern for participating charities including an up-front application fee, limiting giving to electronic mediums, and centralization of campaign administration.  Key members of the U.S. House sent a letter to OPM on April 15, 2014 expressing concerns about the final rules.

Comments Submitted by Colorado Nonprofit Association

If your organization participates in the CFC, we recommend that you review proposed changes to the program and let us know if you have feedback.  We understand that these rules will significantly affect participating nonprofits.

Click here to view comments submitted by Colorado Nonprofit Association on May 30, 2013

Background

Many federal employees and uniform service personnel support nonprofits through the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC).  In 2011, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) formed a commission to study the program and make recommendations to streamline the program, and increase transparency, accountability, and efficiency.

Based in part on the commission’s recommendations in a July 2012 report, OPM proposed changes to the rules for the CFC in April 2013.  These changes have been posted in the federal register and the comment period closed on June 7, 2013.

About the Proposed Rules

According to a summary by Federal Employee Support for CFC Charitable Giving, Inc. in Colorado Springs, the new rule describes thirteen areas of change:

1) The campaign solicitation period moves from September 1 – December 15 to October 1 – January 15.

2) New employees will be provided the opportunity to make a payroll deduction within 30 days of being hired.

3) A new Disaster Relief Program will be created to give employees the ability to contribute to relief programs within hours of a disaster.

4)  The Local Federal Coordinating Committees will be eliminated.  The campaign will have regional oversight by a Regional Coordinating Committees.

5)  OPM will provide train and oversee the Regional Coordinating Committees.

6)   Pledges will be made through electronic means only.  Cash, check and money order contributions will be eliminated.

7)  The CFC Charity List and pledge form will be made available exclusively through electronic means.

8)  The Principal Combined Fund Organization will be eliminated.  The campaign administration functions will be consolidated into one or more Central Campaign Administrators.

9)  The administrative costs will be recovered from application fees paid by the charities that apply for participation in the CFC.

10)  A streamlined application process will permit charities to submit a full application every three years, with the requirement of submitting key documents in the two intermediary years.

11)  The financial reporting requirements for charities with less than $250,000 in revenue will be eased.  Those charities with revenue of $250,000 or more will continue to provide financial statements audited by an independent certified public accountant on an annual basis.

12)  Federations will be required to disburse funds to member organizations on a specified cycle and will be prohibited from deducting dues/fees from the disbursement of CFC funds to member organizations.

13)  Federal payroll offices will either disburse funds directly to participating charities or be required to provide detailed reports to the Central Campaign Administrator that will perform this function.

CFC Websites and Information on the New Rules

Combined Federal Campaign Website

Intermountain CFC – serves Utah, western Colorado, southern Idaho, and Wyoming.  Website includes powerpoint on proposed changes, response templates, and contact information for Senators and Representatives.

Community Shares of Colorado – webpage on rule changes with commentary on proposed rules, sample comment letters, and talking points.

Community Shares USA Change.org petition- asks Senate committees with oversight of the CFC to support nonprofits participating in the CFC.

Pikes Peak Region CFC – serves Alamosa, Baca, Bent, Conejos, Costilla, Custer, El Paso, Freemont, Huerfano, Las Animas, Mineral, Otero, Prowers, Pueblo, Rio Grande, Saguache, and Teller Counties

Rocky Mountain CFC – serves Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Chaffee, Clear Creek, Denver, Douglas, Eagle, Gilpin, Grand, Jefferson, Lake, Larimer, Morgan, Park, Pitkin, Summit, and Washington Counties

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2013 Colorado Legislative Session

2013 Positions on Bills

2013 Legislative Session Report

Click here to view a report of key bills for Colorado nonprofits at the General Assembly in 2013 including bills supported by Colorado Nonprofit Association.

2013 Legislative Matrix 

Click here to view the matrix of bills tracked by Colorado Nonprofit Association during the 2013 legislative session.

Ensuring Our Successes Through Talent Development

Thursday | May 9  | 7:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. | Pepsi Center | Denver | $85 m/$145 nm (includes both breakfast and lunch)

Is your organization prepared to handle the planned or unexpected departure of a key staff person? What innovative methods is your organization using to attract new talent to the work of your organization? In what ways is your organization developing and preparing current staff to ascend into higher positions either internal or external to your organization? Join Colorado Nonprofit Association,  Pathfinder Solutions, and The Bridgespan Group in a discussion about the state of talent development within our state and national nonprofit sector. During this half day event, participants will engage statewide and national experts as they explore methods to developing talent within their organization, identify avenues to attract new talent to your organization, and conceptualize what succession planning can look like for nonprofit organizations.

Agenda:

7:30 – 8:00 a.m. – Registration

8:00 – 9:00 a.m. – Breakfast & Opening Plenary (Welcome; Discussion:  Talent Development in Colorado)

9:00 – 9:10 a.m. – Break

9:10 – 10:10 a.m. – Breakout Session #1 (see below for Breakout Session Topics and Facilitators)

10:10 – 10:20 a.m. – Break

10:20 – 11:20 a.m. – Breakout Session #2

11:20 – 11:30 a.m. – Break

11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. – Lunch & Closing Plenary (Talent Development:  A National Case Study and Recommendations for Implementation)

Breakout Session Topics: (offered in both Session 1 and Session 2)

Please click here to view full descriptions for each breakout session.

Leadership through Coaching & Mentoring – Quantum Change Consulting

Developing Your Leadership Pipeline – The Bridgespan Group

Onboarding the Next Generation of Talent – Pathfinder Solutions

Strategies for Development and Retention of Talented and Valuable Employees – Hegelund Consulting

The Board’s Role in Talent Development – Pathfinder Solutions

Governor Signs Nonprofit Enterprise Zone Bill

On May 3, Gov. John Hickenlooper signed HB 13-1190, sponsored by Rep. Dominick Moreno (D-Commerce City) and Sen. Rollie Heath (D-Boulder).

Currently, a donor can receive a tax credit for contributing to a nonprofit in an Enterprise Zone (EZ) that is certified as a Contribution Project by a local EZ administrator. HB 13-1190 allows donors to give to a Contribution Project through a “nonprofit intermediary” such as a federated giving campaign or a nonprofit giving website (e.g. ColoradoGives.org). The legislation clarifies that donors are still eligible for the tax credit if they give to a Contribution Project via a nonprofit intermediary.

Colorado’s Enterprise Zone program “provides tax incentives to encourage businesses to locate and expand in designated economically distressed areas of the state (high unemployment rate, low per capita income, and/or slower population growth rate).” (Office of Economic Development and International Trade).  Click here for more information on Colorado’s Enterprise Zone program.

Donors can contribute to either the EZ administrator or directly to certified EZ Contribution Projects.  These Projects help implement the Enterprise Zone’s economic development plan by promoting child care, facilitating employment for homeless persons, and coordinating community development programs. More than 400 entities throughout the state are certified EZ Contribution Projects and most are run by nonprofit organizations.

 

 

 

 

Colorado Nonprofit Association Files Friend-of-Court Brief in Lawsuit Challenging TABOR

On April 17, lawyers representing Colorado Nonprofit Association  filed a “friend of the court” brief with the United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, supporting the position of the plaintiffs in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Colorado Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR).

The case, Kerr v. Hickenlooper, is before the 10th Circuit on an extraordinary appeal from a ruling last July by U.S. District Judge William J. Martinez in which he denied a motion to dismiss the case filed by Attorney General John Suthers on behalf of defendant Governor Hickenlooper.

The plaintiffs are a bipartisan group of thirty-two persons, including legislators, other current and former state and local officials, educators and citizens. Their suit argues that TABOR violates provisions of the U.S. Constitution and federal statute requiring Colorado to maintain a “republican form of government,” including a state legislature with the core fiscal powers needed to fulfill its responsibility to meet critical public needs. State Senator Andy Kerr is the named lead plaintiff.

The brief by pro bono counsel representing Colorado Nonprofit Association and the Colorado Chapter of the Academy of Pediatrics is focused on the question of whether the federal statute in question provides an independent basis to decide the case. 

“Colorado Nonprofit Association opposed the TABOR amendment on the 1992 ballot.  Since then, TABOR has undermined the ability of Colorado nonprofits to meet current demands for services and respond to future changes in economic conditions, population growth, and the costs of delivering public services.”

“We appreciate very much the generous contribution of the lawyers at Haddon Morgan and Foreman who have donated their professional services in writing our brief. Combined with friend of court briefs being submitted by eight other state and national groups, we hope to give the 10th Circuit a comprehensive understanding of the merits and significance of this litigation,” said Renny Fagan, President and CEO.

Other organizations who have submitted briefs on other topics before the Court include: the Colorado PTA; the Colorado Association of School Boards; the Colorado Association of School Executives; The Bell Policy Center; the Colorado Fiscal Institute; the Center for Budget & Policy Priorities (Washington, DC); the Colorado General Assembly; and a group of distinguished professors of constitutional law.

A copy of Colorado Nonprofit Association’s brief is posted at http://taborcase.org.

Institute on Advising Nonprofit Organizations in Colorado

Primer:  Thursday, May 2

The 2013 Primer is designed to introduce practitioners to more general aspects of the laws governing the formation and operation of nonprofit organizations, obtaining and retaining tax-exempt status, the distinctions between public charities and private foundations, and operational issues for tax-exempt organizations.

Institute:  Friday, May 3

The 22nd Annual Institute will present a comprehensive analysis of legal issues of concern to nonprofit organizations.  The program will benefit attorneys, key representatives of nonprofit organizations, including board members, executive directors, chief financial officers, accountants, and representatives of governmental agencies.

Co-Sponsored by the Business and Taxation Law Sections of the Colorado Bar Association, Colorado Nonprofit Association, and the Colorado Society of Association Executives.

“Sequestration” and Nonprofits

Sequestration’s impact

How could sequestration affect your nonprofit? Colorado Nonprofit Association is a member of the National Council of Nonprofits who is collecting stories about the effects of sequestration on nonprofits throughout the nation.

Click here to view the National Council of Nonprofits’ information about sequestration’s impact on the nonprofit sector including a sequestration infographic.

Click here to share information on what these reductions in federal spending mean for your nonprofit and the people you serve.

Colorado  Stories on Sequestration

Federal:  The IRS recently announced that sequestration could increase health care costs for some employers.  This is due to an 8.7 percent reduction in the amount of the small employer health credit available to small businesses and nonprofits.

Click here to find out more about the small employer health credit.

Click here for an article from Forbes about the cut.

Statewide: The sequester would affect, among others, the people who maintain Fort Carson; breast-feeding and nutritional support for poor mothers; immigration and border control; and the hours national parks are open. Almost 4,000 fewer Colorado special-education students would receive support, 700 Colorado kids would lose access to school-readiness programs, and more than 100 teachers funded by Title I money could lose their jobs.

Statewide: The largest impact sequestration will have on Colorado will be in our local municipalities, all the federal funds that come to the state and then we ship them out and they affect people locally.

Statewide: Sequestration will pare millions of dollars from Colorado Medicare payments, medical research, pure lab science and doctor education in coming months, local health officials said Friday. As a result, there could eventually be longer waiting times for elderly hospital patients, fewer childhood vaccinations, and roadblocks for groundbreaking research proposals. State substance-abuse programs will lose $1.3 million. The Colorado Hospital Association estimates a loss of $35 million at state hospitals in the first year if cuts remain.

Statewide: Federal health and medical research could be cut 5 percent, from $59 million in annual spending at the University of Colorado at Boulder and $211 million at the CU Denver and CU Anschutz campuses.

Statewide: Around 1,170 fewer low income students in Colorado would receive aid to help them finance the costs of college and around 430 fewer students will get work-study jobs that help them pay for college. Head Start and Early Head Start services would be eliminated for approximately 700 children in Colorado, reducing access to critical early education.

Statewide: Colorado will also see funding cuts in: law enforcement and public safety funds for crime prevention and prosecution, job search assistance to help those in Colorado find employment and training, child care, and the STOP Violence Against Women Program.

Statewide: Federally funded job training and search assistance programs that helped 9,579 Colorado citizens, including lower-income youth, will take a ten percent budget cut because of sequestration next year.

Statewide: State health officials will offer 5,300 fewer HIV tests thanks to the sequester, which could potentially shift those who would have been tested by the state into the arms of local nonprofits.

Denver:  According to the Denver Post, Mi Casa Resource Center reported losing 10 percent of its federal funding due to sequestration. Mi Casa helps Latino families- particularly Latinas- with business and entrepreneurial skills. The organization assisted 650 businesses, from food trucks to cleaning services, that generated over $10 million in revenue in 2012.

Denver: Cuts to medical education programs mean fewer interns and residents to help reduce waiting times for underserved populations at state hospitals’ emergency rooms.

Denver: 4,000 fewer Colorado students enrolled in special education programs would receive support, 700 young children would be denied access to school-readiness programs, and up to 100 teachers could be laid off due to sequestration.

Lakewood:  The Hospice of John experienced a $250,000 cut of federal funding.  Combined with other funding challenges, it announced its closure in July 2013 after 35 years of community service.

Brighton: The Metropolitan Denver Homeless Initiative, a local nonprofit, fears that cuts of $16 million in U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development assistance under the sequester will adversely affect its ability to provide services, despite counting more homeless citizens this year than ever before.

Colorado Springs: Faced with sequestration cuts meaning the loss of 142 Head Start slots, the nonprofit Community Partnership for Childhood Development began raising funds privately by selling hand-decorated preschool chairs to make up the gap. They currently have raised enough to reinstate six spots.

About Sequestration

Since the Supercommittee did not reach agreement on a plan to reduce the annual deficit, the 2011 Budget Control Act requires that Congress reduce mandatory, defense, and non-defense discretionary spending by $1.2 trillion over ten years.   The first $110 billion of annual cuts is scheduled to take place in the 2013 fiscal year.

In Dec. 2012, the passage of  H.R. 8 delayed these automatic spending reductions – also known as “sequesters” – until March 1, 2013.   Click here  for more detail on H.R. 8 and the January fiscal cliff deal.

As of March 1, 2013, Congress failed to adopt a policy to replace sequestration with a different plan for budget reduction.

In February 2013, The Washington Post developed a state by state website of key cuts due to sequestration.  Click here to view the website.

In Fall 2012, the White House released a report of anticipated spending cuts due to sequestration.  Click here to view the Fall 2012 White House report.

Based on an initial  review of the 2o12 White House report, cuts to a number of the federal programs listed could also affect nonprofits’ federal grants and contracts.   Also, many programs that serve nonprofits’ clients could be impacted, such as the following few examples:

– National Institutes of Health
– Homeless assistance grants
– Federal student aid
– Veterans employment and training
– Children and family services programs
– Disaster relief
– Low-income home energy assistance
– National Endowment for the Arts grants
– National Endowment for the Humanities grants

Click here to view a larger list of program cuts that could affect nonprofits.

The Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute released a detailed analysis of sequestration cuts, how they affect Coloradans, as well as a listing of spending exempted from sequestration.

JVA Consulting released a report in November 2012 outlining the impact of the fiscal cliff on nonprofits.

 

 

 

Building Capacity with Pro Bono

Thurs | Apr 25 | 1:30 MST (3:30 EST) | FREE

Powered by Pro Bono author Aaron Hurst predicts that tapping into pro bono expertise as a deeply integrated business strategy is transforming the nonprofit sector – and as Catchafire’s CEO, Rachael Chong will attest, charitable nonprofits are successfully leveraging pro-bono assistance into increased capacity for higher performance and organizational effectiveness. But before your nonprofit takes the leap with professional volunteers, hear from these experienced leaders what it takes to successfully leverage pro bono expertise and transform volunteers into valuable assets and advocates for your mission. This webinar is designed to help staff and board leaders engage pro bono consultants in a strategic and effective way.

Colorado Nonprofit Association is excited to bring you Building Capacity with Pro Bono, a free webinar on April 25th at 1:30 p.m. with Aaron Hurst, CEO of the Taproot Foundation, and Rachael Chong, CEO of Catchafire, hosted by our national network, the National Council of Nonprofits. This exclusive webinar is available, free of charge, to all members of Colorado Nonprofit Association.

Association Sampler – Akron

Tuesday | April 23 |12:00 – 3:00 p.m. | Akron | FREE

What is a sampler?

Your chance to “sample” what the Association has to offer your organization. Learn about the work of the Association and how your organization can benefit from joining us. And, enjoy lunch on us!

The sampler also will encompass a professional development training on program planning and evaluation.

Organizations frequently look for effective methods to create and measure impactful constituent’s programs.

As service providers we strive to provide compelling and meaningful programming.

Londell Jackson from Colorado Nonprofit Association is excited to present a “tried and true” program planning & evaluation process-the ADDIE model! During this workshop the five components of the ADDIE model will be identified and attendees will walk away with the tools to implement and evaluate a successful program planning process.

 

Already a member?

Bring a colleague from another 501(c)(3) organization that is NOT a member of the Association, and you will automatically be entered to win a three-month extension on your membership!

This is an opportunity not to be missed!

How do you file a complaint against a nonprofit?

If a nonprofit is violating the Colorado Charitable Solicitations Act, or is in potential noncompliance with the tax law you will need to file a complaint with both the Secretary of State’s office, and the IRS. They will then review the claim and take further action if necessary. It is also a good idea to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau which many members of the community use to verify the legitimacy of the organization.

 

 

Disclaimer:

These articles, samples, and resources are offered for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. If used, your organization should tailor samples to best fit the organization’s specific circumstances. We encourage your organization to seek appropriate professional assistance as needed.

How do I move my 501c3 from another state to Colorado?

This organization would be recognized as a foreign entity in Colorado by the Secretary of State. This is  the easiest way to move your organization, other wise an organization does have the option to dissolve their organization in the original state and start brand new in Colorado. A foreign entity is defined as  an organization that is formed outside of Colorado that wishes to conduct business within Colorado. Here is a list of FAQ’s regarding foreign entities from the Secretary of State’s website. This page also includes the appropriate directions on how to file as a foreign entity.

You will also need to register with the state in order to solicit contributions, which you can do so here, on the Secretary of State’s website.

 

Disclaimer:

These articles, samples, and resources are offered for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. If used, your organization should tailor samples to best fit the organization’s specific circumstances. We encourage your organization to seek appropriate professional assistance as needed.

Can a professional service be tax deductible?

Any professional work that is done pro bono has limitations to what you can claim. From the IRS, they state that “Although you cannot deduct the value of your services given to a qualified organization, you may be able to deduct some amounts you pay in giving services to a qualified organization. The amounts must be:

  • Unreimbursed,
  • Directly connected with the services,
  • Expenses you had only because of the services you gave, and not personal, living, or family expenses” (publication 526)

Unfortunately the value of time or service is not tax deductible, but any expenses that incur due to the pro bono work that are directly related to the charity are tax deductable.

 

Disclaimer:

These articles, samples, and resources are offered for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. If used, your organization should tailor samples to best fit the organization’s specific circumstances. We encourage your organization to seek appropriate professional assistance as needed.

How to dissolve a nonprofit

From the Secretary of State’s website, they state that in order to withdraw your registration with the state, you will need to file any final forms including the final renewal (which is due the 15th of the 5th month after the close of your fiscal year). After these filing are complete, you must send a request to withdraw in an email to charitable@sos.state.co.us

In addition to letting the state know, you will also need to let the IRS know. In publication 4779, the IRS explains how to terminate or merge your organization step by step. There are also additional resources from this publication that may have additional information that will help.

 

Disclaimer:

These articles, samples, and resources are offered for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. If used, your organization should tailor samples to best fit the organization’s specific circumstances. We encourage your organization to seek appropriate professional assistance as needed.

General Statistic Information

The National Center for Charitable Statistics offers a breakdown of data from across the nation, but also for specific locations. You can find information on a variety of different levels, for most everything you may want to know about nonprofits.

The Colorado Nonprofits Salary and Benefit Survey offers a breakdown on nonprofits within Colorado and the way they structure their organization including benefits offered, and salary composition for several different positions within the nonprofit sector.

 

 

Disclaimer:

These articles, samples, and resources are offered for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. If used, your organization should tailor samples to best fit the organization’s specific circumstances. We encourage your organization to seek appropriate professional assistance as needed.

Where can I find a meeting space for free or very cheap?

Denver Shared Spaces  has the most comprehensive search for spaces within Colorado. It has the ability to search by location, group size, budget, and other specific needs. Denver Shared Spaces also has the capability to post available spaces, if need be.

 

Disclaimer:

These articles, samples, and resources are offered for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. If used, your organization should tailor samples to best fit the organization’s specific circumstances. We encourage your organization to seek appropriate professional assistance as needed.

Strategic Alliances: Mergers and Acquisitions

In a time of diminishing funding and escalating need, it is more important than ever to look for ways to decrease the cost of fulfilling your mission while increasing your impact.  One option is to merge with or acquire another nonprofit organization to strengthen your own capabilities.  According to a timely joint publication of the Colorado Nonprofit Association and Community Resource Center, Weathering the Storm: Challenges and Opportunities for Colorado Nonprofits in the Recession 2% of rural organizations and 16.6 % of urban and suburban nonprofits are currently considering program or full organization mergers as a result of the economy.

Mergers and acquisitions have long been touted in the business community as a tool to increase efficiencies and improve the bottom line.  A recent study conducted by The Bridgespan Group, Nonprofit M&A: More Than a Tool for Tough Times, argues that nonprofits should be “consider[ing] M&A proactively – as a way to strengthen effectiveness, spread best practices, expand reach and –yes– to do all of this more cost-effectively, making best use of scarce resources”.

There is a critical distinction between merging and acquiring, which is described by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB); “In a merger, the governing bodies of two or more not-for-profit entities cede control of those entities to create a new entity.  In an acquisition, one organization obtains control over the net assets of another organization or business”.  This distinction determines the method of accounting used.  The final FASB Statement on Mergers and Acquisitions by a Not-for-Profit Organization should be published in April of 2009 and will incorporate the amendments to Statement 142 Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets.  The Statement is the result of a process beginning back in 1999 in which FASB sought to uniformly apply standards applicable to business mergers and acquisitions to nonprofit organizations “unless a difference is identified that justifies different accounting treatment”.  Other relevant FASB statements include Statement 141(R), Statement 160, and Statement 142.

The Colorado Revised Statutes (CRS) offer applicable insight and legal guidance for nonprofits in the following sections:

²  CRS § 7-131. Merger.

²  CRS § 7-90-203.3. Plan of merger.  A plan of merger must be approved by appropriate parties at a special meeting in accordance with CRS § 7-127-104. Notice of Meeting.

²  CRS § 7-90-203.7. Statement of merger.  A statement of merger must be filed with the Secretary of State along with any amendments to the articles of incorporation of the surviving organization.

²  CRS § 7-90-204. Effect of merger.  “Unless otherwise provided in the constituent documents or required under the organic statutes, no merging entity shall be required to wind up its affairs or pay obligations and distribute assets, and the merger shall not be deemed to constitute a dissolution or liquidation of the merging entity.”

 

 

Disclaimer:

These articles, samples, and resources are offered for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. If used, your organization should tailor samples to best fit the organization’s specific circumstances. We encourage your organization to seek appropriate professional assistance as needed.

As a nonprofit, is there a requirement to pay for unemployment taxes?

According to this publication put out by the IRS, any 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization does not need to file form 940 (which is the required form for organizations who do need to pay unemployment taxes) and are not subject to federal unemployment tax returns

Section 3309 of the Internal Revenue Code allows for 501(c)(3) organizations to opt out of State Unemployment Insurance (SUI) taxes and become a direct reimburser. This means that instead of paying a percentage of your employee’s salaries into the SUI fund, that you would instead pay the whole amount of the claims made against your organization within a year. There are advantages to both options which you can read about in the article Alternatives to Unemployment Taxes for 501(c)(3)s at GuideStar. While the article is from 2005 it lays out the advantages and disadvantages of both systems to help make an informed decision about which approach is best for your organization. The article also talks about third-party reimbursement options that allow you to join with other nonprofits in contributing to a trust that will help you to handle your unemployment liabilities and potentially receiving other services or lower-rates than paying into the state system directly.

Colorado Nonprofit Insurance Agency, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Colorado Nonprofit Association, works with Unemployment Services Trust (UST) to offer third-party unemployment services to nonprofits:

“UST is a grantor trust created by and for nonprofit organizations. It is owned by participating member nonprofits and is managed by leaders with vast experience in investment, asset management and unemployment cost containment.” (http://www.chooseust.org)

You can learn more about services available from UST through Nonprofit Resources here or contact Nonprofit Resources directly to learn more.

 

Disclaimer:

These articles, samples, and resources are offered for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. If used, your organization should tailor samples to best fit the organization’s specific circumstances. We encourage your organization to seek appropriate professional assistance as needed.

What are the primary end uses for evaluation results?

The information you gather should be put to numerous different uses throughout your organization. The results can be used to demonstrate your ability to reach specific goals and achieve quantitative and qualitative outcomes. This will be valuable information internally and externally for all of the organization’s stakeholders.

Your organization should be using evaluation results in your annual report, any brochures or marketing materials, website, funding requests, and grant reports or other reports to donors.  Stakeholders expect to see tangible results, and there is a greater expectation that nonprofits should be able to justify their use of funds in accomplishing their organizations mission.

Internally, your organization should use evaluation results to constantly work to improve your programs and services.  Your results should help you see both administrative/operational inefficiencies as well as programmatic areas that could use improvement.  Ultimately, evaluation results will help take your organization to the next level if appropriately planned, implemented, and used.

 

Disclaimer:

These articles, samples, and resources are offered for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. If used, your organization should tailor samples to best fit the organization’s specific circumstances. We encourage your organization to seek appropriate professional assistance as needed.

What is the purpose of a pilot evaluation?

Your organization may wish to test your evaluation approach on one or two programs before using it for all programs. Pilot evaluation programs are especially useful when your organization has multiple programs with little or no formal evaluation currently in place.  The pilot will make it a little easier to determine accurately the true costs, both time and resources, that implementing a full blown evaluation program will take.  Be ready to adapt your evaluation approach if you discover that you’re not actually gaining the information that you want and need.  During the testing period, gather the information you’ll need to integrate the processes into your normal operations.

The more focused you are about the purpose of your evaluation, the more effective and efficient you can be in the design and implementation of evaluation plans, the more useful your evaluation results will be and ultimately the less it will cost you (whether in your own time, the time of your employees and/or the time of a consultant).

That kind of focus comes from using a formal approach to evaluation, which requires using a formal approach to designing your plans for evaluation.  Organizational evaluation should be based on your strategic plan and operating plans, as well as the individual objectives of each program area.  See our FAQs & Resources: Planning page for more details.

 

Disclaimer:

These articles, samples, and resources are offered for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. If used, your organization should tailor samples to best fit the organization’s specific circumstances. We encourage your organization to seek appropriate professional assistance as needed.

Do we need a logic model?

Using a logic model (see Logic Model (SAMPLE)) is very helpful when navigating the process of outcome measurement.  According to Basic Guide to Outcomes Based Evaluation for Nonprofits with Very Little Resourcesa logic model helps:

  • Develop programs that meet community/target population needs
  • Develop clear goals and measurable objectives
  • Develop activities
  • Define outcomes (short or long-term outcomes)
  • Don’t worry about completing the “perfect” logic model – ultimately, you’re the expert here

There are many different types of logic models, so if your organization does not have one for the program (or if the model is outdated), start with the basic but most important information. See Logic Model (SAMPLE)

 

 

Disclaimer:

 

These articles, samples, and resources are offered for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. If used, your organization should tailor samples to best fit the organization’s specific circumstances. We encourage your organization to seek appropriate professional assistance as needed.

 

 

 

 

 

What is the difference between an objective, goal, and outcome?

Every program should know where it is coming from (goals and objectives) and what it is trying to accomplish (outcomes). Without the direction of goals and objectives there can be no outcomes because outcomes are specific and measurable aspects of your organization’s goals and objectives.  All of these measurable items should be determined during your organization’s planning process.  See our FAQs & Resources: Planning page.

Evaluation is a fluid and ongoing process occurring throughout the lifespan of your organization and your programs. Starting with goals derived from your mission statement will help you set the direction for your program. Once goals are defined, objectives will help you nail down what must actually be accomplished to achieve these goals. Outcomes are the third piece of this puzzle, providing the measurable effects the program will accomplish. When outcomes are reached new goals or objectives may need to be set, but when outcomes are not achieved it may be time to reassess. In the end, the most important practices are staying true to your mission and ensuring that you are meeting your clients’ needs.

Why Do we Need Outcomes?
This fact is inescapable: stakeholders want results! Funders want to know their money is making a difference, volunteers want to change the world, employees want to see their hard work pay off, and clients want efficient and effective services. Goals and objectives are extremely important, but how will your organization know it has, is, and will continue achieving its purpose for existence? The answer lies in the outcomes.

Outcomes come in many different shapes and sizes, and while some are quite common (i.e. number of people served) others are extremely unique. Outcomes can be quantitative or qualitative, and the only limitations on creating outcomes are measurability and imagination. Do not shy away from creative outcomes as long as you can develop a method to measure them.  (See Dashboard (SAMPLE)).

Outcome indicators are valuable tools that help determine when benchmarks for outcomes are being met. These are specific quantitative measures such as number of, percent of, and so on; however, they can be used to represent qualitative outcomes (see Outcomes and Indicators of Nonprofit Success). For example, if you operate an after-school program about bullying and want to measure a percent increase in students’ knowledge about bullying, your outcome indicators could include the percent of students who reach a specific score on a quiz about bullying. Outcome indicators can also be separated out into different demographic units to help your organization better understand if outcomes are being met within different units of your constituents.

 

Disclaimer:

These articles, samples, and resources are offered for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. If used, your organization should tailor samples to best fit the organization’s specific circumstances. We encourage your organization to seek appropriate professional assistance as needed.

How does an organization develop performance measures?

Whomever your organization puts in charge of the evaluation process will facilitate what specific outcomes will be measured as well as the method for measuring them.  Depending on the scale of your evaluation program (i.e. one program or evaluation of the whole organization), different people may be put in charge.  For example, if your organization would like to devote the time to develop your strategic and operational plans along with your evaluation program (see FAQs & Resources: Planning page) than your board and executive staff will likely take the lead.  On the other hand, if your organization is looking to pilot your evaluation program with one or two programs, than there will probably only be a handful of staff involved.  See FAQ:What is the purpose of a pilot evaluation? for more information on pilot programs.

Before anyone can develop performance measures, you need to have a basic understanding of what they should be.  (For more definitions of evaluation terms, see FAQ: What is the difference between an objective, goal, and outcome? and Evaluation Terminology & Basics).

Performance measures – Performance measures should be realistic, specific, measurable, and appropriate to the size and scope of the organization and to its constituents.

  • Measurement should include information on satisfaction, activities, results, and community input.
  • Measurements may include both qualitative and quantitative data.
  • Measurement should include data on efficiency and effectiveness.

Defining the scope of performance measurement is important. Organizations can focus on different areas such as productivity, monitoring and reporting, client satisfaction, budget-based performance, cost-effectiveness, efficiency, overall effectiveness, external benchmarking, contract management, and/or quality improvement.

These figures and assessments may routinely be reported to organizational management, boards, the public, and legislators to highlight accomplishments. The most common data, figures, and assessments are raw numbers, averages, percentages, ratios, and indexes.

 

 

Disclaimer:

These articles, samples, and resources are offered for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. If used, your organization should tailor samples to best fit the organization’s specific circumstances. We encourage your organization to seek appropriate professional assistance as needed.

How does our organization position itself to initiate a new evaluation program?

Many nonprofit professionals are wary about evaluation, believing it is too difficult, time consuming, and/or expensive for their organization.  While evaluation will require time and money, these resources are an investment in the continued success of the organization; furthermore, many of the myths about evaluation are extensively blown out of proportion.  See Common Myths of Evaluation.

When it comes down to it, nonprofit organizations are designed to address a critical need in the community.  Defining and/or refining the organization’s mission and vision is imperative for effectiveness and efficiency. Organizations should periodically check to make sure they are not duplicating services or missing key components of service.  This can be accomplished by stepping out of reactive mode and carefully assessing best practices – which include community input, frequent reflection on mission alignment, and planning to take the organization into the future.

The organization’s mission, goals, and objectives should be clear, measurable, reasonable, and public. Potential individual and corporate donors now place an increasing emphasis on ensuring nonprofits achieve results relative to their stated mission, goals, and objectives in response to increased transparency and accountability standards; therefore, it is essential that the community understand the need for the programs and services offered by the nonprofit.

If your organization does not have a strong planning process, comprehensive evaluation will be much more difficult.  Step number one in positioning your organization to initiate a new evaluation program is to take the time to really assess your current plan documents.  Do they need to be revised to include measurable objectives?  See our FAQs & Resources: Planning page for more information on this topic.

 

Disclaimer:

These articles, samples, and resources are offered for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. If used, your organization should tailor samples to best fit the organization’s specific circumstances. We encourage your organization to seek appropriate professional assistance as needed.

Who should be involved in the evaluation process?

In order for your nonprofit to be responsive to the needs of your community, your programs should take into account and respond to the experience, needs and satisfaction of your constituents.  Part of that process entails adopting a Grievance Policy to address complaints.

A nonprofit should also be open to hearing from and having comprehensive discussions with members of the public who may question the organization’s effectiveness.  Since 501(c)(3) nonprofits are granted tax-exempt status based on serving a charitable cause for the public good, it just makes good sense that a nonprofit ought to be actively soliciting feedback from the public.

Nonprofit organizations should ensure cultural competence by researching and implementing elements of inclusiveness at every level. Inclusive practices will increase effectiveness of programs by addressing the specific needs of each community, increasing community participation, and ensuring open lines of communication.   The Denver Foundation is an excellent resource for Colorado nonprofits seeking to increase inclusiveness practices.  For more information visit the Foundation’s website at www.denverfoundation.org.

All staff and volunteers in your organization should be committed to effective and efficient delivery of services, and should always strive to improve processes, programs, and results.  By soliciting feedback from a variety of sources, your organization will be in a great position to constantly investigate ways to do so.

Long story short, all of your organization’s stakeholders should be involved in the evaluation process in one way or another.  But how does your organization position itself to be ready to start an evaluation process?  And who ordinarily spearheads the initiation?  See FAQ: How does our organization position itself to initiate a new evaluation program? to learn about common first steps.

 

Disclaimer:

These articles, samples, and resources are offered for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. If used, your organization should tailor samples to best fit the organization’s specific circumstances. We encourage your organization to seek appropriate professional assistance as needed.

Why Evaluate?

Nonprofits offer valuable programs and services to Colorado citizens, and have a responsibility to assess the impact of their programs and to act upon the information they gather.  Stakeholders, including donors, constituents, staff, volunteers, and the public, should have an interest in what your organization is actually accomplishing.  Sound evaluation practices will give you organization a tool to share your results with your stakeholders and solicit feedback.  See FAQ:Who should be involved in the evaluation process? for more information on involving the right people in the process.

So, why should your organization evaluate?

1.  Evaluation enables your organization to better achieve its mission.

2.  Your organization will be better able to demonstrate proven results to donors.

3.  A well-designed evaluation process, coupled with a good planning process, will strengthen the engagement level of your organization’s constituency.

While the task may sound ominous, it is actually a compilation of a number of simple steps. The key is to determine reasonable and meaningful objectives that will lead the organization to the outcomes you desire, and then check to see that the processes you have identified to reach the outcomes are the appropriate.

Evaluation is inseparable from planning.  Please also see our FAQs & Resources: Planning page for further information.

 

Disclaimer:

These articles, samples, and resources are offered for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. If used, your organization should tailor samples to best fit the organization’s specific circumstances. We encourage your organization to seek appropriate professional assistance as needed.

What is a fiscal sponsorship and how might it be beneficial?

A fiscal sponsorship is a relationship between a tax exempt 501c3 organization, and typically an organization that does not yet have a tax exempt status. The 501c3 allocates funds to the private organization as it sees fit from its charitable donations. It is a project underneath the nonprofit that a majority of the time has a similar mission. There are several reasons why fiscal sponsorships are beneficial, one being that “fiscal sponsorship can be used by newly formed charitable organizations that have the need to raise money right away, before they are recognized as tax-exempt by the IRS”(councilofnonprofits.org). This relationship enables new charitable organizations to get a head start with their mission.

 

Disclaimer:

These articles, samples, and resources are offered for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. If used, your organization should tailor samples to best fit the organization’s specific circumstances. We encourage your organization to seek appropriate professional assistance as needed.

What should be considered when we write or revise our mission statement?

A nonprofit should have a clearly defined, well-written mission statement that guides the overall aims and activities of the organization.  The mission statement should be linked to the values of the organization and its vision for the future.  See Mission Statement (SAMPLE) and Vision Statements (SAMPLE).

Mission statements are typically one sentence that concisely and accurately describes the purpose and activities of a nonprofit in a way that makes sense to anyone that reads it – staff, constituents, governing bodies, and the public. While organizations may be inclined to include more content, it is important to focus on the overall essence of your work rather than all the components.

Once you’ve established the mission statement, it should be reviewed by the board periodically to consider organizational, economic, and community changes.  This review should determine whether the mission is still relevant, and whether or not it should be adapted to address evolving needs.

The following are five questions to be considered when writing or revising your nonprofit’s mission statement:

  1. Are you conveying the purpose of your organization?
  2. Is the value of your organization clearly communicated?
  3. Have you invited your constituency to participate in the process?
  4. Is the wording easy to understand, straightforward and  succinct?
  5. Can the statement be easily incorporated into fundraising or marketing campaigns?

Disclaimer:

These articles, samples, and resources are offered for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. If used, your organization should tailor samples to best fit the organization’s specific circumstances. We encourage your organization to seek appropriate professional assistance as needed.

Tips for Board Members Facing a Leadership Transition

Rebecca Arno, Vice President of Communications, The Denver Foundation

  1. Don’t panic!
  2. Think strategically.
  3. Determine how you will handle interim leadership, if necessary.
  4. Recruit a representative, dedicated search committee.
  5. Talk to people who have been down the road before.
  6. Consider whether you want to hire a professional search consultant.
  7. Provide clear communication with staff members, other board members, and constituents throughout the process.

Read the complete article in 2009 JANUARY/FEBRUARY Nonprofit Colorado, page 8.

 

Training, Development and Retention

Nonprofit organizations have a responsibility to create a work environment that will cultivate growth, employee satisfaction, and ultimately the best organization possible.  The following are a few best practices for doing so:

Development of Staff

Support the education and development of personnel.  Provide everyone with opportunities for growth and advancement.   Professional development trainings, mentoring, cultivating peer learning, and having peer training sessions are all good ways to perpetuate personal and professional growth.  This will likely build loyalty, satisfaction, and better productivity.

Performance Evaluations

Provide performance evaluations to all personnel at least once annually.  It is best to have personnel complete self-evaluations in conjunction with supervisor review. This encourages self-reflection and initiates the thought process about next steps prior to a formal meeting. If a professional growth plan has been established, the evaluation is a perfect time (and hopefully not the only time) to check in to see if the employee is making headway with long-term objectives of the plan.  See CEO Evaluation (SAMPLE) for an example of a CEO performance evaluation form.

Offer Competitive Salary & Benefits

To the extent of its ability, your nonprofit should provide personnel with competitive benefits and compensation.  A nonprofit should balance its need for careful stewardship of funds with its compensation of employees.  Using industry-based surveys of salaries and benefits, a nonprofit should provide fair compensation, raises, cost of living adjustments, or bonuses if possible.

Solicit Feedback from Staff

Be open to input from paid and volunteer personnel regarding the organization’s activities and results on a continual basis.  For example, management should have what is commonly referred to as an “open-door policy” and promote an environment in which staff feel comfortable approaching management with ideas or concerns.

 

Disclaimer:

These articles, samples, and resources are offered for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. If used, your organization should tailor samples to best fit the organization’s specific circumstances. We encourage your organization to seek appropriate professional assistance as needed.

What HR policies and procedures should my organization have in place?

A nonprofit organization should adopt and adhere to a set of guidelines and procedures for managing employees and volunteers.  This should include a broad and encompassing equal opportunity employment policy, anti-harassment guidelines, and nondiscrimination guidelines.  See Personnel Policies (SAMPLE) for examples.

Additionally, nonprofits should adopt and adhere to the following types of policies:

Code of Ethics (SAMPLE)

Set of guidelines which are designed to set out acceptable behaviors for an organization.  Shows a commitment to follow basic ethical guidelines in the course of conducting your work and will likely increase confidence in your organization.

Conflict of Interest Policy (SAMPLE)

Requires disclosures of relationships, nepotism, and interested-party transactions.  The policy should include a disclosure form, which should be signed annually by the board, staff and volunteers.  It should also include guidance on managing conflicts of interest and handling situations in which public and private interests intersect.

Whistleblower Policy (SAMPLE)

Specific procedures for personnel that report violations of organizational policy or applicable laws, and must ensure that those making such reports are protected from repercussions (18 USC Section 1107 – a.k.a. Sarbanes-Oxley).

Leadership Succession and Transition Policy

Mechanisms, including succession plans, to handle transitions in leadership and other key positions.  See FAQ:  Tips for Board Members Facing a Leadership Transition.

Executive and Staff Compensation Policies

The board should periodically review its overall compensation structure, using industry-based surveys of salaries and benefits which may include: medical insurance; retirement plans; sick leave; maternity/paternity leave; vacation and other paid time off; and other benefits as may be appropriate.

Document Retention and Destruction Policy (SAMPLE)

Establish both employee and volunteer records retention guidelines and procedures that are consistent with applicable laws and best industry practices.  This may be a portion of a larger, organization-wide document retention and destruction policy.

Employee Manual or Handbook (SAMPLE)

Most organizations should provide an employee handbook addressing topics such as leave time, employee benefits, and policies that are legally required.

Organizations should require that a new employee sign an Employee Acknowledgment (SAMPLE) stating that the employee has read, understood, and agrees to the employee handbook.

Some very small organizations that are either all volunteer or have only one or two employees may not need an employee handbook.

When developing, implementing or reviewing policies and procedures for your organization, it is important to consider attaining legal or specialized professional assistance.  If your organization can not ordinarily afford legal assistance, you may qualify to request pro bono legal assistance through our Pro Bono Legal Group.

 

Disclaimer:

These articles, samples, and resources are offered for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. If used, your organization should tailor samples to best fit the organization’s specific circumstances. We encourage your organization to seek appropriate professional assistance as needed.

Should an Intern Be Paid?

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) defines employment very broadly, i.e., “to suffer or permit to work.” However, the Supreme Court has made it clear that the FLSA was not intended “to stamp all persons as employees who without any express or implied compensation agreement might work for their own advantage on the premises of another.”

In Fact Sheet #71: Internship Programs Under The Fair Labor Standards Act, published by the U.S. Department of Labor in April of 2010, it is explained that the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) recognizes an exception from the FSLA rules for individuals who volunteer their time, freely and without anticipation of compensation for religious, charitable, civic, or humanitarian purposes to nonprofit organizations. Unpaid internships in the public sector and for non-profit charitable organizations, where the intern volunteers without expectation of compensation, are generally permissible. WHD is reviewing the need for additional guidance on internships in the public and non-profit sectors.  The Fact Sheet was published in April of 2010.

To see the statistics on other Colorado Nonprofits and whether or not they pay interns, please see our Salary and Benefits Survey which has this information and more.

 

Disclaimer:

These articles, samples, and resources are offered for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. If used, your organization should tailor samples to best fit the organization’s specific circumstances. We encourage your organization to seek appropriate professional assistance as needed.

What Makes an Employee Exempt vs. Nonexempt?

On August 23, 2004, President George Bush approved legislation to change the way overtime exemptions work. In order to be classified as exempt, a professional, executive, administrative, computer or outside sales position must be paid at least $455 a week and meet the “duties” tests specified by the Fair Labor Standards Act. Any worker making less than this is not exempt. Any employee making over $100,000 a year, as long as there is a base pay of $455 or more a week, may be classified as exempt.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor Wages and Hour Division Fact Sheet #17A,

To qualify for exemption, employees generally must meet certain tests regarding their job duties and be paid on a salary basis at not less than $455 per week. Job titles do not determine exempt status. In order for an exemption to apply, an employee’s specific job duties and salary must meet all the requirements of the Department’s regulations.  These criteria are referred to as the “salary basis” and “duties” tests, respectively.  

See U.S. Department of Labor Wages and Hour Division Fact Sheet #17A for full detail.

Please visit the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division to find more information. The Wage and Hour Division helpline is 1-866-4US-WAGE. If you are uncertain, you may wish to contact appropriate legal counsel.

Further Resources:

Mountain States Employers Council

U.S. Department of Labor Online Seminars on Fairpay Overtime Rules

U.S. Department of Labor eLaws

 

Disclaimer:

 

These articles, samples, and resources are offered for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. If used, your organization should tailor samples to best fit the organization’s specific circumstances. We encourage your organization to seek appropriate professional assistance as needed.

 

 

 

 

How does my budget affect my ability to get grants?

A balance sheet that demonstrates that your organization is in a good financial position does not necessarily hurt your ability to get grant funding.  Be sure that when you apply for grants, you are able to explain the different line items of your budget, including any restricted funds.  Here is a good example of a sample budget that breaks down all of the necessary components of a budget.

 

 

Disclaimer:

These articles, samples, and resources are offered for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. If used, your organization should tailor samples to best fit the organization’s specific circumstances. We encourage your organization to seek appropriate professional assistance as needed.

Where is the best place to find grants?

We highly recommend using the Colorado Grants Guide which is hosted by Community Resource Center. You can search for a number of funders who meet certain criteria, or who fund general operating support/ capital campaigns etc. It also includes national foundations that make grants within Colorado.

 

Disclaimer:

These articles, samples, and resources are offered for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. If used, your organization should tailor samples to best fit the organization’s specific circumstances. We encourage your organization to seek appropriate professional assistance as needed.

What is the Colorado Charitable Deduction for Non-Itemizers?

Colorado taxpayers who make charitable contributions and do not itemize their deductions on their federal returns may still subtract part of these contributions from their state income taxes. Non-itemizing taxpayers can subtract amounts exceeding $500 in a year from their state tax liability.

Visit the Colorado Department of Revenue for more information on the charitable contributions subtraction.

 

Disclaimer:

These articles, samples, and resources are offered for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. If used, your organization should tailor samples to best fit the organization’s specific circumstances. We encourage your organization to seek appropriate professional assistance as needed.

What are the Definitions of Legal Terms Relating to Donor Acknowledgement and Substantiation?

Qualified Appraisal

appraisal of property that is in accordance with applicable regulations or guidance and the generally accepted appraisal standards.

Quid Pro Qou Contribution

When money is received partially as a donation and partially as payment for goods or services. Quid quo pro literally means “something for something” in Latin.

Good Faith Estimate

use of any reasonable method for determining the fair market value of goods or services as long as it is done in good faith.

Fair Market Value

is the amount that property would sell for in a transaction between two willing and knowledgeable parties on the open market. Restrictions on donated items must be calculated in the fair market value amount.

Written Acknowledgement

Must include the date, organization’s name, amount of cash contribution, description of non-cash contribution (do not include value), statement declaring if there were goods or services provided and a good faith estimate of their value, if any. An organization does not need to include their EIN tax-exempt number, however many organizations do. Depending on the type of donation, additional information may be required.

Written Record

donor must have a bank record or receipt from the charitable organization with the organization’s name, date, and amount in order to take a charitable contribution deduction. However, contributions made through payroll deductions as well as lump-sum donations to federations have additional requirements. Please refer to IRS Notice 2006-110: Record-keeping requirements for charitable contributions made through payroll deductions, and IRS Notice 2008-16: Rules for substantiating lump-sum charitable contributions made through the Combined Federal Campaign or a similar program (e.g., a United Way campaign).

Token Exception

Excludes items that are considered to have insubstantial value when either of the following occurs:

1. the value of goods and services do not exceed the lower of

2% of the payment

– or –

$91.00

2. Payment is at least $45.50 and

the items have the organization’s logo

– and –

the items are valued at or below $9.10

Membership Benefit Exception

membership benefits that are in exchange for annual dues of $75 or less and consist of recurring rights or privileges are considered insubstantial.

Donative Element

a conscious desire to make a gift

Intangible Religious Benefits

goods and services that are not typical outside of a donative context and usually provided by an exempt organization operated exclusively for religious purposes.

Contemporaneous Written Acknowledgment

must be received by the donor in a timely manner or by the due date of their tax returns. Try to get your acknowledgements out prior to the end of the year or within the month of January.

 

Disclaimer:

These articles, samples, and resources are offered for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. If used, your organization should tailor samples to best fit the organization’s specific circumstances. We encourage your organization to seek appropriate professional assistance as needed.

 

 

What are Donor Acknowledgment and Substantiation Requirements?

Acknowledgement of a donation is a great practice for any contribution, but when is it required by law, and what information is necessary to include? Listed below are three common types of contributions and their requirements.

Pro Quo Contributions of $75 or More

  • Donors are receiving goods or services for their donation, and may only deduct the amount in excess of the fair market value (FMV)
  • Written disclosure statement (receipt), must be provided by the charitable organization when the quid pro quo contribution total payment is more than $75.

Single Contributions of $250 or More

  • Written disclosure statement is the responsibility of the donor to request from the charitable organization
  • Must be substantiated by a written acknowledgement (receipt) from the charitable organization in order for the individual to be able to take an itemized deduction
  • Individuals must also retain a bank record or other appropriate record of their contribution

Auction Items for Charities

  • Excess of the amount paid for an auction item over the published (by charity) fair market value may be deductible as a charitable contribution (similar to quid pro quo contributions)
  • Only the fair market value of a donated auction item is considered a charitable contribution for the donor of that item (not purchaser)

Written Disclosure Statement Must Include

  • Organization name
  • Date
  • Amount of contribution (do not estimate value of non-cash contributions)
  • Good faith estimate of the fair market value of goods or services provided by the organization OR Statement that no goods or services were provided
  • If goods or services provided meet the criteria for the intangible religious benefits exception, there must be a statement to that effect

Written Disclosure Statement is Not Required If

  • there is generally no donative element
  • criteria for the intangible religious benefit exception are met
  • criteria for the membership benefits exception are met
  • criteria for the token exception are met

Please note that noncash contributions, including cars and other property, have many special rules and may require legal expertise. Vehicle Donation rules are outlined in IRS Publication 4302.

Further Resources:

IRS Publication 1771 & IRS Publication 4302

 

Disclaimer:

 

These articles, samples, and resources are offered for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. If used, your organization should tailor samples to best fit the organization’s specific circumstances. We encourage your organization to seek appropriate professional assistance as needed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How often do I need a new auditor and where is the best place to find one?

Principles and Practices  recommends rotating audit professionals every three to five years, even if it is within the same firm. This way, your organization can be sure it is receiving a fresh, objective prospective. You can search our business directory to find recommended audit services.

 

 

Disclaimer:

These articles, samples, and resources are offered for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. If used, your organization should tailor samples to best fit the organization’s specific circumstances. We encourage your organization to seek appropriate professional assistance as needed.

How much should be in our financial reserves?

Principles and Practices  recommends that a nonprofit should plan, establish, and maintain a financial reserve at a level determined by the organization’s management and board to adequately support its operations. A recommended target for reserves is three to six months of operation expenses. Organizations with capital property should also consider an appropriate capital server policy.

 

Disclaimer:

These articles, samples, and resources are offered for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. If used, your organization should tailor samples to best fit the organization’s specific circumstances. We encourage your organization to seek appropriate professional assistance as needed.

Does sales tax need to be charged for merchandise my nonprofit is selling?

If you are considered tax exempt, the Colorado Department of Revenue states that as long as gross sales are under $25,000 in a year, and you aren’t selling merchandise for more than 12 days of the year it does not need to be taxed. However, this does not apply for local city, or county taxes. Please check with your local municipal office to find out what regulations they have for local taxes.

Unrelated Business Income

If the merchandise you are selling is not relevant to your mission, then it will be taxed because it is then considered unrelated business income. Even though your organization may be considered a tax exempt organization, it does not mean that sales from an unrelated source of income will not be taxed. The IRS states that “unrelated business income is the income from a trade or business regularly conducted by an exempt organization and not substantially related to the performance by the organization of its exempt purpose or function, except that the organization uses the profits derived from this activity”. It is always important to note which category sales are considered.

 

Disclaimer:

These articles, samples, and resources are offered for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. If used, your organization should tailor samples to best fit the organization’s specific circumstances. We encourage your organization to seek appropriate professional assistance as needed.

What is Contingency Budgeting?

Scott Smith, MA, Principal & John Kivimaki, CFRE, Co-Founder and Principal, Stonehill Consulting Group, LLC, Business member since 1994

Contingency budgeting is the process you use to create the financial component of your contingency plan. Nonprofits should always develop a contingency budget, but in challenging economic times it is imperative. It is the responsibility of your nonprofit’s executive director or chief executive officer to initiate and lead this effort. If it’s ignored or delegated it will not be successful. Contingency budgeting occurs during the process of developing your annual budget.

In Essence You Create Three Budgets:

1. Best Case Budget  (slight increase or flat revenues)

2. Expected Case Budget (five to 10 percent below best case budget)

3. Worst Case Budget (10 to 20 percent or more below expected budget)

Look critically at your nonprofit’s key revenue streams one by one – be realistic!

Are there reasons to believe one or more of these will either increase or decrease next year?

Are there any significant gifts from any source – individuals, foundations or businesses – that may not come in again?

Steps in Developing a Contingency Budget

1. Examine your mission.

2. Assemble an action team to create the best assumptions for each of your contingency budgets.

3. Review your budget assumptions monthly.

4. Look at every expense without exception.

5. Analyze critically your programs and services to determine which are essential to your core mission.

6. Look for alternative delivery systems and strategies for program delivery.

7. Measure your current revenues against revenue for the past two years.

Nonprofits have both the tools and talents needed to help protect their mission – programs and clients. Contingency budgeting is another crucial tool. We can and will weather this storm.

 

Disclaimer:

These articles, samples, and resources are offered for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. If used, your organization should tailor samples to best fit the organization’s specific circumstances. We encourage your organization to seek appropriate professional assistance as needed.

What do I need to know about UPMIFA and FAS 117-1?

The Uniform Prudent Management Funds Act of 2006 (UPMIFA) was approved and recommended to state legislatures in July of 2006 by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) to replace its predecessor, the Uniform Management of Institutional Funds Act of 1972 (UMIFA). Colorado’s recently adopted UPMIFA, which went into effect on September 1, 2008, strengthens and supersedes the previous guidance for charitable entities managing endowment funds.

FAS 117-1 Endowments of Not-for-Profit Organizations: Net Asset Classification of Funds Subject to an Enacted Version of the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act, and Enhanced Disclosures for All Endowment Funds was issued in its final form on August 6, 2008 by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB). FAS 117-1 is applicable to any nonprofit entity with an endowment fund and provides updated requirements to ensure modern standards for prudent handling and disclosures of endowment funds.

Noticeable changes in the new UPMIFA legislation that are enforced by FAS 117-1 include:

Treatment of the endowment fund as a whole; original endowment gift and net appreciation must be considered in fund management decisions.

Elimination of the historic-dollar-value threshold as defined in UMIFA.

Requires consideration of the duration and preservation of the fund as the primary focus when appropriating expenditures; a donor-restricted endowment fund is assumed to be perpetual in nature.

Net asset classification of proper portion of the fund as permanently restricted net assets as determined by explicit donor-restrictions or board-designations.

Additional financial statement disclosures that enable users of financial statements to determine the net asset classification, net asset composition, changes in net asset composition, spending policy(ies), and related investment policy(ies) of its endowment funds (both donor-restricted and board-designated)*.

Minimum Financial Statement Disclosures:

1. A description of the governing board’s interpretation of the law(s) that underlies the organization’s net asset classification of donor-restricted endowment funds.

2. A description of the organization’s policy(ies) for the appropriation of endowment assets for expenditure (its endowment spending policy(ies)).

3. A description of the organization’s endowment investment policies. The description shall include the organization’s return objectives and risk parameters; how those objectives relate to the organization’s endowment spending policy(ies); and the strategies employed for achieving those objectives.

4. The composition of the organization’s endowment by net asset class at the end of the period, in total and by type of endowment fund, showing donor-restricted endowment funds separately from board-designated endowment funds.

5. A reconciliation of the beginning and ending balance of the organization’s endowment, in total and by net asset class, including, at a minimum, the following line items (as applicable): investment return, separated into investment income (for example, interest, dividends, rents) and net appreciation or depreciation of investments; contributions; amounts appropriated for expenditure; reclassifications; and other changes**.

Other Information That Must Be Provided***:

The nature and types of permanent restrictions or temporary restrictions (paragraphs 14 and 15 of Statement 117)

The aggregate amount of the deficiencies for all donor-restricted endowment funds for which the fair value of the assets at the reporting date is less than the level required by donor stipulations or law (paragraph 15(d) of Statement 124).

FAS 117-1 is effective for fiscal years ending after December 15, 2008.  Please note that net asset reclassifications must be reported as a separate line item in the statement of activities for the period in which this pronouncement is first applied.

Further Resources:

FASB Not-for-Profit Endowments Project: www.FASB.org

Uniform Law Commission’s website on the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act:http://www.upmifa.org

Colorado Revised Statutes: §15-1-11 UNIFORM PRUDENT MANAGEMENT OF INSTITUTIONAL FUNDS ACT

*Financial Accounting Standard 117-1, ¶ 5

**Financial Accounting Standard 117-1, ¶ 11

***As required by Financial Accounting Standard 117 and Financial Accounting Standard 124

What is a volunteer hour worth?

National and State Averages
The Independent Sector website states that in 2012, the national average value for volunteer hours was $22.14. According to the same source, Colorado’s average for 2012 came in slightly higher at $22.43.

The Independent Sector calculates the value of volunteer time by using the, “average hourly earnings of all production and nonsupervisory workers on private nonfarm payrolls (as determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics)…[and] increases it by 12 percent to estimate for fringe benefits.” (Independent Sector, 2012)

Volunteers MAY NOT deduct value of volunteer time

The IRS Form 526 states that volunteers may not deduct the value of time or services donated on their income tax return.

“However, according to the Financial Accounting Standards Board, the value of volunteer services can be used on financial statements – including statements for internal and external purposes, grant proposals, and annual reports – only if a volunteer is performing a specialized skill for a nonprofit. The general rule to follow when determining if contributed services meet the FASB criteria for financial forms is to determine whether the organization would have purchased the services if they had not been donated.* 

 

Disclaimer:

These articles, samples, and resources are offered for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. If used, your organization should tailor samples to best fit the organization’s specific circumstances. We encourage your organization to seek appropriate professional assistance as needed.

How Long Should Tax Documents and Other Important Documents Be Kept?

The IRS states that any federal documents that would support an item of income or deduction on a return should be kept until the statue of limitations for that return, which is typically three years. Other than that, the IRS separates documents into three categories: Permanent, Employment tax records, and records for non-tax records.

–           Permanent Records include the application for recognition as a tax-exempt entity, the determination letter recognizing tax exempt status, and governing documents such as articles of incorporation, bylaws with amendments, and board minutes. These should be kept for the entirety of your organization.

–          Employment Tax Records includes any tax records or information concerning past or present employees for at least four years after the date the tax becomes due, or is paid, whichever is later.

–          Records for Non-Tax Purposes are records that may be needed to keep for entities such as grantors, insurance company, creditor, or a state agency and they may require organizations to keep certain documents longer than the IRS requires.

Principles and Practices  state that a nonprofit should have a written, mandatory document retention policy or schedule with guidelines for handling all types of documents, including electronic files and voicemail. The policy should also include backup procedures, archival procedures, and guidelines for regular checkups of the reliability of the system. Documents involved in litigation or a government investigation must be retained (18 USC § 1519 –a.k.a. Sarbanes-Oxley; 990). Here is a sample of a document retention policy.

 

Disclaimer:

These articles, samples, and resources are offered for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. If used, your organization should tailor samples to best fit the organization’s specific circumstances. We encourage your organization to seek appropriate professional assistance as needed.

What are the Public Disclosure Requirements for Nonprofits?

According to the IRS, all non-profit organizations, regardless of 501 status, have the same basic public disclosure laws, excluding private foundations. The current law states that any tax-exempt organization must make certain records public.

These records include:
• Form 1023 or Form 1024 exemption application
• All accompanying documents to the original application such as the bylaws and any donors listed
• Any letter or document issued by the IRS concerning the application
• All annual information returns (990s, 990-Ts, etc.) for the past three years excluding any documents with donors’ identifying information
Organizations must be ready to provide these documents upon request. Those who fail to do so may be subject to a penalty of $20 per day for as long as the failure continues. There is a maximum penalty of $10,000 for each failure to provide a copy of an annual information return. There is no maximum penalty for the failure to provide a copy of an exemption application.

 

Disclaimer:

These articles, samples, and resources are offered for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. If used, your organization should tailor samples to best fit the organization’s specific circumstances. We encourage your organization to seek appropriate professional assistance as needed.

Who has authority to vote?

Please see your organization’s bylaws to determine who has this authority. In cases where organizations have members with voting rights, those members, along with the board have authority to be involved in voting. If this is the case, your organization should have a clause in the bylaws that state exactly what is required to have member’s approval. The Colorado Revised Statues includes all of the voting member’s rights, including proxy voting and laws surrounding quorums starting on page 22.

 

Disclaimer:

These articles, samples, and resources are offered for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. If used, your organization should tailor samples to best fit the organization’s specific circumstances. We encourage your organization to seek appropriate professional assistance as needed.

Who has the authority to write and revise bylaws?

According to Principles and Practices, “The board should annually review the organization’s articles of incorporation, bylaws, corporate policies, and mission statement, and amend them as needed to reflect organizational growth and development”(pg 6).  This should be a regular process the board is involved in to continue to develop the organization. However, if there are voting members involved in the organization, they must legally be included in this vote to amend any governing documents. The Colorado Revised Statues includes a whole section on the rights of voting members starting on page 22.

 

Disclaimer:

These articles, samples, and resources are offered for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. If used, your organization should tailor samples to best fit the organization’s specific circumstances. We encourage your organization to seek appropriate professional assistance as needed.

How often should the board meet? What needs to be documented from each meeting?

Board meetings should be held at least once quarterly and regular attendance should be expected.  Colorado nonprofit corporations must keep minutes of all meetings of its board of directors and keep records of any actions taken by the board without a meeting as permanent records of the nonprofit (CRS Section 7-136-101).

A nonprofit corporation shall keep as permanent records minutes of all meetings of its members and board of directors, a record of all actions taken by the members or board of directors without a meeting, a record of all actions taken by a committee of the board of directors in place of the board of directors on behalf of the nonprofit corporation, and a record of all waivers of notices of meetings of members and of the board of directors or any committee of the board of directors (CRS Section 7-136-101).

 

Disclaimer:

These articles, samples, and resources are offered for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. If used, your organization should tailor samples to best fit the organization’s specific circumstances. We encourage your organization to seek appropriate professional assistance as needed.

How do we set up a nomination process and board terms?

The board should establish a process for selecting new board members that will ensure adequate infusion of new ideas and diverse community perspectives, while preserving institutional memory.

In order to do that, the board should establish a clear policy on the lengths of terms, the rotation of directors (i.e. staggered terms), the number of consecutive terms a board member may serve, and the removal of board members.  This policy should be stated in your bylaws.  See SAMPLE: Bylaws.

Your board should include members with the diverse skills background, expertise, and experience necessary to support your organization’s ability to fulfill its mission.  The board should also include some individuals with financial literacy.

 

Disclaimer:

These articles, samples, and resources are offered for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. If used, your organization should tailor samples to best fit the organization’s specific circumstances. We encourage your organization to seek appropriate professional assistance as needed.

Who should be on the board?

A nonprofit organization should strive toward board representation that reflects the organization’s constituents and the community it serves.  In addition, board members should value diversity and understand the role of participation and inclusion in the effectiveness of the organization.

A substantial majority, if not all, board members of a public charity should be independent – The following is the definition of “independent member of governing body” from the Form 990 glossary published by the IRS:

independent member of governing body

A person who is not compensated as an employee of the organization;
Who does not receive compensation or other payments from the organization as an independent contractor (other than reimbursement of expenses or reasonable compensation for services provided in the capacity of serving as a member of the governing body);
Who does not receive, directly or indirectly, material financial benefits from the organization except, if applicable, as a member of the charitable class served by the organization; and
Who is not a spouse, sibling, parent, or child of any individual who is employed by, or receives compensation or other material benefits from, the organization See Reg. 53.4958-6(c)(1)(iii).

Excerpt from, http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-tege/draftform990redesignglossary.pdf.

Other than paid staff, board members should receive no monetary compensation for their board duties other than reimbursement for board-related expenses.  If compensation is paid, it must be reasonable in amount (CRS Section 7-133-102(b)26 CFR Section 53.4958-4(b)(1)(ii)).

Opinions differ on whether any staff members should serve as voting members of the board.  If staff does serve, no more than one employee of the organization (typically the chief executive) should serve as a voting member, and he or she should not serve as the chair, vice-chair, secretary, or treasurer.

Board members and key staff should adopt and annually sign a conflict of interest policy that includes a disclosure form, procedures for managing conflicts of interest and handling situations in which public and private interests intersect.  The policy should include an obligation for each board member and key staff to disclose all material facts and relationship and refrain from voting on any matter when there is a conflict of interest.  See SAMPLE: Conflict of Interest Policy.

 

 

Disclaimer:

These articles, samples, and resources are offered for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. If used, your organization should tailor samples to best fit the organization’s specific circumstances. We encourage your organization to seek appropriate professional assistance as needed.

How many board members does my organization need to have?

Unless otherwise provided in the articles of incorporation, a Colorado nonprofit corporation must have a board of directors (CRS Section 7-128-101) with a president (or chairperson), a secretary, and a treasurer.

While Colorado law allows nonprofit corporations to have as few as one director, as long as he or she fulfills all of the officer roles listed above, it is generally considered best practice to have no fewer than five individuals on the board.  Keep in mind that in order for the board to take any action, there must be at least quorum present at the board meeting.  Unless a greater or lesser number is required by the bylaws, a quorum of a board of directors consists of a majority of the number of directors in office immediately before the meeting begins. (See CRS Section 7-128-205 for full details regarding quorums and voting).

Your organization’s bylaws may establish, or permit the voting members or the board of directors to establish, a range for the size of the board of directors by fixing a minimum and maximum number of directors. If a range is established, the number of directors may be fixed or changed from time to time within the range by the voting members or the board of directors. (See CRS Section 7-128-103and SAMPLE:  Bylaws).

 

 

Disclaimer: These articles, samples, and resources are offered for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. If used, your organization should tailor samples to best fit the organization’s specific circumstances. We encourage your organization to seek appropriate professional assistance as needed.

Human Resources Fundamentals

Thursday | Apr 18 | 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. | Boulder | $45/$60/$35 for Boulder County nonprofits

Presented by Tina Harkness, Mountain States Employers Council

Human resources professionals, managers, and supervisors need a strong foundation in key concepts and best practices to manage employees.  This class will provide exposure to three major areas of the human resources function: at-will employment, civil rights/harassment, and wage and hour compliance.  These topics were chosen based on feedback received from your members.

The class will emphasize practical ways for HR professionals, managers, and supervisors to approach these topics and how to monitor the workplace and assure compliance.  This class is particularly useful for the individual who is solely responsible for the day-to-day operations of human resources.  The class is also beneficial for anyone wanting to strengthen and expand their knowledge in this field.

This workshop will cover the following topics:

1. Employment at-will and its many exceptions

2. Civil rights/Harassment law:
– Prevention strategies
– Responding to complaints

3. Wage and hour compliance:
– How to determine if an employee is exempt
– Requirements for volunteers/interns and how to use them
– How to determine if a worker can be classified as an independent contractor

Presenters – Tina Harkness received her law degree from the University of Denver in 1996 and her Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification in 2000. She is an employment law attorney and corporate trainer in MSEC’s Denver office. Tina specializes in legal counseling and represents management in a wide variety of employment law matters.  She is a frequent speaker and facilitator of training for human resource professionals, management, and employees on topics including legal issues in managing employees, civil rights, managing employee medical issues, performance documentation, harassment prevention, and workplace violence.

Mergers, Acquisitions, and Affiliations

Thurs | Apr 18 | 11:30 MST (1:30 EST) | $62m/$89nm

Featuring Don Kramer, Esq., Editor and Publisher, Nonprofit Issues, and Virginia Sikes, Esq., Partner, Montgomery, McCracken, Walker & Rhoads, LLP

Offered in Partnership with Nonprofit Issues and the Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations (PANO)

This program will discuss the differences between mergers, acquistions, affiliations, strategic alliances, and takeovers.  It will discuss various alternative legal structures and the kind of “due diligence” investigation appropriate in considering any new relationship.  It will discuss the types of procedures necessary to accomplish the goals, including the possible requirement for approval from the Attorney General or Secretary of State.

Through a series of hypothetical examples, we will put these considerations in context for discussion in real life situations so that participants considering any new alliance can weigh the advantages and disadvantages of the alternatives.

To register and receive the PANO member discount, please follow the steps below:

  1. Go to the online event listing or visit www.pano.org and select Event Calendar
  2. Click “Register for This Event” and set up an account by clicking “New Visitor Registration” on the next screen.
  3. When you get to the checkout screen, look for the Discount Code field.
  4. Enter the discount code Council-standards to receive the PANO Member rate ($62)
  5. Click “Apply Discount.”
  6. Proceed with checkout and payment information

Call for Presentations: 2013 Fall Conference & Exhibition

Are you a nonprofit expert and an experienced presenter? We’d love to hear from you!

The Colorado Nonprofit Association Fall Conference & Exhibition has a reputation for top-notch speakers presenting timely, practical and relevant information to the nonprofit sector. To apply to present at the 2013 conference, complete the Call for Presentations by 5:00 p.m. Thursday, April 25!

Calling All Consultants!

Are you interested in serving as a volunteer expert at this year’s Consultant’s Corner?

The Consultants’ Corner feature allows conference registrants to sign up for a free 20-minute one-on-one consulting session with the consultant of their choice. Physical space is limited, and we strive to offer registrants a group of consultants with a broad diversity of expertise areas. Therefore, only a limited number of consultants are selected to participate.

To be considered for participation in Consultant’s Corner, please use the online Call for Presentations to indicate your interest and tell us about your expertise.

Conference dates: Monday, October 7 and Tuesday, October 8
Submission Deadline: 5:00 p.m. Thursday, April 25.

 

 

What types of sessions are we looking for?

Great conference sessions…

  • Focus on topics that are relevant and important to the nonprofit staff, board members and volunteers who attend the Fall Conference.
  • Are not one-size-fits-all! The nonprofit sector is incredibly diverse; an outstanding presentation identifies a particular audience and connects that audience with the content they want and need.
  • Are based on a clear, well-defined focus.
  • Make sure that attendees feel they’ve learned what they came to learn.
  • Provide solid, real-world information that attendees can put to use in their own organizations right away.
  • Are engaging, interactive, and built to keep attendees actively learning.

Tracks / Topic Areas

  • Cutting Edge! Nonprofit Hot Topics
  • Board/Governance
  • Leadership
  • Planning, Evaluation
  • Collaboration, Strategic Alliances
  • Fundraising
  • Marketing & Communications
  • Administration (Financial Management, Human Resources, etc.)
  • Public Policy, Civic Engagement
  • Volunteers
  • Other (personal development and skill-building, etc.)

To learn more, check out the sessions from the 2012 Fall Conference.

What’s Next?

Starting April 26, the committee will review the session/presenter proposals. (This is a tough job; we usually get about twice as many proposals as there are session spots at the conference!) By June 14, we’ll let you know whether your presentation has been selected for the 2013 conference.

If you’ve indicated that you’re interested in presenting a workshop, writing article, or otherwise serving as a resource, we’ll keep your information on hand and may contact you throughout the year as the need arises.

Who should be on the board?

A nonprofit organization should strive toward board representation that reflects the organization’s constituents and the community it serves.  In addition, board members should value diversity and understand the role of participation and inclusion in the effectiveness of the organization.

A substantial majority, if not all, board members of a public charity should be independent – The following is the definition of “independent member of governing body” from the Form 990 glossary published by the IRS:

independent member of governing body

A person who is not compensated as an employee of the organization;
Who does not receive compensation or other payments from the organization as an independent contractor (other than reimbursement of expenses or reasonable compensation for services provided in the capacity of serving as a member of the governing body);
Who does not receive, directly or indirectly, material financial benefits from the organization except, if applicable, as a member of the charitable class served by the organization; and
Who is not a spouse, sibling, parent, or child of any individual who is employed by, or receives compensation or other material benefits from, the organization See Reg. 53.4958-6(c)(1)(iii).

Excerpt from, http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-tege/draftform990redesignglossary.pdf.

Other than paid staff, board members should receive no monetary compensation for their board duties other than reimbursement for board-related expenses.  If compensation is paid, it must be reasonable in amount (CRS Section 7-133-102(b)26 CFR Section 53.4958-4(b)(1)(ii)).

Opinions differ on whether any staff members should serve as voting members of the board.  If staff does serve, no more than one employee of the organization (typically the chief executive) should serve as a voting member, and he or she should not serve as the chair, vice-chair, secretary, or treasurer.

Board members and key staff should adopt and annually sign a conflict of interest policy that includes a disclosure form, procedures for managing conflicts of interest and handling situations in which public and private interests intersect.  The policy should include an obligation for each board member and key staff to disclose all material facts and relationship and refrain from voting on any matter when there is a conflict of interest.  See SAMPLE: Conflict of Interest Policy.

How do we set up a nomination process and board terms?

The board should establish a process for selecting new board members that will ensure adequate infusion of new ideas and diverse community perspectives, while preserving institutional memory.

In order to do that, the board should establish a clear policy on the lengths of terms, the rotation of directors (i.e. staggered terms), the number of consecutive terms a board member may serve, and the removal of board members.  This policy should be stated in your bylaws.  See SAMPLE: Bylaws.

Your board should include members with the diverse skills background, expertise, and experience necessary to support your organization’s ability to fulfill its mission.  The board should also include some individuals with financial literacy.

 

 

Disclaimer: These articles, samples, and resources are offered for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. If used, your organization should tailor samples to best fit the organization’s specific circumstances. We encourage your organization to seek appropriate professional assistance as needed.

How often should the board meet? What needs to be documented from each meeting?

Board meetings should be held at least once quarterly and regular attendance should be expected.  Colorado nonprofit corporations must keep minutes of all meetings of its board of directors and keep records of any actions taken by the board without a meeting as permanent records of the nonprofit (CRS Section 7-136-101).

A nonprofit corporation shall keep as permanent records minutes of all meetings of its members and board of directors, a record of all actions taken by the members or board of directors without a meeting, a record of all actions taken by a committee of the board of directors in place of the board of directors on behalf of the nonprofit corporation, and a record of all waivers of notices of meetings of members and of the board of directors or ny committee of the board of directors (CRS Section 7-136-101).

 

 

Disclaimer: These articles, samples, and resources are offered for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. If used, your organization should tailor samples to best fit the organization’s specific circumstances. We encourage your organization to seek appropriate professional assistance as needed.

Evaluation and the board: What is the board responsible for evaluating?

The board is responsible for evaluating three primary things:  itself, the organization, and the chief executive.

Board Review and Evaluation of Itself

The board should annually evaluate itself with an eye toward ensuring its effectiveness and improving governance practices (see SAMPLE: Board Evaluation Form).  Periodically, the board should review its size and operational structure to ensure it is effectively supporting the organization’s goals and objectives.

Board Review of the Organization

The board should periodically review the organization’s articles of incorporation, bylaws, corporate policies, and mission statement, and amend them as needed to reflect organization growth and development.  See also our FAQs & Resources pages on Evaluation and Planning.

Chief Executive Performance Review and Compensation

Annually, the board should conduct a performance review of the chief executive (see SAMPLE: CEO Evaluation Form), including his or her compensation.  The chief executive’s performance should be assessed in light of organizational accomplishments, and the total compensation package should reflect his or her performance as well as industry standards.

Both Colorado law and federal income tax law prohibit the payment of more than reasonable compensation (CRS Section 7-133-102; IRC Section 4941 and 4958).  In order to ensure reasonable compensation, your organization should utilize salary survey(s) such as the Colorado Nonprofit Salary & Benefits Survey.

To reduce its exposure to penalties relating to unreasonable compensation, the board of directors should consider the process outlined under Section 53.4958-6 of the Treasury Regulations. A public charity that follows each of these three steps can position itself to create a rebuttable presumption that the compensation is reasonable:

(a) In general. Payments under a compensation arrangement are presumed to be reasonable, and a transfer of property, or the right to use property, is presumed to be at fair market value, if the following conditions are satisfied—

(1) The compensation arrangement or the terms of the property transfer are approved in advance by an authorized body of the applicable tax-exempt organization (or an entity controlled by the organization within the meaning of §53.4958–4(a)(2)(ii)(B)) composed entirely of individuals who do not have a conflict of interest (within the meaning of paragraph (c)(1)(iii) of this section) with respect to the compensation arrangement or property transfer, as described in paragraph (c)(1) of this section;

(2) The authorized body obtained and relied upon appropriate data as to comparability prior to making its determination, as described in paragraph (c)(2) of this section; and

(3) The authorized body adequately documented the basis for its determination concurrently with making that determination, as described in paragraph (c)(3) of this section.

Excerpt from, Section 53.4958-6 of the Treasury Regulation.

 

Disclaimer: These articles, samples, and resources are offered for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. If used, your organization should tailor samples to best fit the organization’s specific circumstances. We encourage your organization to seek appropriate professional assistance as needed.

How many board members does my organization need to have?

Unless otherwise provided in the articles of incorporation, a Colorado nonprofit corporation must have a board of directors (CRS Section 7-128-101) with a president (or chairperson), a secretary, and a treasurer.

While Colorado law allows nonprofit corporations to have as few as one director, as long as he or she fulfills all of the officer roles listed above, it is generally considered best practice to have no fewer than five individuals on the board.  Keep in mind that in order for the board to take any action, there must be at least quorum present at the board meeting.  Unless a greater or lesser number is required by the bylaws, a quorum of a board of directors consists of a majority of the number of directors in office immediately before the meeting begins. (See CRS Section 7-128-205 for full details regarding quorums and voting).

Your organization’s bylaws may establish, or permit the voting members or the board of directors to establish, a range for the size of the board of directors by fixing a minimum and maximum number of directors. If a range is established, the number of directors may be fixed or changed from time to time within the range by the voting members or the board of directors. (See CRS Section 7-128-103and SAMPLE:  Bylaws).

 

 

Disclaimer: These articles, samples, and resources are offered for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. If used, your organization should tailor samples to best fit the organization’s specific circumstances. We encourage your organization to seek appropriate professional assistance as needed.

 

How can my nonprofit clearly communicate to board members what their responsibilities are?

Board members should be provided with a clear job description and understand their roles and responsibilities to the organization and to the public.  (See SAMPLE: Board Member Job Descriptions).  Board members are responsible for fully understanding their legal and fiduciary obligations and carrying out their responsibilities in the following areas:

Planning
Policy approval
Hiring, supervising, and evaluating the CEO or equivalent
Setting of employee compensation structure
Fundraising
Financial management

You can help your board members succeed by providing new board member orientations, having periodic reviews of the organization and all of its activities, and facilitating an environment of transparency, accountability, and good governance.  You can do this by adopting an effective, systematic process for educating and communicating with board members.

You may also consider adopting an attendance policy for board members. (See SAMPLE: Attendance Policy).  If board members are not able to regularly attend and participate in board meetings, than they are most likely not upholding their duties.

To demonstrate their personal stake in support of the organization, board members should be expected to volunteer, fundraise, and make financial contributions to the nonprofit.  Many organizations adopt a Board Member Giving Policy (see SAMPLE: Board Member Giving Policy), in order to ensure that board members are giving their time and/or money to the best of their ability.  It is important to note that diversity on the board and inclusion of constituency may mean that some board members can only give their time or a very small donation.  See FAQ: Who should be on the board?

 
Disclaimer: These articles, samples, and resources are offered for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. If used, your organization should tailor samples to best fit the organization’s specific circumstances. We encourage your organization to seek appropriate professional assistance as needed.

 

 

 

 

What are the basic legal fiduciary duties of board members?

Directors mustmeet the duty of care  by:

  •  exercising their responsibilities in good faith and with diligence, attention, care, and skill;
  • carrying out the purposed and mission of the charitable nonprofit;
  • complying with federal and state law;
  • completing required filings, and
  • complying with the organization’s governing documents (articles of incorporation and bylaws)

This includes both decision making and oversight responsibilities, and is fulfilled by such things as attending board meetings regularly, entering discussions, reading minutes, learning about the organization’s programs, maintaining careful oversight of finances, and questioning unclear or troubling activity (CRS Section 7-128-401).

Directors must also meet the duty of loyalty by placing the interests of the organization before his or her private interests and avoiding the use of organizational opportunities for personal gain (CRS Section 7-128-401).

Disclaimer: These articles, samples, and resources are offered for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. If used, your organization should tailor samples to best fit the organization’s specific circumstances. We encourage your organization to seek appropriate professional assistance as needed.

Nonprofit Member Survey

Every other year we reach out to our nonprofit members and ask for their input through our member survey. This year’s survey is open and we’re hoping for a great response. It is important we hear from our nonprofit members on such issues as:

  • Our various efforts to serve the nonprofit sector;
  • The quality and value of our leadership development trainings;
  • The value of your membership;

…and so much more. We hope you will take a few minutes to complete our survey and share your thoughts with us.

Organizations who complete the survey are eligible to win one of the following:

  • Three free months added to your current membership (two awarded)
  • One free registration at a professional development training
  • One Fall Conference registration at half off

The survey will be open through March 28, 2013.

We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

Association Submits Written Comments on the Charitable Deduction to U.S. House Ways and Means Committee

On Feb. 14, 2013, the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee held a hearing on Tax Reform and Charitable Contributions.  Click here to view the advisory on the hearing. 

More than forty distinguished nonprofit leaders and experts testified in person before the committee.   Nonprofits testifying included American Gospel Rescue Missions from Colorado Springs, the California Association of Nonprofits, the National Council of Nonprofits, Independent Sector,  the Council on Foundations, and many more.   Click here to view the list of individuals who testified and their written statements.    

The committee also requested written statements from nonprofits and we submitted the following letter for the record. The letter reiterates our request to protect the charitable deduction and includes stories of how nonprofits would be affected if the deduction were weakened or eliminated.  Click here  to view the letter. 

The committee has formed several working groups to review issues related to tax reform.  This includes a working group on Charitable/Exempt Organizations chaired by Congressman David Reichert (R-WA) and Congressman John Lewis (D-GA).  Click here  for more information on the working group.   Colorado’s members of the House of Representatives do not serve on the Ways and Means Committee currently.

 

Annual Meeting & Legislative Reception

Tues | Feb 19 | 4:00 | History Colorado Center | FREE

Join the Colorado Nonprofit Association staff for the Annual Meeting of the Members. We will review 2012 accomplishments, elect new board members, respond to member questions and share the Association’s priorities for 2013.

Immediately following the Annual Meeting is our Legislative Reception co-hosted by the Colorado Center for Hospice & Palliative Care. This is an opportunity you do not want to miss! Many of our state legislators attend this event and look forward to meeting you!

Cash bar, beverages and light snacks are provided.

Meeting Materials

2012 Financials

2012 Annual Meeting Minutes

2012 Year in Review

Location

History Colorado Center | 1200 Broadway | Denver, CO 80203

Parking

Parking is available in the Civic Center Cultural Complex garage at 12th Avenue and Broadway, directly across the street from the History Colorado Center. Enter on 12th Avenue, just west of Broadway. Rates begin at $1 per hour, and are posted inside the front entrance. Limited parking is also available in the garage adjacent to the History Colorado Center at 1255 Broadway. Enter on Broadway just north of the main entrance. Metered spaces and surface lots are also available nearby.

Colorado Funders Offer $50,000 Prize for Outstanding Nonprofit Collaboration

February 1, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Renny Fagan, President & CEO
Colorado Nonprofit Association
(303) 813-4201 office

Joanne Kelley, Executive Director
Colorado Association of Funders
(303)398-7454

Colorado Funders Offer $50,000 Prize for Outstanding Nonprofit Collaboration

February 1, 2013 (Denver, CO) – Applications are currently being accepted for the 2013 Colorado Collaboration Award, a prize offered by members of Colorado’s foundation and business communities to recognize innovation and success in a nonprofit-led partnership.

In addition to recognizing and supporting one outstanding collaboration each year, the award program also seeks to encourage and support collaboration throughout Colorado. “The goal is to foster dialogue around the best practices, challenges, and opportunities of working collaboratively,” said Renny Fagan, president and CEO of Colorado Nonprofit Association. “The Collaboration Award gets people thinking about how they can partner with other organizations and it aims to reward those who do it best.”

“While foundations each have their own approach to giving, they increasingly work together to address the challenges facing our state,” said Joanne Kelley, executive director of the Colorado Association of Funders. “The nonprofit organizations that foundations support are also recognizing the value of working together to strengthen our communities.”

Now in its third year, the prize has previously been awarded to the Northwest Colorado Community Health Partnership, a healthcare network for the uninsured in northwestern Colorado, and to Boulder County IMPACT, a coalition which works to help high-risk youth get back on track without juvenile detention or other out-of-home placement.

The deadline for applications is March 15, 2013. More information is available at www.ColoradoCollaboration.org.

 

Colorado Nonprofit Legal Clinic

Don’t miss this opportunity for a free legal assessment!

We invite nonprofits to apply to participate in our nonprofit pro bono legal clinic.  If accepted, your organization will meet with attorneys who will provide a free legal assessment of your nonprofit and brief you on legal issues that may require further assistance. The clinic will give you the opportunity to talk with attorneys about how your organization may implement best practices and help you proactively prevent legal problems from occurring later.

Thursday, January 31, 2013 • 9:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Colorado Collaborative for Nonprofits
789 Sherman Street, First Floor • Denver, CO 80203

Applications are due January 11, 2013. Space is limited; apply today!

 

To Register:
  1. Complete the Legal Assessment Intake Form.  Your responses will assist the Clinic’s organizers in determining your eligibility for the Clinic and in identifying and avoiding conflicts of interest between the attorneys participating in the Clinic and attorneys you may be currently using, as well as other conflict issues.  It is very important that you return all requested documents in addition to this form so that your organization can be properly evaluated for eligibility in the Clinic.  However, if you are unable to provide one or more documents, please submit what is available and an explanation regarding the missing documents.
  2. Return the completed Legal Assessment Intake Form via mail or email by January 11 to:
    Eric Florenz, Corporate Pro Bono Project Assistant
    Email: eflorenz@probonoinst.org
    Mail: Pro Bono Institute
    1025 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 205
    Washington, DC 20036
  3. You will be notified of your application status by Monday, January 14. Should your organization be selected for participation in the Clinic, your Executive Director, Board Chair, or other senior staff or Board Member responsible for governing or managing your organization must be able to participate in the Clinic. If your organization does not qualify to participate, we may be able to offer you information about organizations in the Denver area that may be able to give you the assistance you need.
Questions?

We look forward to receiving your completed questionnaire. Should you have any questions in the meantime, please
do not hesitate to call Eric Florenz at (202) 729-6983.

Thank you to our co-sponsors

This clinic is made possible by a collaboration between the Colorado Nonprofit Association, Colorado Lawyers Committee, Community Resource Center, Corporate Pro Bono, Colorado ACC Chapter, and Holland & Hart. 

Continue reading

Community Needs Assessment Survey

Colorado Nonprofit Association strives to provide the most relevant educational opportunities possible, and recognizes that these opportunities may vary across different regions of our state.

To help us meet the differing demands of our nonprofits, we invite you to complete our Community Needs Assessment Survey.  Your feedback will help us:

  • determine readily available resources and trainings in different regions of our state
  • determine gaps in educational offerings and resources in those regions

Bonus:  Take the survey and be entered to win a FREE* workshop registration!

Please click here to take our Community Needs Assessment Survey.  Thank you!

 

 

*Valid for 2013 workshops only.  Not valid on Association special events.

2013 Fiscal Cliff Deal

On January 1, the House adopted H.R. 8 – “The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012″ – by a vote of 257-167.   The Senate adopted the same bill by a vote of 82-8 the previous day.  All of Colorado’s House Republicans voted against the bill and all of Colorado’s Democrats voted for it.  Senator Mark Udall voted for the bill and Senator Michael Bennet voted against it.  Click here to view a Denver Post article about votes on H.R. 8 by Colorado’s Congressional delegation. 

H.R. 8 addresses some of the key issues in the “fiscal cliff” debate and lays the groundwork for additional debate in the near future on “sequestration,”  spending cuts, tax reform, and the debt ceiling.  

Congress did not replace sequestration with an alternative plan for budget reduction by March 1, 2013 and automatic spending cuts required by sequestration will take place.    These  spending cuts will affect public services delivered by nonprofits via federal grants and contracts.  Also, passage of H.R. 8 does not preclude future Congressional action on tax reform that could affect the charitable deduction.

Based on information from the Washington Post,  key provisions of H.R. 8 include:

Charitable Giving Incentives 

H.R. 8 does not include either a total dollar cap on itemized deductions or the 28 percent limit on itemized deductions for taxpayers in the 33 and 35 percent tax brackets.    

H.R. 8 allows the return of the “Pease” limitation for taxpayers with annual adjusted gross income of $250,000 individuals/ $300,000 joint filers.   The Pease limitation reduces itemized deductions  by the lesser of 3 percent of  adjusted gross income adjusted for inflation or 80 percent of total allowed itemized deductions for that tax year.  Click here to view how Pease affects the  charitable deduction.

H.R. 8 provides for a one year extension of many”tax extenders” including the following charitable giving incentives:

  • The IRA charitable rollover allowing seniors 70 1/2 and older to make tax-free distributions from their Individual Retirement Accounts to charitable nonprofits.
  • Enhanced charitable deductions for contributions of  food inventory by corporations.
  • Enhanced charitable deductions for donations of property for conservation purposes.
  • H.R. 8 does not extend expired provisions for contributions of  book inventory and qualified computer contributions.

Automatic spending cuts (Sequestration)

Delays the effective date of automatic spending cuts until March 1, 2013.  Offsets the delay by adding to discretionary spending (half to defense, half to domestic spending) and taxes on retirees’ voluntary transfers from traditional IRAs to Roth IRAs. 

Key Tax Provisions

  • Permanently extends the 2001 and 2003 reduced tax rates for individuals earning less than $400,000 a year and joint filers earning less than $450,000 a year.   Allows the top tax rate to increase from 35 percent to 39.6 percent.
  • Permanently extends the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) “patch” to ensure the AMT does not affect a broader set of middle class taxpayers.
  • Allows the 2 percent payroll tax cut to expire.  This cut reduced employees’ share of the Social Security payroll tax from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent for the past two years. 
  • The 2013 estate tax will be 40 percent for taxpayers annually earning $400,000 (individuals)/$450,000 (joint filers) indexed for inflation, and a $5 million exemption.
  • The tax rate on capital gains and dividends will be 20 percent for those with income above $400,000 (individuals)/$450,000 (joint filers) and remain at 15 percent for taxpayers below those income levels. 
  • Extension of tax provisions affecting low income taxpayers including the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Child Tax Credit, the American Opportunity Tax Credit and others.   
  • Extension of various “tax extenders” benefiting businesses and industries.

Other  Provisions

  • One year extension of federal unemployment insurance benefits for those unemployed for longer than 26 weeks.
  • One year delay on scheduled cuts to reimbursements to doctors serving Medicare patients.
  • A nine month extension of key provisions of the farm bill.

Independent Sector  and the National Council of Nonprofits have detailed summaries and statements of H.R. 8 on their websites.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Celebrate Nonprofits in Your Community

Colorado Nonprofit Week | March 9–15

Colorado Nonprofit Week is designed to raise awareness of the more than 23,000 nonprofits serving our state. Join the celebration around the state!

Mar
1

Colorado Springs | Annual Pikes Peak Region Nonprofit Day
Friday, March 1, 2013 | Antler’s Hilton

Event Contact: Abby Laine Sienkiewicz
518 North Nevada Avenue
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
719-575-4341
www.cnecoloradosprings.org


Mar
19

Grand Junction | White Ribbon Volunteer Leadership Awards Breakfast
Tuesday, March 19, 2013 | Two Rivers Convention Center

Event Contact: Karen Galloway
521 Rood Ave Suite B
Grand Junction, CO 81501
970-257-1831
www.CureMSco-wy.org


Mar
13

Pueblo | 2013 Nonprofit Luncheon
Wednesday, March 13, 2012 | More information to follow

Event Contact: Doris Kester
121 West First Street, Suite 240
Pueblo, CO  81003
719 546 6677
kester@ddmktg.com


Can’t make it to an event? There are several ways to celebrate nonprofits in your community:

  • Say thank you to your volunteers, donors, board members and support staff;
  • Celebrate your clients;
  • Spotlight your organization’s initiatives – show the community how accomplish your mission and make a difference;
  • Invite the media to talk with clients or board members about the work your nonprofit does;
  • Invite legislators, business leaders and elected officials to visit your organization’s space; and
  • Organize an event bringing local business, community and nonprofit leaders together to discuss how nonprofits benefit your community.

Does your organization celebrate Colorado Nonprofit Week? What ideas do you have to raise awareness about the nonprofit sector? We’d love to hear from you! Contact Stephanie Doehler at sdoehler@ColoradoNonprofits.org

Member Benefit Review

Thurs | Dec 13 | 9:00 a.m. | Denver | FREE

Presented by: Gerry Rasel Members of the Colorado Nonprofit Association are entitled to a number of benefits including group purchasing discounts, a myriad of free online services, discounts on exciting leadership opportunities, and much more! A light continental breakfast will be provided. Location: 789 Sherman St., Denver, CO

 

Support Nonprofits by Protecting the Charitable Deduction and Opposing Arbitrary Budget Cuts

To avert the “fiscal cliff” and reduce the deficit, leaders in Washington DC considered proposals that would weaken nonprofits by placing limits on itemized deductions.  One proposal under discussion would set an annual dollar cap (between $17,000 and $50,000), which leaves little room under the caps for donors to deduct their charitable contributions.  Click here to view a fact sheet on caps on itemized deductions.

Another proposal would limit itemized deductions to 28 percent for taxpayers in the top tax bracket ($200,00o or more of income annually).  This proposal would raise revenue for the federal government but would limit the value of the deduction for those taxpayers by up to 30 percent. Click here to view a fact sheet on this proposal.

Also, due to “sequestration,” Congress is required to automatically cut federal programs across the board by more than 8 percent.  This includes many public services delivered by nonprofits through government grants and contracts as well as other federal programs that help the people that nonprofits serve.

Both by reducing the charitable giving incentive and cutting federal programs, nonprofits would face increased public demand for services with fewer resources.

You can take action now by

1.  Signing on to a letter from nonprofits to Colorado’s members of Congress by close of business on  December 19.  Click here to view the list of nonprofits who have already signed on.  To download the text of the letter to send your own communication to your member of Congress, click here.

2. Sending a direct email or calling your elected leaders in Washington DC.   Through Independent Sector’s website, you can send single email directly to the White House and your members of Congress or view their phone  numbers.

3.  Share how these changes would affect your nonprofit.  The National Council of Nonprofits has a website where you can share your story, view talking points, download a sample letter, and read a special report on the Fiscal Cliff and nonprofits.

4.  Encourage your donors to contact their members of Congress.   Many donors will be affected directly of Congress limits the charitable deduction.  This sample language can be used by donors to call or email a message to their member of Congress. Click here to view contact information for Colorado’s Congressional delegation.

5.  Share the National Council of Nonprofits’  infographic on the Danger of Capping Deductions.

Background

Nonprofits are helping communities recover from the economic downturn and cope with slow economic growth. As economic conditions have also forced governments to become more lean and efficient, they look to the nonprofit sector to help keep our communities strong.   Besides earning income and obtaining foundation grants, nonprofits leverage individual donations and government funding to find cost-effective and innovative ways to serve the public.

Our elected leaders in Washington DC face the critical but daunting challenges of addressing the “fiscal cliff,” reducing the federal deficit, and fostering economic recovery. If they fail to act by January 2013 to avert the “fiscal cliff,” inaction triggers a series of tax increases and $110 billion of automatic spending cuts to defense and domestic programs each year for the next decade through a budgetary process known as sequestration.   Sequestration would require across the board cuts to many federal services that nonprofits deliver through grants and contracts, and programs that otherwise help the people that nonprofits serve.

To avoid the fiscal cliff and reduce the deficit, members of Congress and the White House have suggested various proposals that would place an annual cap ranging from $17,000 to $50,000 on the total amount that an itemizing taxpayer can deduct.   Many taxpayers who itemize take fixed cost deductions such as state and local taxes and mortgage interest.  If taxpayers take these or other deductions first, there will be little to no room left under the cap to deduct charitable contributions.  This would particularly reduce donations from middle to upper income taxpayers.

Unlike other deductions that would be affected,  the charitable deduction encourages individuals to give away their income to support nonprofit services that benefit communities.   Nonprofits receive up to three dollars of support for every dollar the donor saves on taxes.   It does not strengthen our communities to reduce support for nonprofits at a time when governments rely more on the nonprofit sector.

Effects on Colorado Donors

Based on 2010 IRS tax data, the average itemizing taxpayer in Colorado contributed $4,144.   Assuming itemizers have fixed cost deductions, such as mortgage interest and state and local taxes first, many donors could reach the cap prior to deducting charitable contributions.   Donors with average annual incomes exceeding $75,000 would be close to reaching a $17,000 cap prior to deducting charitable contributions.  Donors with average annual incomes exceeding $200,000 would be close to reaching a $50,000 cap prior to deducting charitable contributions.

Regardless of the amount, the cap would exclude some itemizing donors from deducting any charitable contributions, substantially reduce the amount all itemizers could deduct, and provide little tax incentive for donors to increase their giving in the future.

While research on charitable giving suggests that incentives generally don’t affect a donor’s decision to give, they do generally affect decisions about the amount to give.  Our 2011 survey of 700 Colorado donors found that 38 percent of donors considered tax incentives to be an important reason for giving.  However, 59 percent of respondents with incomes over $100,000 indicated that tax incentives are important.  Overall, 49 percent of respondents who itemized their deductions indicated that tax incentives are important to their giving practices.   Therefore, the ability to deduct contributions is particularly important to itemizers with high incomes and likely affects how much they give.

In Colorado, taxpayers with income over $100,000 accounted for 39 percent of federal tax returns deducting charitable contributions while making 68 percent of total contributions and accounting for more than $2.075 billion in gifts, according to the IRS.  Caps on itemized deductions would have the most impact on donors who give the largest amounts.

For more information on proposals affecting Colorado nonprofits related to the Fiscal Cliff, contact Mark at mturner@ColoradoNonprofits.org or call (303) 813-4203.

 

Partner of Colorado Collaborative for Nonprofits

A vital hub where people and ideas connect.

Colorado Nonprofit Association (with Colorado Nonprofit Insurance Agency), Colorado Nonprofit Development Center, Community Resource Center, Community Shares of Colorado and Metro Volunteers worked together nearly two years to achieve a shared space arrangement.

Colorado Collaborative for Nonprofits opened its doors Nov. 15, 2012 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony to inaugurate the new nonprofit center, which includes open office space on the second floor and a first floor training center at 789 Sherman Street, Denver.

Collective Goals

Colorado Collaborative for Nonprofits’ long-term goals are to create a central hub for nonprofit trainings, meetings and distribution of resources, workforce development and changing business models, while seeking administrative cost savings for the partner organizations.

As innovative leaders, the partner organizations
are committed to fulfilling the promise of collectively increasing what they do
to support Colorado’s nonprofits.

ColoradoCollaborative.org

Let’s Talk

Colorado’s projected long-term revenues are insufficient to sustain the public services Coloradans have come to expect. Colorado voters have the unique responsibility of deciding how best to balance the public’s desires for both low taxes and robust public services. The purpose of the Fiscal Education Network is to help Coloradans make informed choices about state fiscal policies and public services through community engagement led by a statewide network of nonprofit organizations.

Research conducted by John Creighton on behalf of the Fiscal Education Network has produced an approach to community engagement geared toward building public will over the long term rather than simply swaying public opinion, as many political campaigns achieve in the short term. The framework presented in this toolkit helps clarify the differences between building public will and swaying public opinion, as well as identify the stages of public thinking people go through before they commit to public action. We need your help and leadership to engage Colorado’s communities in these vital discussions about our state’s future.

Download the toolkit to learn more and get involved!

Member Benefit Review

Thurs | Nov 15 | 9:00 a.m. | Webinar | FREE

Presented by: Gerry Rasel

Members of the Colorado Nonprofit Association are entitled to a number of benefits including group purchasing discounts, a myriad of free online services, discounts on exciting leadership opportunities, and much more!

Location:  WEBINAR!  No need to leave your desk!

Nonprofits and the Fiscal Cliff

In 2013, federal law requires that a series of tax increases and spending cuts will commence if Congress fails to take corrective action.  These changes include:

 

  • expiration of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, as well as relief from the Alternative Minimum Tax;
  • defense and non-defense spending cuts required by the 2011 Budget Control Act (also known  as sequestration);
  • expiration of the 2% social security payroll tax reduction and emergency unemployment benefits;
  • implementation of Affordable Care Act taxes and reductions in Medicare payments for physicians’ services;
  • and various other revenue and spending changes (Congressional Budget Office).

Although these changes would reduce the deficit significantly and keep inflation and interest rates low over the next ten years, a September 2012 Congressional Budget Office report states that they could lead the economy back into recession and increase unemployment in the short-term.   Alternatively, if Congress extended all these policies going forward, the economy would grow faster and unemployment would be lower in the short-term.  However, rising deficits would lead to slower economic growth and higher interest rates.

What is “sequestration”?

When Congress and the President debated raising the federal debt ceiling in 2011, they reached a compromise to form a “Super Committee” charged with recommending a deficit reduction plan. If the committee failed to do so, automatic spending cuts affecting mandatory spending, defense spending, and non-defense discretionary spending would occur thereby reducing spending by $1.2 trillion over ten years.   The Super Committee failed to act and the first $110 billion of annual cuts is scheduled to take place in the 2013 fiscal year.

Sequestration cuts will affect almost all industries and sectors funded by the federal government.  Click here to see a White House report on potential spending cuts due to sequestration.

Click here for more information on how sequestration may affect funding for nonprofits and federal programs that  support nonprofits’ clients, including a listing of selected cuts to the sector.

What could the Fiscal Cliff mean for nonprofits?

  • Slow economic growth impacts support for nonprofits.  High unemployment not only undermines quality of life in general, but it also depresses individual and corporate giving.   Reduced giving means potential cuts to nonprofits’ programs, operations and staff.   
  • Proposals to reduce the charitable deduction.  Some proposals for deficit reduction include weakening the charitable giving incentive or placing general restrictions on itemized deductions for taxpayers.  However, research by the CBO suggests some possible proposals may also boost charitable giving.
  • Changes to unemployment rates and the labor market.   High unemployment increases demand for nonprofits’ services particularly for healthcare, human services, education, and employment services.  Also, labor market conditions affect nonprofits’ decisions on staffing needs and hiring.
  • Reduced federal funding and cuts to public programs.  Across the board spending cuts mean cuts to public services delivered by nonprofits through grants and contracts.   Cuts to programs like Medicaid, TANF, food stamps, and other such programs also pose challenges for nonprofits’ clients.

 

 

Association Submits Comments on Updates to Colorado Charitable Solicitations Act Rules

The Colorado Secretary of State released a Notice of Rulemaking for the administration of the Colorado Charitable Solicitations Act (8 CCR 1505-9) and held a rulemaking hearing on October 25.    Click here for more information about the hearing.

Click here to view a copy of the notice, including a proposed statement of basis/purpose and draft rules.  Click here to view the current CCSA Rules.

Click here to view our comments on the proposed rules.

Please contact email SoS.Rulemaking@sos.state.co.us if you have questions about the rules or the hearin or would like to submit written comments relating to the rulemaking.  You may listen to an audio recording of the hearing by visiting the following web page and click on “archived recordings.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Do You Think of Nonprofit Colorado?

To better serve nonprofits across the state, we seek your input to help us assess the format and content of Nonprofit Colorado, ensuring this valuable publication meets the needs of your organization.

Please take a few minutes and complete our brief survey to help us make this publication the best it can be for you.

Colorado Nonprofit Association strives to create a powerful resource in Nonprofit Colorado — our design award winning, bimonthly newsletter — keeping you abreast of current sector issues and providing you with vital information on how to operate an effective and efficient nonprofit.

Complete our survey by Friday, Oct. 26 and be entered into a drawing for fabulous member-exclusive Colorado Nonprofit Association prizes! Thanks for your feedback.

Colorado Secretary of State Drops Most Fees for Nonprofits to $1

On Tuesday September 11, 2012,  Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler announced that, effective October 1,  most fees for nonprofits would be reduced to $1 or less through the remainder of the state fiscal year.   These reduced fee amounts will be reviewed quarterly thereafter.   These fee reductions apply to most filings related to charitable solicitations and for filings related to bingo-raffle licenses.   The reductions do not apply to fines for failing to complete required reports or for late filings.

While this change would reduce revenues for the Secretary of State’s office by $1.1 million over the course of a year,  the Secretary said that “Through efficiencies and consolidation, we can stretch the fees paid by Colorado’s non-profits even further.[...]Non-profits play an important role in our economy and our communities.  This move will keep more money in the community.”

Click here to view the entire list of reduced fees and the Secretary’s press release.

 

 

How You Can Help

Our thoughts are with all of those impacted by wildfires in our state. Our heartfelt thanks to all involved in the relief efforts.

American Red Cross – Safe and Well

Click here to register to let friends and family know that you are OK.

How can you help?

Visit HelpColoradoNow.org to learn more.

Keep in touch.

If you have an update or story about a Colorado nonprofit that you’d like to share with us,  please contact Gerry Rasel, grasel@ColoradoNonprofits.org or (303) 813-4202.

Update on Facebook.

Please feel free to post donation updates and stories on our Facebook page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Member Benefit Review

Thurs | May 17 | 9:00 a.m. | Webinar | FREE

Presented by: Gerry Rasel

Members of the Colorado Nonprofit Association are entitled to a number of benefits including group purchasing discounts, a myriad of free online services, discounts on exciting leadership opportunities, and much more!

Location:  WEBINAR!  No need to leave your desk!

The Board’s Role in Fundraising

Understanding Donors: The Decision to Give series

New research reveals the most effective ways to appeal to Colorado donors. Join fundraising expert Mark Holdt as we explore major themes from the 2011 study Understanding Donors: Beliefs & Behaviors of Colorado’s DonorsRead our special new reports on Generational Giving and Income Differences.

The final workshop in this four-part series is coming this September!

This highly interactive session will examine local and national research and share tools you can use to inspire giving and build lasting relationships with donors. Gain insight from your peers through a guided discussion on how to apply what we’ve learned at your own organization.

Upcoming Sessions | September 2012

Loveland | Sept. 6

Boulder | Sept. 6

Pueblo | Sept. 11

Durango | Sept. 12

Carbondale | Sept. 13

Eagle | Sept. 14

Denver AM | Sept. 27 | FULL

Denver PM | Sept. 27
Read the full report, or find regional reports and supplemental data here.

Law Passed to Streamline State Reporting by Colorado Nonprofits

On April 26, 2012, Governor John Hickenlooper signed House Bill 12-1236 into law.  Effective January 2013, this new  law eliminates the need for a nonprofit who filed for the first extension on IRS Form 990 to also file for the first three month extension on reporting under the Colorado Charitable Solicitations Act (CCSA).  Many nonprofits currently have to apply for the first three month extensions on both their Form 990 and CCSA reports because financial information needed for their Form 990 is not ready.   

“HB 12-1236 is a win-win for nonprofits and the state of Colorado.  It will make it easier for nonprofits to meet their filing deadlines and will reduce the number of extension requests that the Secretary of State has to process,” said Mark Turner, Manager of Public Policy at Colorado Nonprofit Association. 

The law makes additional changes to clarify specific CCSA reporting exemptions and disclosure requirements as follows:

  • Exempts persons who exclusively raise funds to directly benefit a named individual, rather than providing a public benefit, from registration.
  • Clarifies that grant writers are not required to register separately as paid solicitors unless their compensation is based on a percentage of the funds they raise.
  • Requires that paid solicitors state their full name and if contributions are not tax deductible prior to securing a donation over the telephone.
  • Clarifies that only contributions of money must be deposited in a charity’s bank account within two business days by a paid solicitor.

The bill was sponsored by Rep. Ken Summers (R- Lakewood), Rep. Chris Holbert (R- Parker), Rep. Rhonda Fields (D- Aurora), Rep. Andy Kerr (D- Lakewood), Rep. Jeanne Labuda (D- Denver), Rep. Dave Young (D- Greeley), as well as Sen. Cheri Jahn (D- Wheat Ridge), Sen. Betty Boyd (D- Lakewood), and Sen. Linda Newell (D- Littleton).

Contact Mark at (303) 832-5710 or mturner@coloradononprofits.org for more information on how this change will affect your nonprofit organization.

Colorado Nonprofit Week

March 12–16

 

Celebrate all that Nonprofits Achieve in Your Community

Colorado Nonprofit Week is here! Colorado Nonprofit Week is designed to raise awareness of the more than 23,000 nonprofits serving our state.

2012 Award Winners

William Funk Award for Building Stronger Communities

David DeLay – Bayaud Enterprises

Mary Anne Harvey – The Legal Center for People with Disabilities and Older People

Steve Graham Award for Building Nonprofit Capacity

Lance Cheslock – La Puente Home

Excellence in Media Award

Rocky Mountain PBS

Legislator of the Year Award

Senator Bob Bacon

Representative Ken Summers

Nonprofit Impact Award

Senator Rollie Heath

2012 Colorado Legislative Session

The Association takes action on Colorado legislation with a substantial impact on Colorado’s nonprofit organizations, and has taken positions on the following bills before the Colorado General Assembly in 2012.

Click here to view the 2012 Legislative Session Report.

Click here to view all Colorado bills tracked by Colorado Nonprofit Association during the 2012 legislative session.

 

 


Call for Entries for the Second Annual Colorado Collaboration Award

Members of the Colorado foundation and business communities are coming together once again to award $50,000 to a deserving nonprofit collaborative that exemplifies excellence and impact in the state of Colorado. The call for entries is officially open, with the winner to be announced at the 2012 Colorado Nonprofit Association Fall Conference in October.

Apply now!

 

In the News

Call for Entries for the Second Annual Colorado Collaboration Award, $50,000 to be Awarded to Colorado’s Most Outstanding Nonprofit Collaborative

 

 

Nonprofit Sector Job Growth Greater Than For Profit Sector

A new study by Johns Hopkins University highlights new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that reveals surprising trends from nonprofit sector job growth. “Holding the Fort: Nonprofit Employment During a Decade of Turmoil” reports from 2000 to 2010 the nonprofit sector had an annual average job growth of 2.1 percent. Over the same period the for profit sector had an average annual rate of minus 0.6 percent.

Other interesting findings:

  • Colorado employs more than 142,000 nonprofit professionals. We make up 7.9 percent of Colorado’s private employment.
  • The mountain region of the United States had an average annual job growth rate of 3.4 percent from 2000 to 2010, 1.3 percent more than the average national rate of 2.1 percent.
  • 57 percent of all U.S. nonprofit jobs are in the health care field.
  • Despite overall growth the nonprofit sector lost market share in several industries including health (-2.9 percent), education (-3.9 percent) and social assistance (-7.4 percent).
Find more information about nonprofit sector employment trends in specific fields and other facts by downloading the full report.

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Association Samplers

What is a Sampler?

An Association Sampler highlights the many ways Colorado Nonprofit Association supports our nonprofit community. You’ll also learn what your organization will gain from joining us.

Next, take advantage of the latest training based on Principles & Practices for Nonprofit Excellence in Colorado.  Communications Essentials for Nonprofits will focus on:

  • planning techniques and best practices to take your outreach to the next level;
  • getting staff, board and volunteers more involved; and
  • much more!

Anyone with an interest in Colorado Nonprofit Association is welcome. Current members: bring a friend! If your friend joins as a new member, you’ll receive a free three-month extension on your membership.

Association Sampler Schedule

Carbondale | August 21 | 1–4 p.m. | Register Now

Additional summer dates and locations are coming soon!

Interested in bringing a Sampler to your community?

Email Gerry for more information.

You Found Us!

Welcome to the new Colorado Nonprofit Association website!

We are proud to present our new website to help Colorado’s nonprofits have better access to nonprofit resources, policy updates and member benefits we provide.

All of the resources, news, research and quality of programming that you have come to expect from us will continue and we hope that the new look will lead to greater access for you to our services.

We appreciate your patience with any temporarily missing information and look forward to serving you in new and greater ways. If you have any questions about the new member login or anything else give us a call at (303) 832-5710 or (800) 333-6554.

Thank you to Mission Minded for their excellent work.

Thank You for Another Great Year!

Nearly 1400 Members Strong

2011 has been another fantastic year at Colorado Nonprofit Association and we would like to thank all of our members, supporters and nonprofits for the opportunities to work with them this year.

We wish you all a happy holidays and wanted you to know that our office will be closed on the following days:

Friday December 23rd, 2011

Monday December 26th, 2011

Monday January 2nd, 2011

 

Colorado Nonprofit Association sponsors “Saving Philanthropy”

Watch the documentary Thursday December 15, 9 pm

Saving Philanthropy profiles diverse social service organizations that have gained national attention for the measurable outcomes they achieve, and highlights the role that forward thinking funders play in the process.  The program lays out in clear and digestible language the key components of a managing to outcomes strategy, and utilizes interviews with leading voices in the sector to explore how to foster a managing to outcomes culture.”

To find your local Rocky Mountain PBS station click here.

For additional information on this documentary, visit http://www.savingphilanthropy.org/ and watch the trailer below.

Resources to Results preview from NE Productions, Inc. on Vimeo.

Member Benefit Review

Thurs | Dec 8 |  9:00 – 10:30 a.m. | Denver | Free

Presented by: Gerry Rasel

Members of the Colorado Nonprofit Association are entitled to a number of benefits including group purchasing discounts, a myriad of free online services, discounts on exciting leadership opportunities, and much more!

A light continental breakfast will be provided.

Location: 455 Sherman St., Denver, CO

Protect the Charitable Deduction

Please take action to ensure members of Congress protect the charitable deduction and do not weaken nonprofits’ ability to serve and strengthen communities.  As part of efforts to reduce the federal deficit, proposals to change the charitable deduction to retain more federal revenue have been discussed.  While deficit reduction is an important priority for our nation, weakening the charitable deduction would encourage less giving and reduce resources to nonprofits at a time when demands for nonprofits’ services are high and could be increased by cuts and reforms to federal programs.

The Budget Control Act of 2011 created the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (Supercommittee) to reduce the federal deficit by at least $1.2 trillion.  Although the Supercommittee was expected to produce a plan consisting of revenue increases, entitlement reforms, and spending cuts, it ultimately failed to agree on a plan by the Nov. 23, 2011 deadline.  As required by the Budget Control Act, failure to implement a plan triggers $1.2 trillion in automatic spending reductions over ten years starting in January 2013.   About $600 billion in cuts would come from defense and another $600 billion from non-defense discretionary spending.

Congress has until the end of 2012 to determine how to implement these reductions.  As an alternative, Congress could try to amend or repeal the automatic reductions though the President has said he will veto bills that change the total amount of the reductions.

While changes to the charitable deduction are not expected this year due to the failure of the Supercommittee, changes to the deduction still could be proposed over the next year as Congress continues its efforts to reduce the deficit.

Your continued help is needed to ensure our members of Congress know how changing the charitable deduction would impact Colorado’s nonprofits:

  1. Let your members of Congress know what the charitable deduction means to your organization.   Write a letter, send an email, or call their offices and let them know how charitable giving impacts the work of your nonprofit and how you might be impacted if the charitable giving incentive is changed.  You can look up your Representative and Senator at www.vote-smart.org.
  1. Join over 4,000 nonprofits nationwide and over 200 Colorado nonprofits by signing on to the Nonprofit Community Letter at givevoice.org.
  1. Contact the Association and let us know how changes to the deduction would affect your nonprofit.  Email mturner@coloradononprofits.org.

 

Proposals to change the charitable deduction:

Association Actions to protect the Charitable Deduction

 

 

Read DU’s Center for Colorado’s Economic Future report

University of Denver’s Center for Colorado’s Economic Future report, Financing Colorado’s Future: An Analysis of the Fiscal Sustainability of State Government, examines the long term financial viability of Colorado’s state government particularly in funding for K–12 Education, Medicaid, and Corrections. View the full report here.

As trusted, nonpartisan voices, nonprofit organizations are well positioned to lead conversations on such critical issues. Because Colorado voters decide many of the most significant policy questions, nonprofits can play an important role in encouraging voter participation in these discussions. Click here for more information and how you can get involved.

Join the Conversation

Find out how you can take a role in Colorado’s budget

Deficit reduction, state budget cuts, tax proposals, the economy and job creation policies dominate everyday news stories. Public conversations on these challenging issues are often divisive. Our state and our nation face the challenge of coming together for common solutions. How do we improve the tone of our public conversations and find solutions to these public policy issues?

The Colorado Nonprofit Association’s Fiscal Education Network seeks to change the tone of these public conversations by encouraging community, value-based discussions about Colorado’s long-term fiscal challenges, which affect nonprofits and their constituencies. As trusted, nonpartisan voices, nonprofit organizations are well positioned to lead these conversations. Because Colorado voters decide most revenue questions, nonprofits can also play an important role in encouraging voter participation.

Click here for more information and how you can get involved.

Achieving Excellence in Financial Management

Principles and Practices

Wednesday, November 30, 2011 : 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Presenter: John R. Josephson & Sharon Prueitt Keiser, KISS Business Solutions, LLC.

Are you achieving excellence? Let’s discuss the principles and explore the practices. Join us for an interactive discussion on financial management as it relates to “Principles & Practices for Nonprofit Excellence in Colorado.”

About the Presenter: John is a seasoned nonprofit professional with over sixteen years of accounting, operations and strategic planning experience. John holds a BA in Business Administration from Alma College and is a certified QuickBooks Pro Advisor. John also draws on advanced leadership experience, currently sitting on Library People of Colorado’s board.

Sharon holds a BS in Nonprofit Accounting from Metro State College of Denver. She is a dedicated nonprofit advocate and recently co-authored the Association’s “Principles & Practices for Nonprofit Excellence in Colorado-Second Edition”. Sharon has presented on topics including: nonprofit governance, financial management, and the Common Grant Report.
Location: Fooothills United Way – 1285 Cimarron Drive, Suite 101 Lafayette, Colorado 80026

Pricing:
Employees of organizations in Boulder and Broomfield and Colorado Nonprofit Association members are eligible for discounted rates on this program.

Colorado Nonprofit Association Member Nonmember
Boulder/Broomfield nonprofit $20 $30
Nonprofit outside of Boulder/Broomfield $55 $70

Trusted Voices

Nonprofits and Colorado’s Fiscal Future

Fiscal Education Network

Tuesday, November 29, 2011 : 2:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.

Presented by: John Creighton

Proposition 103’s defeat serves as another example of the challenging budget debates that dominate everyday news stories. Public conversations on these issues are often divisive. Our state and our nation face the challenge of coming together for common solutions. How do we improve the tone of our public conversations and findconstructive solutions to these challenging public policy issues?

We invite you to a Fiscal Education Network Train the Trainers session led by John Creighton on November 29 from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. Participants will take away knowledge of strategies for leading conversations with your community on important issues like these. Nonprofits have a view of both the concerns most important to their constituents and the day-to-day realities of how government programs function and impact those constituents. By stepping forward and sharing your special knowledge, you can help solve problems.

This session has already occurred email andrew lindstad at alindstad@coloradononprofits.org to receive the materials

Proposition 103’s Defeat

What Does it Mean for Colorado Nonprofits and Our State’s Future?

Fiscal Education Network

Last week, the people of Colorado had an opportunity to tell lawmakers what they value in public services to their communities. Voters in Colorado declined to increase state revenues to increase funding for public education. Although this means that individuals and businesses will not pay higher income and sales tax rates, this also means public education will continue to face significant budget challenges.

Proposition 103 is another example of the challenging budget debates that dominate everyday news stories. Public conversations on these issues are often divisive. Our state and our nation face the challenge of coming together for common solutions. How do we improve the tone of our public conversations and find constructive solutions to these challenging public policy issues?

We invite you to a FREE informational webinar on November 17 from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. Participants will take away knowledge of the University of Denver’s Economic Futures Panel report, Financing Colorado’s Future: An Analysis of the Fiscal Sustainability of State Government. This report examines the long term financial viability of Colorado’s state government particularly in funding for K-12 Education, Medicaid, and Corrections. Join us for a value-based discussion of this report with a member of the panel.

As trusted, nonpartisan voices, nonprofit organizations are well positioned to lead conversationson such critical issues. Because Colorado voters decidemany of the most significant policy questions, nonprofits can play an important role in encouraging voter participation in these discussions.

Check back later to find a recording of this webinar

Colorado Nonprofit Association (Video)

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For more than 26 years Colorado Nonprofit Association has helped nonprofits make Colorado a better place to live. Colorado Nonprofit Association is a statewide membership coalition of organizations who are more efficient, more effective because of the work of Colorado Nonprofit Association. Our trainings, support and advocacy support nonprofits throughout the state.

Our universal goal – of making Colorado and the world a better place, to affect change, to help those around us, truly has strength in our coming together. The strength of many is so much more than just a few.

Program Evaluation: Get Data You Really Need

Principles and Practices

Tuesday, November 15, 2011 : 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Presented by: Maggie Miller, Principal, Maggie Miller Consulting

Evaluation can help you improve your existing programs, communicate outcomes to funders and donors, and prepare you for your next grant application. This session will start with the principles & practices of nonprofit evaluation including identifying what needs to be measured, how to do it and what to do with your data. The focus will then shift to what makes a great survey and how to gather the information you want from key constituencies.

  • Work through the principles & practices of program evaluation
  • Focus on creating great surveys

Location: Special Transit – 2855 N. 63rd St. Boulder, Colorado 80301

Pricing:
Employees of organizations in Boulder and Broomfield and Colorado Nonprofit Association members are eligible for discounted rates on this program.

Colorado Nonprofit Association Member Nonmember
Boulder/Broomfield nonprofit $20 $30
Nonprofit outside of Boulder/Broomfield $55 $70

Member Benefit Review

Webinar

Thursday, November 10, 2011 : 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Presented by: Gerry Rasel

Members of the Colorado Nonprofit Association are entitled to a number of benefits including group purchasing discounts, a myriad of free online services, discounts on exciting leadership opportunities, and much more! The Association is hosting a free Member Benefit Review webinar. It is a great opportunity to learn all the benefits of membership from the comfort of your desk!

Location: Webinar

American Jobs Act of 2011

Colorado Nonprofit Association Opposes Changes that Weaken the Charitable Deduction and Encourages Equal Benefits for Nonprofits

On Sept. 20, Colorado Nonprofit Association sent a letter to Colorado’s members of Congress encouraging them to oppose changes that weaken the charitable deduction and to ensure nonprofit employers benefit equally from the American Jobs Act of 2011.

The White House has proposed limiting itemized deductions to 28 percent for taxpayers earning $200,000 and up. Since tax incentives are important for motivating charitable giving by wealthier donors who itemize their deductions, this change would reduce charitable giving and revenues needed for nonprofits to create more jobs and increase wages.
While the American Jobs Act contains valuable incentives to help employers create jobs, nonprofits would enjoy the same benefits as other small businesses for most, but not all of the provisions of the legislation. The letter also encourages Colorado’s members of Congress to ensure that nonprofits benefit equally.

  • Click here to read the Sept. 20 letter (PDF).
  • Click here to read a summary of the effect of the American Jobs Act on nonprofits from Independent Sector.
  • Click here to read the White House summary of how the American Jobs Act of 2011 impacts Colorado (PDF).
  • Click here to view Independent Sector’s ad in the July 18 issue of POLITICO on the charitable deduction, which Colorado Nonprofit Association signed (PDF).

For more information on federal discussions of the charitable deduction:

  • Click here to read the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report on the charitable deduction(PDF).
  • Click here to read Independent Sector’s analysis of the CBO report (PDF).

Colorado Charitable Contribution Subtraction for Non-Itemizers

Colorado taxpayers who make charitable contributions and do not itemize their deductions on federal returns may still subtract part of these contributions from state income taxes. Non-itemizing taxpayers can subtract amounts exceeding $500 in a year from their state tax liability.

Click here here for the Colorado Department of Revenue guide to the charitable contributions subtraction (PDF).

Understanding Giving

Beliefs & Behaviors of Colorado’s Donors

A report of the Colorado Generosity Project

Colorado Nonprofit Association has completed extensive new research on Coloradans’ values, attitudes, and beliefs about charitable giving and nonprofits, and on the causes, connections, and actions that lead to making a donation. The study includes a wealth of information about how donors make decisions to give to particular causes and organizations and how they act out those decisions, combined with demographic data such as gender, age, education, income, and trends among different regions of Colorado.

Downloads

Full report: Understanding Giving: Beliefs & Behaviors of Colorado’s Donors
Press release
Summary and key points

Understanding Giving is based on several different research projects: a review of communications campaigns that other groups conducted to increase charitable giving; a review and meta-analysis of existing Colorado and national research about donor behavior; a statewide telephone survey which gathered quantitative opinion research from a random, statistically significant sampling of Colorado residents; and a series of six focus groups which gathered qualitative opinion research from communities around Colorado.

Phone Survey: Detailed Reports

Full detailed report
Regional report: Denver Metropolitan area
Regional report: Northern Colorado
Regional report: Southern Colorado
Regional report: Central Colorado
Regional report: Western Colorado

Focused Topic Reports

Through a generous grant by the Gill Foundation we are able to provide additional reports that go in depth on some topics briefly covered by our 2011 giving study.

Understanding Giving: Across Generations
This report explores the similarities and differences in giving patterns among Colorado donors of different ages.

Understanding Giving: Income Differences
This report compares giving patterns across three income groups.

Understanding Giving: Men, Women, and Charity
In this article, we look more deeply at what our research taught us about differences between men and women in perceptions of nonprofits and attitudes about giving.

Jobs Outlook Positive in Colorado

View the Video

KUSA – The U.S. added jobs at a higher rate than many economists thought during the month of July – 117,000 jobs opened up last month dropping the nation’s unemployment rate from 9.2 to 9.1 percent.

In Colorado, unemployment stands at 8.5 percent.

July’s unemployment numbers won’t come out for two more weeks, but with the week of uncertainty in the markets, Colorado’s chief economist remained positive about the outlook.

“We have avoided a blow to our psyche by not having worse national news,” Chief Economist Alex Hall said of Friday’s national jobs numbers. “Even though the July estimate was pretty weak, I was glad to see that we were not going into a consistent pattern of revising [jobs numbers] downward,” she said.

While there are still millions of people unemployed nationwide,employers are creating and opening positions.

The Integer Group, a brand marketing and retail promotion company, has at least 35 jobs open in Lakewood.

“Do I get hundreds of people applying for them? I absolutely do,” said Integer Group Recruiter Deborah Glynn.

Yet Glynn remained positive about her company’s future employment opportunities.

“There are things out there, there really are,” she said.

Glynn knows because she was just hired two weeks ago.

“I was very fortunate, and I’m not so out of touch that I think everybody can just land something tomorrow,” she said. “But really, I think that people are optimistic, I think companies are optimistic.”

With more jobs to offer today, lots of candidates are competing, as well.

“You’ve got to figure out a way to set yourself apart from the other couple hundred per job resumes you might get,” said Integer Group Human Relations Group Director Tracy Tobin.

While many candidates still focus on the private sector, there are plenty turning to non-profits.

The Colorado Non-Profit Association looks to its online jobs board for positive statistics about employment in Colorado.

Employers have posted 34 percent more jobs than they did at this time last year.

“We’re on pace now for about 4,000 jobs in 2011,” said President and CEO Renny Fagan of the association’s jobs board. “I think whenever any organization is hiring, they are thinking positively about being able to fund that position and maintain the funding for that position.”

There is still a long way to go to make up for more than eight million positions lost nationwide during the recession.

“Of course what we want to see is 200,000 more month to month,” Colorado Chief Economist Alex Hall said about the nationwide jobs numbers.

We will know more about Colorado’s numbers in about two weeks, she said, when unemployment figures are released.

(KUSA-TV © 2011 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)