In-Kind Contributions – from “Mission Minded” DWD blog

Carrie Minnich (2) (576x800)Carrie Minnich, CPA recently posted about in-kind contributions for Mission Minded, Dulin, Ward & DeWald, Inc.’s nonprofit blog.

Bottom line – record on your financials the fair market value for most gifts, fund raising items, facilities, and services. Carrie goes into details on her blog with some of the exceptions to the rules. She also notes that it is important to record all contributions, even if not required for reporting on financials.

Read Carrie’s full blog post here.

Nonprofits in the Trump Administration

nonprofitVarious articles from the Nonprofit Times and Chronicle of Philanthropy have recently been published about nonprofits under the Trump administration.  With the new 45th president taking office in two days, there will be changes. No matter your political bent, we should be informed and start preparing for how a new administration may affect the nonprofit sector. In this post, we lay out some of Trump’s high priorities and what it means for organizations.

Tax reform

Issue # 1 – There is a proposal to increase the standard deduction. This means that this will “…[reduce] the number of individuals able to file itemized tax returns.” The impact could “…decrease charitable giving because it reduces the number of itemizers, but there are also assumptions that – with an improved economy – giving would go up…” (Segedin).

Issue # 2 – Another proposal is to reduce the tax break for charitable contributions. Currently, it is at 39.6% rate and could potentially be reduced to 33% and limit the tax credit deductions to $200,000 per couple.  (Clolery and Hrywna).

IRS overhaul

There has been continued conversation about improving transparency. This has come from media covering and reporting the various issues with certain nonprofits misappropriating funds or tainted donations. About a year ago, there was proposed federal regulation that nonprofits would need to collect and report major donor contributions. However, it was withdrawn. Now, it could potentially be brought up again by General Kamala Harris (who recently won the California’s Senate seat and was the person spearheading appeals for the “Donee Report”).  Robert Waldman, attorney and Business Division Chair of Venable, LLP, advice is to make sure operations are in order (Clolery and Hrywna).

Cuts in Federal Funding

Overall, there is a concern that cuts in federal funding will impact social services. One particular funding source, Social Service Block Grant, might be cut or even eliminated. Currently, the grant is $1.5 billion. Reduction of this grant would affect programs that support children, mental health, and aging populations.

Clolery, Paul and Mark Hrywna. “Budget Cuts Might Hit Less Obvious Social Services.” The Nonprofit Times, 1 January 2017.

Segedin, Andy. “Nonprofits And President Trump’s First 100 Days.” The Nonprofit Times, 3 January 2017, Accessed 16 January 2017.

New Books on Leadership and Development

workbookThe Fruition Coalition Board Development Workbook demystifies the processes of board recruitment, onboarding, and succession so that all organizations are able to successfully cultivate dedicated, educated, energized, and organized board members. This book can be used by executive directors, board officers, and individual members of the board of directors to explore and clarify the many aspects of organizational leadership and governance. It can be used as a mechanism to provoke discussion and as a guideline for organization and planning. This book provides comprehensive information, yet is flexible enough to be applicable to nonprofit organizations and boards of directors of all sizes and types.


leadershipValuable insights gleaned from the stories of global Leaders throughout history are the backdrop for behaviorist and brain expert Lynette Louise as she busts Leadership myths and uncovers The Seven Senses of Leadership. With clearly explained brain science Lynette shares solid advice on building and/or refining your Leadership Sensibilities. Unique and brilliant, The Seven Senses of Leadership: The Brain Broad’s Guide to Leadership Sensibilities, helps readers discover, recognize and perfect their Leadership Sensibilities while also giving them the tools and expertise to choose their own Leaders with educated purpose.


leadWritten for new and experienced social services managers and supervisors alike, Responsive Leadership in Social Services by Stephen de Groot provides the practical tools, strategies, and insights to inspire, motivate, and engage employees and staff. Along with over 100 strategies and two simple tools–the Key Performance Motivators Scale (KPMS) and the Preferred Leadership Profile (PLP)–a wealth of practice wisdom, scholarship, and evidence-based research is presented to demonstrate the role of effective leadership and how it achieves positive client outcomes.


leanLean is not an acronym. It’s the name for a method used to streamline. Nonprofit organizations have unique challenges. We all know the first one: the reliance on donations and outside funding. This funding can fluctuate depending on the mood of the economy. In the recession of 2008, funds shrunk, some dried up, and many nonprofit organizations were forced to cut mission-critical programs. It still happens today. Lean provides an alternative. The second challenge is hardly recognized: although staff and volunteers are valued for their passion, there is a long-held belief that this is sufficient to run an organization. But not in today’s climate. Passion is great, but complemented with “management acumen”…that’s even greater. Management acumen isn’t just for managers…it’s for everyone. It really means ‘know-how’…know-how about solving a problem, know-how about seeing the big picture, know-how about what tool to use. Lean builds management acumen by using improvement teams made up of ordinary workers who know the problems first-hand, and now they have a forum and know-how to solve them.


Short is Not Sweet

Kelly UpdikeA Fundraiser’s Journey

Kelly Updike for PCNRC

Every January I have to arrive early at fitness class.

This is because I need to stake out my favorite spot – near the back, not in front of the mirrors – because most of the room is filled with ladies who have made New Year’s resolutions.

By February I don’t have to get there early any more.

Ouch. Four short weeks and that resolution went ppfffttt for at least 30 people.

My own resolutions were often as short-lived. Lately, I haven’t even bothered thinking about resolutions, let alone making them.

How to break the cycle? Well, my New Year’s resolution is going to be something that I can actually enjoy and thus want to sustain: I’m going to set 12 appointments, averaging one per month, with someone I don’t know very well and admire greatly for his or her work in the community.

Because I’m a shy person (seriously!) who also is a bit socially awkward (my sense of humor aligns well with 12-year-olds), this is a stretch for me personally. Which qualifies this resolution as a growth opportunity. And because calendars quickly go to awfully full, I will need to exert some discipline to schedule each meeting.

I’m motivated to hear more from folks who are quietly changing our world, from health services to sports and leisure. Let me know if you want to have coffee or have ideas on another great person to meet. And I hope to share with you what I learn about fundraising from these sessions.

The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Embassy or the PCNRC.

Identity Differences in Donations

There are many factors that affect a donor’s decision to give to a nonprofit. A study published in the Journal of Marketing Research examined the way a donor’s social identification and its relationship to the social identification of previous donors affects the likelihood of donation.

What happens when a potential donor learns about previous contributions? Are potential donors more likely to give when they know the identity of those who have given in the past?

  • During an on-air funding drive for a radio station some callers were told that the person before them of a different gender gave $240 while other callers were told that the person before them of the same gender gave $240. Callers that were told that the person before them of the same gender gave money were more likely to donate.
  • When potential donors find out the contributions of previous donors, their contributions are about $20 more than if they did not find out the contributions of previous donors.

How can this information be applied to the way your organization does fundraising?

  • donateWhen speaking with potential donors, reference the contributions of past donors making sure to include how their identities are similar.
  • When sending fundraising letters, include information about the identities of those who have contributed in the past so potential donors feel a connection to the cause through their social identities.
  • When referencing past donors, remember not to give any information that would give away the exact identity the donors to others. Give demographic information or personal testimony, but do not give names or exact details unless you have permission to do so.

Do you already include information about past contributions when requesting donations? How will this information impact the way you do fundraising in the future?


Jen Shang, Americus Reed II and Rachel Croson. “Identity Congruency Effects on Donations”. Journal of Marketing Research.

501(c)s: A Breakdown of the Many Types

taxThe most common 501(c) is the 501(c)3, but do you know the other types of nonprofits? Click here for a breakdown of the different 501(c)s as defined by the IRS.

With tax season, below is the IRS’s “quick check” whether you can deduct a contribution.

Deductible as Charitable Contributions Not Deductible As Charitable Contributions
Money or property you give to: Money or property you give to:
  • Churches, synagogues, temples, mosques, and other religious organizations
  • Civic leagues, social and sports clubs, labor unions, and chambers of commerce
  • Federal, state, and local governments, if your contribution is solely for public purposes
  • Foreign organizations (except certain Canadian, Israeli, and Mexican charities)
  • Nonprofit schools or hospitals
  • Groups that are run for personal profit
  • The Salvation Army, American Red Cross, CARE, Goodwill Industries, United Way, Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of America, Boys and Girl Clubs of America
  • Groups whose purpose is to lobby for law changes
  • War veterans’ groups
  • Homeowners’ associations
Expenses paid for a student living with you, sponsored by a qualified organization
  • Individuals
Out of pocket expenses when you serve a qualified organization as a volunteer
  • Political groups or candidates for public office
Cost of raffle, bingo, or lottery tickets
Dues, fees, or bills paid to country clubs, lodges, fraternal orders, or similar groups
Value of your time or services
Value of blood given to a blood bank


*Information for this post was collected directly from the IRS website and their publications. To read the full IRS publications about nonprofits click on the following titles: Publication 526 and Publication 557.

“I Don’t Know Quite How to Say This”: The Language of Strategy – Mike Stone Impact Strategies

strategyWhat does the word ‘strategy’ mean? Mike Stone addresses the different meanings around the word in a past blog post on his Impact Strategies website.

Is it a means to an end like developing strategies? Or the desired end such as the achievement of a strategic position? As Mike Stone points out, we even throw in other concepts into the mix – mission, vision, and/or impact.

Below is his definition of strategy and what it means:

The strategy conveys how your organization believes it can achieve the greatest mission impact in the most sustainable manner. To return to the words of Michael Porter, strategy is mostly about deciding what you will not do, thereby focusing attention and resources on those activities with the greatest mission value.

Dr. Stone’s definition does bring clarity to the word ‘strategy.’ However, how is ‘mission impact’ defined?

The mission impact describes the demonstrable changes that will result from the enactment of the strategy. Said another way, the impact statement operationalizes the mission by highlighting specific changes that occur at the client or participant level.

Got it?!

To read Mike Stone’s full blog post, click here.