403(b) Pre-Approved Retirement Plans

The IRS has recently updated its list of pre-approved retirement irs symbolplans that have received an IRS favorable opinion or advisory letter. This means that the IRS has determined that the plan satisfies the requirements of the Internal Revenue Code Section 403(b).Only certain tax-exempt employers are eligible to sponsor an Internal Revenue Code Section 403(b).  Among those employers which may sponsor such a plan are:

  • Tax-exempt organizations established under IRC 501(c)(3)
  • Public school systems
  • Certain ministers:
    • Employed by a 501(c)(3) organization
    • Self-employed
    • Ministers not employed by a 501(c)(3) organization. but functioning as a minister in their dai8ly responsibilities with their employer.

Choosing a pre-approved plan, may be beneficial to eligible employers over individually designed plans by costing less, knowing that it meets legal requirements and will make necessary updates for you.

Additional resources and information:

Income Inequality in Nonprofits

2016-03-30 09.09.10
Amanda Neumann

Economic inequality is a major problem. There are studies upon studies and articles upon articles that discuss the different facets of economic inequality.

Income inequality, one type of economic inequality, refers to the extent to which income (not necessarily wealth) is distributed in an uneven manner among a population.

How can nonprofit organizations help solve income inequality from within?

Nonprofit Quarterly published an article centered on how nonprofits can, at the very least, avoid mirroring practices that perpetuate inequality.

  1. Nonprofit employees should be paid a livable wage, sufficient to afford adequate shelter, food, and the other necessities of life.
  2. Executive compensation should be reasonable and proportionate within the organization’s structure.
  3. Nonprofits should consider capping their pay and publishing their pay ratios.
  4. The civic voice of a nonprofit organization should be applied broadly to advance the organization’s mission and the people it serves, not narrowly used to protect its parochial interests in its own program and revenues.
  5. Governance responsibilities should be broadly shared, not closely held, by recruiting board members who represent the organization’s constituents.
  6. Each organization should assess the ethnic and racial diversity in its leadership as well as elsewhere inside the organization.
  7. Each organization should assess its own equality footprint to examine whether the net effect of its actions increases, decreases, or has no effect on the equality of conditions.

When considering economic inequality, it is important to remember that all inequality is connected. The nonprofit sector must stand to keep equality as a core principle and organizations must take initiative to ensure they do not contribute to, or exemplify, the problem of income inequality.

Questions to Consider:

Is your organization ensuring that all employees are being paid a livable wage that is commensurate with their duties?

Does your organization take the cost of emotional labor into consideration?

Does your organization have pay transparency?

Does your organization have a way to measure its commitment to equality?

Sources & Resources
Not Adding to the Problem: Seven Ways Your Nonprofit Can Avoid Mirroring Practices That Perpetuate Inequality via Nonprofit Quarterly
Fighting Income Inequality Should Be Top Nonprofit Priority via The Chronicle of Philanthropy
Economic Inequality: It’s Far Worse Than You Think via Scientific American
20 Facts About U.S. Inequality that Everyone Should Know via Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality

23rd @ 4pm: Performance Reviews

Is your nonprofit too small to have a human resources department?

perfreviewSmall nonprofits have limited staff and some of those wear multiple hats so adding HR responsibilities to their duties may mean performance reviews aren’t a top priority.  Part of the difficulty is that nonprofit managers simply don’t have the will to perform unpleasant tasks, like telling someone in their employ how poorly they are doing.

Performance reviews are tough and time consuming, but postponing until a crisis occurs is problematic. Marilynn Fauth will provide resources and examples of the employee assessment process which you may find useful in your nonprofit.

Topics to be covered:

  • Where to find federal and state labor laws;
  • record keeping obligations from the EEOC;
  • the value of self-evaluation forms;
  • elements of a successful assessment process;
  • what questions are appropriate and
  • the best practices in nonprofit HR.

Come to this information session to learn and share your experiences with your nonprofit colleagues! Register for this free program here.

23rd @ 4pm programs are held on the 23rd of every month where the date falls during the work week. They are intended to introduce information in an informal setting in one hour or less and are perfect forums for networking with, and learning from, others in the sector.

Nonprofit Questions Answered by “Rita” and “Dr. Conflict”

Have you ever looked at the “Ask Rita” and “Dr. Conflict” archives on the Blue Avocado and Nonprofit Quarterly websites, respectively? We at PCNRC often reference these national publications. Both sites are similar in structure: a question marknonprofit professional can submit a question to the website involving some sort of workplace conflict or difficulty. Then, the question might be answered by “Rita” or “Dr. Conflict”!

“Ask Rita”

Blue Avocado’s “Ask Rita” feature leans more toward the legal side. If you browse the archives, you’ll find questions about job descriptions, volunteer insurance, performance evaluations, and much more! The “Rita” feature is actually written by three HR attorneys, so the answers state things in clear legal terms.

My favorite “Ask Rita” article? “Firing Someone for Slamming Their Nonprofit Employer on Social Media: Legal Update.” Spoiler Alert: The answer is more complicated than you might think.

“Dr. Conflict”

Nonprofit Quarterly’s opinion feature called “Dr. Conflict” is written by Mark Light, MBA, PhD. A lot of the questions in the “Dr. Conflict” feature concern board difficulties, as well as personnel problems, such as office bullies.

As is the case with “Ask Rita,” it’s worth your time to browse the archives. Who knows? Maybe you’ll stumble upon a question you can relate to, and perhaps you’ll find “Dr. Conflict’s” answer helpful for your own situation.

My favorite “Dr. Conflict” article? “About That %$@# Troublemaking Board Member…

Federal Mileage Rate Change– from DWD “Mission-Minded” blog

Carrie Minnich (2) (576x800)Carrie Minnich, CPA at Dulin, Ward & DeWald Inc. recently posted about federal mileage rate change. The IRS recently released the federal mileage rates for 2016. Both the per mile rate for business and medical or moving purposes decreased. The per mile rate for charitable purposes stayed the same.

2016 rates are as follows:

54 cents per mile for business

19 cents per mile for medical or moving purposes

14 cents per mile for charitable purposes

To see Carrie’s post, click here.

Volunteer Management Book Review

Volunteerism, a word we know well from the United We Serve campaign, working in the nonprofit sector, or hearing those that came before us encourage charity. People who give their time are crucial to organizations and yet not all of us have the tools or experience to manage volunteers.

Have no fear, a book is near! We have resources that could potentially help you. I recommend a specific circulating book – Nancy Sakaduski’s Managing Volunteers: How to Maximize Your Most Valuable Resource. The book begins with the 10 Commandments of Good Volunteer Management. My top favorite are (1) Do unto volunteers as you would have them do unto you, (2) Thou shalt not kill enthusiasm, and (3) Thou shalt not forget that there is more than one way to skin a cat.

Sakaduski’s book is a comprehensive look at everything to do with volunteer management. The book is 198 pages and 40 some pages are website references, end notes, and an index. The author does well in addressing recruitment, selection, training, matching the volunteer to a task, retention, awarding, policies, and even a whole chapter on potential problems (The Over-Promiser or The Bulletproof type volunteers).

I do like Sakaduski’s use of quotes throughout the book such as:managing volunteers book

  • “Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” – Vince Lombardi
  • “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” – Mahatma Gandhi.

I ponder the significance of the quotes’ meaning and it gives me a sense of what direction the author will take in that particular section. Another thing that is well done in this book is the end of chapter – “Questions to Get You Started.”

What could you do to create a better sense of empowerment for the volunteers?

  • Are there ways you might create more challenging assignments for motivated volunteers?
  • Do you have policies in place to cover areas of risk and liability?

Sometimes we need a little prompt to get going, whether it’s our first time or needing a fresh outlook.  The questions might be helpful  to ask your Board of Directors or other staff members and begin a dialogue.

*This book is available for check out at the Allen County Public Library. It is shelved at the Paul Clarke Nonprofit Resource Center. Call number 302.14 D33M or click here to view the book record.