Not-for-profit organizations are different from for-profit businesses in many vital ways. One of the most crucial differences is that under Section 501(c)(3), Sec. 501(c)(7) and other provisions, nonprofits are tax-exempt. But your tax-exempt status is fragile.
Many not-for-profits are just starting to emerge from one of the most challenging environments in recent memory due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Even if your organization is in good shape, don’t get too comfortable.
According to the Nonprofit Times, only 41% of not-for-profits have whistleblower policies. Perhaps nonprofit leaders believe their organizations are too small or collegial to worry about illicit activities — let alone people reporting them.
No one needs to tell nonprofit organizations how tough the past year has been. According to the John Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies, 7.7% of not-for-profit workers — nearly one million people — lost their jobs between February 2020 and January 2021.
How committed is your not-for-profit organization to benchmarking? Perhaps you think it makes sense in the for-profit sphere, but not as much for charities and other nonprofits. If so, you’re probably missing out on benefits — including long-term sustainability.
Events of the past year put a dent in many not-for-profit’s reserves. Perhaps you tapped this stash to buy personal protective equipment or to pay staffers’ salaries when your budget no longer proved adequate.
Thousands of not-for-profit organizations fall victim to embezzlement schemes every year — some even losing millions of dollars. But losses go beyond actual dollar amounts. The hit to a group’s reputation may scare off donors, grantmakers and other supporters.
Many organizations get stuck in procedural ruts because it’s easier in the short term to continue doing things the way they’ve always been done. But it generally pays to regularly review your not-for-profit’s accounting function for inefficiencies and oversight gaps.
If your not-for-profit has lost financial support during the pandemic, you may be looking for ways to raise new revenue. But if your proposed solution is a side business, be careful.
Many not-for-profits have been too busy trying to stay afloat to put a lot of resources and energy into public relations. But as the new year begins, you might start thinking about how you’ll promote your organization, mission and programming in 2021. Here are five suggestions: