4 Things To Consider Before Opening Your Wallet- A Lesson in Wise Giving

Nonprofit Advice - Giving Cash Donations

In 2014, Americans hit an all-time high of charitable contributions. More than $350 billion dollars were given over the course of the year, from pennies dropped into jars to checks written in generous form. As a county, we should feel proud of our increase in attention, both in time and in money, to problems and issues in our world, and better yet, that we are taking action to engage in making a difference.

The world today, though, is not always as honest and pure as we would hope. When making a donation, most of us assume- and understandably so- that the charity collecting donations or the person raising funds for a cause are going to be responsible and efficient with our contribution. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Just recently, the FTC and states ruled to dissolve two fraudulent charities after they had swindled donors and broken trust with the public. It happens all too often.

Trust and transparency are important to keep in mind whenever making any sort of donation, but these concepts become particularly important to those donors who may make large or recurring donations. So, how can you be sure that your generous donation is going to an organization that can be trusted? How can you be sure that will make the most of every dollar in order to achieve the biggest impact?

Don’t go it alone – go to the experts. BBB Wise Giving Alliance (BBB WGA) is a standards-based charity evaluator that works to monitor and evaluate charities so you don’t have to. Based on 20 standards, ranging from charity governance, effectiveness reporting, finances, fundraising, appeal accuracy, and more, the BBB WGA evaluates more than 1,300 national charities. It is the mission of the BBB WGA to help donors making smart giving choices, ensuring their donation is being placed into trusted hands.

Before making your next donation, big or small, consider these:

  1. Research your chosen charity. Part of BBB WGA’s mission is to provide donors with free, comprehensive reports that go beyond a financial report. BBB WGA monitors every aspect of a charity to make sure the organization is functioning honestly and transparently. The reports include the BBB WGA 20 Standards, and offer a threshold score for each standard, allowing you to make an educated decision as to whether or not proceed with your donation.
  2. Resist pressure to give on the spot. Whether it be a telemarketer, door-to-door solicitor, or ask at a fundraising gala, resist giving a donation on the spot before gathering all the details to make a wise giving choice.
  3. Be wary of heart-wrenching appeals. Less reputable charities may try to use emotional appeals to gain your dollar. What truly matters is what the charity is doing to help.
  4. Learn more about general giving habits and tips. Donors should feel confident in their donation and in their chosen charity. Check out tips on give.org and look for our tri-yearly issues of the Wise Giving Guide.

 

About BBB Wise Giving Alliance:
BBB Wise Giving Alliance (BBB WGA) is a standards-based charity evaluator that seeks to verify the trustworthiness of nationally-soliciting charities by completing rigorous evaluations based on 20 holistic standards that address charity governance, effectiveness reporting, finances, fundraising, appeal accuracy, and other issues. National charity reports are produced by the BBB WGA and local charity reports are produced by local Better Business Bureaus – all reports are available at Give.org. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter at @bbbgive  for more wise giving tips and updates.

 




Discounts for Nonprofits Shipping Internationally

Nonprofits that can present a 501c3 either emailed, faxed  or in person now can receive discount shipping rates when shipping internationally with InXpress, DHL’s only global sales partner.

International Shipping Discounts for NonprofitsWith two worldwide headquarters in Walnut CA United States (340 S Lemon Ave #8813, Walnut CA 91789) and Maidstone Kent, United Kingdom (2 Martin Court, Unit 1 Hempstead, Gillingham Kent ME7 3SD) InXpress can offer discounts to companies shipping internationally, from small to large businesses and organizations.

Known for competitive rates, and reliability even beating out such other major couriers like FedEx and UPS pricing for business, shipping  with DHL’s Partner InXpress are now taking it one step further, giving extra discounts to Nonprofits.

Nonprofit organizations as well as growing businesses can expect to save at least 40% off their annual courier costs with InXpress. In today’s market these savings are a considerable amount of money.

Steve Frost Director of Los Angeles in the United States, “With our busy schedules it is hard to find time to volunteer for the vast number of amazing nonprofits that do philanthropy work around the world. We can’t be in twenty places at once and felt if our company gave nonprofits a discount we can help 1000s of charities all at the same time. Furthermore InXpress understand that charities and businesses cannot afford to waste money by unexpected expenses by late, missing or broken shipments thus we had to figure out a solution that worked for these companies”

A DHL Express article in 2011 stated that DHL are the undisputed market leaders in figures and employees. By choosing  a courier who has a much higher reliability rate such as DHL with InXpress you can have peace of mind that your items will make it there safely to their destination.

If you are an organization or business and would like further information about shipping rates please call Steve Frost Phone: 213 234 4278 or Mobile 949 572 0525. Or write to InXpress 340 S Lemon Ave, #8813 Walnut CA 91789. 
Discounts for Nonprofits Shipping Internationally

Nonprofit Discounts

Ways to be Successful at your Next Nonprofit Conference

Conference TipsThere are a whole host of nonprofit conferences coming up, and if you plan on attending any of them, you have to be prepared.

Some conferences are smaller affairs that host only a hundred people. Others are massive, multi-day extravaganzas with multiple events going on from morning to night.

Both types of conference have their merits, and you and your nonprofit team can benefit from attending the option that fits your particular needs. Whether you want to brush up on your fundraising strategies or  learn how to more effectively use social media to communicate with donors and volunteers, there is a conference out there for you!

Here are ways to be successful before, during, and after you attend a nonprofit conference next year.

Before

Register Early

Many conferences have strict deadlines and offer discounts the earlier you register. The sooner you can get your foot in the door and reserve your spot for an event, the better!

Figure out who’s going

You probably don’t need to (and shouldn’t!) bring your entire staff to a conference. Once you’ve determined which event you’re going to and how much it costs per person, decide who would benefit most from attending. If the conference is for seasoned professionals, it’s probably not a good idea to bring the office intern along.

Use social media

Many conferences have a dedicated Twitter handle, a hashtag, an Instagram account, or a Facebook page. Connect with other conference attendees on these platforms to ask questions and get more info. This is especially helpful if you’ve never been to a conference before. You can ask others for advice on anything from dress code to how to prepare for networking events to help you get ready for the conference.

During

Be engaged and alert

A lot of the sessions at these conferences start early in the morning. Don’t hit the snooze button and miss out on valuable information! Take notes and ask questions during sessions and events. Obviously, don’t spread yourself too thin, but try to absorb as much as you can.

Talk to vendors at the expo

Many conferences offer an expo hall that plays host to vendors marketing their products and services to nonprofits. While it’s tempting to just wander around and take advantage of the free swag and literature that the vendors offer, take the time to stop and talk to a few of them. They might be selling something that your nonprofit could benefit from.

Use your business cards

When you find someone that you connect with, give them a way to get in touch with you later. Handing out your business cards can help you establish meaningful relationships with other nonprofit professionals and expand your network.

Attend the optional events

After a long day of sitting and listening to speakers, your first thought might be to retreat to your hotel room and catch up on your favorite TV show. Resist the temptation to leave quickly and stick around for some of the optional, less formal networking events. These can be a great way to meet new people and talk about the earlier sessions.

After

Keep in touch

Stay connected with the conference attendees and vendors on social media and through email. Keeping in touch with the people you meet at nonprofit conferences can lead to innovative ideas and strategies in the future. They might be able to help you brainstorm your next fundraising event or give you great donor acquisition tips.

Prepare for next year

Nearly all nonprofit conferences are annual or bi-annual. If you had a particularly good time, make plans to go to the next one. Your nonprofit can only benefit from all of the good ideas and information that these conferences afford.

Speak at a conference

If you’re known as the “fundraising expert” or the “social media guru” at your organization, it might be worthwhile to sign up to speak at a conference the next time you attend one. The application process differs from event to event, but if you’re passionate about sharing your knowledge with other nonprofit professionals, warm up those vocal chords and sign up to be on the other side of the podium.

Conclusion 
Nonprofit conferences have endless advantages, and you and your nonprofit team should definitely consider attending one soon. Whether you go a couple cities over or halfway across the country, attending a conference and getting out of the office can help you find a fresh perspective on your job and your organization’s strategies.

 

 

 

Donating to Your Bottom Line: Giving Excess Inventory to Charity Helps Others & Makes Business Sense

Being charitable and being profitable do not have to be mutually exclusive. That’s what companies are finding by turning their excess inventory into donations that benefit charitable groups in their communities and beyond.

donations made to qualified charities are tax deductibleFor wholesalers, retailers and distributors, finding the best way to move unprofitable stock remains a challenge. They can discount or liquidate products, but that eats into profits and devalues their brand. What many savvy companies are doing instead is turning to product philanthropy—donating unwanted stock to charity. The move gets unwanted inventory off the shelves while also earning the company a healthy tax deduction.

Companies that use a gifts-in-kind organization, a nonprofit that acts as a go-between for corporate product donations and nonprofits, can streamline the whole donation process. With a gifts-in-kind group, employees don’t have to spend time screening charities to find the right fit. The gifts-in-kind group does that for them.

Using a Gifts-in-Kind Group

This is how it works. A corporation contacts a gifts-in-kind organization about donating products. Usually the company will start by completing some initial paperwork. After that corporation becomes a recognized donor, it can contact the gifts-in-kind organization whenever it wants to dispose of excess inventory. Once the gifts-in-kind group approves the donation, the company ships it to a designated location where workers will sort and catalog it. In turn, when member charities need items, they browse through a catalog of products donated by member companies and choose what they want.

The donor company will receive proper tax documentation when they make their initial donation. Once those products have been distributed, the gifts-in-kind organization will send additional documentation identifying the specific charities that received the company’s products.

Surprisingly Big Benefits

It’s no surprise that donations made to qualified charities are tax deductible. What business people may find surprising is that if their company is a C Corp, they can receive a federal tax deduction equal to up to twice the cost of the donated products. According to IRC Section 170(e)(3):

Deductions are equal to the cost of the inventory donated, plus half the difference between the cost and fair market-selling price, not to exceed twice the cost.

For example, if your product costs $10 and you sell it for $30, the difference is $20. Half of $20 is $10. So:

$10 (Product Cost) + $10 (Half the Difference) = $20 Deduction

($20 does not exceed twice the product cost, so it is does not exceed the maximum allowable deduction.)

Compare this to moving inventory via online auctions or liquidation agents and, for most companies, it’s a much better deal. Plus, it’s a lot less stressful and labor-intensive.

Beyond the Bottom Line

Besides helping companies boost their bottom lines through time and tax savings, product philanthropy can help boost a company’s image as well.

Donating products creates good will, thereby elevating a company’s image. By contrast, selling products at a discount devalues a company’s product and its brand.

Gifts-in-kind organizations also help companies to be better citizens. Even the most motivated companies might have trouble carving out the time to promote good will and give back to their communities while still keeping their businesses afloat. Gifts-in-kind organizations make that process easier. They distribute products to qualified charities, who in turn distribute them to people in need.

Finally, donating products helps make employees feel good about their workplace. Employees like working for companies that have heart. Seeing that their company is reaching out to help those in need is a great way to express that.

How to Get Started

There are several gifts-in-kind organizations operating in the U.S., and, like anything, not all are created equal. Companies will want to choose one that is easy to work with and has a roster of worthy charities.

donations made to qualified charities are tax deductibleWhen choosing a gifts-in-kind organization, companies should ask these questions:

  • What types of charities do you serve?
  • What types of products do you accept? Does my company’s products fit with what your member charities want?
  • Are there limits on what size donations (large or small) that you accept?
  • Is the donation process fast and streamlined?
  • Will you provide me with detailed records of what I donated and what charities received it?
  • Are there any fees involved? (Businesses will want to choose a gifts-in-kind group that does not charge fees to corporate donors.)

When to Start

There is no “right” time to start using a gifts-in-kind group. But the sooner a business starts using one, the sooner it will reap the benefits.

Donating excess inventory will do more than just help trim a company’s tax bill, it also will help it operate more profitably. Getting rid of excess inventory, instead of letting it collect dust in a warehouse, will free up space for high-performing products.  And it may even speed up order fulfillment, in turn, raising customer satisfaction. Finally, instead of leaving products to languish in warehouses or on store shelves, companies will put them into the hands of people who really need them. It’s a great—and easy—way to make a difference in people’s lives.

 

Nonprofit Hiring to Outpace Corporate Sector in 2015

Nonprofit Jobs Outlook2015 is on pace to be a big year for nonprofits; a year in which the nonprofit sector is expected to outpace the corporate sector in job growth. Of those nonprofits who responded to our 2015 Nonprofit Employment Practices Survey, 49 percent had increased their staff size in 2014, and 50 percent of nonprofits expect to hire at least one person in 2015. This is especially impressive in comparison to data from a Careerbuilder study, which found that only 36 percent of for-profit companies plan to hire this year. This is sure to be eye-opening for those who don’t believe that valuable career opportunities exist within the nonprofit sector.

So why is the nonprofit sector poised for such growth in 2015? The boom in nonprofit hiring is in large part thanks to a slow but sure rebound from the recession that began in 2008. Nonprofit organizations are optimistic about their growth and sustainability due to improvements in the economy that have resulted in increased donor dollars and the expansion of nonprofit budgets.

As more candidates enter the job market and more positions open up, nonprofits need to get smarter about how they position themselves as attractive employers. Yes, there will likely be more jobseekers on the hunt this year, but there will also be more open positions for them to consider.

If you’re looking to grow your nonprofit this year, here are three things you need to know to stay ahead of the competition:

Recruitment Strategy is Key

The 2015 Nonprofit Employment Practices Survey indicates 52 percent of nonprofits surveyed don’t have a formal recruitment strategy in place. Without a recruitment strategy, nonprofits run the risk of wasting time and money on recruitment, or worse, losing out on top talent to organizations both within and outside the sector who are employing more effective recruitment practices. Your recruitment strategy needs to address what kind of talent you need, when will you need that talent, how will you attract talent and how will you pay for talent coming into your organization.

Even worse, 67 percent of nonprofits surveyed reported they do not have a formal recruitment budget. No matter how you cut it, quality recruitment requires an investment, and both time and money need to be set aside for activities that will drive top talent to want to be a part of your workforce.

Social Media Recruitment Can Help You Reach Millennial Professionals

In 2014, only 8 percent of nonprofits reported having a formalized social media recruitment strategy, but this year, that number is up to 28 percent. Why? The spike is due to the departure of older employees from the workforce and the rapid emergence of millennial talent. As more millennials enter the workforce, it will be increasingly important for nonprofits to connect with them where they’re already looking for jobs, which is often on networks like LinkedIn and Twitter. If your nonprofit doesn’t already have a strategy for reaching candidates on social media, it’s time to start building one. And when you do, be sure to have a compelling message about who you are as employer and why someone would work to work with your organization.

Direct Services Professionals Will Be in High Demand

In 2015, 46 percent of nonprofits expect to hire for direct service roles. Direct service professionals will be in higher demand than those in other types of positions, so nonprofits that plan to hire in this area should be aware of the competitive environment in which they are recruiting. Finding talented direct services employees will likely be more challenging than ever this year.

Is your nonprofit ready to get ahead when it comes to attracting and retaining top talent in 2015? Download the 2015 Nonprofit Employment Practices survey report to explore more of the latest data about employment and staffing in the nonprofit sector.

 

 

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