Archive for the ‘nonprofits and volunteerism’ Category

CRS — Recently Expired Charitable Tax Provisions (“Tax Extenders”): In Brief

July 15, 2014 Comments off

Recently Expired Charitable Tax Provisions (“Tax Extenders”): In Brief (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via University of North Texas Digital Library)

On April 3, 2014, the Senate Finance Committee voted to report the Expiring Provisions Improvement Reform and Efficiency (EXPIRE) Act (S. 2260), which would extend a set of expired tax provisions through the end of 2015. These and other temporary tax provisions that are regularly extended for one or two years are often referred to as “tax extenders.” This report briefly summarizes the temporary charitable tax provisions that expired at the end of 2013 and are being considered for extension. The report also discusses the economic impact of these charitable tax provisions.

Four charitable tax provisions are discussed in this report: (1) the enhanced charitable deduction for contributions of food inventory; (2) tax-free distributions from individual retirement accounts for charitable purposes; (3) basis adjustment to stock of S corporations making charitable contributions of property; and (4) special rules for contributions of capital gain real property for conservation purposes. There are other “tax extender” provisions that may affect tax-exempt entities discussed in other CRS products. Specifically, CRS Report R43510, Selected Recently Expired Business Tax Provisions (“Tax Extenders”) , by Jane G. Gravelle, Donald J. Marples, and Molly F. Sherlock includes a discussion of the modification of tax treatment of certain payments to controlling exempt organizations.1 Extender provisions related to the low-income housing tax credit, which may be relevant for tax-exempt organizations, are discussed in CRS Report R43449, Recently Expired Housing Related Tax Provisions (“Tax Extenders”): In Brief, by Mark P. Keightley.

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The Impact of the Great Recession on the Number of Charities by Subsector and Revenue Range

June 30, 2014 Comments off

The Impact of the Great Recession on the Number of Charities by Subsector and Revenue Range
Source: Urban Institute


  • This brief extends the analysis of the first brief in the series, “The Impact of the Great Recession on the Number of Charities,” which compared closures among nonprofit organizations over two periods: the “baseline period” of 2004—08, which includes the years immediately before the recession’s full impact, and the “recession period” of 2008—12, which includes the worst of the recession and its immediate after–math.
  • The brief takes a closer look at nonprofit organizations that ceased operations during the baseline and recession periods by revenue range and subsector (arts and culture, education, environment, health, human services, international affairs, public and societal benefit, and other).
  • In both time periods and across all subsectors, smaller organizations with revenues between $50,000 and $99,999 were most vulnerable to closure.
  • In all subsectors, organizational closure was more prevalent during the recession period (2008—12) than during the baseline period (2004—08).
  • However, organizations with revenues of $1 million and above were no more likely to cease operations during the recession period than during the baseline period.
  • The largest increase in closure rates occurred among international organizations, while human services experienced the smallest increase.
  • In addition to higher closure rates, the recession is also associated with loss of revenue among smaller nonprofits. Twenty–two percent of all organizations with $50,000 to $99,999 in revenue in 2004 had revenue fall below $50,000 in 2008. That share jumped to 30.1 percent for the 2008—12 period.

HHS OIG — Performance Data for the Senior Medicare Patrol Projects: June 2014 Performance Report

June 26, 2014 Comments off

Performance Data for the Senior Medicare Patrol Projects: June 2014 Performance Report
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General

This memorandum report presents performance data for the Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) projects, which receive grants from the Administration for Community Living (ACL) to recruit and train retired professionals and other senior citizens to recognize and report instances or patterns of health care fraud. (ACL was established in 2012, bringing together the Administration on Aging (AoA) and two other offices.) In July 2010, AoA requested that OIG continue to collect and report performance data for the projects to support its efforts to evaluate and improve their performance. OIG currently reports this performance data on an annual basis.

We based this review on data reported by the SMP projects. In addition, we requested and reviewed documentation from the projects for expected recoveries of funds for the Medicare and Medicaid programs. We also requested and reviewed documentation for actual savings to beneficiaries and others that were attributable to the projects, as well as for cost avoidance. We did not review documentation for the other performance measures.

In 2013, the 54 SMP projects had 5,406 active volunteers, a 5-percent increase from 2012. These volunteers conducted 148,235 one-on-one counseling sessions, a 31-percent increase from 2012. They also conducted 14,924 group education sessions in 2013, compared to 14,748 in 2012.

In 2013, expected Medicare and Medicaid recoveries that were attributable to the projects were 9.1 million, a 50-percent increase from 2012. However, total savings to beneficiaries and others decreased from $133,971 in 2012 to $41,718 in 2013. Finally, cost avoidance on behalf of Medicare, Medicaid, beneficiaries, and others increased by 26 percent, from $113,692 in 2012 to $143,282 in 2013.

We continue to emphasize that it is not always possible to track referrals to Medicare contractors or law enforcement from beneficiaries who have learned to detect fraud, waste, and abuse from the projects. Therefore, the projects may not be receiving full credit for savings attributable to their work. In addition, the projects are unable to track the substantial savings derived from a sentinel effect whereby fraud and errors are reduced by Medicare beneficiaries’ scrutiny of their bills.

New Research on the Field of Black Male Achievement Highlights Successes and Opportunities

May 30, 2014 Comments off

New Research on the Field of Black Male Achievement Highlights Successes and Opportunities
Source: Foundation Center

The Foundation Center and the Open Society Foundations today released a report entitled Building a Beloved Community: Strengthening the Field of Black Male Achievement. It is the latest addition to a growing suite of resources at, a web portal that facilitates engagement, collaboration, and strategic decision making among those working to promote positive outcomes for black men and boys in America. Based on interviews with 50 leaders in the social, academic, government, and business sectors, the report maps the landscape of work in this area and offers recommendations for what it will take to strengthen the field moving forward.

This publication is a timely resource in light of a growing chorus of national initiatives focused on improving the economic, social, and physical well-being of black males. These include President Obama’s announcement in February launching My Brother’s Keeper, a public-private partnership supporting young men of color, and the formation of the Executives’ Alliance to Expand Opportunities for Boys and Men of Color, launched last year by 26 foundation leaders.

A Golden Age of Philanthropy Still Beckons: National Wealth Transfer and Potential for Philanthropy

May 30, 2014 Comments off

A Golden Age of Philanthropy Still Beckons: National Wealth Transfer and Potential for Philanthropy (PDF)
Source: Boston College Center on Wealth and Philanthropy
From press release (PDF):

An estimated $59 trillion —divided among heirs, charities, estate taxes and estate closing costs—will be transferred from 93.6 million American estates from 2007 to 2061, in the greatest wealth transfer in U.S. history, according to a new report issued by researchers at the Center on Wealth and Philanthropy (CWP) at Boston College.

The study estimates results for scenarios with 1% to 4% growth and for sunset estate tax provisions as well as extension of the current (2012) estate tax provisions with the $5 million exemption with all estimates expressed in 2007 purchasing power. The $59 trillion value corresponds to 2% growth and the extension of tax provisions current as of the date the research was finalized, and equals $67.5 trillion in current purchasing dollars.

• Through estates, heirs will receive $36 trillion.
• Federal estate taxes will claim $5.6 trillion.
• The sum directed from final estates (for which there is no surviving spouse) toward charity is estimated at $6.3 trillion.
• Total gifts to charity during the study period are vastly greater, according to the study, which estimates that lifetime giving will yield an additional $20.6 trillion for charity from 2007-­‐2061.

New Special Advisory Bulletin Provides Additional Guidance on Independent Charity Patient Assistance Programs for Federal Health Care Program Beneficiaries

May 22, 2014 Comments off

New Special Advisory Bulletin Provides Additional Guidance on Independent Charity Patient Assistance Programs for Federal Health Care Program Beneficiaries
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General

A Supplemental Special Advisory Bulletin on patient assistance programs (PAPs) run by independent charities was released today by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. OIG announced that this document expands 2005 OIG guidance in response to concerns about potential abuses arising from some PAPs’ interactions with their donors.

OIG continues to recognize that independent charities can help financially needy beneficiaries with their health care expenses, and pharmaceutical manufacturers can donate to these charities. However, charities that are not sufficiently independent from drug manufacturer donors may operate PAPs that harm patients and Federal health care programs and may, depending on the facts, violate fraud and abuse laws.

Use of Internet, Social Networking Sites, and Mobile Technology for Volunteerism: Implications for Volunteer Recruitment and Engagement

May 20, 2014 Comments off

Use of Internet, Social Networking Sites, and Mobile Technology for Volunteerism: Implications for Volunteer Recruitment and Engagement
Source: AARP Research

When thinking about ways to incorporate social media and mobile technology into volunteer recruitment and engagement strategies, focus on actively engaging volunteers who are already in the social media and mobile space. These volunteers are more likely to engage actively on social media in a volunteer role than those who are less comfortable or familiar with the technology. According to survey findings, the frequency of use of social networking sites was a key predictor of the willingness of adults, age 40 and older, to perform nearly all of the volunteer-related activities examined.

Engage volunteers and non-volunteers through easy and enjoyable small actions to get them thinking about the issues important to the organization’s mission and, accordingly, build the foundation for potential deeper engagement. Survey findings show the most popular activities that 40+ Internet users were willing to perform were fairly light forms of engagement, including going online to learn about volunteer opportunities (32% were willing); joining an online group or community that shares their commitment to a cause or issue that they care about (31%); and sharing information about a cause or issue they care about on a social networking site (30%).

As smart phone and tablet prevalence continues to grow, and as mobile devices represent the primary way many younger adults, Hispanics and African Americans access the Internet, it is important that volunteer organizations explore incorporating mobile technology into their volunteer recruitment and engagement strategy, particularly when searching for potential ways to increase the diversity of their volunteer base. Survey findings show about a fifth of 40+ Internet users were willing to download a mobile app to locate volunteer opportunities in their area (21%) and sign-up for text alerts about available volunteer opportunities (19%).

As volunteers leave their current traditional positions, use this time to re-evaluate positions for potential virtual volunteering opportunities (i.e., volunteer positions that are carried out over the Internet) that are attractive to both traditional volunteers and contemporary volunteers looking for episodic or short-term opportunities. Nearly a quarter of Internet users (24%) were willing to volunteer virtually, according to survey findings.
Volunteers have increasingly become more mission-minded. As such volunteers should be encouraged to speak about the benefits of their volunteer work—and its impact on the communities they serve–via their personal social media profiles. Volunteers can be important advocates for volunteer programs as they can give a volunteer’s perspective of what it is like to serve as a volunteer for the program.

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

May 19, 2014 Comments off

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

This compilation of state profiles from the 2013 National Survey of Nonprofit-Government Contracting and Grants, provides national and state-by-state snapshots of most types of nonprofit organizations that have contracts and grants with local, state, and federal governments. The individual state profiles are designed to document the extent of nonprofit-government contracting, processes and problems. States are also ranked according to number of grants, types of issues, and actions taken by nonprofits to address the challenges they face.

The NonProfit Times — Best Nonprofits To Work For 2014

April 30, 2014 Comments off

The NonProfit Times — Best Nonprofits To Work For 2014 (PDF)
Source: NonProfit Times
From website:

Ask almost anyone who works at a nonprofit to tell you the best part about working there and the answer generally will be: the mission. And, that’s great. But loving the mission doesn’t pay the electric bill.

Employees of nonprofit organizations likely understand that concept. Things such as salary aren’t going to be at the same levels of for-profit companies. They do it for other reasons or find other benefits (monetary or otherwise) that fulfill them in their careers.

Leaders at organizations in the 2014 Best Nonprofits To Work For seem to understand that inclination. What makes an organization a Best Nonprofit To Work For? If you subscribe to the idea of Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, then there are a number of common traits among nonprofits on this year’s list, regardless of their size, with the best organizations focusing efforts on:

  • Pay, Benefits and Incentives: Some organizations benchmarked at higher-than-average percentiles for salaries while others provided generous benefits to try to offset potentially lower salaries. Some employees receive incentives and healthy bonuses for reaching goals or going above and beyond.
  • Employee Engagement and Communication: Leaders at the best organizations often ask their staff what they want, and keep them abreast of what’s going on and where the organization is heading.
  • Staff Development and Growth: When organizations ask their employees what they’re looking for, very often it’s the ability to grow and learn.

Networking for Philanthropy: Increasing Volunteer Behavior via Social Networking Sites

April 11, 2014 Comments off

Networking for Philanthropy: Increasing Volunteer Behavior via Social Networking Sites
Source: Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking

Social networking sites (SNSs) provide a unique social venue to engage the young generation in philanthropy through their networking capabilities. An integrated model that incorporates social capital into the Theory of Reasoned Action is developed to explain volunteer behavior through social networks. As expected, volunteer behavior was predicted by volunteer intention, which was influenced by attitudes and subjective norms. In addition, social capital, an outcome of the extensive use of SNSs, was as an important driver of users’ attitude and subjective norms toward volunteering via SNSs.

USPS OIG — Controls over Nonprofit Mailing Authorization Management — Management Advisory Report

March 28, 2014 Comments off

Controls over Nonprofit Mailing Authorization Management — Management Advisory Report (PDF)
Source: U.S Postal Service, Office of Inspector General

The Postal Service consistently applied its policies and procedures when approving and denying nonprofit mailer applications in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Pricing and Classification Service Center staff reviewed applications and supporting documents to ensure each applicant provided sufficient evidence that it met one of the categories to qualify it for Nonprofit rate eligibility.

We reviewed 170 approved and 198 denied nonprofit mail applications from FYs 2010 through 2013 and found applications were approved when they met all of the Postal Service criteria, such as documenting proof of nonprofit status. Applications were denied when they failed to meet one or more of the criteria, such as the requirement to respond to requests for additional information. The Pricing and Classification Service Center used the same evaluation process to approve and deny applications.

Unique Surveys Show Cash Incentives Prevalent Across Publicly-Traded, Privately-Held and Nonprofit Sectors

March 20, 2014 Comments off

Unique Surveys Show Cash Incentives Prevalent Across Publicly-Traded, Privately-Held and Nonprofit Sectors
Source: WorldatWork, Deloitte, Vivient Consulting

Research released today by WorldatWork, in conjunction with both Deloitte Consulting and Vivient Consulting, shows that a vast majority of organizations use and rely on incentive-based pay practices to compete for top talent, as well as to motivate and reward employees.

For the first time, short and long-term incentive pay practices can be compared directly across the three sectors of publicly-traded firms, privately-held companies and nonprofit/government organizations. Deloitte and Vivient used several identical questions in the three versions of the surveys. This unique research fills a gap that exists in the marketplace for incentive-pay data, especially for non-publicly traded companies.

Garbage: Disrupting the World’s Oldest Industry

March 18, 2014 Comments off

Garbage: Disrupting the World’s Oldest Industry
Source: Knowledge@Wharton

Nature wastes nothing. Human beings are less frugal. We have been generating garbage for thousands of years, and are only now starting to confront the reality that our waste streams are poisoning the planet. Governments have begun to regulate how we dispose of what we no longer want; large corporations are working to find sustainable solutions that are also profitable; and smaller “green” companies and non-profits are aiming for zero-waste-to-landfill, which may be as close as we can come to the example set by nature. This special report, sponsored by the Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership (IGEL) and Rubicon Global, looks at where we have been, where we are going and how we are getting there.

Physicians as Fundraisers: Medical Philanthropy and the Doctor-Patient Relationship

March 17, 2014 Comments off

Physicians as Fundraisers: Medical Philanthropy and the Doctor-Patient Relationship
Source: PLoS Medicine


+ American medical institutions commonly have “grateful patient” programs that solicit donations from wealthy individuals who receive care. Physicians are often encouraged to assist in these programs.

+ Development efforts have intensified in recent years, and the increasing reliance on physician fundraisers risks blurring the lines between clinical care and fundraising. New changes to the US Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule continue that trend by allowing development officials to access certain types of clinical information without patient consent.

+ The practice of physicians fundraising from their own patients raises three main concerns: (1) undue pressure on patients to contribute, (2) possible expectations of preferential treatment from donors, and (3) concerns about patient confidentiality and trust.

+ We propose that institutions voluntarily adopt development policies that mitigate these risks. Specifically, we recommend that patient consent be secured before development staff access patient information or physicians refer patients to the development office. We also recommend that physicians not directly solicit donations from their own patients.

The concerns discussed here in the context of American grateful patient programs are relevant to similar patient fundraising efforts in other nations.

UK Gross Domestic Expenditure on Research and Development, 2012

March 15, 2014 Comments off

UK Gross Domestic Expenditure on Research and Development, 2012
Source: Office for National Statistics

Key Points

  • In 2012, the UK’s gross domestic expenditure on research and development (GERD), in current prices, decreased by 2% to £27.0 billion compared with 2011. Adjusted for inflation, in constant prices, research and development (R&D) expenditure decreased by 3%.
  • In constant prices, R&D expenditure has increased by 56% from the 1985 estimate of £17.3 billion. Expenditure peaked in 2011 at £27.9 billion.
  • The business sector performed 63% of UK R&D expenditure in 2012. Expenditure by this sector decreased by 2%, in current prices, to £17.1 billion in 2012, compared with 2011.
  • Total R&D expenditure in the UK in 2012 represented 1.72% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), a decrease from 1.77% in 2011.
  • International comparisons show that UK R&D expenditure in 2012 was below the EU-28 provisional estimate of 2.06% of GDP.

Volunteering in the United States 2013

February 25, 2014 Comments off

Volunteering in the United States 2013
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

The volunteer rate declined by 1.1 percentage points to 25.4 percent for the year ending in September 2013, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. About 62.6 million people volunteered through or for an organization at least once between September 2012 and September 2013. The volunteer rate in 2013 was the lowest it has been since the supplement was first administered in 2002.

100 Data Innovations

January 27, 2014 Comments off

100 Data Innovations
Source: Information Technology & Innovation Foundation

Businesses, government agencies, and non-profits in countries around the world are transforming virtually every facet of the economy and society through innovative uses of data. These changes, brought about by new technologies and techniques for collecting, storing, analyzing, disseminating, and visualizing data, are improving the quality of life for billions of individuals around the world, opening up new economic opportunities, and creating more efficient and effective governments. This list provides a sampling, in no particular order, of some of the most interesting and important contributions data-driven innovations have made in the past year.

Volunteer Fire Service Fact Sheet (2014)

January 13, 2014 Comments off

Volunteer Fire Service Fact Sheet (PDF)
Source: National Volunteer Fire Council

The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) is the leading nonprofit membership association representing the interests of the volunteer fire, EMS, and rescue services. Organized in 1976, the NVFC serves as the voice of the volunteer fire and emergency services in the national arena and provides invaluable tools, resources, programs, training, and advocacy for first responders across the nation. Each state firefighter’s association elects a representative to the NVFC Board of Directors.

This Fact Sheet was produced in order to provide an overall picture of today’s volunteer fire and emergency services.

Addressing Deep and Persistent Poverty: A Framework for Philanthropic Planning and Investment

January 9, 2014 Comments off

Addressing Deep and Persistent Poverty: A Framework for Philanthropic Planning and Investment
Source: Urban Institute

The JPB Foundation engaged the Urban Institute to provide background on the problem of deep and persistent poverty in the United States. This paper summarizes the history of US antipoverty policies, synthesizes existing knowledge about poverty and deep poverty, and presents a framework for understanding the complex and multi-faceted landscape of antipoverty efforts today. It also draws on interviews with over 30 experts, philanthropists, and thought leaders in the field to review and distill the most current thinking about promising strategies for tackling deep and persistent poverty. Drawing on these facts and insights, we present a series of questions and choices that any foundation wishing to invest in this area would be well-advised to consider.

Institutionalizing delay: foundation funding and the creation of U.S. climate change counter-movement organizations

December 26, 2013 Comments off

Institutionalizing delay: foundation funding and the creation of U.S. climate change counter-movement organizations (PDF)
Source: Climatic Change

This paper conducts an analysis of the financial resource mobilization of the organizations that make up the climate change counter-movement (CCCM) in the United States. Utilizing IRS data, total annual income is compiled for a sample of CCCM organizations (including advocacy organizations, think tanks, and trade associations). These data are coupled with IRS data on philanthropic foundation funding of these CCCM organizations contained in the Foundation Center’s data base. This results in a data sample that contains financial information for the time period 2003 to 2010 on the annual income of 91 CCCM organizations funded by 140 different foundations. An examination of these data shows that these 91 CCCM organizations have an annual income of just over $900 million, with an annual average of $64 million in identifiable foundation support. The overwhelming majority of the philanthropic support comes from conservative foundations. Additionally, there is evidence of a trend toward concealing the sources of CCCM funding through the use of donor directed philanthropies.


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