Source: Urban Institute
This paper attempts first to clarify tax rules concerning charitable contributions by reorganizing section 170 and simplifying the language, where possible, so that the operative rules will be clearer. In addition, a revision of the estate and gift tax provisions, intended to increase uniformity, is proposed. The possibility of further substantial simplification is explored in the section by section analysis which follows the proposed code revision. Whether or not the Code is actually revised in accordance with the proposed draft, having this tool available will help analyze the statute.
Source: Peace Corps
For the first time ever, schools in a single state hold the No. 1 spot in the small, medium and large undergraduate school categories for the 2013 Top Colleges rankings for producing Peace Corps volunteers. Washington State now holds this noteworthy distinction, with University of Washington leading large schools with 107 alumni currently serving as Peace Corps volunteers, while Western Washington University and Gonzaga University lead in the medium and small categories with 73 and 24 currently serving graduates, respectively.
Also for the first time, two universities are tied for first place in the large schools category, with University of Florida matching University of Washington’s 107 undergraduate alumni currently serving as Peace Corps volunteers. University of Florida made the largest leap of the undergraduate schools ranked No. 1 this year, up from No. 4 in 2012.
Source: Fraser Institute
The Generosity Index measures private monetary generosity using two key indicators. The percentage of tax filers who donated to charity indicates the extent of generosity, while the percentage of aggregate personal income donated to charity indicates the depth of charitable giving. The jurisdictions included in the index are the 10 Canadian provinces and three territories, the 50 US states, and Washington, DC. The data used are from the 2010 tax year—the most recent year for which data are available for both Canada and the United States.
The data collected for the Generosity Index show stark differences in charitable giving among the Canadian provinces and territories, as well as between Canada and the United States. Manitoba had the highest percentage of tax filers who donated to charity (26.2%) among the provinces. Prince Edward Island and Saskatchewan tied for second place (25.2%). The provinces with the lowest percentage of tax filers donating to charity are Newfoundland & Labrador (21.1%) and New Brunswick (21.3%).
In the United States, the extent of generosity is over three percentage points higher: 26.7% of US tax filers donate to charity compared to 23.3% of Canadians. The gap between these two countries widens when considering the depth of the generosity of each. In 2010, Americans gave 1.38% of their aggregate income to charity. This rate of giving is more than double that of Canadians, who gave 0.66% of aggregate income to charity in 2010.
Learnings from Startup America Partnership’s first 18 months show networks and resources critical for startup growth should begin at the regional level
Source: Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
How does a newly formed nonprofit organization tasked with helping entrepreneurs across America effectively serve startups that are in different places, in different industries and with wildly different needs? Region by region.
This is the central lesson found in "The Start Uprising," a white paper released today by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation that examines where the Startup America Partnership started and where it is now. It is a story chock full of lessons for anyone interested in being a catalyst for entrepreneurship.
Launched at the White House in January 2011 as a demonstration project by the Kauffman Foundation and the Case Foundation, Startup America Partnership initially focused on helping entrepreneurs get their companies off the ground by delivering free or low-cost services and connecting them with large corporations.
By mid-2012, however, the initiative’s leaders had discovered that what startup entrepreneurs need most is the mentorship and fellowship of other entrepreneurs who can help them avoid missteps and point them toward customers, funders and talent. This learning shifted Startup America Partnership’s focus toward becoming the catalyst for a movement of entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs, through startup regions.
"This paper sums up why a startup region strategy has become Startup America Partnership’s organizing principle, and how their experience can benefit any organization that wants to promote entrepreneurship," said Dane Stangler, director of research and policy at the Kauffman Foundation. "What Startup America Partnership seeks to achieve is critically important to America’s economic recovery and long-term prosperity. The more they can provide connections and resources locally that help startups grow faster, the more quickly these companies will become job creators."
Pivoting to regional hubs was a response to what the Startup America Partnership team learned was a lack of connectedness among entrepreneurs and is consistent with Kauffman research that challenged misconceptions about where high-growth companies start and what entrepreneurs need to succeed.
Source: RAND Corporation
Nonprofits face a myriad of challenges in establishing and maintaining financial sustainability, and these challenges are exacerbated for nonprofits serving low-resources, high-need communities. This literature review identifies key themes and findings that may inform operations and decisionmaking related to improving sustainability in such organizations. The authors conducted systematic literature searches using a combination of academic search engines and the broader Internet. They identify and discuss key challenges of financial sustainability for nonprofits, such as over-reliance on external funding sources, demonstrating value and accountability to funders, and promoting community engagement and leadership, as well as promising practices for meeting these challenges and achieving financial sustainability. Additionally, the authors discuss unique challenges faced by nonprofits serving low-resources, high-need populations. It is the authors’ hope that this review will enhance the limited literature on financial sustainability in low-resource or high-need communities and will contribute to an evidence base for promising practices, providing leaders of and investors in nonprofits the ability to support and promote growth among organizations serving those most in need.
Source: Urban Institute
The Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy at the Urban Institute and the Association of Fundraising Professionals established the Fundraising Effectiveness Project (FEP) to conduct research on fundraising effectiveness and help nonprofit organizations increase their fundraising results. Piloted in November 2006, FEP collects fundraising data from nonprofit organizations beginning with data for 2004-2005. The Fundraising Effectiveness Survey enables participating groups to measure and compare their fundraising gain and loss ratios to those of similar organizations. This report incorporates data from 3,184 survey respondents received as of February 2012, covering year-to-year fundraising results for 2010-2012.
Source: Urban Institute
Even during and after the recession, from 2007 to 2010, nonprofit employment grew 4 percent and wages increased 6.5 percent, while they decreased in the business sector by 8.4 percent and 8 percent, respectively, and increased only 1 percent and 4.8 percent, respectively, for government. However, in 8 of the past 10 years, the nonprofit sector spent more than it earned. The gap between revenues and outlays was $65 billion in 2008, 2009, and 2010.
Source: Chronicle of Philanthropy
The nation’s generosity divide is vast, according to a new Chronicle of Philanthropy study that charts giving patterns in every state, city, and ZIP code.
In states like Utah and Mississippi, the typical household gives more than 7 percent of its income to charity, while the average household in Massachusetts and three other New England states gives less than 3 percent.
The same holds for the nation’s 50 biggest metropolitan areas. The Chronicle found that residents of Salt Lake City, Memphis, and Birmingham, Ala., typically give at least 7 percent of their discretionary income to charity, while those in Boston and Providence average less than 3 percent. (See our interactive tool to find giving data for any place in the United States.)
To account for sharp differences in the cost of living across America, The Chronicle’s study compared generosity rates after residents paid taxes, housing, food, and other necessities.
The study, based on the most recent available Internal Revenue Service records of Americans who itemized their deductions, examines taxpayers who earned $50,000 or more in 2008. They donated a median of 4.7 percent of their discretionary income to charitable causes. Altogether, they provided $135-billion to charity, nearly two-thirds of the $214-billion donated by all individuals in 2008, according to “Giving USA,” the benchmark of giving patterns.
Source: Federal Trade Commission
The Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency, has tips for anyone who may want to donate money to the victims and families of the Aurora, Colorado, movie theater shooting.
One opportunity for giving, the Aurora Victim Relief Fund, has been established by Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper and the Community First Foundation to meet immediate and long-term needs of victims and their families. Donations are being accepted through the Foundation’s GivingFirst.org program, which describes how various nonprofit organizations are offering direct support to those affected.
Unfortunately, legitimate charities face competition from fraudsters who either solicit for bogus charities or aren’t entirely honest about how a so-called charity will use your contribution. It’s wise to be wary of charities that spring up overnight in connection with current events, like the theater shooting.
Urgent appeals for aid that you get in person, by phone or mail, by e-mail, on websites, or on social networking sites may not be on the up-and-up. The agency’s Charity Checklist has tips for guidance on donating wisely.
As a nonprofit, you face a complex and evolving environment. New organizations each day make competition fiercer, while a trend in the privatization of funding sources has created myriad challenges for building a case for funding and demonstrating results to maintain funding levels year over year. Your donors are different, too. A “thank you” letter is the bare minimum standard for stewardship. Today’s donor wants to better understand and engage in your mission. And because of this increased interest and involvement, individual donors, as well as funders, have an increased focus on accountability, outcomes, and evaluation, as well. To keep your organization alive and in the forefront of your donors’ minds despite these challenges, you may feel the need to reinvent your approach to fundraising — either upgrading areas of operations that seem to be under-serving staff, constituents, and beneficiaries, or reevaluating your programs as a whole. Technology can play a key role in efforts to enhance, optimize, or reengineer processes and operations.
Beyond HIPAA, FERPA, PIPEDA, PCI Compliance, and other government-mandated privacy regulations, nonprofit organizations have an obligation to protect the privacy of constituent information. Governmentmandated privacy regulations tell us what kinds of information we can collect, opt-in and opt-out permissions we may need, and how we can use the information acquired. But every organization should further define how staff will manage requests for constituent information such as addresses and phone numbers. You can educate trustees, volunteers, and staff by creating and enforcing a policy to protect the personal privacy of constituents by maintaining confidentiality of all constituent information.
Foundation Data Review is a series of data research products based on the most complete foundation database independently developed in China by China Foundation Center, which annually produces a number of research reports targeted at various types of foundations, industrial fields and hotspot topics. The series of reports conducts research and development of information of public benefit organizations with its information platform, targeting at the issue of transparency currently prevailing in public benefit and charity fields while extensively disseminating the research findings. Covering all foundations, the series of reports promotes the transparency and public confidence of foundations in that it contributes to the trust and confidence in public benefit organizations by releasing the research findings.
In recent years, the number of U.S. charitable foundations awarding grants for water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) projects around the world has more than tripled. A new research brief by the Foundation Center, Foundation Funding for Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene, finds that between 2003 and 2010 this growth in the number of active funders was accompanied by a nearly five-fold increase in the number of organizations receiving these grants, to the tune of $144 million in 2009-2010. And, while WASH funding as a proportion of international grantmaking overall has grown from 0.2 percent in 2003, it remains very small (1.7 percent in 2010).
+ Full Report (PDF)