G&A wishes you a healthful, productive and rewarding 2010! Remember, it’s not just a new year; it’s a new decade…are you ready for Twenty-Ten?
GARDNER & ASSOCIATES REPORT ANNIVERSARY
Thank you for your interest in the Gardner Report! For the last year Paul and I have shared our observations about the challenges facing Not for Profit Organizations in a depressed economy. This issue is our 12th Report. Tell us of any specific topics about which you would like more details.
G&A 1Q 2010 CHECKLIST FOR BETTER NPO RESULTS
Traditionally, January is the time for resolutions and getting reorganized. Paul and I agree that January and the entire first quarter is an important time to review the drivers influencing the operation of your NPO. Consider just five key elements that G&A recommends focusing on during 1Q Twenty-Ten:
1. Start with a stringent financial review. Review your NPO’s mission/vision statements, strategic plan, software edition, database management system, 2009 fundraising results and budget to ensure that each reflects the economic challenges you will face in 2010. Remember, as the economy recovers, NPO contributions will lag behind the retail recovery by as much as eighteen months (that takes us to July 2011). Determine if your NPO needs to change the fundraising strategy or conversely its budget.
2. Inventory your board of directors and advisory council. Ensure a balance and diversity of your volunteer leadership. Profile their terms, interests, skills and resources. Make sure that your volunteer leaders will contribute effectively to your NPO’s 2010 priorities.
3. Review your 2010 reporting status. Confirm your status with the IRS, Arkansas Attorney General and Secretary of State. Also, confirm any report dates for your state, federal and foundation grant reporting. Highlight those dates on your calendar to ensure timely reporting.
4. Review your communications, program and events calendar. Evaluate your external message to ensure that it is consistent with your budget, strategic plan and mission. Are the dates in conflict with other key galas, Razorback games or holidays?
5. Evaluate your service contracts. Think like Walmart; ask your staff and leaders “How can our NPO be more effective, efficient and sustainable?” Take enough time to call your insurance carrier, copier service, phone and Internet carrier, office supplies company, bank (service, checking, loan/line of credit and CD rates) and any other service contracts to check on current pricing and bundling opportunities. Assume nothing! Asking for a better deal can drive savings to your NPO’s bottom line. Also, consider how your NPO could collaborate with other NPOs to reduce operating expenses.
POLISH YOUR CASE STATEMENT
The case statement is your NPO’s sales brochure. It tells your story, outlines your mission, needs and defines your impact. Case statements are a valuable tool as you develop relationships with potential funders and reinforce those with current supporters. To be a good advocate for your organization, you must be able to ‘make your case’. Consider preparing your 2010-edition answers to the following questions: Who are we? What do we do? Why do we need the money? What are we going to do with it? How will the grantor know that we did it? Why should the grantor invest? How will the grantor benefit? These answers can help you put together an organizational briefing that can be used as talking points with prospective funders. They are also critical to ensuring that you, your staff and volunteer leaders remain on message. Also, add your case statement to your website to make sure your visitors get full information.
NEW IRS CHARITY GUIDE
Compliance Guide for 501c3 Public Charities – The IRS recently released a compliance guide to assist public charities. This guide covers such areas as: activities that may jeopardize a charity’s exempt status, federal information returns, tax returns or notices that must be filed, recordkeeping—why, what, when, governance considerations, changes to be reported, required public disclosures, resources for public charities and more. To read or download the entire guide visit www.irs.gov/charities/article/0,,id=187787,00.html .
CHECK OUT THE HEALTH DEPARTMENTS MONTHLY GRANT LISTING
Make it a resolution to check out the grant segment of www.healthyarkansas.com. Go to the bottom right-hand corner of the page and click on the grant button.
Each month, Jacqueline Gorton posts a marvelous list of private, state and federal grant opportunities. Get on her email list and get a monthly update of items of interest.
You can request your subscription by emailing Jacqueline.