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By donorsearch

Nonprofit Budgeting Tips to Exceed Your Financial Goals

Nonprofit finances are truly unique. While for-profit organizations provide a product or service to the community in order to make money, nonprofits ask for money to fund a mission towards the greater good of the world. =&0=& There are so many tips and tricks out there about how to build up your annual fund and earn the money your nonprofit needs to work towards your mission. However, there are fewer resources available about how to make the most of these funds and use them responsibly. That’s why we’ve put together this list of top tips that will help your nonprofit stay on budget once you’ve compiled funds for your mission. We’re here to help you save those resources as much as possible so they can be allocated towards what really matters. These top tips for nonprofit budgeting include:
  1. Maintain your tax-exempt status.
  2. Keep accurate records.
  3. Use effective budgeting templates.
  4. Determine overlapping timelines.
  5. Prioritize your goals.
  6. Ask for help.
Ready to meet and even exceed your financial goals? Let’s get started with your nonprofit’s budget!

1. Maintain Your Tax-Exempt Status

Consider your personal budget. You likely factor in some extra funds around April and May to help you pay any taxes you owe. However, your nonprofit doesn’t need to worry about these taxes. As a 501(c)(3), your nonprofit qualifies as a tax-exempt organization. Instead of paying taxes, each year your nonprofit must file a Form 990 to maintain this exempt status. =&1=& Depending on your nonprofit and varying circumstances, these repercussions could look slightly different:
  • If your nonprofit’s gross receipts are less than $100,000 and you’re late filing your 990, you’ll see a $20 penalty each day the 990 is late. If you continue to not file, this penalty will continue to grow until you’ve reached $10,000 or 5% of your income.
  • If your nonprofit’s gross receipts equal more than $100,000 and you’re late to file your 990, the daily penalty jumps to $100 per day with a maximum charge of $50,000.
  • If your nonprofit, no matter its size, fails to file your Form 990 three years in a row, your organization will lose its tax-exempt status. This means you’ll need to reapply for tax exemption and pay filing fees again.
Whether your nonprofit is filing a Form 990 postcard or a traditional Form 990, it’s important that you do so on time and accurately. Your Form 990 will be due at one of two times depending on your nonprofit’s fiscal year. If you follow the calendar tax year, it’s due May 15th. If you don’t follow the calendar fiscal year, the Form 990 is due on the 15th day of the 5th month after the conclusion of your fiscal year. =&2=& This may seem like a lot of information that you need to remember for tax season. The good news is that there is software available to remind you to file on time and helps make filing easier. If you want more information about tax filing software or to learn more about tax forms, check out this Form 990 software article by re:Charity.

2. Keep Accurate Records

Accurate budgets are built from data-informed estimates, generally built from records from previous years’ budgets and expenses. =&3=&

By Jennifer Liu-Cooper

MIND YOUR MILLENIALS

 

Millennials, (those born from 1981-1996) are the future—and current—generation of philanthropists.  As the current major gift prospect population of Baby Boomers retire, Millennials will advance into leadership roles across businesses, governments, and the social sector.

Fact:  Millennials are now the largest living generation (75 million strong)—their income and giving power is only going to grow in the coming decades.  The ability to channel their financial, social, and political power will determine which organizations thrive and fail. 

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By donorsearch

K-12 Fundraising: 6 Fun and Easy Ideas for Every School

Looking for a new quick and easy fundraiser for your school programs that the students will think is fun? Fundraising for school programs is no easy feat and requires a lot of thought and effort—so why not do everything possible to ensure your fundraiser is a success without piling on more stress? Your kids and students have so many activities that they want to participate in, and they should be able to. But there needs to be a source of funds for every event you support. Students, therefore, if they want to participate in the event, should be involved in the fundraising efforts. Fundraising doesn’t have to bring with it a dark cloud of stress and challenges that you can’t see through. Fundraising can be fun and enjoyable for everyone involved, including the students who participate. Your fundraising ideas should be specifically geared toward student participation so some of the weight can be lifted off of your shoulders. As you consider your upcoming fundraising campaign strategies, you should aim to give the students a unique opportunity to have a hand in working to support the programs they love. Fun events for your students to help lead to success include:
  1. Hosting a walk-a-thon.
  2. Selling merchandise.
  3. Holding a charity auction.
  4. Organizing a school carnival.
  5. Producing a talent show.
  6. Supporting a read-a-thon.
Utilize one of these awesome school fundraising ideas during your next fundraising campaign and you will be sure to boost your fundraising revenue and increase your student’s interest in raising money for their favorite programs. Let’s dive in and prepare you for an epic school fundraising season.

1. Hosting a walk-a-thon.

Schools have long been taking advantage of walk-a-thons because they are a tried-and-true, effective way of raising money for schools. They allow students to be the driving factor behind the fundraiser and have a role in supporting their own program. If you are unfamiliar with how walk-a-thons work, the process is simple:
  • Step 1: The school plans where and when the event will take place.
  • Step 2: Students promote the event.
  • Step 3: Friends and family of the students donate or pledge money to the student’s individual fundraising campaign.
  • Step 4: The walk-a-thon occurs (Make sure to keep track of distances walked by each student).
  • Step 5: The event organizer determines how much the pledgors owe to each student’s campaign.
  • Step 6: Collect the money and put it toward your school program!

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By Ryan Ponzurick

5 Fundamental Website Design Tips for Modern Nonprofits

When you start to think about designing (or redesigning) your nonprofit website, you need to make sure to keep your main purpose in mind. That purpose is providing valuable content and a positive user experience for your constituents. =&0=&What do you want to accomplish with it? What do you want people to see? Then, put yourself in the shoes of your supporters. What type of information would you look for? Where would you expect to see it? Even if you’re working with a web design firm, you’ll still want to answer these questions for context about your website. The answers often provide stepping stones to a more actionable website. The resulting priorities for your nonprofit website often include:
  1. Providing information about your nonprofit’s mission.
  2. Collecting donations from your supporters.
  3. Encouraging involvement from the community.
  4. Promoting your upcoming events.
  5. Recruiting volunteers for your initiatives.
If you’re looking for ideas about how other nonprofits have structured their websites to incorporate these priorities, check out Morweb’s list of the best nonprofit websites. These industry leading websites may inspire your creative side. Let’s get started to learn more about designing websites.

1. Provide information about your nonprofit’s mission.

When people visit your nonprofit’s website, it’s often because they’re looking for more information about your organization. They may have seen your name from your other marketing materials, on social media, or heard about your organization from a friend. =&1=& This means that your home page should have some element that explains what you do. Put your full mission statement either on your home page or on your “about us” page. If you put it on the “about us” page, you’ll also need a condensed version on your home page outlining the key points. By providing this information up front, you’ll answer your new website visitors’ main questions. Then they’ll be able to dive in and learn more about your nonprofit. If you use a CMS designed specifically for nonprofits, you can simply use the nonprofit website templates as a guide as to where to place the mission statement. morweb-donorsearch-impressive-web-design-features-modern-nonprofits-mission.png

2. Collect donations from your supporters.

Not only do you want to capture the attention of your website visitors, but you’ll likely also have a goal in mind that you want them to complete. For many nonprofits, this goal is often to collect donations. There are two main steps that nonprofits must take to encourage more donations from their supporters: first, they must ensure their donation page is top-notch; second, they must make sure their navigation makes it easy to find the page.

Top-Notch Donation Page

You’ll likely want to direct the majority of your supporters straight to the online donation page. Once they get there, they should find the donation page easy to use and pleasing to the eye. =&2=&CMS offers features=&4=&Don’t direct donors off-site to donate through a third-party platform, as the simple act of a new window opening is often enough to drive prospective donors away. =&5=&This visual consistency will build an element of trust for your donors. =&6=&

By Ryan Ponzurick

4 Top Software Tools Every School Should Consider

Many of our world’s future Presidents, CEOs, artists, and musicians spend day after day in school. They learn and practice and study to become the greatest they could possibly be in their chosen field. =&0=& Technology is revolutionizing the way schools function. Software companies are developing ways for schools to run more efficiently and effectively as the programs they provide expand beyond traditional academic offerings. =&1=&right fundraising techniques=&3=& The right software will help take many time-consuming administrative duties off your plate. The software that you choose should accommodate your school’s evolving nature and cater to your needs and the programs you support. When you are considering enhancing your operations with school program management software, remember that you need features that will facilitate your administration of:
  • Before and after-school programs.
  • Summer school and camps.
  • School-based registration fees for athletics and clubs, trips, laptop rentals, parking and transportation, and more.
To maximize your efforts in these areas, you should keep an eye out for school program management software that features tools for:
  1. Registration.  
  2. Centralized student information.
  3. Digital attendance.
  4. Tuition management.  
There are plenty of things to worry about as a school administrator, so you should take advantage of software that is designed specifically for school-based programs and makes your job easier. Let’s dive into the tools you should consider as you contemplate incorporating new technology into your school!

1. Registration.

Throughout the year, your school and its faculty are responsible for hundreds (perhaps thousands) of children who participate in various extracurricular activities and summer programs. Your school program management software should offer an easy-to-use online registration tool specifically designed for the needs of your program, like CommunityPass’ afterschool registration software.   Whether a parent wants to enroll his child in the after care program, pay for the laptop rental fee, or sign up for the summer STEM camp, he should have easy access to all the information required to complete the registration process from the comfort of his own device. =&4=&This will ensure your forms contain all the information your school or program needs. Consider offering custom forms for:
  • Medical information and allergy alerts.  
  • Permission slips.
  • Emergency contacts.
  • Waivers.
With the addition of school program management software, you will forget all about the days when you had to keep track of paper forms and worry about updating registration waitlists. Your software will automatically update waitlists and monitor your programs’ maximum capacity limits. =&5=& Your software should prompt users to donate during the registration check-out process and encourage school-centric fundraising. Your users will already have their wallets out, making it the perfect opportunity for easy giving.

2. Centralized student information.

One of the most important features of your software is the ability to provide centralized student information. Your software should offer: =&6=&
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