ICYMI: Last Week’s Nonprofit News, Today | Feb. 18

What's the current status of new proposed IRS regulations on 501(c)(4) organizations? What three tenets does the Huffington Post propose for revolutionizing philanthropy? And The New Yorker examines how Carnegie's philosophy of philanthropy holds up in 2014.

HEADLINES

23,000 Comments and Counting on Draft IRS 501(c)(4) Regs
(Nonprofit Quarterly)
Both sides of the political spectrum are sounding their outrage over proposed changes to the way the IRS regulates “social welfare organizations,” which would put tougher restraints on many kinds of political action. In the wake of the Citizens United case, which opened the door for (so-called) Super PACs to begin pouring anonymous donations into political campaigns, and the subsequent controversy over the IRS’s handling of a new applicant deluge (asking organizations with certain political buzzwords in their name for more information), these new regulations have drawn a firestorm of attention. The likely result: “the [new] regulations are dead in the water.”

Obama’s Minimum Wage Order Now Encompasses Workers with Disabilities
(Nonprofit Quartelry)
Thanks to the efforts of a wide-ranging nonprofit coalition, the White House issued a correction on President Obama’s executive order (first proposed during his State of the Union address) to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10. That order initially preserved the “anachronis[tic]” right of employers to pay workers with disabilites subminimum wages (“sometimes pennies on the dollar”). At the urging of the ACLU, the National Disability Institute, and some two dozen others, the President changed course to give all federal workers equal wage protection.

EVENTS

5 Ways to Get More Out of Your Next Fundraising Event
(Nonprofit Hub)
Fundraising events are for getting donations, right? Well, part right. As the ED of Nonprofit Hub points out, events should reflect a number of strategic goals that go beyond mere money-collecting: in particular, the opportunity for outreach, engagement, and networking among a “captivated audience.”

Taking Event Sponsor Relationships to New Levels 
(Wild Apricot)
Questions to ask, and sources to consider, when thinking about who’s going to sponsor your next event. Start by making sure the sponsorship “improves the attendee experience,” getting proactive with your search for quality partners, and thinking of the sponsor relationship in terms of marketing rather than fundraising.

FUNDRAISING

7 Steps to Managing a Successful Recurring Revenue Program 
(StayClassy)
A steady stream of monthly revenue isn’t a fantasy—it’s a goal you can reach with a little planning, a lot of engagement, and a handful of simple steps outlined here by the donor engagement coordinator at Team Rubicon. For more recurring revenue hows, whys, and resources, check out The Agitator’s Valentine’s Day look at “fundraising’s equivalent of the ‘going steady’ relationship.”

Warehouses or Accelerators? Charitable Gift Funds Prove Strong Partners to Donors
(Nonprofit Quarterly)
Rick Cohen presents an informative (but dense) look into a hot new financial tool, “donor-advised funds,” being used by Charles Schwab, Fidelity, and other financial services outfits to make nonprofit donations a simple extension of investors’ regular investment activities: ie, “charitable investment vehicles for people whose wealth doesn’t rise to the level of creating private foundations.” Cohen finds these schemes, while controversial, create an unprecedented opportunity for nonprofits and donors alike. (For the meat of the piece, skip to the paragraph beginning, “It seems, however, that there’s an impact being had on the psyche of the donors…”)

INNOVATION

Most Innovative Companies 2014: Bloomberg Philanthropies
(Fast Company)
How its reliance on sophisticated, data-driven solutions places Bloomberg Philanthropies at no. 2—right behind Google—in the business magazine’s annual review of companies on the cutting edge.

LEADERSHIP

What Do Social Sector Leaders Want?
(Philantopic / Philanthropy News Digest)
What’s most important to 196 leaders at foundations, nonprofits, and social sector enterprises in their professional lives? What management guru Jim Collins called “white space,” unscheduled time set aside “for reading, thinking, and writing.” New survey results from McKinsey & Company help explain why breaks—especially sabbaticals—matter for capacity-building and leadership development.

MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS

The Nonprofit Marketer’s Guide to the Millennial Persona
(Inbound Marketing / HubSpot)
Tips for getting a clear idea of your typical millennial donor—what her background is, what she wants, and how to best engage her—from the millennial who heads HubSpot’s nonprofit and education marketing division.

Delight-Direct-Measure: E-mail Marketing Secrets from LiNK
(StayClassy)
When it comes to netting new customers, e-mail still rules the online roost. That applies to donors, too, as exemplified by the highly effective e-mail efforts of Liberty in North Korea. Here, they share their best practices, with examples of the methods that delight followers, direct them to take action, and keep them engaged.

Watch These Tabloids Get Transformed by a Healthy Dose of Real World Problems
(Co.Exist / Fast Company)
Asking why “we don’t know as much about the people… a street over from us, but we know everything about Justin Bieber and Kim Kardashian,” Toronto-based ad agency DDB Canada teamed up with a neighboring nonprofit, poverty-fighting development center Woodgreen Community Centre, to produce an eye-catching and awareness-raising series of splashy, tabloid-style magazine covers and spreads (think People and Us) highlighting the struggles of local women living in poverty.

PHILANTHROPY

Revolutionizing Philanthropy: Three Tenets for Nonprofits
(Huffington Post)
The communications director at international relief organization Water for People explains the three ways they’re remaking the “very nature of the development effort”: catalyzing investment in the long-term maintenance of their community solutions; making review and evaluation their number one priority; and scaling their campaigns for nationwide impact.

Was Carnegie Right About Philanthropy?
(The New Yorker)
An honest look, through data and recent commentary by the likes of Peter Buffett and Robert Reich, into one of the pressing questions of our “New Gilded Age”: “Does philanthropy by the most affluent among us make up for the negative consequences of inequality?”

ON GCN.ORG

Give Where You Live
(GCN)
On November 13, GCN held the second Georgia Gives Day, and recorded significant growth as nonprofits continue to join in on this new giving movement—including a spectacular 85 percent jump in total money raised. Our annual infographic highlights this year's results and our overall positive trends.

Are You Taking Advantage?
(GCN)
President and CEO Karen Beavor welcomes you to the new issue of Georgia Nonprofit NOW, featuring a robust look at board member engagement, with a look at Warren Buffett’s favorite investment and the question of “competitive advantage.”

New data offers insight on nonprofits communications trends
(GCN)
How does your nonprofit marketing and communications department stack up to the rest of field? Do you struggle with the same problems? Are you utilizing the same tools? Kivi Leroux Miller recently published the fourth annual edition of their insightful Nonprofit Communications Trends Report to help you benchmark your efforts.

A Right for All Children: Making Quality Care Accessible, Affordable, and Universal
(GCN)
Unfortunately, care for the 400,000 Georgia children under age six is not in any way consistent, and there has been little to help parents reliably compare available services. Quality Care for Children aims to change that by “providing resources to children, parents, and child care providers in securing high-quality, early learning experiences for infants and young children.”

Marc Schultz is contributing editor at the Georgia Center for Nonprofits. 

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