Thursday, November 29, 2012

IRS posts 2013 mileage rates

The new auto rates for 2013 are:

  • 56.5 cents per mile for business miles driven
  • 24 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations

  • These rates have increased 1 cent from 2012.

    Monday, November 19, 2012

    Year End Giving Tips and the Influence on Your Donors-Part I

    At this time of year when the focus is on giving, I have seen a number of articles in local and national magazines on selecting charities for giving.   The one that I read recently sited Charity Navigator's post Top 10 Best Practices of Savvy Donors    As I read through the points I thought about how charites can be prepared for these savvy donors.

    Here are the tips (in italics) and what you can do to put your best foot forward this giving season.

    1.  Be proactive--identify what results are most important to you and be specific about the goals you expect by giving   Make sure your mission and your community impact are obvious to people who may not know you well.  Look at your website, your facebook page, any recent newspaper articles.   Can a donor easily see what you do and the impact you deliver?   Do they have to read through information or click onto other pages?  Most organizations communicate clearly what they do but is your impact obvious?  

    2. Engage in dialogue-talk to the staff to learn about the group's accomplishments, goals, and challenges.  How easy is it for a donor to reach someone who can answer these questions?  Do you have several staff they could speak with?  Are there opportunities for people to volunteer with your work so that these conversations happen naturally in the course of the volunteer experience?   Are your Board members equipped to have these conversations?  The more opportunities that someone has to learn about your organization from a number of different contacts, the easier it will be for them to engage as a donor.

    3. Confirm nonprofit status.  Make sure the organization is registered as a nonprofit charity.  You can check your organization's status here on the IRS website at Publication 78.  The IRS revoked the status of a number of small nonprofits that had not filed tax returns.   We have also come across older organizations that were filing tax returns with the IRS but were not registered.    Better for you to check and make sure than to be surprised by an inquiring donor.

    The next few posts will continue to look at the other points.

    Monday, November 5, 2012

    Board Members & Fundraising

    It is probably one of the top 5 questions our nonprofits have in relation to their Boards--how can we help our Board Members feel comfortable with fundraising?   This post by Claire Axelrad at her blog Clarification answers that question in an insightful memorable way.

    My favorite quote from the post:
    No one is asking for money merely for the sake of money. They’re asking to serve a greater purpose and are engaging others in a compelling story; then matching folks who are interested in this story with a cause they value and a solution they can endorse.