Effective Altruism: Making Their Money Count

“How do I do the most good with my donation?” is a question many donors ask these days, as the social movement of effective altruism carries its momentum into the 2020s. Effective altruism is commonly described as a philosophy that uses evidence and reasoning to determine the most effective ways to benefit others. And the […]

Still Struggling With How To Account For Contributions?

After the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s (FASB’s) 2014 release of Accounting Standards Update (ASU) No. 2014-09, Revenue from Contracts with Customers, many nonprofits were confused about whether grants and similar contracts were covered by these new revenue recognition rules. The FASB’s subsequent issuance of ASU No. 2018-08, Not-for-Profit Entities (Topic 958): Clarifying the Scope and […]

Writing Donation Acknowledgment Letters

Sending thank-yous to your donors doesn’t just make sense in terms of building and maintaining relationships. The IRS mandates that taxpayers substantiate single contributions of $250 or more with contemporaneous written acknowledgments. Here’s what you should include in those acknowledgments. The Essentials A written contribution acknowledgment should contain: The name of your organization, The amount […]

Matching Gifts Double the impact of Donors’ Contributions

A majority of large U.S. companies offer matching gift programs to boost the impact of their employees’ charitable gifts. Double the Donation estimates that $2 to $3 billion is donated through matching gift programs every year. At the same time, between $4 and $7 billion in matching gift funds goes unclaimed annually. Is your not-for-profit doing everything it can to claim […]

Keep these 5 points in mind when raising funds

Since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) was enacted in late 2017, some aspects of charitable giving have changed, but not exactly in the way some nonprofit watchers predicted. Because the TCJA widely reduced the motivation for donating to charity, many observers forecast that annual donations might plummet. But so far that hasn’t been […]

Multiple income streams: The key to sustainability

When the so-called Great Recession hit the nation over a decade ago, many nonprofits found themselves struggling to stay afloat financially. Not all of them survived. Organizations with only one or two sources of revenue were particularly vulnerable, yet, more than a decade later, some nonprofits continue to struggle. It’s only a matter of time […]

How to attract donor-advised fund gifts

Donor-advised funds (DAFs) have been around since the 1930s, but they’ve exploded in popularity in the past decade. Between 2007 and 2016, DAF assets grew from $32 billion to $85 billion, according to the National Philanthropic Trust. Assets are expected to continue to grow exponentially thanks, at least in part, to the Tax Cuts and […]

After the TCJA: How to keep the giving going this holiday season

Thanksgiving through the end of the year is traditionally the big fundraising season for nonprofits. In one GuideStar survey, U.S. charities received as much as 50% of their annual donations between October and December. And although the holiday spirit moves many donors to give, it’s the charitable tax deduction that typically spurs them to make […]

New revenue guidance provides direction to nonprofits

In 2014, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued a new standard on revenue recognition (ASU 2014-09). The ASU was intended to clarify and standardize across various sectors revenue reporting. But many nonprofits found the new standard confusing because it didn’t account for the unique nature of revenue sources such as contributions and grants. Now, […]

Educating donors about what they can — and can’t — deduct

Education may not officially be part of your nonprofit’s mission. But while working with donors, you’ve probably noticed that many are confused about the federal tax deductibility of their contributions. To help prevent unwelcome surprises when donors file their returns, inform them about the tax benefits of different types of donations. Cash, ordinary income and […]