When people come through your doors, the day-to-day operations of your non-profit speaks loudly to donors, funders and clients. Disorganization and dysfunction says there is a lack of consistency, accountability and transparency; a sign that the organization is not going to value contributions of time or money. Clearly developed POLICIES AND PROCEDURES are the link to empowering front-line staff and volunteers to put your carefully crafted MISSION IN daily MOTION.
Developing crisp and concise POLICIES AND PROCEDURES can be fun. (what???) Now that you've had a good laugh, I'll tell you why.
You get to investigate and clarify how your organization:
Most importantly writing clear POLICIES and concise PROCEDURES ensures
ACCOUNTABILITY and TRANSPARENCY
Then you put those notes into tightly written POLICIES and PROCEDURES that use the smallest number of words possible so they will actually be helpful and used. It's worth the time and it generates lots of good ideas!!
Watch this blog and share tips with members.
Hope you were able to join us on August 16 for a special invitation-only webinar on the future of the nonprofit sector in eastern Riverside County. We were focused on the important components of a healthy nonprofit ecosystem, the evolution of vital programs and services to address upcoming challenges and seeking out innovative opportunities to grow and expand new markets and programs.
Here are the components included in the webinar:
Capacity Building – Addressing the infrastructure and talent management needs of organizations to increase organizational ability, impact, and accountability through continual improvement and organizational and professional training.
Funding – Developing robust business plans and diverse funding strategies ensure organizations are not just sustainable but healthy, thriving financially and taking full advantage of all the financing opportunities available.
Information Sharing – Assessing, collecting, organizing, and disseminating information on the programs and people we serve enables organizations to effectively measure impact and identify and address disparities in programs and funding. We also covered collectively looking for better solutions and practices that will benefit our organizations, clients, and the entire community and sharing our best practices.
Networking – Building relationships with other organizations, businesses, agencies, funders, the people we serve and everyone who lives in our communities to help increase productive engagement and sustain long-term change. Networking can help initiate joint projects which better support the quality and growth of vital programs.
Advocacy and Public Policy Education - Educating nonprofit organizations regarding the public policy issues that affect this sector and their respective programs and the rights and responsibilities of organizations to act as advocates. Also covered were developing the skills needed to engage effectively in advocacy to influence decision makers for their support and enhance the overall efforts of the industry.
You can find the unedited replay of the webinar here.
Jim Lynch, Twitter: @originaljlynch
22 Aug 2017 8:11 AM
Artificial intelligence or AI has the ring of important, complicated digital technology, but any of us using a cellphone or computer are using it every day. It is already embedded in a lot of the software we use daily.
In this third installment on artificial intelligence and chatbots in nonprofit technology, we'll explore the big picture of AI and how it already affects the work of charities. Also check out our first post on chatbots here, as well as our second post on how charities are already using chatbots. We hope to surprise you with how AI is making your work easier rather than harder.
In the simplest terms, AI is the part of computing that not only collects information from us and from the Internet, but also learns from what it stores. More and more, AI likes to figure out our preferences for using data and to serve it up to us in a convenient way. Of course, under the hood, it involves complicated algorithms, but you don't need a computer science degree to use it.
When we talk to our cellphones using apps like Siri, OK Google, and Cortana, we're using AI. Amazon learns from our purchase history to suggest products to us, and Netflix learns from our viewing history to suggest videos we might like. AI is all over the place now. Here are some ways it is appearing in nonprofit technology.
One of the best things I've seen out there is 5 Ways Artificial Intelligence Can Boost Nonprofit Fundraising from our esteemed colleagues at TechSoup Canada. Here's a sample of what they found.
TechSoup donor partner Blackbaud has been using AI and machine learning to generate recommendations to fundraisers directly in its software applications. Fundraisers don't need special tools or skills to get or use the information.
Talla is a chatbot designed to augment the HR work of finding suitable job candidates. The app provides a set of interview questions based upon the role, and it can conduct a Net Promoter Score survey following the recruiting process. The software can also train new employees with a chatbot that answers HR questions.
Connectifier is a LinkedIn service that helps you identify and then contact good job candidates. It leverages a constantly growing database of more than 450 million candidates and, of course, learns from what works for you.
TechSoup donor partner Intuit is not only a leader in accounting software, but also a leader in bringing artificial intelligence to the field. An example is the auto-categorization feature in QuickBooks Online. The feature automatically categorizes transactions for you when you import your spending activity from your online bank records. The software also corrects undetected mistakes based on wrong information when tasks are handled manually.
Check out our free webinar recording: The Third Wave of Nonprofit Technology: Technology for Social Change.
If you have any AI tools that you use and would like to recommend to us and the nonprofit community, please log in and comment below!
This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International License.
Two speakers from CalNonprofits, the California Association of Nonprofits (CAN), Jan Masaoka, CEO and Nancy Berlin, Policy Director will be featured at the 2017 Nonprofit Conference Day on September 28.. For many years, CAN has provided voice and leadership to helping nonprofits identify and address key issues critical to the future. With a state-wide membership of over 10,000 organizations, CAN brings nonprofits together to advocate for the communities we serve.
Through the strength of its membership, CAN is able to speak with a unified voice to the legislature, government agencies, philanthropy community and the public. They assist with building networks for broad support, facilitating debate over public policy, provide essential programs and services to organizations, conduct research and analyze date to promote nonprofit causes and effectiveness. CAN also produced Causes Count the first report of its kind to examine the influence of the nonprofit sector in the state of California. Causes Count is one of the best tools for nonprofits that pays tribute to the economic impact and importance of nonprofits in the state.
Link to 5-ways-you-can-engage with Causes Count:
To have the desired impact we want, nonprofit organizations face significant changes in the days ahead. It’s more important now than ever to leave the safety of the comfortable and conservative to venture into risky waters. As the old adage suggests, “Anyone can captain a ship in the harbor, but it takes a skillful captain to find success on the high seas.”
It’s time for organizations to embrace developing new strategies and skills to be equipped and ready for the larger opportunities often hidden in the crises we face. Today, models and mindsets must also expand beyond traditional norms to attract the talent and resources that will make a difference.
Recently, a young leader of an organization I worked with decided shortly after getting a Masters in Social Work from a very prestigious university that to really achieve their desired results they would need to leave the safety of a secure job. Instead, they put together a more flexible menu of part-time opportunities to allow caring for a family member, pursuing personal goals in the entertainment industry, and building the team of a nonprofit for creative expression.
While this kind of risk-taking may not guarantee success, it does ensure there will at least be the opportunity to build something new and different. In this industry too many organizations practice imitation (based on evidence and research) and too few find support and encouragement for innovation (which may either expose a great new idea or end in failure). Do you think it’s time to choose between the safety of the predictable and the excitement of the unknown?
Please send me your feedback at email@example.com. Your voice will shape the next stage of this conversation.
RAP Mixer at Aguacaliente
(Click the picture to see more)
Last week we had another awesome Mixer for the nonprofit community. Hundreds of people attended and network in this special event. Kristal Granados shared with the audience very valuable information for the nonprofit community in the Coachella Valley. John Epps also shared the new events from The Center for Nonprofit Advancement by Regional Access Program Foundation.
We are planning a lot new events that will enrich your knowledge in nonprofits management and also will expand your network.
For more information please visit is at www.cna.rapfoundation.org #nonprofits #cna # rapfoundation #mixer #networking
Many nonprofits struggle to meet the needs of their programs with limited funds and look to creative methods to staff operations. Occasionally someone suggests that workers be paid a “stipend,” generally a flat sum of money per week or month, rather than paying workers based on hours worked. However, under federal and some state wage and hour laws, stipends would not be lawful for workers except those lawfully classified as “interns” which we will discuss below. These laws are to protect workers and establish minimum employment standards, including minimum wage and overtime, based on hours worked. Wage and hour laws cannot be waived by any type of agreement with the worker.
Individuals who perform work for nonprofit employers fall into one of four categories of worker: Employee, Independent Contractor, Volunteer or Intern. The only exception is AmeriCorp workers who are subject to a federal law that specifies their compensation structure. When considering whether a particular worker is an “employee,” the legal analysis starts with the presumption that the worker is an employee, and if a worker classification is questioned by any administrative agency, it is the employer’s burden to prove that the worker is appropriately classified otherwise. We know stipends cannot be used for “non-exempt employees” because under the law these employees need to record time, and be paid minimum wage and overtime for each hour worked. Overtime exempt employees have to be paid on a “salary basis” that would likewise prohibit payment by stipends.
“Independent contractors” are workers or businesses that are economically independent from the hiring business as they are considered in business for themselves. A number of factors are reviewed by the federal Department of Labor (DOL) to determine if a worker is appropriately classified as an independent contractor under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Independent contractors are paid a contractually agreed amount to perform a service or produce a product, preferably pursuant to a written agreement. These independent businesses thus are paid by contract terms, and not a stipend.
The DOL Wage and Hour Division has recognized that a person may volunteer time to religious, charitable, civic, humanitarian, or similar nonprofit organizations as a public service and not be considered an “employee” covered by the FLSA or wage and hour laws. Such a person volunteers freely for such organizations without compensation or expectation of compensation. For nonprofits engaged in commercial activity that serves the public, such as thrift stores or restaurants, the US Supreme Court has held that such workers must be classified as employees. Because there can be no compensation provided to volunteers, these workers also cannot receive a stipend under the law. While there are DOL opinion letters relating to volunteers receiving stipends, those cases relate to the public sector, not nonprofit volunteerism. Volunteers can however, be reimbursed for expenses, like mileage, protective clothing, or other costs associated with volunteering. Nonprofits should also be aware that the FLSA prohibits employees from “volunteering” to do their regular job, as this is essentially waiving their rights under the law, which is against public policy.
The last possible classification of a worker is that of “Intern”, typically students receiving educational credits and training, some of it on-the-job. The DOL established a 6-factor test to determine if a worker can appropriately be classified an “intern.” Since interns are not employees covered by the FLSA, they can be paid a stipend. This is seen in the educational sector with graduate students, or other vocational educational programs. It is important to remember that there are also state laws the govern wage and hour matters, and some states, such as California, have adopted their own test for determining intern status. Thus, if your nonprofit is contemplating classifying a worker as an “intern,” and paying a stipend rather than wages, you must satisfy both the state and federal definition of “intern.”
These rules also apply if a worker is a former client. For instance, house managers or resident managers of nonprofit client living environments who receive free room and board, which can be considered a form of compensation or other monetary remuneration should be classified as “employees” if they perform any work for the nonprofit. While it is possible for former clients to be volunteers, they can only be reimbursed for expenses related to volunteering and not paid additional sums as such payments can jeopardize their status as “volunteers.”
To avoid liability for a wage and hour claim, make sure that all your workers are appropriately classified and paid in accordance with the law. If you’ve purchased a Directors and Officers (D&O) policy including Employment Practices Liability from the Nonprofits Insurance Alliance Group, your policy carries a defense-only limit of $250,000 for wage and hour claims. Contact your broker if you have any questions about your insurance coverages.
Risk Alerts are provided as a resource to nonprofits insured by the Nonprofits Insurance Alliance Group to help create awareness about possible areas of exposure to their organization.We are a group of insurance cooperatives, insuring 16,000 other 501(c)(3) nonprofit across the country. If you are with a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and would like to get a quote for coverage, Get a Quote here!
We had a great Networking Mixer event last February 22nd at Soul of Mexico Restaurant. The event is part of RAP Foundation. John Epps was the Master Ceremony and he was presenting the new Center for Nonprofit Advancement, the new RAP program to support nonprofits in the Coachella Valley and surroundings. We also had the participation of Eva Guenther-James, Grants Program Manager. Eva sharing the details of the new 2017 Fast Pitch contest, an annual event designed to support nonprofits.
Check the photos on Facebook here:
The event was a success. We had a full house with more of 100 people attending to the first Mixer by RAP Foundation. The next mixer is schedule for April. Please visit the C.N.A. page for more information about the new events live and online www.cna.rapfoundation.org. You can also contact John Epps for more details at firstname.lastname@example.org
#mixer #rapfoundation #cna