Friday, October 28, 2011
Using Our Outside Voices in the House … and in the Senate
Nonprofits are not used to raising our voices. We teach others to use their “indoor voices,” and we mediate disputes so others won’t yell in anger. We heal the wounded, silently. We feed the hungry, quietly. At times we play loud music and paint loud colors on canvases. But you get the picture: we are not used to yelling.
Recently Tim Delaney, President and CEO of the National Council of Nonprofits, was in Georgia, Montana, and New York, encouraging nonprofits to raise their voices -- literally. In rooms filled with nonprofit leaders attending major conferences, he designated half the room the loud "Yes” crowd, and the other half the “Nos.” Tim then pointed to one side – “YES” came the refrain; then to the other side and louder “NOs” reverberated. After a few volleys, the friendly competition could be measured in deafening decibels. Tim then instructed the “Yes” side to remain silent – they weren’t allowed to use their voices. After a couple more volleys of loud “NOs” that were met with silence, Tim noted what policymakers hear: silence from the majority who are too busy and too unsure, versus resounding and unmatched “NOs” from the vocal opposition. Each time the “No!” voices boomed against the silence, members of the audience grasped the danger of remaining silent.
Silence is the nonprofit sector’s worst enemy. If nonprofits don’t raise our voices, we are powerless. Right now, it’s urgent that all nonprofits speak up.
The charitable giving incentive is at risk.
Congress is considering, on a tight timeline, how to reduce the deficit by at least $1.2 trillion. Slashing the deficit by that much guarantees that every option to save money will be on the table, without much thought as to the consequences – unless the downside is abundantly clear. The National Council – and so far, more than 20 other national organizations and 2,800 community-based nonprofits across America – think it is abundantly clear that if the Supercommittee recommends elimination of the charitable giving incentive, then individuals and communities served by nonprofits will suffer.
Raise your voice now!
Sign on to the Nonprofit Community Letter to protect the charitable giving incentive.
See which nonprofits in your state have already signed on.
Learn more about the charitable giving incentive.
Spread the word! Tweet: The #charitable giving incentive that supports #nonprofits is at risk! Take action now to protect it. bit.ly/olnPHp (via @NatlCouncilNPs) or #Nonprofits, tell the #supercommittee not to change the #charitable #giving incentive http://bit.ly/rZcH5q #takeaction (via @NatlCouncilNPs)
Advocacy by nonprofits is legal – and needed.
Join your State Association to keep informed about capacity building and policy issues that impact all nonprofits.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Foundation Center Launches www.WASHfunders.org
New York, NY — October 19, 2011. The Foundation Center, the leading source of information about philanthropy worldwide, has launched a custom web portal to serve as a hub of information and resources for funders working around the world to improve water access, sanitation, and hygiene — commonly referred to as "WASH." The new site, WASHfunders.org, addresses a critical challenge in philanthropy — knowing who is funding what, and where — so that the community of funders can more effectively, and collectively, meet global challenges.
"WASHfunders.org is a cutting-edge web portal that will play a vital role in promoting effectiveness, increasing collaboration, and facilitating decision making within the donor community," according to Steven M. Hilton, president and CEO of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, a leading funder of water issues. "Access to safe water supplies, improved sanitation, and good hygienic practices are key building blocks for improving the quality of human health, education, livelihoods, and overall well-being. We hope that this user-friendly tool will help bring more visibility to the global water crisis, attract new partners and funders, and fill a key gap in the effort to meet the global WASH challenges."
WASHfunders.org provides free access to a broad set of knowledge resources for funders, practitioners, and policymakers, including:
A mapping tool that enables users to interact with data on international aid flows, foundation funding, and key development indicators;
Profiles documenting the WASH strategies of leading foundations;
Case studies that illustrate the successes and challenges of WASH projects around the world;
Tools and resources for assessing project outcomes; and
A searchable archive of research reports recommended by sector leaders.
These knowledge tools empower donors to be more strategic, using data-driven decision making and peer-to-peer insights to strengthen their philanthropy.
"WASHfunders.org re-envisions traditional frameworks of how donors can work together to solve the world's water crisis," said Bradford Smith, president of the Foundation Center. "This customized web portal not only serves as a model of how the Foundation Center can empower donors to be more effective, it also raises awareness of philanthropy's contribution to making a better world."
WASHfunders.org was produced with support from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.
About the Foundation Center
Established in 1956 and today supported by close to 550 foundations, the Foundation Center is the leading source of information about philanthropy worldwide. Through data, analysis, and training, it connects people who want to change the world to the resources they need to succeed. The Center maintains the most comprehensive database on U.S. and, increasingly, global grantmakers and their grants — a robust, accessible knowledge bank for the sector. It also operates research, education, and training programs designed to advance knowledge of philanthropy at every level. Thousands of people visit the Center's web site each day and are served in its five regional library/learning centers and its network of more than 450 funding information centers located in public libraries, community foundations, and educational institutions nationwide and around the world. For more information, please visit foundationcenter.org or call (212) 620-4230.
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Monday, October 17, 2011
Below is information about the new National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) required poster describing employee rights under the National Labor Relations Act.
The National Labor Relations Board has postponed the implementation date for its new notice-posting rule by more than two months. The new effective date of the rule is Jan. 31, 2012.
The Board’s jurisdiction extends to most small business owners. However, some very small employers whose annual volume of business is not large enough to have more than a slight effect on interstate commerce are exempted. In the case of retail businesses, including home construction, the Board’s jurisdiction covers any employer with a gross annual volume of business of $500,000 or more. The Board’s non-retail jurisdictional standard applies to most other employers. It is based on the amount of goods sold or services provided by the employer out of state (called “outflow”) or goods or services purchased by the employer from out of state (called “inflow”), even indirectly. Under this standard, the Board will take jurisdiction over an employer with an annual inflow or outflow of at least $50,000. See “Frequently Asked Question” Link below for more details about the Board’s jurisdiction standards.
A workplace poster that describes employee rights under the National Labor Relations Act is now available for free download from the NLRB website at www.nlrb.gov/poster
Private-sector employers within the NLRB’s jurisdiction will be required to display the poster where other workplace notices are posted. The National Labor Relations Board has postponed the implementation date for its new notice-posting rule by more than two months in order to allow for enhanced education and outreach to employers, particularly those who operate small and medium sized businesses. The new effective date of the rule is Jan. 31, 2012. The decision to extend the rollout period followed queries from businesses and trade organizations indicating uncertainty about which businesses fall under the Board’s jurisdiction, and was made in the interest of ensuring broad voluntary compliance. No other changes in the rule, or in the form or content of the notice, will be made. Employers who customarily post personnel rules or policies on an internet or intranet site must also provide a link to the rights poster from those sites. In addition, copies of the Notice will soon be available without charge from any NLRB regional office.
For further information about the posting, including a detailed discussion of which employers are covered by the NLRA, and what to do if a substantial share of the workplace speaks a language other than English, please see our Frequently Asked Questions. . For questions that do not appear on the list, or to arrange for an NLRB presentation on the rule, please contact the agency at firstname.lastname@example.org or 866-667-NLRB.
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Information for your members: You may have seen that in late September the IRS announced a voluntary compliance program for employers (including nonprofit employers) to enable those who have mistakenly classified workers as independent contractors to make a correction, along with a modest payment, and avoid the usual penalties of noncompliance. This program’s announcement offers an opportunity to remind nonprofits about the risk of misclassification and share information with them about the voluntary compliance program. See the National Council’s website materials on this topic.
Here is the text of the IRS announcement about the voluntary compliance program (from the IRS’s EO Update circulated on October 4):
“The IRS has launched a new program that will enable many employers, including tax-exempt employers, to resolve past worker classification issues and come back into compliance by making a minimal payment covering past payroll tax obligations rather than waiting for an IRS audit. To be eligible for the new Voluntary Classification Settlement Program an applicant must:
Consistently have treated the workers as nonemployees in the past
Filed all required Forms 1099 for the workers for the previous three years
Not currently be under audit by the IRS, Department of Labor or a state agency concerning the classification of these workers.
Full details, including FAQs, will be available on the Employment Tax Pages of IRS.gov and in Announcement 2011-64.”