It’s time to plan year-end appeals. Contact us if you need some ideas or information.
Congratulations to Janel Ware of Shenandoah Valley Academy! She received her Certificate in Fund Raising Management from the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at a recent course taught in DC! It was also a pleasure to have Miriam Battles from Oakwood University in the group! Also pictured is Dr. Gene Tempel, founding dean of the School.
Also congratulations to the Advancement office of Walla Walla University, led by Jodi Wagner. They received recognition for overall performance by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). This is a stellar achievement and we’re pleased to know one of our ranks was honored. See the list here.
A really important item of information for anyone who is doing fundraising appeared in a recent Chronicle of Philanthropy Daily Update, Oct. 26, 2017, “The Best Research Available for Fundraisers: A Roundup.” We base our services on both best practices and research on what works, and many of you will be interested, I’m sure, in seeing the sources of the research. If you don’t get the Chronicle, write me and I’ll send you the article.
A yearly highlight for PSI is the President’s Dinner, and it was held in the new NAD building this year, during year-end meetings (see photos on Events page on our website). Our sincere thanks to Dr. Amir Pasic, current dean of the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, who gave an excellent keynote address. We appreciate those who attended this special event and have shown interest and support of PSI’s work for NAD constituents.
Coming soon!! Charlotte Henderson is working on a comprehensive mentoring program and it will soon be available! We want to use this “tool” to help new fundraisers, strengthen those who are already in practice, and recruit new individuals to our great profession. We also have information on careers in fundraising—contact me or any PSI staff member if you wish to have information, and be sure to download Your Future in Fundraising, available on our website, or purchase this at low-cost from AdventSource.org. We always welcome new individuals to this great profession.
Don’t forget that besides personal counsel that PSI provides, we have many resources such as a library and we do grant searches for you.
Until next time! We try to bring you news every two weeks. Apologies that this is late due to my computer locking me out (thanks, Windows 10!) while traveling.
As promised, here is installment #3 from PSI, catching you up on a few select items about our work and clients, and also updating you on some interesting happenings in the world of philanthropy and fundraising.
The annual tradition of a President’s Dinner is coming soon, on the evening of October 29. This year’s featured speaker will be the Dean of the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, Dr. Amir Pasic. Our theme is one that concerns all of us who do fundraising—the better the organizational context, the better success we have with fundraising. We will also feature a short video of leading professionals speaking about this topic and how they have addressed it. Watch for it on this website after the dinner. Please urge your Conference and Union presidents to come, along with other leaders with whom you interact.
Coming soon—a survey about how you wish to receive PSI news! Please fill it out when you receive it so we know how best to serve you!
Remember the Bible text you probably memorized as a child, or at some point in your life you learned this key text… “It’s more blessed to give than to receive!” Well, we give credence to this thought because we believe in the Bible, but now we also have secular research backing this up!! If interested, write me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you some references you can use.
Academies continue to grow in fundraising and make headway—yes, I’m repeating this sentence from last time, but it’s worth repeating!! Please remember and also share this information that PSI has many resources that can help, including a new planning form, as well as our handbook, Successful Fundraising, and countless other materials. We also come on-site to help you! Share and spread the news that we are ready and able to help academies move ahead!
Here is a sobering bit of news– CHRONICLE OF PHILANTHROPY DAILY UPDATE
OCTOBER 03, 2017 Fewer Americans Find Room in Their Budgets for Charity, Chronicle Data Show. If you don’t receive the Chronicle, ask us for info about this piece.
Featuring one of PSI’s consultants this month—our special consultants help meet the many and growing requests for PSI’s help, and we’re fortunate to have them on our team for special gigs and assistance.
Dr. Dennis Carlson is a fundraising and leadership consultant for non-profits, focusing largely on Seventh-day Adventist entities such as local churches. His experience in philanthropy includes four years as Vice President for Advancement at Walla Walla University and various fundraising initiatives within the church context during his years as a pastor and church leader. He served as Vice President for Administration in both the Washington and Upper Columbia Conferences and as President of the Minnesota Conference and the Mid-American Union Conference. He was chair of the board of Philanthropic Services for Institutions (PSI) during his time as Assistant to the President for Administration at the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists. He also served on the Advisory Committee for PSI. He earned a B.A. in Theology from Columbia Union College (Now Washington Adventist University) and a Master of Divinity degree from the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University. He earned a Doctor of Ministry Degree from Northwest Theological Union.
Until next time!
In the library
Nonprofit Excellence in Fundraising
Built upon the success of the best-selling “Nonprofit Management 101,” this easy to digest book provides practical, comprehensive guidance for nonprofit fundraising around the globe. With tips and tools, expert advice, and real-world insights from almost fifty industry leaders, this robust resource addresses the entire spectrum of fundraising for nonprofits, including: Planning, hiring, and tracking progress Individual donors, major gifts, events, and direct mail Board and volunteer engagement Foundation and government grants Corporate partnerships Online and email fundraising.
Advice from the Expert
Verifying Charity Trustworthiness
By Bennett Weiner
Most of us make donations to charity in response to an “ask.” While there are other triggers that may prompt us to give, such as in response to a major disaster or tragedy, the solicitation is the key that opens the door to the majority of gifts received by organizations. Of course, we can’t contribute to every charity appeal received, so we support the causes we care about most. But how does one vet these chosen charities?
Some may seek to ensure the charity is tax exempt as a charity under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and thus eligible to receive deductible gifts. Or, one might check to see if the charity is registered to solicit with the applicable state government agency (usually a division of the state attorney general’s office.) While those are helpful considerations that demonstrate the organization has followed legal requirements, each of these checks don’t really tell you which charity is managed well.
More knowledgeable donors may look for a copy of the charity’s most recently completed IRS Form 990 which is the annual financial form that charities (other than houses of worship) are required to file if they have gross receipts of over $200,000 (or the EZ version if their gross receipts are between $50,000 and $200,000.) Many charities include links to copies of these completed forms on their websites or one may access them through state government agencies that register charities, or by visiting third-party websites that make the 990 publicly available.
Without the applicable training, the financial and other information in the IRS Form 990 can be a challenge for donors to understand and interpret. There are third-party charity rating services that grade charities based on a review of some of the information contained in these forms. This information is helpful but is generally limited to the information contained in the completed government forms.
There is a third-party standards-based service, however, that evaluates charities based on a review of not only the IRS Form 990, but the audited financial statements, annual reports, appeals, websites and other comprehensive information requested from the charitable organization: the BBB Wise Giving Alliance (also known as BBB’s Give.org.) This information is reviewed in relation to the 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability which address charity governance, finances, results reporting, appeal accuracy, transparency, donor privacy, and other issues. There is no charge to charities for this accountability assessment and the resulting reports are free to the public at Give.org. If the charity is found to meet all 20 Standards, they are called a BBB Accredited Charity. If one or more standards are not met, the report will specify the standard(s) and explain why the charity does not meet them. In those instances where the charity does not provide any of the requested information to BBB’s Give.org, despite repeated written request, the report will feature this nondisclosure result.
In addition to helping donors verify the trustworthiness of charities, BBB’s Give.org also seeks to strengthen charity accountability by communicating with the subject charities and informing them of what actions they can take to amend any concerns found during the accountability review process. Many charities implement these recommendations in order to amend initial findings brought to their attention.
BBB charity reporting is not a new BBB program but one with a long and rich history of Better Business Bureau activity. The need for factual, impartial information on charitable organizations emerged early in the development of the 100-year old Better Business Bureau system. While many are familiar with the BBB name for its complaint handling services and its reporting on businesses, they are less familiar with its charity reporting efforts. Visit Give.org to learn more about BBB charity reporting.
Bennett Weiner serves as chief operating officer of the BBB Wise Giving Alliance. In this capacity, he manages all aspects of the organization that monitors and reports on charitable organizations that solicit nationally. Mr. Weiner has been engaged in BBB charity evaluation activities since 1980. He oversees the publication of the Wise Giving Guide magazine, written reports on national charities, and provides guidance to local charity evaluation activities carried out by Better Business Bureaus. Over the years, he has been interviewed or quoted in numerous print and broadcast media. Mr. Weiner has testified before U.S. Congressional Committees on various charity accountability issues. From 1998-2001 The NonProfit Times included him in its annual list of Top 50 influential nonprofit executives. In 2005, he won the BBB Meritorious Service Award – an annual award given to individuals in the Better Business Bureau system. Mr. Weiner has participated in a variety of advisory committees addressing charity accountability matters. In 2010, he was appointed to the newly formed Not-for-Profit Advisory Committee of the Financial Accounting Standards Board.
Bennett M. Weiner,
Chief Operating Officer,
BBB Wise Giving Alliance
3033 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 600
Arlington, VA 22201-3863