Home > The Gardner Report > Is Your NPO Bucking a National Trend?

The March/April issue of Advancing Philanthropy features a summary of the Late Fall 2011 Nonprofit Fundraising Study. That study reported that in addition to increases in demand, NPOs of all sizes anticipate starting 2012 with reduced revenue, including:

• 59% of reporting NPOs find philanthropy was flat or lower through 3Q 2011.
• 54% of those with government funding report declines compared to 2010.
• 46% reported revenue from sources other than contributions was down.

The findings were that smaller NPOs (less than $3 million budget) were more challenged in meeting the increasing demand for services with flat or reduced revenue compared to larger NPOs. As a result smaller NPOs reported more conservative budgets and a greater likelihood of staff or program reductions.

Share with Gardner & Associates how your NPO is doing in this challenging economy. What have you done to make adjustments? G&A will share your ideas in its May Gardner Report.

ACE Diamond Standards Proves Helpful to NPO Leaders

Our March Gardner Report encouraged NPO’s to complete the Arkansas Coalition for Excellence Diamond Standards inventory. Feedback is that completing the inventory took only about 40 minutes. Finishing the inventory resulted in one of two reactions:

• “We are pretty good because we checked yes on all relevant boxes and qualify for the Diamond Standards (proud, back pat!).”
• “It showed our NPO that we have some work to do and now we know exactly what it is that we need to do to qualify (to do list).”

If you have not completed the inventory, reserve 40 minutes to sit down with your board chair or staff leader. Work through the inventory. It will be a capacity building experience. When you are finished, which reaction will you have?

Headlines from the Nation Council of Nonprofits

Senate Returns from Spring Break with Issues of Interest to Nonprofits
The U.S. Senate returns from a two-week recess to take on two issues that could impact the work of nonprofits – the Buffett rule tax hike and postal reform. Next Monday, the Senate is scheduled to take a procedural vote on the “Paying a Fair Share Act” (S.2230), a bill to require millionaires to pay at least 30 percent of their income in taxes. The measure is nicknamed the “Buffett rule” after billionaire Warren Buffett who has complained famously that he pays a much lower effective tax rate than his middle-class executive assistant. Although the bill is not expected to pass the Senate’s 60-vote procedural minimum, let alone the House, it expresses a significant and positive norm by maintaining the incentive for charitable giving through the exemption of charitable donations from the new tax. Prior to its annual spring break, the Senate postponed action on postal reform legislation that would close an $11 billion budget deficit of the Postal Service, but would not alter nonprofit postal bulk rates as proposed in a House bill. Congress is under pressure to pass an overhaul bill before a moratorium on closing postal facilities expires on May 15.

Expired Charitable Incentives, Other Tax Breaks Up for Review
The IRA rollover, other charitable giving incentives, and dozens of business and individual tax breaks expired at the end of 2011 but are sometimes renewed as a package retroactively; this year, a congressional committee is planning to evaluate each measure one-by-one before giving its thumbs up. The House Ways and Means Committee is scheduling a series of hearings beginning April 26 to “conduct a thorough review of the various targeted provisions in the Code commonly referred to as ‘tax extenders,’” according to Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI). In what can only be considered a challenge and an invitation to demonstrate the relevance of the temporary giving incentives to the work of nonprofits, Camp concluded, “We look forward to hearing from interested parties about the merits of these tax policies.”

Legislation Promotes Nonprofit Hiring
A new bill in the Senate would create tax credits for nonprofits and other employers that hire new employees or increase wages in 2012. The “Small Business Jobs and Tax Relief Act” would provide a 10 percent income tax credit on new payroll added in 2012, whether through hiring or increased wages.

G&A Can Help with Planned Giving
Paul Gardner and Walt Eilers are now partnering with Dr. Fred Hueston. Fred brings expertise in assessing and designing planned giving programs for NPO’s.

For details on Fred’s planned giving program contact him via email.

Frederick R. Hueston, Ph.D., CFRE

Dr. Hueston has been serving and consulting in the nonprofit sector since 1984, and 2012 marks his 28th year as a professional fundraising executive. He is currently a Senior Associate of Gardner & Associates.

He holds a doctorate in Educational Management and Development, and initially began his career as Assistant Vice President, followed by Executive Director of Development, at New Mexico State University. During that tenure, NMSU completed a highly successful $20,000,000 comprehensive capital campaign in celebration of its centennial in 1988.

Dr. Hueston has taught in the graduate school at the University of Arkansas/Little Rock as an Adjunct Professor in the Nonprofit Management Program. He has served as President of the National Committee on Planned Giving (NCPG) for Arkansas and on numerous committees for the Arkansas Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). He has also served as the Founding State Program Chair for Leave A Legacy-Arkansas, a statewide planned giving education program to benefit all nonprofit organizations and churches in Arkansas.

In 2001, Fred’s peers recognized him as the Outstanding Fundraising Executive of the Year for the Arkansas Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).

Dr. Hueston is a graduate of Grove City College in western Pennsylvania, and holds advanced degrees from the graduate school at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces. He has been married for thirty-two years to the former Pamela Ann Schlater and they have two sons, Cameron and Devin.