ArtsKCPlease use the following online resources to gain more information about fundraising and foundation research, nonprofit best practices, and program and management support.
Advocacy and Public Policy
The Francis Family Foundation encourages funders and nonprofits, to the extent allowed by law, to influence public policy to address community-wide issues. Following are some resources for nonprofits, private foundations, and public foundation regarding direct and indirect lobbying and general advocacy.
Alliance for Justice
The Alliance provides a wide range of resources regarding the difference between advocacy and lobbying and how these affect 501 status. For example, their Philanthropy Advocacy Playbook. More recommendations below.
- Investing in Change: Why Supporting Advocacy Makes Sense for Foundations (The Atlantic Philanthropies)
- Advocacy & Lobbying (Council on Foundations)
- Advocacy Rules of Nonprofits and Private Foundations (Independent Sector)
- Arts Education Navigator: Mobilizing Support (Americans for the Arts and Vans Custom Culture
Best Practices for Fiscal Sponsorship
Fiscal sponsors are nonprofits that advance the public benefit by facilitating the development and growth of charitable mission-driven activities. Many nonprofits occasionally engage in fiscal sponsorship activity. This practice carries certain inherent risks. Non profits should engage in fiscal sponsorship only if their executive leadership and boards of directors are fully aware of the obligations and liabilities they legally assume as fiscal sponsors. By accessing the link provided, guidelines necessary to raise awareness and broaden the understanding of fiscal sponsorship can be reviewed. These are best practices that reflect the highest operational standards for any organization operating in the public interest. http://www.fiscalsponsors.org
The New Form 990 - Case Study
To help illustrate key points and answer important questions about the new Form 990, the IRS developed a case study about a hypothetical organization. The case study includes a set of facts describing organizational and financial aspects of the hypothetical organization, a sample completed Form 990 and a video series which walks you through key reporting issues common to most organizations required to file Form 990. A completed example Schedule A and Schedule O are also included.
What the Pension Act Means to Grassroots Organizations
The Pension Protection Act (PPA) of 2006 requires small exempt organizations with gross receipts of less than $25,000 to file the Form 990-N, or e-postcard, unless they file a complete Form990 or 990-EZ. The Form990-N was created specifically for smaller nonprofits to streamline their reporting and went into effect for tax years ending on December31, 2007. Any organization that fails to file some version of a Form990 (990-EZ, 990-PF, or 990-N) for three consecutive years will have their tax-exempt status revoked and will have to reapply to the IRS for a new exemption.
Automatic revocations will begin in May 2010 and the IRS estimates that up to half a million smaller nonprofit organizations have failed to file a Form990 and will be in the first wave of revocations. Many people believe this will result in a beneficial purging of the roles of organizations that are no longer in business, although it is not likely that such organizations will add up to half a million. Active, yet smaller grassroots nonprofits are especially vulnerable and may find their legal status at risk.
While the IRS has attempted to inform nonprofits about the 990-N, many are unsure whether they have fulfilled this requirement. The Foundation is concerned that some of its grantees may be in jeopardy. As a result, we are including this information about the Form 990-N and encourage applicants to make sure they are in compliance with reporting requirements.
The Foundation relies upon the success of its nonprofit partners and we have vested interest in their continued operations. For more information on what you can do, read the article that appeared in the GuideStar newsletter:
The Redesigned IRS Form 990 (for organizations not eligible to use the 990-N or 990-EZ)
The redesigned IRS Form 990 is the most significant development impacting tax-exempt organizations in the last 40 years. The local Nonprofit Organizations Practice Group of Polsinelli PC law firm recently published a book entitled, The New Form 990 – Law, Policy and Preparation, and provides workshops and legal consultation on the topic. Many nonprofits that are eligible to use the Form 990-EZ for 2008 will not be eligible to use the form in 2009 or 2010. Preparation and compliance with the new Form 990 requires much more than merely the reporting of numbers. It is a comprehensive self-audit including significant disclosure items and more than 20 governance policies and procedures. Other resources include:
Kansas City's Nonprofit Sector
Nonprofit Connect (formerly the Council on Philanthropy) exists to strengthen the people and organizations working in and with the nonprofit sector by educating, informing and being a catalyst for collaboration. There is an Online Foundation Directory, educational opportunities and workshops, event calendars and much more.
Greater Kansas City Community Foundation
GKCCF is one of the largest community foundations in the country and a premier provider of giving services. The GKCCF developed the first online system for evaluating nonprofit program results, DonorEdge®, which is now the model used by several community foundations around the country and the system behind Kansas City's Nonprofit Search, a database of more than 650 nonprofit profiles. Visit Giving Better Blog for the latest news from the Community Foundation.
ArtsKC Resource Center is a collection of resources for artists and arts organizations; everything from funding to exhibition spaces to professional development to advocacy. The ArtsKC website also includes detailed information about the ArtsKC Fund.
This database of more than 650,000 nonprofits is indispensable for individual and institutional donors researching potential grant recipients. Nonprofit organizations may include information on GuideStar free of charge.
The Foundation Center
Established to increase public understanding of foundations, the Center offers a wide range of educational services and resources. The website provides access to private foundation information, directories, books and periodicals, grantmaker files, and bibliographic databases.
Gifts In Kind International is the recognized leader in the field of product philanthropy. It helps top manufacturers and retailers give away software, computers, office equipment, and supplies to nonprofit organizations worldwide. Visit the Gifts in Kind Web site to register to receive these product donations.
The Grantsmanship Center
The Grantsmanship Center conducts approximately 150 workshops annually, on grantsmanship training and earned income strategies for nonprofits. Each year, thousands of new graduates join the roster of more than 110,000 alumni. There are also numerous resources for grantseekers available at no cost on www.tgci.com. These include daily grant announcements from the Federal Register, archives of The Grantsmanship Center Magazine, indexes of funding sources at the local, federal and international levels, and more.
Program Planning/Implementation Resources
Innovation Network (InnoNet) provides online consulting, training and coaching on program evaluation and organization development. Its free online Workstation is a site of evaluation and planning tools designed specifically for nonprofit program planning. The tools instruct how to build a blueprint for designing, evaluating and budgeting a successful program. The Workstation also helps build work plans — management tools that get the job done.
TechSoup offers greatly discounted software for nonprofits throughout the country. Mostly donated from software companies like Adobe or Microsoft, the software is the same quality as if purchased from a retailer. Products like Microsoft Office 2007 run as low as $20.00 per license.
General Nonprofit Resources
BoardSource is the world's largest, most comprehensive publisher of material on nonprofit governance. More than 100 booklets, books, videos and audiotapes are available online.
Chronicle of Philanthropy
The Chronicle of Philanthropy is a leading news source for charity leaders, fundraisers, grantmakers, and others in the philanthropy field. The website features articles from the latest printed issue, a news archive, conferences and workshops, grant listings, job opportunities, and extensive industry links.
Nonprofit Good Practice Guide
The NGPG offered through the Johnson Center for Philanthropy draws from the knowledge base of successful professionals and organizations with proficiency in various nonprofit topics. These experts will assist in examining questions and requests from the Guide community by sharing experiences, resources and knowledge. The Guide covers various topics, including advocacy, evaluation, financial management, fundraising, governance, marketing, organizational management, technology and volunteer management.
Management Assistance Program for Nonprofits (MAP)
MAP provides a variety of affordable management support services for nonprofit organizations. The MAP website features a library on helpful topics, such as human resources, organizational development, fundraising and planning.
Resources for Individuals
The Foundation Center
The Foundation Center recently launched a new area on its website geared toward individual grantseekers. This section includes links to user aids, online tutorials and other tools that help individuals find funding.