Tag Archives: Recommended Reading

Nonprofit News and Updates

This is a great way to start of a blog post, and awesome Infographic from “America’s Nonprofit Sector: A Primer” from the Foundation Center. Please click on the image to enlarge.

Elections and Nonprofits

Many elections this year around the country have issues that will directly affect nonprofit organizations. The National Council of Nonprofits has a nice rundown here of more than 140, check it out to see what is happening in your state.

Washington Nonprofits will be having upcoming events around elections and what nonprofits can do, click through to see all that they are doing this election season.

Nonprofit HR

Do you know about Seattle’s new paid sick/safe leave ordinance that takes effect September 1? Washington Employers has good information on the program and, if you are affected by this, what to do.

Finance and Regulations

The Nonprofit Times has a good piece via their Exempt e-newsletter about new and proposed state regulations will make things harder for some nonprofits. It’s good to know what is happening in other states so you can have a ready response in case legislation like these come to yours.

Two articles from the Chronicle of Philanthropy detail the pitfalls in spending, fundraising and especially outsourced fundraising. The articles feature two veterans charities – why do these types of organizations seem so ripe for potential scams – and one animal related group, but there are lots of similarities, red flags and warnings in them for both donors and nonprofits. The first is here, the second is here.

This may be the most interesting piece, to me at least, that came out recently. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants has released a draft of a proposed not-for-profit guide. It is primarily designed for CPAs performing work for not-for-profits, but it offers insight to all as to what issues the field thinks is important. I’ll be looking them over and probably letting them know my two cents in the comment period.

Management and Money

Both of these articles from the Nonprofit Quarterly stood out to me recently. Is managing a complex organization a game? This article makes the case that it is not. And do you know what the right mix of resources is for your organization? If so have you achieved that mix of income? This article is helpful for identifying so areas of thought you might not have considered before.

In Closing

Finally, I want to ask your help in spreading the word about this blog and my services. You can like me on Facebook for more frequent updates, subscribe to our e-newsletter:


Or leave a review about our services here that you wouldn’t mind me sharing with other folks. [WPCR_INSERT]

You can also send us a little love by liking us here on Intuit’s Love a Local Business page.

Thanks so much.

Nonprofit News Roundup

It has once again been too long since this site had an update so let’s start off with some interesting things that have come across my desk of late. But I first want to take a moment to say goodbye to a colleague and mentor who passed away last month, Flo Green. I started working for her at the California Association of Nonprofits at the end of 1999. In 2005 she worked with me to develop CAN’s first day long nonprofit accounting training workshop. Since then I’ve presented variation of that workshop to hundreds of nonprofit professionals and it is to her that I owe a great deal of thanks for setting me on the path I am on today. She will be deeply missed.

 Communicating Your Finances

This can be a tricky topic. How can nonprofit mangers communicate what is in their organization’s financials to the Board? How can a Board get the best information from staff? Is anybody sure they are asking the right questions? I consider it an integral part of my work to help explain the financial picture that the reports I put together tell, and to teach clients and others how to read their financials.

There are other resources out there like this article from Guidestar about 3 questions Board members should be asking themselves. This article from the great Nonprofit Assistance Fund talks about red flags board members may miss and how to prevent that.

Not directly related to finances but still good for board to think about, questions related to ongoing mission and relevancy for your nonprofit.

Sharing Resources

I’ve written about IdeaEncore before and I wanted to share two recent collections of resources; Financial Reporting and Documentation and some 990 preparation and understanding resources. Both have some nice resources that could save a lot of work over recreating the same thing at your organization.

Want to know where your taxes go and, perhaps more importantly, how much your tax bill this year will be? Check out the AICPA’s Total Tax Insights website. It includes a helpful calculator:

The Total Tax Insights calculator is the first comprehensive tax calculator that estimates your tax obligation based on place of residence and breadth of taxes paid. It’s customized for each state and for the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and includes more than 20 taxes, such as federal, state, local, Social Security and Medicare, sales, property and gasoline.


What can nonprofits do during election time? The Alliance for Justice is my go to resource for those questions. Check out their Advocacy Digest for election time resources. There is still a lot of misinformation out there about how nonprofits can or cannot lobby, AFJ has all the information you’ll need to do any type of advocacy activities.

Other News

Another Washington State Management Support Organization is shutting its doors. The Nonprofit Center in Tacoma closed last Fall and now the Alliance FOR Nonprofits is winding down. Washington Nonprofits and 501Commons will continue to provide support for the areas both organizations served.

Finally, I want to ask your help in spreading the word about this blog and my services. You can like me on Facebook for more frequent updates, subscribe to our e-newsletter:


Or leave a review about our services here that you wouldn’t mind me sharing with other folks. [WPCR_INSERT]

You can also send us a little love by liking us here on Intuit’s Love a Local Business page.

Thanks so much.

Best of Not-for-Profit Accounting

2163239284_e6cd80437d_oI’ll be taking a break updating this site for a bit. I have a new job in a new state that will keep me busy but I’ll post here again when I’m settled. But before I go on my brief hiatus I wanted to feature some of the posts that have garnered the most traction over the past year, my very own best of post!

GAAP Rules

Issues around the rules that govern nonprofit accounting are common. After all, how many of us go to work for nonprofits because we like accounting? Posts around FASB 116, 117 and even the new 117-1 have all been read quite a bit.

Costs and Expenses

This recent post on Cost Allocation has been pretty popular. Allocation is always an issue as we have little guidance on how to do it from the IRS or GAAP.

Defining administrative expense and making sure nonprofits call their expenses either program, admin or fundraising is another big issue. This post has been read quite a bit.

Donated Income

Getting the donation is one thing, then comes booking it into the accounting system. And your nonprofit does need an accounting system. This post on donation transactions and this post on gifts in kind have been popular resources.

Nonprofit Accounting Resources

These pages have seen a lot of traffic too which makes me happy as I intended them to be a resource for the nonprofit sector.

Thanks to all the readers who have made this site such a pleasure to maintain. Please keep sending me any questions or comments you might have, I’ll get to them as soon as I can.

My Financial Management Plan