The Alliance of Nonprofit’s Annual Conference is coming up on May 11th up in Bellevue. I’ll be there, and here is a link to more information if you’d like to see what they are offering. It is the biggest conference of the year for nonprofits in Washington and they usually pull in so good keynote speakers.
Time to File
First Quarter Filings – Are due by April 30 for assorted state agency and the federal government. Be sure you know what to file and when to file it so you don’t incur late fees or penalties.
990 Due – May 15 2012 is the first deadline for folks whose fiscal year ended December 31 2012. You’ll have to have your form filled out, signed and postmarked by that day or get a 3 month extension filed if you need more time. Don’t know when your form is due? Click here for some help.
How is Your Organization Doing?
Executive Compensation – Does your board review how it compensates the Executive Director? They should be, and it is a question on the full form 990. Here are some guidelines that can help you create a policy about compensation practices.
Check up – The Executive Service Corps of Los Angeles posted a nice Nonprofit Check-Up article, Preventive Medicine for Nonprofits. It is a good run down of things to sit back and look at critically about our organizations.
Check on – The IRS is making it easier for the public to look up nonprofits. This page has the details about their new search service.
Spruced Up – StayExemp.org, the IRS’s exempt organization training site, has been updated. It looks better and has a more straight foreword interface. There are good tools and resources there for both staff and volunteers, I always encourage people to check out the site.
Why should we care about risk management in our nonprofits? Or maybe we should ask what is risk management in the first place? It is more than just an insurance policy and that list on your shelf about what to do in case of a fire. Anyone involved with money in a nonprofit is probably familiar with risk and managing risk; who signs the checks, reads the reports, makes sure those reports get filed to the right place at the right time? Anyone involved with the program side of a nonprofit is probably familiar with risk and managing risk too; who makes sure our volunteers are taken care of? Are we keeping our participants safe? Anyone on the board of a nonprofit organization is probably familiar with risk and managing risk as well; are we meeting our mission? Are we paying our top level staff correctly? Do we understand our financial reports?
I always try to stress that risk management is everyone’s job and there is no better organization to help us under stand risk and help us manage it that the Nonprofit Risk Management Center. Their annual Summit is coming up on September 18 – 20 in Seattle and I encourage you all to take a look at the programs they are offering this year. Members of The Nonprofit Center will get a discount on registration, and if you register before August 6 you will save even more. I look forward to seeing you there.
I have written before about creating policies for your nonprofit. Now nonprofits have a new tool they can easily use to create their own financial management policies and plans. The Nonprofit Risk Management Center has a new tool called My Financial Management Plan where users can go through up to 21 different modules on nonprofit financial and accounting topics to create a variety of policies and procedures to help manage, organize and streamline their financial operations. From the Risk Management Center:
Nonprofit leaders have spent countless hours developing the necessary components of a financial management plan. But for many organizations the components, from an annual budget, return on investment strategy, cash flow planning tool and more, remain disparate. The nonprofit lacks a cohesive plan that reflects the organization’s commitment to the effective stewardship of its assets. My Financial Management Plan was created to guide leaders in updating the components of their financial management systems and integrating these components into a cohesive plan. This powerful system features covers topics such as Board Fiduciary Obligations, Managing Fraud Risk, Managing Cash Flow, Return on Investment Analysis, Cost Allocation, Classifying Net Assets, Managing Cash Flow, Budgeting, the form 990 and Grants and Contributions.
My Financial Management Plan is a powerful tool to turn financial management strategies, policies and protocols into a plan that will help your nonprofit demonstrate both competence and accountability. Use the “Plan Modules” feature to go through the 22 system modules. Each module offers the opportunity to upload existing material from your financial management system, create new content (based on our templates or created “on the fly”), or skip sections you don’t wish to use. Use the “Manage My Plan” feature to edit your draft plan, upload supporting PDF files and view/download your plan. The system also features a classroom with easy-to-understand articles and resources on a wide range of financial management topics.
I was fortunate enough to work on this project and create a lot of the module content. I know that this will be a great tool for nonprofits to learn about what they need know about with regards to their nonprofit’s finances and creating the appropriate policies and procedures to ensure good financial stewardship. For those not ready to buy access to the program you can register with the site to receive periodic email updates on nonprofit financial issues.
If you have any questions or comments about the program please let me know via email or in the comments below.
Posted in Governance, IRS, Nonprofit Accounting, Policies and Procedures, Q&A, Risk Management, Tax Forms
Tagged 990, Accountability, Board of Directors, Contributions, Cost Allocation, Donation Transactions, FASB 117, Gifts in Kind, Instructions, Investment Policies, Manuals, Records Retention, Restrictions, Training, UCOA