Why Do We Give? Emotional Connections Drive Donating

In 2007, researcher Paul Slovic from the University of Oregon wanted to study why we ignore mass genocide, and he explored ways to help humans care about larger tragedies. In his extensive study on human emotions (source), he referenced and expanded on a study that tested storytelling and measured the impact of different stories. Two Similar, But Different Approaches The first story centered around a…

Determining a Wage Range for a New Hire at Your Nonprofit

“Our organization wants to hire a new person. How do we decide a salary for this position?” We’ve received this question from many nonprofits wanting to expand their staff. While many nonprofit employees are mission-driven and passionate about their work, setting the right level of compensation is important to our ability to recruit and retain talented employees. Here are some recommendations from CNS. Where to…

Changing Tax Laws and Receipts for Donor Contributions in 2019

With the changing tax laws that go into effect this year, many organizations are wondering if receipts for contributions are still necessary since many people are no longer itemizing their deductions. This post has contributions from two expert lawyers, John Gear of John Gear Law, and Don Kramer of Nonprofit Issues. You may be surprised to know that a charity has no legal obligation to…

Guiding More Good Conference 2019

On February 2nd, 2019, more than 250 nonprofit professionals gathered for the Center for Nonprofit Stewardship’s 15th annual conference, Guiding More Good. The morning began with a keynote presentation from Anne Kubisch, President of The Ford Family Foundation. Ms. Kubisch spoke about the importance of nonprofits as community builders and their many contributions to our collective quality of life. The day-long event ran from 8:30…

Toolbox: Deciding Which Programs to Evaluate

This exercise can determine which programs you want to evaluate.  PURPOSE This exercise will help you identify your organization’s key program areas and help you to decide which ones you may want to evaluate. INSTRUCTIONS Make a copy of this handout for each board member. Take 10 minutes at your next board meeting and ask each board member to complete it. Use a flip chart…

Better Together: Tools for Working Across Generations

Generational shifts in leadership are happening across all sectors, the nonprofit sector is not unique in facing this challenge. Each generational group has its own unique life experiences, learning styles, strengths, weaknesses, and values. To successfully integrate these diverse generations into your board of directors, organizations will need to embrace changes in recruitment and orientation strategies, how expectations are communicated, and creating an organizational culture that actively demonstrates…

Toolbox: Are You Ready for Change?

This exercise can spark important discussion about diversity. PURPOSE This exercise allows each individual to assess how the organization plans for and implements change. By the end of the exercise, the Board will identify how the organization typically thinks about change. INSTRUCTIONS Make a copy of this handout for each board member. Have each board member think about how your organization typically plans for and…

How to Create an Email Voting Policy

In a recent newsletter, we discussed voting by email and the State of Oregon’s requirements that outline how it must be done. Below, are some notes and steps for creating and adopting an email voting policy. Need a refresher? Nonprofits and Email Voting: What Does Oregon Law Allow? Developing a Voting By Email Policy Outlining the potential for voting by email in advance of the…

CNS Partners with Mid-Valley Development Professionals

Center for Nonprofit Stewardship (CNS) is pleased to announce an exciting new partnership with Mid-Valley Development Professionals (MVDP). MVDP serves professionals in Oregon’s Mid-Willamette Valley who raise funds for nonprofit organizations. CNS will maintain MVDP’s commitment to providing development professionals in the Salem-Keizer, Albany and Corvallis areas with affordable opportunities for professional growth and development. Since holding its first general membership meeting in February 1998,…

Toolbox: Internal Controls

PURPOSE This board exercise will clarify methods used by your organization to process financial transactions. It will identify who currently handles different accounting tasks and indicate if there is adequate segregation of duties.  Strengthening internal accounting controls protects the organization’s financial assets against theft and protects those performing the financial duties against erroneous accusations. INSTRUCTIONS Step One:  Select one person from your board that is…