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Nonprofit Knowledge Matters


As 2018 comes to an end, it’s good to reflect on what’s been learned so we can apply it in the future.


Among the lessons learned: Building strong organizational cultures through empowering employees, telecommuting, succession planning, embracing why diversity, equity, and inclusion matter for nonprofits, and addressing sexual harassment. Adapting to new standards, such as the new FASB accounting standards and website security standards.


In this final edition of 2018, we focus on important lessons learned in the aftermath of disasters so we can all be more prepared and respond effectively when – inevitably – disasters strike our communities. We also provide an update on the new income tax being imposed on nonprofits for transportation benefits (parking and transit passes) they provide to their employees. As we look forward to the new year, we invite you to share your ideas for future stories and trends you are seeing. Please let us know what you'd like to read about in 2019.


Whether your holiday just ended or is coming up in a couple weeks, from our team to yours, we wish you a relaxing close to 2018 (you’ve earned it!) and a wildly successful and fulfilling 2019.

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Preparing for disasters large and small

If we’ve learned anything from the last year, it’s that disaster can strike anytime, anywhere. You don’t have to be in an area where natural disasters are common for an un-natural disaster to strike. And while larger disasters, such as earthquakes, hurricanes, and wildfires dominate the news, even something as seemingly small as a burst pipe can be incredibly disruptive to a nonprofit’s operations. We’ve gathered some “I wish I knew” or “I wish I had thought of that before” tips that all nonprofits should consider to be prepared. If you don’t think you have time to tackle this during the last two weeks of the year, add it to the agenda for your first staff and board meetings in 2019.

Tips on some often-overlooked aspects of disaster preparedness...

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The importance of communication after disasters

When disasters upend lives, individuals and communities rely on nonprofits to play significant roles in recovery and rebuilding. Different responses will be required depending on the disaster, but a little planning now for communicating with specific groups after disasters strike can go a long way, both in getting your nonprofit back to normal and in providing assistance to individuals in your community – not only to your usual clientele but, potentially, to others.

The three groups your nonprofit will need to communicate with after a disaster…

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How do nonprofits comply with the new taxes on them for providing transportation benefits to their employees?

In the April edition of this newsletter, we shared background on a new income tax on nonprofits for transportation benefits – such as free parking and transit passes – that they provide to their employees. Knowing that every dollar spent on taxes is a dollar taken away from a nonprofit’s mission (and believing that imposing an income tax on expenses doesn’t make sense), our nationwide network has been working actively with other groups on two fronts: encouraging Congress to repeal the new tax that it stuck into the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, and urging the IRS and Treasury Department to issue sensible guidance for how to comply withthat new tax. Legislation has been introduced (but not acted on yet) and, earlier this week, the IRS finally issued Interim Guidance. The Guidance doesn’t answer questions on certain aspects of the law, including what to do about transit passes. However, it does provide information relevant to nonprofits – including houses of worship – that provide parking for their employees, including actions nonprofits can take to limit that new tax liability.

Learn more about what the latest developments mean…
Bonus... What your nonprofit can do to advocate for repeal of this new tax on nonprofits.


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