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Nonprofit Knowledge Matters


This first 2018 issue of Nonprofit Knowledge Matters shares information and highlights opportunities that can help your nonprofit succeed throughout the new year. We begin by sharing fresh information about how the new federal tax law will affect nonprofits. Because of the significance of this “once-in-a-generation” law (the last tax overhaul occurred 31 years ago), we’ve created a special webpage for you that offers “Resources on How the New Federal Tax Law Impacts Charitable Nonprofits.” Be sure to check back regularly, because new materials will be added and updated. For instance, we just created this new checklist, New Federal Tax Law – Now What for Nonprofit Board and Staff Members, that answers questions about how the new federal tax law affects the operations of charitable nonprofits (with the caveat that everyone is waiting for final guidance from the IRS). The new webpage also provides a link to the national webinar we hosted last week. 

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Looking for information? We’ve got you covered


“Must have” data for the future: Starting today, you can contribute information that can help translate your individual nonprofit’s experiences into a broad-based, compelling picture of the needs, challenges, and financial health of the charitable nonprofit community. Simply complete the Nonprofit Finance Fund’s “State of the Sector” survey. Once the data are collected and analyzed, we’ll all be able to use the new information to help our various stakeholders. The key is having enough quality data, so please fill out the survey today.


Hottest information in 2017: What nonprofit resources were people searching for during 2017? With more than 1.3 million visitors to our website every year, we are always curious what topics are most popular. Last year, the top five topics people viewed on our website were:

Close on the heels of these popular topics were resources on fiscal sponsorship and business planning. A perennially popular resource is the page summarizing nonprofit trends to watch. Another popular page is our resource about the impact of paying interns, specifically what factors determine whether interns are employees or volunteers. We just updated that webpage with the information below, courtesy of the North Carolina Center for Nonprofits:

DOL Announces New Guidance on Unpaid Interns and FLSA Compliance

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced that it is using a new seven-factor test to determine whether students and interns working for for-profit businesses are employees entitled to minimum wage under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This test, which is more favorable to employers than the previous DOL test, looks at the "economic realities" of which party (the employer or the intern) is the primary beneficiary of the work relationship. Unlike for-profit businesses, 501(c)(3) nonprofits can use unpaid interns, but the new DOL guidance is applicable to some nonprofits that offer stipends or other payments to their interns that are below the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

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How Changes from Facebook and Google May Affect Your Nonprofit’s Outreach Efforts


The new year is bringing changes and challenges, but also some cheer for nonprofits that utilize Facebook and Google Ad Grants for spreading the word about their work. The ever-evolving Facebook algorithm will now prioritize posts from people and de-prioritize posts from organizations, which may make it harder to spread the word about events and your nonprofit’s impact. And, if your nonprofit is participating in the Google Ad Grants program, changes announced in mid-December could open a door to new tools, but also force nonprofits to be more strategic with their donated ad space to remain eligible for the program. Cameron Ripley, CEO of Community Boost, shares with us what the Google Ad Grant changes mean and what nonprofits can do to stay eligible.

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New Feature in 2018: Spotlight on Nonprofit Impact


The work you do every day through nonprofits to improve lives and enrich communities is often hidden from public view, but deserves to be told. That’s why we are introducing a new monthly feature in Nonprofit Knowledge Matters: Spotlight on Nonprofit Impact.


We launch this feature with moving stories written last month by the California Association of Nonprofits (CalNonprofits) about charitable nonprofits that “stepped outside their lanes” to provide unexpected types of assistance in response to raging wildfires. We’re grateful to CalNonprofits for telling these stories that remind us of an important question for boards and staff to ask on a regular basis: “What does our community need us to be doing right now?”


If you would like to share your nonprofit’s impact story with us, you may see it featured in a future issue!


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