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Nonprofit Knowledge Matters


It’s summer (at least in this half of the world), and America is feeling the heat - of temperatures and challenges. When violence strikes, it is often up to nonprofits hold the community together. For instance, as the leader of the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits wrote recently, “Whether we realize it or not, the rising tide of Islamophobia and hate rhetoric in our society impacts each and every one of us. American Muslims live in constant fear of being victims of hate crimes, subject to discrimination at work, having their religious centers vandalized, or even worse in fear of their own lives. Dealing with the fear of the unknown or different can be difficult or uncomfortable to explore, but once we understand the root of our fears and the impact it has on our fellow human beings, the better we can move beyond them.” Summer is usually a time for carefree enjoyment of freedoms, yet this summer nonprofits are called upon to protect those freedoms more fiercely than ever. Individuals rely on nonprofits, communities rely on nonprofits, and your own employees rely on your nonprofit to show up as a champion for ethical conduct, and indeed, for equity. This issue of Nonprofit Knowledge Matters touches on these topics, and includes “serious stuff,” but in the spirit of summer, we’re trying to keep things a little breezy. We hope you won’t mistake our tone for a lack of commitment to fixing what’s wrong with the world – as each of your staff, board members, and donors, expects you to do. Thank you for your commitment to your missions. Happy summer all!  

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Smoother sailing for your next board meeting

Summer is the time for takin’ it easy, but for some in the nonprofit world it’s also a time to catch our breaths, and, if we are fortunate to have any “slack time,” to plan for smooth sailing in the busy months ahead. While some nonprofit board members “take the summer off” from meetings, individual board members may still be hard at work, through committee meetings and individual assignments, preparing for the most efficient and effective board meetings yet! What are some ways that nonprofit staff members can support busy volunteer board members? 

Here are some suggestions for smooth sailing into your next board meeting...


New federal overtime rules: What every nonprofit with employees needs to know

Why does every nonprofit with employees need to read this post?

Because at least one of your nonprofit's employees is likely to work over 40 hours during a work week, at some point, right? (If not, you can relax with your summer reading.) If you don’t pay attention to the new Overtime Final Rule by the federal Department of Labor (“DOL”), then your nonprofit could end up owing significant penalties, back wages, and back taxes. So expand your summer reading list a little to learn more about how this new law impacts your nonprofit’s operations.


The new DOL overtime rules, which become effective December 1, 2016, make it even more important for every nonprofit to determine whether the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) apply to your nonprofit (“enterprise coverage”) or any of your employees (“individual coverage”). It takes a multi-step process to complete the analysis that each organization will need to do, so we’ve broken it down for you:

  • Step #1: Is our nonprofit, or any employees, covered by the FLSA?
  • Step #2: Have we classified our nonprofit’s workers correctly?
  • Step #3: Will we need to pay any of our employees overtime?

To help your nonprofit comply with the new rules, we're sharing a coverage flowchart designed to help you determine whether your nonprofit is covered by the FLSA: Is our nonprofit, or are any employees individually covered by the FLSA?


Admittedly, the flowchart is a tease to illustrate that we’ve pulled together other flowcharts, straightforward worksheets, and useful tips in the article linked below to help your organization be ready for the December 1, 2016, compliance deadline for the new overtime rules.

Read on for three steps that break down your nonprofit's obligation to pay individual employees overtime under the new Final Overtime Rule...

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Are your nonprofit’s restrooms accessible AND inclusive?

Since restroom policies have been on the national stage recently, we’re sharing the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Guide to Restroom Access for Transgender Workers that offers best practices that ensure that all employees – including transgender employees – have prompt access to appropriate sanitary facilities. We also commend this post to you from the law firm Venable, LLP offering nonprofits guidance: Transgender Employees and Restrooms in the Workplace: What Every Nonprofit Employer Needs to Know


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