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Nonprofit Knowledge Matters


The journey to a more equitable sector has many steps and requires many champions. This month, we were thrilled to see the firm resolve and national leadership by Momentum Nonprofit Partners when it raised the bar on pay equity in western Tennessee by refusing to post any new job listing on its Nonprofit Job Board that doesn’t pay at least a minimum salary of $15.00 per hour. We invited Momentum to share more with you in this edition. Another applied equity matter involves the 2020 census – who gets counted and who gets ignored – and what it means to nonprofits. Our third article shares inspiration for being more effective when messaging – resisting the urge to squeeze too many calls to action into one message. 


We’re also introducing a new section this month, “Nonprofit Knowledge Nuggets.” From time to time, we’ll include this section to call attention to new exciting information or useful developments that we think merits special attention. This month, those nuggets focus on the new mandatory e-filing of Form 990 and new data on charitable giving.


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Momentum toward a more equitable workforce

Significant wage gaps – based on race and on gender – continue to plague our country, and nonprofits are not immune. One culprit in perpetuating the problem is job advertising using the old vague line of “salary commensurate with experience.” Job ads that don’t include salary ranges can lead, whether intentionally or not, to making a lower salary offer to a given candidate than the organization had intended to offer for the position. More and more groups that run job boards are helping to eliminate this practice by requiring a salary range to be specified on any posts on their board. This month, Momentum Nonprofit Partners in Tennessee made a bold statement in making this change – and requiring that any post pay at least $15 an hour or $31,200 per year. We asked Kevin Dean of Momentum Nonprofit Partners to share more about the importance of this change.

Why your nonprofit should always list a salary range for open positions…

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Census 2020 and nonprofits. What now?

The last week since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the controversial citizenship question cannot be added to the 2020 census questionnaire has been a wild rollercoaster ride for anyone trying to follow what’s been happening. First, both the Commerce Secretary and the Department of Justice defending his actions conceded in writing that the question would not be added and that the printing of the forms had begun on July 1 – something the government had been telling the trial and appellate courts, including the Supreme Court, repeatedly: that everything had to be resolved by no later than June 30. The, next day, however, the President tweeted otherwise, prompting immediate actions in the ongoing lawsuits challenging the question in federal district courts in both Maryland and New York. Next, the entire team of career DOJ attorneys who had been representing the government asked to be replaced, but a judge denied the request and demanded more information about why (as the law requires). Then, well, … who knows what’s happened in the last few minutes?! While the various legal contortions and political machinations appear like a massive car wreck on the side of the road that naturally calls for slowing down and rubbernecking, nonprofits need to keep focused on doing the work now of helping their communities prepare for a fair, accurate, and complete count next year. 

What nonprofits can be doing now to prepare for the census…


How many calls to action are too many?

There are so many specific things we all hope that people on our email lists will do: volunteer for this organization or event, spread the word about something important, take an advocacy action to advance your mission, make a donation, etc. And, because we don’t want to send too many emails, we can be prone to overloading everything into one email and then asking readers to take too many actions. But that ends up defeating the purpose. As guest author Maureen Maycheco of Colorado Nonprofit Association shares, “If your button is floating in a sea of 15 other buttons, it ... will neither grab your readers’ attention [nor] lead them to act.”

How your nonprofit can avoid "over-buttoning"…


Nonprofit Knowledge Nuggets

E-filing now mandatory for nonprofits
The Taxpayer First Act, which was signed into law on July 1, includes a provision requiring nonprofits to e-file their Form 990s. The requirement will be phased in and nonprofits for which this presents a hardship can apply for an extension. Venable LLP shares more details on the new e-filing requirement.


New data on 2018 giving
Giving USA released its report on 2018 giving on June 18. Their data are consistent with reports that came out earlier in the year, noting a decrease in individual giving. This continues to be an area to watch as there are indications that the change to the tax law has had an effect on giving, an effect that may become more pronounced now that people have filed their taxes for the first time under the tax law and have a better understanding of how the new system will work.


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