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Nonprofit Knowledge Monthly


Autumn is a season of change. We watch the leaves change colors. We change the time on our clocks (well, most of us). It’s a time of change here, too, as I’m thrilled to introduce your new Managing Editor for Nonprofit Knowledge Monthly, Amy Silver O’Leary. Amy has been part of our team for more than five years and just took on the new role of Director of Knowledge Sharing and Special Projects. She’s also no stranger to this publication, as she’s contributed a number of articles about resource development over the years. As for me, I’ll still be a part of the editing process here and will contribute articles from time to time. Amy, take it away….


Rick Cohen, Executive Editor


Amy Silver O'LearyAs I pick up the relay baton from Rick – and as we prepare to unveil a new look for this newsletter in the new year – we want to hear from you! We invite you to complete this three-question survey to help us continue delivering the content you want and need to advance your nonprofit’s mission.


In this month’s issue, you’ll read about Native American Heritage Month and Veterans Day, new federal requirements for COVID vaccination and testing for nonprofit employees, Legacy Giving, Giving Tuesday, and more.


Nonprofit Knowledge Monthly comes to you and more than 35,000 other opt-in subscribers every month – for free. You are nonprofit staff, board members, and volunteers from organizations of all sizes, in all subsectors, in every region of the country. It’s an honor to serve you by creating and curating articles that are driven by what nonprofits need to know. I hope you’ll feel free to get in touch with me to share your feedback or requests.


Amy Silver O’Leary, Managing Editor


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November is Native American Heritage Month – and tomorrow is Veterans Day

Hundreds of charitable nonprofits focus on U.S. veterans, honoring and repaying them for their service by providing education assistance, disaster relief, and financial support for veterans and their families. Nonprofits help veterans transition to civilian life and deal with PTSD, traumatic brain injury, amputated limbs, and other seriously disabling injuries. Some organizations help veterans find sustainable jobs. In this new era of workforce shortages and the particular workforce crisis in our sector, nonprofit employers more than ever should remember to consider recruiting and hiring veterans to fill job vacancies.


Since 1995, the month of November has been designated as Native American Heritage Month, celebrated to recognize the rich culture and heritage, achievements, and contributions of the more than 7 million American Indians and Native Alaskans.


Those in the Washington, D.C. area can observe both Native American Heritage Month and Veterans Day by visiting the National Native American Veterans Memorial at the National Museum of the American Indian. The memorial, honoring the military service of Native Americans, opened to the public one year ago. If you can’t get there in person, you can visit the exhibition online at “Why We Serve: Native Americans in the U.S. Armed Forces.”


Many nonprofit museums, from the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia to the High Desert Museum in Bend, Oregon, offer free admission for veterans (and, in some cases, their families) on Veterans Day.




What the Federal Vaccination Mandate May Mean for Your Nonprofit

Last week, two federal agencies issued emergency rules mandating that many nonprofits require their employees to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by January 4, 2022. The Administration also extended to January 4 (from December 8) the effective date of the vaccination requirement for government contractors, including nonprofits. The White House explains the new vaccination policies in a fact sheet. (Note: there is now a pending court case regarding an injunction to halt the new rules, but we advise nonprofits to learn about and prepare to implement the rules while awaiting a decision, as the case is expected to get to the U.S. Supreme Court quickly. We’ll keep our new page on Nonprofits and the COVID-19 vaccines up-to-date as things unfold.)


Larger employers, including nonprofits

On November 4, 2021, the U.S. Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) requiring employers with 100 or more employees to ensure that workers are vaccinated or are regularly tested for COVID-19. Barring court intervention blocking the ETS, nonprofit employers with 100 or more employees will be required starting January 4, 2022 to ensure their workers are vaccinated or regularly tested for COVID-19, with exceptions for certain employees.


We prepared a summary intended to answer most nonprofit questions and provide assistance to nonprofit employers seeking to determine whether their organization is covered by the mandate and if so, to comply with the standard.


Highlights to help you determine whether the OSHA ETS applies to your organization, and whether you need to dive into the details more fully, are:

  • Both full and part time employees are counted.
  • If a nonprofit operates more than one site, all employees from all sites are counted.
  • Contracted workers are not counted.
  • Remote workers are not required to be vaccinated but need a negative test when in-person with coworkers or clients/customers.
  • If a nonprofit is part of a national organization (for example, United Way), then the employee count is just those within the local, regional office.
  • Individuals who have certain medical conditions or sincerely held religious objections (as defined by the EEOC) will not have to be vaccinated, but still must be tested and wear face coverings in group settings.
  • Employers may require employees to pay the costs of testing, except where other legal or collective bargaining obligations require otherwise.

If the new ETS does not apply because your nonprofit has fewer than 100 employees, your organization may still be subject to federal vaccination mandates for federal contractors or health care facilities that receive Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement. See our new page on Nonprofits and the COVID-19 vaccines for more details on these mandates, internal vaccination policies, how nonprofits can help their communities get vaccinated, and links to additional resources.


OSHA Briefing: There will be a Department of Labor briefing with senior DOL and OSHA officials to provide an overview of the ETS, including guidance around implementation and answers to key questions. Monday, November 15, 2021 from 11‑11:45am Eastern. RSVP here.


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Is It Time for Your Nonprofit to Consider a Legacy Giving Program? Learn More in the New Guide to Legacy Giving

Guide to Legacy GivingWe all want our lives to have meaning – during our lifetimes, and even after. Being involved with charitable nonprofits is one of the most important ways we express our desire for meaning and our commitment to make the world a better place. That’s why many donors are open to making nonprofits a part of their legacy.


Legacy giving, also known as “planned giving,” is a largely untapped yet very important opportunity for many small-to-midsized nonprofits. At its most basic, it’s a form of charitable giving in which donors leave a legacy by planning future gifts to a nonprofit from a will,  retirement account, life insurance policy, or other asset. According to a recent study, nearly $9 trillion dollars will be inherited over the next decade. If only five percent of that inheritance is donated, it would mean nearly half a trillion dollars for charitable nonprofit missions.


Your nonprofit already has loyal supporters, board members, and volunteers. How can you begin a conversation with them that strengthens their relationship with your organization and includes the possibility of making the type of gift that has a lasting impact on your nonprofit’s sustainability and ability to advance its mission?


Learn more by downloading our new Guide to Legacy Giving, made available to all nonprofits at no cost thanks to the generous support of Neon One.


You can also view our April 2021 webinar, “How Your Nonprofit Can Start a Legacy Giving Program.”



Giving Tuesday is November 30

Nonprofits frequently ask, “Should we be participating in Giving Tuesday?” There’s no simple answer. It’s not necessarily right for every organization. Perhaps your small nonprofit doesn’t have the capacity to engage fruitfully. Some nonprofits feel that donors are inundated with too many competing messages from nonprofits on Giving Tuesday. Your calendar or messaging might prioritize other events, such as a local giving day, or perhaps your board prefers to use the time to recognize and engage loyal donors rather than reaching for new ones (some nonprofits call it “Giving Thanks Tuesday”).


Every element of your nonprofit’s fundraising strategy has both strengths and opportunity costs – if you’re doing one thing, chances are you’re giving up something else. As long as your plan is thoughtful and deliberate, and as long as you’re testing and adjusting the plan systematically, you should feel free to determine the development calendar that works best for your nonprofit.


Still, many nonprofits raise significant funds through Giving Tuesday, it can be a terrific capacity-builder for smaller organizations, and it offers an opportunity to leverage various kinds of matches, among many other strengths. If your plan does call for engagement in Giving Tuesday, you’re probably creating your Giving Tuesday timeline and materials by now. The Giving Tuesday website has myriad resources available at no cost – many of which are helpful any time of year – including a workbook you can download and adapt for your organization. The workbook comes with a video companion guide with captions available in English and Spanish.



New resources and research

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