Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Join us at Annual Forum 2010

On June 15, the Charities Review Council’s will hold its “Annual Forum — Accountability & Transparency: More Than Good Intentions.” In recent years, the event has taken a life of its own.

The Annual Forum is the Council’s opportunity to report to the community on our work to mobilize informed donors and accountable nonprofits for the greater good. And to give voice to the issues of accountability, informed giving and public trust. This year’s speaker, Charity Navigator President and CEO Ken Berger, is a high profile spokesman for informed giving. Known for its formulaic nonprofit ratings, Ken has publicly committed to developing more meat to Charity Navigator’s information for donors. Ken is a former nonprofit head who’s vitally interested in strengthening the sector. It will be interesting to hear what he has to say.

The Council’s Annual Forum has been a popular event among sector leaders that grows in attendance and conviviality each year. So, this year, we’re preceding the noon luncheon with a whole hour of “networking opportunity.” We hope you will join us to add to the goodwill and cheer that will permeate the Golden Valley Country Club on June 15.

Tickets are going fast. If you have not registered yet, reserve your tickets now. See you there!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Thanks but no thanks?

Corporations are a major source of funding for nonprofits. Businesses donate money to charity because they are concerned corporate citizens – showing that they stand for something more than just the bottom line.

However, when a charity receives a donation that is not in line with its mission, principles and values, should the organization accept the money?

The Advocates for Human Rights, a charity that has participated in the Council's Accountability Wizard review process, faced this very dilemma recently when it received a donation from Craigslist, widely known for its sex-for sale ads. The Advocates for Human Rights, a local nonprofit dedicated to protecting human rights and fighting against sex trafficking, decided to send the money back to Craigslist. Their story was highlighted in a recent Star Tribune article. Cheryl Thomas, the organization’s Director of Women’s Human Rights, told us that they have never encountered such a situation before, and that they have received hundreds of emails from across the country congratulating them for sticking to their values and returning the donation.

In these tough economic times, charities need donations more than ever to continue their important work. What would you want your favorite charity to do in this situation? Should a charity return a donation if it came from an organization that is in direct conflict with the organization's mission, principles and values? Or is it OK to accept the money, putting it to good use improving our communities?

To address controversial issues like these up front, a gift acceptance policy can be helpful in laying out guidelines for the types of gifts and sources a charity will accept.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Get Your Legal Compliance Questions Answered

Some of the most common questions we get from nonprofits going through a review have to do with our Legal Compliance standard. Questions like:
  • Do we need to be registered in every state?
  • Do we have to acknowledge every contribution?
  • What kind of political involvement are nonprofits allowed to do?
Here’s a chance to get these questions and more answered.

We’re happy to have Heidi Neff Christianson, Partner at Moore, Costello & Hart, P.L.L.P., presenting a free webinar on Monday, May 10th from 1:00-2:00 pm (CT).

If you’re interested in attending, you can sign up now.