A bi-weekly update from the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network.                                        

HEADLINES

New MNN Online Resource: FREE Trainings at your Fingertips

There are nearly 20 million dollars available to train employees, and we want nonprofits to take advantage of it!
 

MNN's newest online resource connects you with information and resources
to help your organization support and develop its employees through the Massachusetts Workforce Training Fund Program (WTFP), a statewide program that provides employers in the Commonwealth with funding to train their employees. 


On the MNN site, you can learn more about the WTFP including features and benefits of each of the programs, the amount of available funding, and how to apply for the grants. You can view the entire online resource here.


The WFTP have historically focused on trainings for for-profits- but we're working to fix that! We'll continue to build and improve this resource so that nonprofit employees across the Commonwealth can access trainings that fit their particular needs at little or no cost to them. Click here to send us your feedback and questions.


Advocacy: How The Voice of Your Board Can Advance Your Mission
For the success of a nonprofit, strong and persistent advocacy is essential in order to raise awareness and maintain visibility of an issue. Successful advocacy can increase funding, affect policies at the local, state and national level, and protect and strengthen communities. But who is responsible for leading these advocacy efforts? 

A recent article from Nonprofit Quarterly ( Why Board Engagement in Advocacy Is Essential ) argues that advocacy is one of the many tasks nonprofits can, and should, ask of its board of directors. While nonprofits and their boards have often placed advocacy low on the to-do list, or avoided it altogether, the Nonprofit Quarterly gives four main reasons why it should be the top priority for board members:
  1. Our missions are too important to sit on the sidelines. Policies that may impact our work require our attention and action, and we must have a seat at the decision-making table.
  2. The need is too great to ignore. If we do not communicate the importance of our work, funding will diminish, and the vulnerable population we serve will suffer.
  3. We are the people decision-makers need to hear from. The voice of an unpaid, volunteer board member resonates with policymakers who take notice of their commitment to a cause.
  4. We have more power and influence than we think. The networks and influence many board members have will come in handy as organizations grow and expand their reach.

With the release of the latest edition of Ten Basic Responsibilities of Nonprofit Boards, a book which is considered by many to be the go-to resource for nonprofit board roles and responsibilities, the idea of broadening the scope of responsibilities for an organization's board of directors has emerged.

 

While there's an ongoing debate about how much a board (especially one made up of volunteers) should be tasked with, consensus is that a courageous board skilled in speaking eloquently and frequently in support of an organization's mission is absolutely critical. As BoardSource president and CEO, Anne Wallestad, puts it, "...some of the most important work that board members do happens outside of the boardroom. It happens when board members represent their organization's mission and values to those who don't know about it, don't care about it, or are actively working against it." Read more...



 


 


 

Increase Your Visibility: Sponsor & Exhibit at MNN's  Annual Conference

MNN's annual conference and expo is one of the largest gatherings of nonprofit professionals in Massachusetts and brings together 650+ nonprofit and business leaders to share lessons and best practices and learn about capacity-building products and services. This year's conference will take place on October 21 in Framingham. Learn more about sponsorship opportunities.

 

As a sponsor and exhibitor, you will showcase your company's offerings to the decision makers of the nonprofit community, expand your business opportunities, gain local and statewide visibility, and highlight your commitment to the nonprofit sector. Space is limited- reserve your spot today!

 

Learn more and sign-on as a sponsor.

PUBLIC POLICY UPDATE
Social Welfare Groups Facing Less Regulation 
A recent   opinion piece in the Chronicle of Philanthropy by Pablo Eisenberg berates the IRS for its recent about face on how social welfare groups, organizations with the tax designation 501(c)(4), are regulated. Or, to his point, not. Included in the piece is a recent announcement from IRS head John Koskinen that these social welfare groups will no longer face much regulation and could spend up to 49 percent of their money on political activities. 

Earlier this month, the  New York Times reported on the issue: "While the nonprofit groups are supposed to limit their political activity, the I.R.S. appears powerless to stop the onslaught of money coursing through them." Leading up to the 2016 election, some of these nonprofits are expected to spend millions of dollars backing presidential candidates.  Read the full opinion piece.

Compromise Reached on EITC
Although initially rejecting the proposal put forth by the Massachusetts Legislature to repeal a corporate tax deduction to pay for the expansion of the earned income tax credit (EITC), Gov. Baker reached a compromise that will expand the EITC, while also delaying the implementation of the corporate tax deduction. This decision will hopefully provide relief to families across Massachusetts, avoiding new taxes and fees. Read more.
NONPROFIT 411:  6 Reasons Finance Belongs in Your Nonprofit Board Room 
By Paul Konigstein, AMS Senior Consultant

The comic strip Dilbert portrays accountants as trolls toiling in a dark cave deep in the bowels of an office building. Similarly, a friend jokes that the best way to manage the controller is to keep him in his cubicle and periodically throw hamburgers over the partition.

 

Both these humorous images are a variation on the idea that accounting is a back room function. A recent survey from Robert Half Finance and Accounting suggests that this is no longer true. Finance and accounting have moved from the back room to the board room.

 

The survey asked more than 2,600 US finance and accounting professionals: "What part of working in the accounting and finance profession do you enjoy the most?" Read more...

Chief Executive Officer, Massachusetts Nonprofit Network
Executive Director, YWCA of Western Massachusetts
Director of Finance, GreenLight Fund
Operations Director, African Community Education
Executive Director, Family Services of Central Massachusetts
Director of Development, Building Excellent Schools
Executive Director, South Cove Manor Nursing & Rehabilitation Center
Director of Programming, Coalition for a Better Acre
Program Officer, Massachusetts Service Alliance
Director of Movement City Youth Network, Lawrence CommunityWorks
Director of Marketing, Boston Partners in Education
Executive Director, South Cove Manor Nursing & Rehabilitation Center
Director of Marketing, Boston Partners in Education
Deputy Director, Catholic Charities of Boston
Executive Director, Family Services of Central Massachusetts
Program Manager, Heading Home
Executive Director, YMCA of Western MA
Chief Program Officer, Montachusett Opportunity Council

Grant & Award Opportunities

Quality of Life Grants, Due Aug. 18
Finish Line Youth Foundations grants, Applications due Sep. 30
Baseball Tomorrow, Due October 1
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, accepting LOIs

Trainings & Events 
*Discounts for MNN members
Introduction to Grant Writing, Boston, September 15
Quickbooks Made Easy: Love Seminar, Boston, September 24
* Public Conversations Workshops  (contact Program Manager Katie Hyten at  khyten@publicconversations.org   to receive special MNN member discounts)

 

Resources

You are the voice your mission needs. According to BoardSource's recent report, only 33% of organizations have board members that are actively advocating for their causes. If you'd like to see stronger advocacy efforts from your invaluable board, join the Stand For Your Mission campaign: an ongoing effort to build awareness about the importance of board advocacy. Click here to learn more.


5 Strategies to Generate More Donations at Your Nonprofit:   At one point or another, we all face the challenge of generating donations. With the rise of the Internet, the face of fundraising has changed- for the better! Follow these 5 strategies to increase giving to your nonprofit from current and new donors.

 
 


New & Returning Affiliates
*Discount or special incentive for MNN members
 
GiveGab is the Nonprofit Giving Platform, with nonprofit specific crowdfunding, p2p fundraising, and event fundraising specifically designed to increase long-term donor engagement and retention. *$100 donation for launching your first campaign.