The future of cities depends on innovative financing


By John D. Macomber, senior lecturer Harvard Business School, HBR | Today’s mega-cities have a footprint problem. They are developing horizontally, not vertically, with vast areas of low sprawl reaching out for miles from Sao Paolo, Lagos, New Delhi, Guangzhou, Jakarta, and many others. A central question our civilization must address is how we can […]

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Significant nonprofit financial reporting changes

By Jim Simpson, CPA and director, Financial Technologies & Management The way nonprofits prepare and present financial reports is about to change. It is the first significant changes in over 20 years. In 2011, the Nonprofit Advisory Committee recommended modification of the 1993 financial reporting mode to the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB). In April, […]

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When best-laid plans go awry: Prepare with reserves

Hundreds Falling onto Money Stack

By Lauren Kreutzinger, supervisor, VonLehman In any business, in any organization, even the best-laid plans can go awry. In the nonprofit sector, this can lead to disaster. But that doesn’t have to be the case — if you’re prepared. For example, a major grant your organization counted on could fall through. Or your facilities might […]

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Proposed changes to nonprofit financial reporting


By Chris Mennel, audit manager, Alerding CPA Group |  A new proposed accounting standard could dramatically impact the current financial reporting methods for the more than 1.5 million nonprofits in the United States. Financial reporting in nonprofits was largely affected in 1993 by the issuance of Financial Accounting Standard No. 116 and Standard No. 117 […]

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Nonprofits lose an average of $15,000 a year due to spam filters, study says


Nonprofits annually lose an average of nearly $15,000 because of fundraising solicitations intercepted by spam filters, according to a new study. Donations made in response to emails accounted for about a third of online fundraising revenue in 2013, but one in eight emails never reaches an inbox — a percentage almost as high as the share of emails […]

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A guide to nonprofit overhead

budget calculation

By Jan Masaoka & Steve Zimmerman, Blue Avocado Calculating overhead rates and managing overhead expense are important staff roles. Board members are not required to know how do staff accounting work, but we do need to bring an informed perspective to oversight: Harvard’s indirect cost rate is 68% while Iowa State’s is 48%. Should the […]

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The Overhead Myth


By Art Taylor, president, BBB Wise Giving Alliance, Jacob Harold, president/CEO, GuideStar USA,Ken Berger, president/CEO, Charity Navigator | To the Nonprofits of America: We write to ask for your help to end the Overhead Myth — the false conception that financial ratios are a proxy for overall nonprofit performance. Last year we wrote a letter […]

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The nonprofit starvation cycle


By Ann Goggins Gregory and Don Howard, Stanford Social Innovation Review | Organizations that build robust infrastructure—which includes sturdy information technology systems, financial systems, skills training, fundraising processes, and other essential overhead—are more likely to succeed than those that do not. This is not news, and nonprofits are no exception to the rule. Yet it […]

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More cost effective and efficient nonprofit accounting operations


By Jim Simpson, CPA and director, Financial Technologies & Management | Since 1999, we have helped over 350 nonprofit organizations throughout the Midwest improve their accounting operations and become more cost effective and efficient. Based on experience, here are some experience-based insights that can help boost your nonprofit accounting operations. Let’s start by dispelling the […]


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