It is December 16th. Nine days left until Christmas (for those who celebrate it). Are you excited? We are. We have done most of our Christmas shopping. Now we just need to figure out our Christmas shipping to make sure our gifts reach friends and relatives in far-flung places. And we want to make sure these five stories from today’s Friday Five reach you!
1) In the month since the election, donations have skyrocketed to nonprofit media outlets, Inside Philanthropy reports. ProPublica saw its donations jump by $750,000, substantially more than its total haul in 2015. The Center for Public Integrity and individual NPR affiliates are among the other beneficiaries. The article raises some questions about what’s next for nonprofit media organizations, including how they can construct sustainable models going forward:
2) Nonprofit Quarterly makes the difficult and necessary case for overhead expenses, arguing that, far from being a necessary evil, they’re not evil at all and are consistently undervalued. NPQ suggests that before leaping to cut overhead costs, they should first be viewed through the lenses of economies of scale and cost comparisons to similar organizations. Get the full deep dive:
3) Inside Philanthropy has a nice article about Rotary International, reminding nonprofits that Rotary Clubs can be a good source of help for nonprofits. Both Rotary International and local Rotary districts give out tens of millions of dollars in grants. The Rotary Club of Los Angeles gets a shout-out for its work to fight homelessness in L.A. And if you’re looking for possible sources for volunteers and funding, your local Rotary Club might make a great addition to your list:
4) With 2017 right around the corner, it can’t hurt to evaluate your website and see if it’s ready for the new year. Lacey Kruger, an information architect who works with nonprofits, posted a good checklist at NPEngage.com. Things to consider: Is your website responsive? Do you have too much nested navigation? Test your website against her list here:
5) You may have idly asked yourself the question, “Hey, can I set up a 501(c)(3) to fund renovations of my house, if my house is a historic landmark? As an early Christmas present?” The IRS’ answer to this question is a decisive “No. No, you may not,” which should not surprise anyone who knows about private inurement. Peter O’Reilly, the tax columnist at Forbes, brings us the story:
That’s all for the Friday Five. We’ll be taking Dec. 23 off, but we shall return on Dec. 30, just in time for the end of 2016. And now we’re off to figure out if the post office will accept hastily wrapped, insecurely packaged items with barely legible scrawls for addresses. Wish us luck!
Want to know more about nonprofits? Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and send your questions about the nonprofit world to firstname.lastname@example.org. See you on the 30th!