DID YOU KNOW? Participation in the ancient Olympic Games was initially limited to freeborn male citizens of Greece; there weren’t any women’s events, and married women were forbidden to attend, under penalty of death.

DID YOU KNOW? Participation in the ancient Olympic Games was initially limited to freeborn male citizens of Greece; there weren’t any women’s events, and married women were forbidden to attend, under penalty of death.

The Olympic Games originated in ancient Greece more than 3,000 years ago—with the first written records dating back to 776 B.C. The Games, which legend has it were founded by Heracles, were held every four years in Olympia from the 8th century B.C. to the 4th century A.D. The ancient Olympics occurred between August 6 and September 19 during a religious festival meant to honor Zeus—the presiding deity of the universe and ruler of the skies. Before long, the Games had become the most famous of all Greek sporting festivals, and it is believed that their influence was so great that ancient historians measured time by the four-year intervals in between each Olympics—these were known as Olympiads. In A.D. 393, however, the Christian emperor Theodosius I banned all “pagan” festivals leading to the end of the ancient Olympic tradition. It wasn’t until 1896 that the Games would rise again when the first modern Olympics were held in Athens, Greece. Since 1994, the Winter and Summer Olympics have been held separately, alternating every two years. Eager as you may be to resume watching the events of the 2018 Winter Olympics unfold, take a moment to check out these five nonprofit headlines from the news this week first.

1.  Six Steps to Smart Spending

Most businesses strive to keep their spending to a minimum. This is especially true for nonprofit organizations that, rather than relying on traditional sales, depend on grant money and donations to keep operations running smoothly. While balancing your nonprofit’s budget may seem challenging, practicing the right financial strategies can help you keep your organization afloat. The above link from Forbes provides six practical tips for controlling overhead and keeping operating expenses low.

2.  Avoiding Collaboration Pitfalls

Different foundations bring harmonizing perspectives, strengths and communities to the partnership table. Because of this, foundation collaboration is favorable in most circumstances. Why then do partnerships between foundations remain so rare? According to The Chronicle of Philanthropy, this is because efforts to create and preserve alliances, despite the obvious benefits of working together, can run into major obstacles. Check out the link above to learn how to avoid the common pitfalls of foundation collaboration.

3.  SDGs and Community Foundations

Community Foundations are playing an increasingly larger role in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SDGs are a list of 17 goals adopted by the UN in 2015 to address issues such as poverty, gender equality, environmental sustainability, hunger, and quality education. According to Nonprofit Quarterly, the power of foundations to organize as well as the fact that their missions relate directly to the improvement of the social fabric of their communities are what make community foundations ideal partners. If your foundation is not already focusing on SDGs, click the above link to learn 10 steps on how to get started.

4.  The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and its Effect on Nonprofits

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) was passed by Congress in December of 2017 and took effect on January 1 of this year. Under the new law, nonprofit organizations are among the most negatively impacted. According to an article published on NOLO, the main provisions that are expected to affect nonprofits include the fact that far fewer taxpayers will benefit from giving charitable contributions as well as the likelihood that more nonprofits will have to pay unrelated business income tax (UBIT). Want to know more about how your organization may be impacted by TCJA? Follow the article linked above to learn about the changes under the new tax reform.

5.  Mind the (Pay) Gap

According to Exponent Philanthropy’s 2018 Foundation Operations + Management Report, women outnumber men in executive, grantmaking and support roles within foundations. And while there is greater positional equality as compared to the for-profit sector, women are still reporting less income than their male counterparts (84 cents on the dollar). In addition to the gender pay gap, this year’s report featured insights on topics such as board size, diversity, payout rates, and succession planning. Want to gain a better understanding into issues that may be affecting your nonprofit organization? Check out the link above from The NonProfit Times to discover key findings from the report.

That’s it for this week’s Friday Five! In a bout of inspiration, we’re considering signing up for ice-skating lessons, but perhaps we’ll settle for watching the Olympics instead. See you next week!

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