DID YOU KNOW? The "four-minute barrier" has since been broken by over 1,400 athletes. In the last 50 years, the mile record has been lowered by almost 17 seconds, and currently stands at 3:43.13.

DID YOU KNOW? The "four-minute barrier" has since been broken by over 1,400 athletes. In the last 50 years, the mile record has been lowered by almost 17 seconds, and currently stands at 3:43.13.

For years, many athletes tried (and failed) to run a mile in less than four minutes. So many were unsuccessful in the feat that the concept of the four-minute mile was thought to be physically impossible. In 1945, the world record for the fastest mile was set by Gunder Hagg of Sweden at four minutes and 1.3 seconds. In the 1950s, perhaps lured by the elusiveness of the task, several runners devoted themselves to being the first to finish within the three-minute time zone. It wasn’t until May 6, 1954 that a medical student named Roger Bannister accomplished the impossible by becoming the first person in recorded history to run a mile in under four minutes. After having broken track and field’s most famous barrier at three minutes and 59.4 seconds, Bannister paved the way for many athletes to follow. The once impossible task continues to be achieved, and the record for fastest mile lowered. But before you lace up your running shoes, check out these five nonprofit headlines from the news this week.

1.  New IRS Tool Provides Greater Public Insight into Exempt Organizations

Earlier this week, the Internal Revenue Service introduced a new online tool on IRS.gov that is meant to provide expanded access to information on exempt organizations. With quicker, easier access than its predecessor (EO Select Check), the new Tax Exempt Organization Search (TEOS) will allow greater insight for taxpayers considering donations to charitable organizations. Key features of TEOS include images of newly-filed 990 forms—made available to the public for the first time ever—as well as the ability to search for favorable determination letters. Additionally, the tool has been optimized for mobile use and can be accessed through tablets and even smartphones. Before making your next donation, give the new TEOS tool a try. Click on the link above to discover what information is now available to you.

2.  Politics and Philanthropy

In an effort to understand what factors allow philanthropy to flourish or flounder, the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI conducted the 2018 Global Philanthropy Environment Index (GPEI). The study evaluated 79 economies on a five-point scale across five key factors in order to evaluate the level of ease with which philanthropic organizations can operate. This year’s report examined how governing laws and socio-cultural and political environments either incentivize or hinder giving efforts around the world. Want to know how your region faired on the latest GPEI? Check out the link above from The NonProfit Times to learn how politics is affecting philanthropy in areas throughout the world.

3.  Follow Your Passion Without Losing Your Salary

According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics, there are more than 1.5 million registered nonprofit organizations in the United States. With that many organizations striving to bring about positive change, there are numerous opportunities for those wanting to turn their passion into something more valuable. As set forth in a recent article from Entrepreneur, passion and profitability do not have to be mutually exclusive. If you’re considering the switch from the for-profit to the nonprofit sector, consider the ways in which you may be able to parlay your corporate experience to achieve quantifiable results as part of a nonprofit organization. Socially meaningful investments made by nonprofits serve those in need as well as provide a return to social impact financial partners. Follow the link above to learn more about how to pursue your passion without sacrificing an important business role (or a paycheck).

4.  Issues of Inequity and Affordable Housing

On the day after Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, President Johnson pleaded with congressional members to enact legislation that would prohibit discrimination in housing sales, rentals and financing. As a result, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Fair Housing Act. While the law was a step in the right direction, affordable housing continues to be unattainable for many—as millions of families across the U.S. today still struggle with housing insecurity. According to Stanford Social Innovation Review, finding a solution to the affordable housing crisis means addressing issues of inequity—whether issues of race, age, class or gender. So how can we spark a conversation and adjust the public viewpoints encumbering better, quality housing for all? Click on the link above for a look at two ways to change the story told about housing in America.

5.  Nonprofit Website Design Mistakes

According to Internet Statistics Live, there are more than 1.8 billion websites—a number that continues to grow. With that amount of competition, it can be a challenge to create a website that excels in both content and design. This is especially true for nonprofits wanting to ensure that donors look to them when they are ready to give. Want to ensure that your website is user-friendly and attractive to viewers? Check out the Forbes article linked above for the seven most common web design mistakes and how your nonprofit can avoid them.

That’s it for this week’s Friday Five! We’re feeling motivated and ready to tackle the impossible. See you next week.

Can’t get enough of the Friday Five? Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and send your questions about the nonprofit world to info@b-alaw.com. We’ll be back next week!