Friday Five 7.27.2018.PNG

Emma Lazarus is well-known for her Petrarchan Sonnet "The New Colossus," inscribed on a plaque of the Statue of Liberty's pedestal.

Did you know?

Though many have quoted excerpts of Lazarus' iconic sonnet to speak to the merit of diversity in recapturing America's identity, many may not know the origins of her writing this poem. Recognized for her prose pieces that eloquently captured the worldview of newly arrived exiles and refugees’ in America, she was approached to submit a poem for a fundraising auction to raise money for the building of the Statue of Liberty pedestal. Now you know of The New Colossus's fundraising roots and how it came to be. Check out this week's nonprofit news below!

1. Want more of a social media presence for your nonprofit? Try out Tumblr.

Tumblr is a social media platform/blog site that is great for using hashtags (#saywhat!). It’s also functional for search-engine optimization (Read more about SEO below).  Tumblr is user-friendly especially for those Twitter users and is appealing to the under 35 demographic (millennium impact!). Taking these points together with the fact that Tumblr has around 80 million blogs adds up to fantastic marketing potential!

For more tips, check out the link above.

2. Is your organization up to date?

Cryptocurrency has been making headlines lately, but how should nonprofits handle a cryptocurrency gift? For starters, it’s good practice to set policies in order for your organization to better handle this volatile commodity. Some questions to start the conversation would be: Can my bank handle it directly or do I need a separate crypto wallet?; Should I convert the currency to dollars or keep it as an investment?; Are there any implications I should be made aware of by the bank or by my financial advisor?  Knowing how to accept cryptocurrency donations and convert them will likely increase overall donations.

                Does your organization still contact donors on their landline? If so, frustration may build up, since most families nowadays either do not have a landline to call or are only gathered near the landline for some family time and would be annoyed at the phonathon intrusion. Instead, nonprofits should take advantage of the mobile phone, and call donors directly during the day. This route would be less annoying to some donors who prize family time around the dinner table and don’t want to be interrupted during the occasion.

Click the link above to read on.

 3.  A look at Nonprofit Organizational Design

The Architecture of Humanity, an international group that championed humanitarian designs in the aftermath of crises, experienced a financial crisis and eventually closed its doors after 16 years. (Quick tidbit: They helped to redesign schools in Haiti after their catastrophic earthquake that hit in 2010.) In its place, birthed a phoenix of an organization in 2016 known as the Open Architecture Collaborative (OAC), whose core purpose was participatory design and longer-term relationships with community. Garrett Jacobs, the executive director of the organization, explained that the renewal was in response to redefining the mission so that it fit the issues of the present, and helped to authentically build trust with communities affected by trauma. Their case is an excellent example of an organization that redesigned itself from a one-off project framework to a more sustainable design that seeks to find system issues within communities and create projects that promote resiliency within those communities. Essentially, the OAC design was created in response to the Architecture of Humanity’s failed retroactive project approach, and in its stead, embraced a proactive, more sustainable approach.

Want more details? Check out the link above.

4. Want more followers and donors? Try search-engine optimizing your blog content.

Search-engine optimizing (SEO) a website allows you to drive more people to your website by linking their keyword search content to your web page/blog. Use the following SEO tips and see what a difference in effective traffic it makes: Add search-relevant keywords to visible areas of your webpage (title, headers, URL, etc.); Don’t overuse similar keyword tags, because search engines (e.g. Google, Yahoo) may penalize your website for duplicate content; Use free Analytic Report tools to analyze the efficacy of the key words for drawing in customers to your webpage (e.g. Google’s Search Console).

Want more tips? Click on the link above.

5. What the "H" is a 501(c)(3)?

Before the involvement of the government with 501(c) legal descriptions, voluntary organizations were places for people to join in order to aid their less fortunate neighbors. Some examples found in early communities are volunteer fire and militia groups, women’s societies and church aid societies, which all helped to make life more equitable for all.

                After the Revolution, philanthropy took a turn and became more institutionalized. Women’s societies played a pivotal role here, and were deemed as “soften[ing] men’s obdurate hearts” to procure donations. By the end of the 19th century, philanthropy became the hallmark of the wealthy. Trusts and foundations were established, and many of these became the 501(c)s we know today. During the 20th century, the government introduced changes to its dealings with businesses and nonprofit organizations. Congress passed laws that regulated taxes and established tax-exempt status for nonprofits. Tax deductions were also introduced in the Revenue Act of 1918, producing incentive for the wealthy to donate. Later laws established the tax codes as we know them today as well as lobbying and member inurement restrictions. Now, the 501(c)(3) part of all this history actually comes from the Revenue Act of 1943, which requires that all nonprofits file a Form 990 to report sources of income, assets, and liabilities. This code section was later revised to require public access to 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations’ Form 990 data. In other words, 501(c)(3) refers to the section and subsections from this part of the Internal Revenue Code.

So, now you know what the “H” a 501(c)(3) is. Click the link above to learn more.

That’s it for this week’s Friday Five! We’re all set for a great weekend ahead. 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 We’ll be back next week!