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The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, signed on February 2, 1848, ended the Mexican-American War started by President James K. Polk, and added an additional 525,000 square miles to United States territory. Included in this expansion are Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. Mexico also agreed to give up all claims to Texas and set the Rio Grande river as America’s southern boundary.

DID YOU KNOW? Trump’s family separation policy, which has faced much public backlash and been challenged in the courts, brings to mind the impact of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo on Hispanic residents in the San Luis Valley in Colorado. Though these residents were legally granted U.S. citizenship overnight, many were treated as squatters and were evicted from their land after being unable to prove their property ownership to the satisfaction of the land speculators who purchased the properties from afar and arrived hoping to discover gold. This disrupted and dismantled communities that had long settled in the area. Families were broken up, as some residents were forced to purchase their lands while others moved away. Land disputes ensued into the early part of the next century.

Let’s be grateful for the insight that history can shed on current events as we dive into this week's nonprofit news below!

1. Use governance best practices to leverage the best from your board

One best practice your organization can implement is to ensure each board member understands his or her role on the board. All members of your nonprofit board should have a clear vision of how their efforts help to support the organization. Included within this is a clarification of each board member's role, which can range from strategy and marketing to fundraising.  Board members in particular should know exactly how their contributions shape the nonprofit so there is less confusion about overlapping responsibilities in the future. Don’t be afraid to designate formal roles and responsibilities for each board member, including the creation of a quarterly schedule of responsibilities.

Also, consider the types of support you feel the organization needs. If you need assistance in adding talent to the organization, then utilize your board members by asking for feedback and sharing their personal and professional networks. Leveraging the strengths of your board members may surprise you; they can ideally provide support on finance and legal issues, succession planning, leadership advice, etc.

As a reconnection tactic, consider holding regular board meetings each year to focus on reassessing results. Doing so will provide an excellent opportunity for your organization to formalize future strategies and priorities as well as help your board members reconnect and offer insights and opinions on each other’s performance.

For more reading, check out the link above.

2. Promoting Gender Diversity

The Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP) in Cambridge, MA surveyed 205 nonprofit CEOs and found that 52% of respondents identified gender identity diversity as organizationally relevant. In comparison, 68% found diversity among individuals with disabilities to be important and 82% believed racial diversity to be relevant.

If you’re looking for impact, try out foundation funders as an option for potentially driving diversity. According to a 2018 Georgetown University report, utilizing foundation support can fund additional staff and professional development opportunities, convene trainings with equality focuses, and help identify and encourage investment in building career-propelling pipelines for diverse groups to navigate traditionally homogenous networks.

Click the link above to read on.

3. Helping donors to achieve their goals

If you’re having trouble attracting money from tech donors like the Boys & Girls Club of the Peninsula (BGCP) did, then try talking like a start-up.

In 2018, the BGCP found that their biggest Silicon Valley donors tended to favor “effective altruism,” a philosophy that espouses evidence and careful analysis as the best methods for philanthropists seeking to identify worthy causes. As an answer to this, Peter Fortenbaugh, the Executive Director of BGCP, started sending donors an “Annual Report to Stakeholders” with detailed data about impact and an analysis of their current efforts compared to previous years. Fortenbaugh even launched a “Shark Tank” event where employees and students could pitch to wealthy Silicon Valley donors about certain programs and outline the equity that donors would receive on those programs. This approach, which assures donors that BGCP’s cost per student was lower than that of competing programs, has been remarkably effective in bringing in donations. Last year, BGCP raised $2.7 million in 45 minutes from donations.

Want to read more about Fortenbaugh’s winning donation strategy? Click the link above to learn more!

4.  Did you know that your 501(c)(4) no longer has to disclose its donors on Schedule B of the 990?

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) had, until recently, required tax-exempt groups to disclose to the IRS some donor information on Schedule B of their annual 990 returns. This included the disclosure of donor names, addresses, and donation amounts over $5,000.

                Currently, the Treasury Department and the IRS no longer require such donor disclosure for certain types of 501(c) organizations, excluding 501(c)(3) public charities and 527 political organizations. Several factors influenced this decision, including the accidental release of confidential Schedule B information by the IRS in the past. Despite public criticism of this change in the past few weeks, the IRS frames the move as a good faith attempt to increase public trust and reinforce donor confidentiality. Continue down to number 5 to find out what some critics of the change in donor disclosure policy have said.

Want more details? Check out the link above. For the flip-side view of this recent development, check out the summary below.

5. How the IRS’s Stance on Donor Disclosure Corrupts the Nonprofit World

Now that funding sources for advocacy groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Rifle Association no longer need to be disclosed, what could go wrong?

For starters, some fear that foreign nationals wishing to illegally intervene in U.S. elections will have an easier time doing so now that disclosure of donor information is not required. Secondly, donors to political action committees (PACs) and super PACs are no longer public information, thus potentially increasing the risk for corruption. Add to this the risk of improper use of charitable donations for political purposes, and you have a smorgasbord of reasons for why the public could lose trust in nonprofits.

Want more reading? Click on the link above.

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 info@b-alaw.com. We’ll be back next week!

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