Tuesday, December 23, 2008

NRCA's Recommendations to the Presidential Transition Team

Nonprofit Resource Center for Alabama

December 22, 2008

For Immediate Release

Nonprofit Resource Center of Alabama Helps National Council of Nonprofits
Develop Recommendations to the Presidential Transition Team

Birmingham, Alabama (Dec. 22, 2008)—To ensure that the voices of Alabama’s nonprofits get heard, the Nonprofit Resource Center of Alabama (NRCA), which is a member of the National Council of Nonprofits, helped develop recommendations submitted to President-Elect Obama’s Transition Team. Members of the Transition Team had asked the National Council of Nonprofits for ideas regarding ways the federal government can work better with nonprofits.

To put its recommendations in context, the National Council of Nonprofits’ report emphasizes:

“The nonprofit sector serves as America’s social safety net to provide for people needing basic human services like food, shelter, and health care. Yet that community safety net is unraveling rapidly, straining to endure the additional weight dropping on it from the economy. With more people losing their jobs due to layoffs, losing their homes due to foreclosures, and losing all or a portion of their health insurance due to employers cutting jobs and benefits, the demand for nonprofit services is skyrocketing.”

At the same time, the report continues, “nonprofit revenues are plummeting as foundation assets evaporate, state and local governments cut contracts and freeze reimbursement rates, corporate donations shrink, and individuals suffer financially. The nonprofit sector remains committed to providing as much relief as possible to those in need. However, despite the purest intentions and the strongest dedication, community nonprofits cannot continue to do so much more with so much less for very much longer.”

The report provides an overview of how the economy is harming nonprofits, and cites a projection by noted public service expert Dr. Paul Light that the menacing economy could wipe out as many as 100,000 nonprofits within the next six months. “If that happens,” the Council says, “then many needy people will have no place to turn.” Moreover, that will increase significantly the number of jobs lost across the country.

The National Council of Nonprofits’ recommendations include the following:

• Creating the Social Entrepreneurship Agency for Nonprofits called for in the Obama Plan within the first 100 days so it can help strengthen nonprofits, especially community-based nonprofits because 93% of all charitable nonprofits have revenue under $1 million.

• Focusing the economic recovery plan “first on maximizing operating budget relief for state and local governments” to prevent additional substantial state operating budget reductions because “future cuts to state and local governments will greatly exacerbate our nation’s current economic crisis.”

• Establishing a new Community Services Protection Fund to restore “the public/private covenant between governments and nonprofits by investing in nonprofits that perform work that traditionally has been performed and/or funded by government – because past government policies that shifted government human service programs to nonprofits often did so without full payment to provide those services.”

• Eliminating the distinction between the Standard Business Mileage Rate (now 58.5 cents per mile) given to corporate and federal employees and the substandard Charitable Mileage Rate (now just 14 cents per mile) for volunteers so there is one rate, set the same way, and treated the same way for tax purposes so volunteer workers helping others are treated the same as paid workers.

• Strengthening democracy by restoring the American people’s ability to amplify their voices through nonprofits so the people may participate meaningfully in their government.

“We were honored to have an opportunity to play a role developing this unique communication on behalf of nonprofits in Alabama,” said Molly McGregor, NRCA President and CEO. “Although this happened in lightening speed, given the nature of a transition, it was exciting to see behind the scenes as ideas came from across our nationwide network to inform the process.”

In releasing the package of recommendations, Tim Delaney, president & CEO of the National Council of Nonprofits, said, “That the Transition Team reached out to seek the views of America’s community-based nonprofits is most encouraging. We look forward to working with the incoming Administration and new Congress to help solve the significant challenges our country faces.”

For more information about how the economy is hurting nonprofits across the country and strategies nonprofits can use, visit the National Council of Nonprofits’ online clearinghouse of information, the Nonprofit Economic Vitality Center, at www.councilofnonprofits.org/economy/.

As Alabama’s “nonprofit for nonprofits” NRCA provides a comprehensive professional education program in the areas of board governance, agency management and fund development; resource and referral services; access to consulting services and technical assistance; and advocacy on behalf of the nonprofit sector.

The National Council of Nonprofits is the network of state and regional nonprofit associations serving more than 20,000 member organizations. By linking local nonprofit organizations across the nation through state associations, the National Council helps small and midsize community-based nonprofits manage and lead more effectively, collaborate and exchange solutions, engage in critical policy issues affecting the sector, and achieve greater impact in their communities.


Friday, December 12, 2008

Free Training - Faith Based - Outcomes measurement

The Walker Area Community Foundation invites all nonprofits in Walker to join us for a series of free webinars. The location for our showing will be the CHS Activity Center at 204 19th Street East in Jasper.

The White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives and the United States Department of Labor Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives invites you to participate in a unique, three-part training to improve your organization’s ability to measure, manage, and communicate results. Participants who complete the training will also receive free case management and outcomes tracking software.

This valuable Results-Based Management training is free and will be offered in three, 90-minute webinars on December 18, 2008, January 6, 2009, and January 13, 2009, from 2:00-3:30 p.m. (EST). This opportunity is open to faith-based and other community nonprofits engaged in addressing poverty, disease, and other critical human needs.

Results-Based Management training strengthens organizations’ information management capabilities and services, spurs strategic thinking, and equips organizations to communicate more effectively about what funders care most about: real impact in the lives of people in need.

The first 90-minute training webinar on December 18, 2008, will teach the fundamentals of creating and applying an outcomes-focused, case management information system. At the conclusion of the first webinar, you will be asked to complete and submit a logic model (evaluation plan) for one program offered by your organization for evaluation by experts.

Prior to the second training webinar, experts will assess your logic model and provide feedback. The second 90-minute training webinar on January 6, 2009, will build on the first by fine tuning your organization’s logic model with the help of experts and peers taking part in the webinar.

The third 90-minute training webinar on January 13, 2009, will teach you how to use case management and outcomes tracking software and customize it for your organization’s specific program(s). If you or your colleagues participate in and complete all three training webinars, your organization will also receive a free, one-year license to use ResultsOnline2, a web-based case management and outcomes tracking software.

Monday, December 8, 2008

A better name?

We have a "General Fund". This fund accepts contributions from the public and allocates grants to the nonprofits serving Walker County. We have heard that the word "General" is not very catchy to say the least. If you had the chance to create a new name for this Fund, what would you call it?