What to Know: Working With a Non-profit

Brigade Bookkeeping
February 23rd, 2016
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Just this past week, a Florida couple came forward to claim part of a historic $1.58 billion dollar Powerball Jackpot. The couple, from Melbourne Beach, said they don’t plan on doing things much differently, except giving to charity.


It’s wonderful to give to charity and charitable organizations! Just this past month, Brigade Bookkeeping hosted its first ever non-profit leadership workshop. We had nearly 100 people come together from South Florida’s top charities to talk about the challenges non-profits face in today’s business world. For those of you who couldn’t attend, there are some important fundamentals we were able to pass along to every non-profit business owner or board member, such as:

  • FUNDRAISING – Making ends meet has never been more difficult. Each year you face an increase in your operating expenses and you need to accelerate your fundraising activities just to keep up. If your organization accepts donations via the internet, make sure that you have a custom branded donation page, rather than a third party one. Make sure your website is also mobile compatible, and that each page of your website has a “donate” button. You can always include a page that includes other ways to give, such as donating time, a specific talent or a non-monetary item.
  • COMPLIANCE – Keeping up with the day-to-day operational issues of a non-profit organization is complicated. When you add government regulations into the mix, the complexity can be maddening. The IRS uses non-examination reviews called compliance checks to determine whether an organization is adhering to recordkeeping and information reporting requirements. The organization can be asked about filing obligations for required forms or about its activities. Your accountant should be keeping you in the loop about your next compliance check.
  • LEGAL EXPOSURE – People and property multiply your problems. Today you face legal exposure you would never have thought of a few years ago. Making certain you are prepared for these risks should be a priority, but it always gets moved to the back burner. If you are on the board of a non-profit, do you know the legal risks it faces? Are you protected against unhappy staff members or volunteers? Knowing the law from copyrights and trademarks to lobbying and political activity compliance are key when working with a non-profit.

Knowing the fundamentals of non-profit companies is key when it comes to being successful in the charity world. Make it simple for donors who want to help you and always follow the rules. Ultimately, remember that a non-profit is much like any other business, except with an extra set of rules and regulations.

I had a whole team of experts who helped me with my non-profit workshop, including Dave Lorenzo, who helps attorneys make a great living and live a great life, Labor and Employment attorney Porpoise Evans and CPA Dave Hollander of the firm Morrison, Brown, Argiz & Farra. My team and I were able to answer all questions about non-profits, so if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to e-mail me or anyone on my team. We’ll give you the rundown on non-profit business know how.

Congrats to the Florida couple, who now joins another couple in Tennessee and a still unnamed person or persons who won the Jackpot Powerball prize in California. What an exciting time for them!

Here’s wishing you a week full of lotto dreams come true!

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