Blogs: Nonprofits

Are you doing business in the Portland metro area?  Do you want to identify movers and shakers in our local business community?  For the past 30 years, the Portland Business Journal's Book of Lists has established itself as a key tool for doing business in the area.  This year's list is "by far the most comprehensive edition to date" according to their publisher, Craig Wessel.   A wide range of industry sectors are included to help you identify executives and companies who are major players in their field.  In addition to the Book of Lists, the Portland Business Journal also provides comprehensive coverage of business news and information for the Portland area.  Free remote access is available with a Multnomah County Library card and password.  Apply online if you don't already have a Multnomah County Library card, and open the door to this - and many other subscription-based resources at no charge. 

While the Better Business Bureau recommends donors avoid any charity spending less than 65 percent of their money on their charitable mission, a small but persistent group of charities continue to spend most of their money on fundraising and administration. A groundbreaking new law passed in Oregon in 2013, one aimed at protecting donors from charities that spend too little on their charitable programs and services. House Bill 2060 eliminates the state income tax deduction for donors who give money to charities that fail to spend at least 30 percent of their donations on their charitable mission. For charities that spend more than 70 percent of donations on management and fundraising, Oregonians who donate to them cannot not take state income-tax deductions on those gifts.

The Nonprofit Association of Oregon has compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions for nonprofit organizations regarding the new law and The Oregon Attorney General's office compiles an annual list of the 20 Worst Charities that are registered to do business in Oregon. To find out how much of your donation will go to a charity’s actual purpose, search the Oregon Department of Justice's database of registered charities.

Multnomah County Library subscribes to Guidestar, a database available at the Central Library that provides information on programs and finances of charities and nonprofits. Need help finding information on your favorite charity? Librarians are happy to help!

 

If you're part of a nonprofit organization, you've probably heard about or explored the world of foundation grants. But with so many nonprofits competing for funding, how can you increase your chances of getting chosen? Perhaps you've been asking the following questions:

  • What are the main characteristics of successful funding proposals?
  • Increasingly I see foundations say they don't accept unsolicited proposals. How am I supposed to get a grant?
  • If I'm turned down, can I try again?
  • Do funder guidelines describe accurately what they fund?

Author Martin Teitel answers these questions and more in his Guidestar article Questions I'm Most Often Asked about Winning Foundation Grants.

7 Reasons Your Grant Proposals Are Being Rejected

  1. You don't write for your audience.
  2. You aren't proofreading enough.
  3. You aren't thorough enough.
  4. Your proposal contains too much fluff.
  5. You have a goal but no plan.
  6. You aren't providing enough data.
  7. You are using unreasonable budgets.

Read the entire article at Non-profit2point0.com!

Every nonprofit has to start somewhere and the library is a great first stop. Since 1973, Multnomah County Library has been part of the  Foundation Center's Funding Information Network, a nonprofit organization established in 1956 concerned exclusively with gathering, analyzing and disseminating information on philanthropic foundations. Foundation Center libraries are located throughout the United States.

Via our Nonprofit Resource Center, Multnomah County Library makes the publications of the Foundation Center available to the public along with other materials on foundations, corporate philanthropy, government grants, proposal writing, fundraising and nonprofit management. Library staff provide help in using these materials, and brief reference questions can be answered by telephone. Some of the indexes and directories published by the Foundation Center are also available online. Multnomah County Library provides access to these online Foundation Directory resources, including Foundation Directory Online Professional, a database of nearly 100,000 U.S.-based foundations, grantmaking public charities, and corporate givers and IRS 990s, has federal grant information and offers periodicals, newsletters and the Foundation Center's Web site, which contains current information on nonprofit management, grantmakers, news and events. And here are a few more handy sites that will help you track down just the right way to kick off your cause. 

A directory of Federal programs, projects, service and activities which provide assistance to the American public. It contains financial and nonfinancial assistance programs administered by departments of the Federal government.
 
An independent organization that evaluates the financial health of America's largest charities. Rates charities on their fundraising efficiency; fundraising, program, and administration expenses; primary revenue growth; and capital ratio. Can be searched by keywords, category of charity, or geographic region.
 
A nationally prominent charity rating and evaluation service dedicated to helping donors make informed giving decisions.
 
Provides news and information for nonprofit leaders, fund raisers, grant makers, and other people involved in the philanthropic enterprise. It also offers lists of grants, fundraising ideas and techniques, statistics, and more.
 
A National Charity Reports Index provides reports on charities and other soliciting organizations that solicit nationally. Reports on local charities that solicit regionally are also available via a link to local Better Business Bureaus. Reports provide contact information, evaluation conclusions, programs, governance, fund raising, tax status, and financials.
 
A central storehouse for information on over 1,000 grant programs awarded to universities, researchers, cities, states, counties, and nonprofit organizations.
 
A comprehensive directory of public and private research funding resources from the Society for Research Administrators International.
 
The center provides links to more than 70 nonprofit groups' websites and the "Nonprofit Locator," a searchable data base of IRS data on charities in the United States.
 
On-line search tool that allows users to search for tax-exempt organizations that are eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions.
 
National clearinghouse of data on the nonprofit sector in the United States.
 
Formerly known as TACS, this is a statewide network of nonprofits, foundations, business partners, and individuals dedicated to supporting Oregon’s nonprofit sector.
 
In order to solicit for donations in Oregon, most charitable organizations must be registered with the Oregon Department of Justice. Before you give, check their database or call (971) 673-1880 to confirm that the organization is properly registered. Also has information on how to become a charity.
 
An overview of key topics for consideration by people who work for, lead, or support nonprofit organizations in the United States.
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