4Thought Blog

4thought graphic - blog 2020

Time to Make a Change? 6 Steps to Streamline An Auditor Transition

Posted by Concannon Miller on Tue, Jun 15, 2021

Was your annual audit or quarterly filing process painful? Did you hear more about issues, or did you access meaningful insights?

Whether you’re looking for new perspective, enhanced access to resources, or greater responsiveness, developing a new auditor relationship can seem like a daunting task.

However, the transition can be made simpler with a vetting process that identifies the right firm, people, processes and technology to meet your needs and ensure seamless onboarding.

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Topics: Nonprofit Organizations

Strengthening Internal Controls for Nonprofits in the COVID-19 Environment

Posted by Carla DeMartini on Fri, Jun 4, 2021

Due to its mission-driven purpose, a nonprofit organization’s financial and operational sustainability is significantly impacted by its environment. Natural disasters, economic slowdowns and unforeseen events are just a few factors that can adversely affect nonprofit organizations.

That is why a strong internal control system has always been a priority for audit committees and management of nonprofit organizations. They’ve established policies to address the primary question—“what could go wrong?”

Now nonprofits are facing the challenges of dealing with the results of the global novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which include a scattered and remote workforce. As a result, management of nonprofit organizations are asking themselves—are the internal controls that were once effective still operating in a manner to achieve our objectives in this unprecedented time?

What can nonprofit organizations implement in order to adapt to this remote environment, when their employees, resources, technology and documentation may only be accessible through virtual means? Below are five tips that nonprofit organization management should consider to strengthen their internal control environment in response to a remote environment:

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Topics: Nonprofit Organizations

5 Innovations to Inspire Nonprofit Growth

Posted by Concannon Miller on Thu, May 6, 2021

Many nonprofit organizations have been hanging on for dear life for the past year. But the days of survival mode are coming to an end.

Now, nonprofit leaders need to be innovative to position their organizations for future growth. In other words, if you're not moving forward, you're moving backward.

But how do you cultivate a culture of innovation in a nonprofit where it doesn't traditionally exist? There's no foolproof plan, but five techniques can help get you and your staffers in the right mindset.

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Topics: Nonprofit Organizations

Employee Retention Credit: The New Benefits for Nonprofits

Posted by Concannon Miller on Tue, Apr 6, 2021

If your nonprofit managed to keep staffers employed throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, there could be a tax reward.

Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, employers may be entitled to claim an Employee Retention Credit (ERC) for wages paid between March 13, 2020, and December 31, 2020. In December of 2020, the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) enhanced and extended the credit through June 30, 2021.

And on March 11, 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) extended the ERC until December 31, 2021. In addition, the IRS recently issued guidance (Notice 2021-20) for employers — including nonprofits — that may claim the ERC.

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Topics: Nonprofit Organizations

Top 5 Trends Impacting Nonprofits’ Fiscal Health in 2021

Posted by Concannon Miller on Thu, Mar 4, 2021

What can nonprofit organizations expect in 2021 and beyond? One recent report, "11 Trends in Philanthropy for 2021," offers some answers. Produced by the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University, the 32-page report pinpoints trends such as the growth of social justice funding and new opportunities to build public trust.

We look at five of the trends that are most likely to affect your nonprofit's fiscal health. We also explain how these developments could provide opportunities to build greater resilience and efficacy.

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Topics: Nonprofit Organizations

Second Stimulus Extends Significant Benefits for Nonprofit Donors

Posted by Concannon Miller on Thu, Feb 4, 2021

The sweeping second federal stimulus included two extended provisions nonprofits should pay particular attention to: a tax break for donors of smaller charitable gifts and one that will be advantageous to big donors. The new law also extends tax breaks for corporate donors. 

This is good news for some nonprofits that have struggled financially over the past year. But you can't assume that your supporters know about these changes in the law. Educate them about tax benefits as you solicit new donations.

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Topics: Nonprofit Organizations

Developing Investment Policies: How All Nonprofits Can Benefit

Posted by Concannon Miller on Tue, Jan 19, 2021

So you think investment policies are only for nonprofits with millions to invest? Not true. If your organization holds funds in reserve — for example, to cover emergencies or meet long-term goals — it's prudent to have investment policies.

Such policies will help ensure that you manage reserve funds responsibly according to their purpose and take steps to minimize investment risk.

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Topics: Nonprofit Organizations

Should Your Nonprofit Outsource Accounting? The Pros & Cons

Posted by Concannon Miller on Tue, Dec 15, 2020

As your nonprofit strives to use its resources as effectively as possible, you might at some point consider outsourcing the functions that fall under your accounting and financial umbrella.

But wait: You'll first need to weigh the possible benefits and pitfalls.

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Topics: Nonprofit Organizations

5 Tips for Nonprofits to Maximize Year-End Giving in 2020

Posted by Adam B. Cole and Andrea Wilson on Tue, Nov 17, 2020

Over the years, #GivingTuesday has grown from a hashtag to a global movement connecting nonprofits with donors around the world and helping them sustain mission-driven growth.

While the day has traditionally been a benchmark for an organization’s end-of-year campaigns, 2020 has added pressure for nonprofits to maximize the giving season.

As COVID-19 became a global health and economic crisis, nonprofits were called to the frontlines. While this surge in demand allowed some organizations to grow their staff, donors and visibility, others were faced with deep financial hardships.

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Topics: Nonprofit Organizations

Should Your Nonprofit Adopt Remote Work Permanently? Pros and Cons

Posted by Concannon Miller on Tue, Oct 20, 2020

If your nonprofit's staffers can work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, they probably are. But what about when the crisis ends?

As workers have become accustomed to remote work, many now prefer it. In fact, several recent surveys have found that approximately half of U.S. employees would rather work from home. This is particularly true of parents with younger children.

Many employers also like remote work. They're finding that employees are as productive — if not more productive — now. And if staffers remain at home after the pandemic ends, your organization may be able to break its office lease or sell its facility and save a bundle on operational costs.

Before you take that step, however, consider what the costs and risks may be.

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Topics: Nonprofit Organizations

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