Like all business operations, the COVID-19 pandemic is changing how not-for-profit organizations execute their fundraising activities. No one knows how long the crisis will last, and not-for-profits can’t afford to take a break from fundraising. Staying connected to donors is critical to not-for-profits and their ability to achieve their mission.
As the new paradigm of the global pandemic sets in, many not-for-profit organizations are pivoting to adapt and cope. Many organizations are making changes to their services, operations, and fundraising activities.
David Ovesen, CPA started with LGT on September 1, 1987 as a staff accountant and along Lee Ann Collins, the current managing partner; Bill Walsh, financial advisors partner; and tax principal Renee Baugh, David is a ‘survivor’ of the 1987 LGT/Dohm & Wolf merger.
The U.S. government has approved far-reaching legislation to provide relief to American families, businesses, and not-for-profit organizations. Two significant bills are the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).
Reductions in state and federal budgets have prompted many not-for-profit (NFP) organizations to find new ways to achieve their mission by seeking nontraditional partnerships with businesses and even other NFPs. Health care systems operating in the NFP industry have led the way by entering into partnerships with businesses to co-brand pharmacies, provide direct services for businesses’ employees, and to develop new technology and apps.
Donors have a desire to make a difference. This is why they seek organizations that align with their own personal missions and make an impact in their communities.
“Life moves pretty fast.” So observed Ferris Bueller back in the summer of 1986 — and that pace has only accelerated in the 30+ years since. Yet many not-for-profits continue to take an old-school approach to strategic planning, spending months or even years to develop formal written plans that lay out specific goals for set periods of time.
In May 2014, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued Accounting Standards Update (ASU) 2014-09, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606). This ASU affected predominantly all revenue streams for all industries except for recognition of revenue from contributions to not-for-profit (NFP) organizations. The FASB vowed to return one day and finish what they started by addressing how NFPs should account for contributions, and four years later they did. ASU 2018-08, Clarifying the Scope and the Accounting Guidance for Contributions Received and Contributions Made, was issued in June 2018 to tackle diversity in practice regarding recording contributions, to clarify the steps a NFP organization should consider in determining whether a transaction is a contribution or an exchange, and to refocus attention on what constitutes a donor restriction and a donor condition.
In the wake of the new tax law and other developments, many not-for-profits are looking for ways to solidify their financial footing—including the possibility of merging with another organization. However, a merger isn’t something into which any organization should enter lightly. It’s a big step that requires careful planning and consideration.
No organization today, nonprofit or otherwise, can afford to ignore the possibility of a natural or manmade threat that cripples operations. From hurricanes and wildfires, active shooters and cyberattacks, to things as seemingly minor as a burst pipe, your operations are vulnerable. While some disasters are unpreventable, you nonetheless can reduce the repercussions by preparing now.