Not-for-profit boards can vary widely, with different responsibilities and expectations for their members. The structure, for example, can be anything from a less-involved group that takes its direction from the organization’s leader, to a fully functioning, hands-on board that essentially runs the nonprofit, to boards that fit somewhere in between. The right board structure depends largely on what your nonprofit needs and where it is in its life cycle. 3 types The most common types of nonprofit boards are: 1. Policy. Policy boards are dedicated to oversight and governance. They’re appropriate for nonprofits that are staffed by employees or volunteers. Day-to-day duties are handled by those individuals, and the board provides a system of checks and balances that keeps the organization on track. 2. Working. These boards often are found in early-stage organizations or in nonprofits where there’s plenty to do, but not enough hands to do it. Members of working boards...[ Read More ]
Over time, many business owners develop a sixth sense: They learn how to “read” a financial statement by computing financial ratios and comparing them to the company’s results over time and against those of competitors. Here are some key performance indicators (KPIs) that can help you benchmark your company’s performance in three critical areas. 1. Liquidity “Liquid” companies have sufficient current assets to meet their current obligations. Cash is obviously the most liquid asset, followed by marketable securities, receivables and inventory. Working capital — the difference between current assets and current liabilities — is one way to measure liquidity. Other KPIs that assess liquidity include working capital as a percentage of total assets and the current ratio (current assets divided by current liabilities). A more rigorous benchmark is the acid (or quick) test, which excludes inventory and prepaid assets from the equation. 2. Profitability When it comes to measuring profitability,...[ Read More ]
The number of taxpayers who itemize deductions on their federal tax return — and, thus, are eligible to deduct charitable contributions — is estimated by the Tax Policy Center to drop from 37% in 2017 to 16% in 2018. That’s because the recently passed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) substantially raises the standard deduction. Many not-for-profit organizations are understandably worried about how this change will affect donations. But this isn’t the only TCJA provision that affects nonprofits. Donors have fewer incentives In addition to reducing smaller-scale giving by shrinking the pool of people who itemize, the TCJA might discourage major contributions. The law doubles the estate tax exemption to $10 million (indexed for inflation) through 2025. Some wealthy individuals who make major gifts to shrink their taxable estates won’t need to donate as much to reduce or eliminate their potential estate tax. UBIT takes a bigger bite The new...[ Read More ]
Here are some of the key tax-related deadlines affecting businesses and other employers during the first quarter of 2018. Keep in mind that this list isn’t all-inclusive, so there may be additional deadlines that apply to you. Contact us to ensure you’re meeting all applicable deadlines and to learn more about the filing requirements. January 31 File 2017 Forms W-2, “Wage and Tax Statement,” with the Social Security Administration and provide copies to your employees. Provide copies of 2017 Forms 1099-MISC, “Miscellaneous Income,” to recipients of income from your business where required. File 2017 Forms 1099-MISC reporting nonemployee compensation payments in Box 7 with the IRS. File Form 940, “Employer’s Annual Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax Return,” for 2017. If your undeposited tax is $500 or less, you can either pay it with your return or deposit it. If it’s more than $500, you must deposit it. However, if you deposited...[ Read More ]
After a flurry of year-end fundraising, you and your not-for-profit’s staff are probably ready for a little break. Your supporters may be tired, too. At some point, even the most philanthropic individuals experience donor fatigue and start saying “no” — even to their favorite charities. Here’s how to remain engaged with donors and yet keep your fundraising efforts from eroding relationships. Stagger your attention When you do a mass mailing for donations, do you blanket your entire donor base each time? Doing so can lead to donor fatigue. To avoid this, stagger your solicitations. Solicit your most significant donors in person, for example, but contact the next tier of donors with a personal letter or email. Follow up both communications with a phone call. Solicit all other donors by mass mailing. Also consider scaling back the number of donation requests you make. Donors may be annoyed by monthly appeals (especially...[ Read More ]
Retirement plan contribution limits are indexed for inflation, but with inflation remaining low, most of the limits remain unchanged for 2018. But one piece of good news for taxpayers who’re already maxing out their contributions is that the 401(k) limit has gone up by $500. The only other limit that has increased from the 2017 level is for contributions to defined contribution plans, which has gone up by $1,000. 2018 contribution limits If you’re not already maxing out your contributions to other plans, you still have an opportunity to save more in 2018. And if you turn age 50 in 2018, you can begin to take advantage of catch-up contributions. Higher-income taxpayers should also be pleased that some limits on their retirement plan contributions that had been discussed as part of tax reform didn’t make it into the final legislation. However, keep in mind that there are still additional factors...[ Read More ]
On December 20, Congress completed passage of the largest federal tax reform law in more than 30 years. Commonly called the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” (TCJA), the new law means substantial changes for individual taxpayers.The following is a brief overview of some of the most significant provisions. Except where noted, these changes are effective for tax years beginning after December 31, 2017, and before January 1, 2026. Drops of individual income tax rates ranging from 0 to 4 percentage points (depending on the bracket) to 10%, 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, 35% and 37% Near doubling of the standard deduction to $24,000 (married couples filing jointly), $18,000 (heads of households), and $12,000 (singles and married couples filing separately) Elimination of personal exemptions Doubling of the child tax credit to $2,000 and other modifications intended to help more taxpayers benefit from the credit Elimination of the individual mandate under the Affordable...[ Read More ]

Blue Friday at Vine Dahlen

Posted February 16, 2016

The 12's were out in full force last Friday at our office in preparation for the Seahawks battle against the Forty-Niners on Sunday.