News For Non-Profits

Volunteers more likely to find work
Here’s something to point out to potential and current volunteers: Unemployed individuals who volunteer over the next year are 27% more likely to find jobs by year end than those who don’t. And the relationship between volunteering and employment holds stable regardless of a person’s gender, age, ethnicity, geographic area or job market conditions, according to the study Volunteering as a Pathway to Employment: Does Volunteering Increase Odds of Finding a Job for the Out of Work? by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS).
CNCS, a federal agency associated with AmeriCorps and other volunteer programs, based the study on 10 years of data from the 2002–2012 Current Population Survey — September Volunteer Supplement administered by the U.S. Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Tool eases direct gifts from DAFs
Public charity Fidelity Charitable has released a free widget that enables donors to recommend grants from their donor-advised funds (DAFs) using the application found on a nonprofit’s website. The donor completes the fund name, amount of the donation and any restrictions on its use — and 100% of the gift is sent to that nonprofit. The DAF Direct widget is available to all qualified public charities, is reportedly easy to install, and is being used by organizations such as the American Red Cross.
Effect of “Tea Party” probe on IRS work uncertain
The IRS has announced an “optional expedited process” for certain Section 501(c)(4) applicants in the wake of charges that the IRS used inappropriate criteria to review “Tea Party” and other organizations applying for tax-exempt status based on their names or policy positions.
The Exempt Organizations (EO) unit of the IRS’s Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division announced on July 3 that the new process is available for 501(c)(4) applicants whose applications have been pending for more than 120 days as of May 28 and whose activities involved possible political campaign intervention or issue advocacy. Such organizations that receive “Letter 5228 Application Notification of Expedited 501(c)(4) Option” may be able to “self-certify” that their nonprofits meet certain criteria and obtain their exempt status within two weeks.
From an IRS insider’s perspective, there could be a slowdown in application review work due to the controversy. In June, Marcus Owens, a former director of the EO unit, told an audience at the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ Not-for-Profit Industry Conference that “everything shuts down, because there are allegations that your 501(c)(4) processing has been corrupt.  . . .  And maybe you go broader than that, because the 501(c)(3)s were playing in this field, too.”

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