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Compelling evidence reveals how organizational culture influences company outcomes. Yet many leaders are perplexed when they look for ways to address culture dilemmas. At times, the search for solutions resembles the pursuit of the Holy Grail! Don't despair. A straightforward solution for creating a distinctive and sustainable culture is within your reach. While not mysterious, this universal cure-all is miraculous:  give your employees, colleagues, and coworkers a reason to believe! I have been researching sustainable organizational cultures for close to a decade. My findings, which serve as the backbone of my recent book, reveal the power of this simple ...
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I’m working on a policies and procedures manual for my church. It has grown to 28 pages, and I expect it will get longer. Would it be better to have separate documents—one for policies and one for procedures—or should everything be kept in a single document? Also, what else should we consider when developing policies and procedures for our church? We went through this process a number of years ago and settled on the following best practices that may prove helpful to you. Policies and procedures are separate documents We decided to create two separate documents, but one references the other. There were three reasons for doing this: Church boards ...
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Before I began to study and teach how to shape   workplace relationships , I was a social worker. For about six years, I worked at a variety of nonprofits that served the needs of people with substance use problems, adolescents with mental health challenges and children who had been abused. At every job, I noticed a pattern. All my colleagues felt unappreciated and wanted to quit. As a scholar, I’ve learned that this dynamic isn’t unusual. Whether they are hospitals, museums, food pantries, churches or environmental groups, all nonprofits constantly struggle to attract and retain qualified staff.   Research I’ve conducted   suggests that when employees ...
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Direct response fundraising, whether in traditional direct mail or digital media, is a combination of art and science. People who do it well have an appreciation for good writing and design, as well as the ability to gain insight from statistical analysis and manage budgets and people. People who do it very well share a number of common characteristics that transcend the tactical. You can see these qualities in most DRFR leaders today: They ask a lot of questions.  Curiosity is a powerful trait that leads people to ask how things work. Winning DRFR’s are usually generalists who have a broad understanding of the processes involved in getting ...
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One of my favorite quotes to remember as a leader is from Peter Drucker. He said, "Communication is in the mind of the recipient. You're just making noise if the other person does not understand you." Unfortunately, we see a lot of leaders out there who are just making noise, failing to really communicate to their teams because they are not focused on ensuring understanding. Leaders often believe that because of their leadership title, if they say, email or demonstrate something once, everyone will understand exactly what they need to do and what the leader means. That is just not the case, as people process information very differently. Leaders often neglect ...
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As performance expectations continue to rise, so does the desire to pinpoint what goes into creating successful teams. That’s because a great team doesn’t simply combine the talents of its members—it enhances them, allowing them to achieve far more than they could alone. In the words of the philosopher Aristotle, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” That quote was the impetus for   Project Aristotle , an initiative that researchers at Google recently undertook to uncover the secrets to effective collaboration. They examined 180 teams within the company, conducting hundreds of interviews and examining a slew of quantitative and qualitative ...
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Successful businesses understand that it is the customer that buys their products and services – and ultimately pays their salaries. But what about the Church? Do churches have customers? Thriving churches recognize the importance of paying attention to their core customers – which are its visitors, members, volunteers, and employees. These vital customer groups make up the church, and without them, there is no church. Members  fund   the church; volunteers are the   labor  of the church, and employees   facilitate   the process.   And all of this is done to create an environment that is   inviting for visitors . Within every church body, ...
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The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has spent the past few years modernizing its data analysis capabilities and that means a probable doubling of determination letters for employee plans during 2020, better investigation of private inurement, and the digitizing of more forms and submissions. The IRS Tax Exempt & Governmental Entities (TE/GE) division will focus on six areas during 2020 all of which are data driven: Compliance Strategies; Data-Driven Approaches; Referrals, Claims and Other Casework; Compliance Contacts; Determinations; and, Voluntary Compliance and Other Technical Programs. The priorities were discussed during a conference call today with ...
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"How do I know my donation is really going where I think it's going?" is a common fear among potential donors. Although not the norm, over the years, there have unfortunately been cases of charities abusing their donors’ trust. This kind of behavior doesn't bode well for the nonprofit sector as a whole, as the lifeblood of these organizations is the kindhearted donations of their supporters. Most donors don't want to be associated with a nonprofit that might drag their reputation through the mud or take advantage of their generosity, so it’s natural that they may be cautious about which organizations they support. By focusing on establishing trust, a nonprofit ...
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The holidays are just around the corner—and unfortunately, the rush of the season can shift the focus away from essential tasks that need to be accomplished before the New Year. This year, don’t be caught off guard when the end of December rolls around. Instead, jump into this season with a task list in hand. To start, these three guidelines can help you: Set clergy housing allowances.   If your church gives a housing allowance, it’s important to designate the amount annually. As the year wraps up, be sure to compare actual housing expenses to what you’ve designated to be sure you're setting the correct amount. If your minister’s expenses exceed what ...
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Mark Your Calendars! February 25th and 26th is AcctTwo’s Fifth Annual Faith-Based Finance Collaborative! This year’s theme is "How the Future of Finance and Accounting Will Impact Growth in Churches." We have lined up some great keynote speakers and are excited to announce that our host is Concord Church in Dallas, led by Pastor Bryan Carter. Look for our registration link soon, and we hope to see you there!   Add it to your calendar: https://info.accttwo.com/hubfs//FBFC%202020/Faith-Based%20Financial%20Collaborative%20Calendar%20Invite.ic
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You hear unfamiliar voices in the distance as you walk down a strange corridor to an uncertain fate. Are you entering a haunted house? No, it’s just a networking event! Halloween is today, but for many people, there are spookier things than ghosts and goblins. If your pulse races when you think about networking, there are several ways to more successfully make important connections. Think twice about those noisy events . The last time you networked, it probably was a loud event and you could hear screaming. When I used to go to these gatherings, I would stand against the wall and pray someone would come up and talk to me. I finally decided ...
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All industries, regardless of the type, have their own recommended reading lists. The books may vary from person to person, but overall there are a few that stand out as the critical writings that impart knowledge in the field. The world of nonprofit organizations is no different. From general entrepreneurship and leadership readings to industry-specific texts, these books form a crucial cornerstone to understanding how nonprofits work and their motivation behind trying to achieve their goals. To help nonprofit employees better grasp the building blocks of their industry, 12 members of   Forbes Nonprofit Council   share some of their personal favorite ...
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What motivates your people? And how can you key into their motivators to drive strong performance? Abraham Maslow, a psychologist who developed a pyramid-shaped hierarchy of needs, was a pioneer in the study of motivation. His pyramid begins with basic needs, such as food and shelter, followed by social needs, creative needs and, ultimately, self-actualization. Daniel Pink, author of   Drive:   The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us,   takes that idea one step further. Writing on how businesses can match people’s motivations, he argues that as humans we are driven by three key motivators: Achieving mastery   or wanting to become ...
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The roller coaster of changing donor disclosure requirements continues, and nonprofit leaders are entitled to feel whiplash. On Sept. 6, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued proposed regulations allowing 501(c)(4), 501(c)(6), and certain other nonprofit organizations to stop disclosing their donors on Form 990. The proposed regulations follow hard on a decision by a federal judge on July 30 that invalidated previous IRS rules allowing such nonprofits not to disclose their donors. Those IRS rules, just one year old, were in turn a sharp deviation from prior requirements. For decades, the names of large donors ($5,000 or more) were required to be ...
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Online giving, donations for charities made   through websites and apps , is growing quickly. It rose 17% between 2016 and 2018 to over US$34 billion. Some 8.5% of   all U.S. charitable donations , including grants from foundations and gifts from people and companies, are made through websites   and apps . While researching what works best in fundraising in the   United States   and the   United Kingdom , we have become intrigued by the proliferation of   giving days   – typically 24-hour-long online   fundraising campaigns . Among other things, we want to see whether heavily   using social media   platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram ...
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I went to a conference earlier this year and rode the airport shuttle with one of the conference instructors. We debated the advantages and disadvantages of performance management. When he learned that I was also attending the conference, we began talking about all sorts of things but performance management (PM) and more specifically performance appraisals (PA) came up. He had very strong feelings about why he thought   performance appraisals   were a waste of time and ultimately added no value to the employee or organization. Most anyone who has managed people or has been managed by someone has experienced the sometimes stressful, time-consuming process ...
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Just a heads up for most nonprofits, BMWL announced this week that the  FASB unanimously voted on October 16, 2019 to defer the effective date of its major new Accounting Standards Update (ASU 2016-02) related to accounting for leases. You can read their announcement here .
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The business world talks a lot about employee turnover and what causes it. How can we get our team members to stick with us through the long haul? What’s getting in the way of their success? We talk a little less about how managers can achieve long-term stability and success in their roles, however, even though frequent top-level departures can   turn a workplace toxic . If you’re an entrepreneur, CEO or another type of leader, here are six skills you should cultivate to realize success throughout your career. 1. They Practice Intellectual Humility You’ve probably heard of “impostor syndrome,” which is humility   taken to an extreme . If you’re in ...
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The countdown to Giving Tuesday continues! Only 41 days until December 3rd! When it comes to Giving Tuesday, social media reigns supreme as the best channel to create instant buzz for the day-long fundraising campaign. That makes Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram essential components of your Giving Tuesday outreach initiatives. 4 Social Assets to Prep Prior to Giving Tuesday A Giving Tuesday social spreadsheet It pays to prepare your social posts ahead of time, so all you’ll need to do is copy and paste on the big day. Even better, a spreadsheet gives you the opportunity to record and analyze which posts are getting the most buzz leading up to ...
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