Ellicott City, Md., are getting a
smaller slice of Ms. Bell’s attention due to the budget cuts. A
year ago, Ms. Bell worked with
about 55 clients. Now she is juggling 80.
“If Peggy or Justin calls us
with a special request, then of
course we’ll respond,” says Cari
L. Oleskewicz, a Service Coordination spokeswoman. “The
challenge will be that we have
14,000 other people that will be
making the same demands on
our time. The point will come
where we’ll have to say we can’t
keep doing this.”
Ms. Helwig says she has already noticed some changes.
Ms. Bell is “not able timewise
to go up and see Jason and advocate for him,” Ms. Helwig
says. “The more advocates I
have, the better the situation
will be. I certainly did not feel
it would take all these years for
somebody to give this boy quality of life.”
While Service Coordination
was reluctant to cut any of its
clients loose, charities that op-
Bill Would Simplify Foundation Taxes
MEMBERS of the U.S. House of Representatives have pro- posed a bill that would simplify the tax code for founda- tions, a move they say would encourage grant makers
to give more during the economic downturn.
The bill, HR 4090—which is similar to Senate legislation,
S 676, proposed in March—would change the way foundations
pay excise tax on net investment income.
Foundations currently are subject to a 2-percent or a 1-percent
tax. They can qualify for the lower rate in any year in which the
percentage of assets they directed toward charitable distributions is larger than the average percentage of their distributions
during the previous five years.
While the two-tier tax was intended as an incentive for foundations to give more, lawmakers and foundation officials argue
it has had the opposite effect.
They say it pushes foundations not to raise their grant making significantly in any one year because that increase would
raise the average donation amount, thereby requiring the organizations to continue to give at a higher rate in subsequent
years to avoid the 2-percent tax rate.
The House bill would eliminate the current two-tier excise tax
system and replace it with a flat rate of 1. 32 percent.
The Council on Foundations, an association of grant makers, backs the proposal, and it has bipartisan support from Rep.
John Lewis, a Georgia Democrat; Rep. Danny Davis, Democrat
of Illinois; and Rep. Patrick Tiberi, an Ohio Republican.
But some foundation officials have questioned the bill, saying
it would mean a tax increase for grant makers that usually pay
IRS Releases Tips for Form 990
THE Internal Revenue Service has issued the final two in a series of filing tips designed to help charities prepare their Form 990 informational tax return. The IRS
redesigned the Form 990 for the 2008 tax year. The tips explain
how to fill out two attachments to the form, Schedule A: Public
Charity Status and Public Support and Schedule L: Transactions with Interested Persons.
For more information, go to http://www.irs.gov/charities/
article/0,,id=208553, 00.html. —IAN WILHELM AND GRANT WILLIAMS
with a calculator.
erate a broad range of programs
may have an easier time finding
services that are expendable.
St. Luke’s Community House,
a social-services agency in
Nashville with a $1.3-million
budget, had to tap its reserves
to cover a $50,000 deficit after fund raising fell sharply in
the last weeks of 2008. In early 2009, as the charity began
looking for ways to cut costs, it
decided to eliminate one of its
more than 40 programs.
The charity cut a job-skills
training program in the culinary arts, its newest program.
It was relatively expensive to
operate, due to the cost of food,
and served only eight students
at a time, nearly all of whom
were already employed in another field.
Brian W. Diller, the charity’s
executive director, also weighed
the impact on the charity’s employees. He knew that the culinary program’s one part-time
employee would be able to rely
on her catering business for income after losing her job at the
charity. “Even she agreed that
cutting the program would have
the least impact on the overall
organization,” Mr. Diller says.
David Condon, chief executive
of DNS Associates, a consulting
company in Rockwall, Tex., that
works with nonprofit groups,
says any financially vulnerable
charity would be wise to take a
close look at closing expensive
programs that aren’t helping
“It’s a good time for introspection,” Mr. Condon says. “
Downturns separate the wheat from
By Caroline Preston
The nonprofit world isn’t going to simply bounce back a
few years from now to the state
it was in before the recession.
That’s the message behind a
new report by La Piana Consulting, which explores five
trends that are hastening the
emergence of a new nonprofit
With new generations making
up a growing share of the work
force, charities must learn to
share leadership with younger
workers, the report says.
Social-media tools provide charities the opportunity to gain
greater exposure, but they also
require groups to be comfortable
giving more people a chance to
New ways to collaborate.
With the Internet and other
technologies, organizations can
just as easily work with an individual located across the world
as they can through traditional
coalitions and alliances.
Greater interest in service. Last year’s presidential
election put a spotlight on volunteerism, but nonprofit groups
need to keep in mind that people have many different reasons
for volunteering and ought to
tailor their opportunities.
Blurred lines between
nonprofit and for-profit.
Greater emphasis on corporate
social responsibility and the
emergence of businesses whose
primary aim is to do good are
challenging the nonprofit field’s
traditional identity, but are also
creating openings for new partnerships.
The report is available online at http://www.irvine.org/
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