Your not-for-profit has likely grown and evolved since it was founded. Have your bylaws kept pace? Bylaws are the rules and principles that define your organization — and, if you haven’t revisited them recently, they may not be as effective as they could be.

A woman is reading the rules or bylaws relating to her not-for-profit.

Rules and procedures
Typically, bylaws cover such topics as the broad charitable purpose of an organization. They also include rules about the size and function of the board; election terms and duties of directors and officers;


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Not-for-profit organizations don’t lose as much to occupational fraud as for-profit businesses do. According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners’ (ACFE’s) 2018 Report to the Nations, not-for-profits lost a median amount of $75,000 during the 21-month study period, compared with $164,000 for private for-profit companies. Yet few not-for-profit budgets can afford a $75,000 shortfall or the bad publicity associated with fraud.

A photo of grey padlocks on a red metal fence to show why Not-for-Profits need protection from fraud.

Here’s how not-for-profits open the door to occupational fraud — and how your organization can shut it.


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Not-for-profits with multiple sources of support are generally less likely to have budget shortfalls and are better able to grow and expand their services. If you’re looking for new funding sources, consider cause marketing.

overhead view of a wooden desk with a piece of paper in the center that says "marketing strategy" with books sitting to the left, titled "marketing and pricing"

Made possible via a partnership with a for-profit business, cause marketing can boost your budget, your public profile and even your volunteer base.
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According to a July 1, 2019 Notice from the Office of Federal Financial Management, the 2019 Office of Management and Budget Compliance Supplement (2019 Compliance Supplement) is now available. It will replace the 2018 and 2017 Supplements and will apply to audits of fiscal years beginning after June 30, 2018.

a pencil lying beside an open notebook with the printed words "2019 Compliance Supplement"

The 2019 Compliance Supplement includes the following:


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The IRS’s staffing shortages have been well publicized and audits of individuals have decreased in the past several years. But it’s a mistake to assume that the agency has stopped scrutinizing not-for-profits and conducting audits when it deems necessary. If your organization receives an IRS audit letter, you need to know what the process involves and how you can help resolve it as quickly as possible.

Image of a man in a blue shirt writing audit letters on pieces of paper with a pen


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Do you want to control costs and improve delivery of your not-for-profit’s programs and services? It may not be as difficult as you think.

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First, you need to know how much of your not-for-profit’s expenditures go toward programs, as opposed to administrative and fundraising costs. Then you must determine how much you need to fund your budget and weather temporary cash crunches.


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Not-for-profit board members — whether compensated or not — have a fiduciary duty to the organization. Some states have laws governing the activities of not-for-profit boards and other fiduciaries.

But not all board members are aware of their responsibilities. To protect your not-for-profit’s financial health and integrity, it’s important that you help them understand.


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On Friday, June 28, 2019, the Houston Business Journal is hosting a philanthropy and not-for-profit panel as part of its Power Breakfast series.

Houston is known as a giving town, with many not-for-profit organizations in the city. The panel discussion will dive into successful fundraising and marketing strategies, as well as ways not-for-profit organizations can

Not-for-profit trade associations, or 501(c)(6) organizations, exist to promote their members’ common interests and improve business conditions or “one or more lines of interest.” Whether the association is a local chamber of commerce, a real estate board or a large professional group, associations’ tax-exempt status is contingent on their sponsoring certain types of activities — and avoiding others.

When they fail to do so, the IRS may take action.


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The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued new guidance that will allow not-for-profit organizations to elect two of the private company alternatives. This new guidance will allow not-for-profit organizations to elect to amortize goodwill and provide an option to subsume certain customer-related intangible assets and all non-compete agreements into goodwill.

These alternatives are expected to reduce the cost of accounting for goodwill and measuring identifiable intangible assets for not-for-profits as goodwill would only be tested for impairment upon a triggering event, instead of annually, and additional time and costs would not be incurred to determine the fair value of customer-related intangible assets and non-compete agreements.


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