Many not-for-profit organizations use fundraising methods which cross boundaries of different states. If your not-for-profit is one of them, it may need registration in multiple jurisdictions.

a map of the United States and Canada with colored pins to signify the possibility of nonprofit organizations needing registration in various states

But keep in mind that registration requirements vary — sometimes dramatically — from state to state. So be sure to determine your obligations before you invest time and money in registering.


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Borrowing isn’t just for businesses. Many not-for-profits borrow money for major capital purchases, new program funding and even to manage current cash flow. But if you’re hoping to borrow, it’s important to understand that there are likely to be obstacles ahead, including finding a lender that offers reasonable rates.

two men meeting, paperwork on a wooden table, perhaps a lender meeting for nonprofit organizations


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It’s never easy to say “no” to a generous donor. But a gift acceptance policy can make the decision and process easier. When you receive a personal gift from a friend or family member — even if it’s not something you particularly want — you accept the gift and thank the person. The same isn’t always true of gifts given to your not-for-profit.

a gift wrapped in brown paper tied with a pink bow to signify a gift acceptance policy for not-for-profit organizations

Why? There are many reasons, from space limitations to unsuitability to your mission. Gifts should be examined, and, possibly, refused.


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Jen: This is the PKF Texas Entrepreneurs Playbook. I’m Jen Lemanski, and I’m back again with Nicole Riley, an Audit Senior Manager and one of the faces of PKF Texas’ Not-for-Profit team. Nicole, welcome back to The Playbook.

Nicole: Thanks, glad to be here.

Jen: Now as a CFE I know you talk about fraud – Certified Fraud Examiner. What is occupational fraud, and can it happen in a not-for-profit organization?

Nicole: So occupational fraud really is a fancy word for employees stealing. And yes, unfortunately it does happen in the not-for-profits. The 2018 Report to the Nation by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners found the median loss at a not-for-profit was $75,000 per instance.

Jen: Wow.

Nicole: Yeah. It is actually better than the for-profit loss; the median loss there was $164,000, but not many nonprofits that I know can handle a $75,000 loss in their budget, and that doesn’t even consider the indirect impact on their reputation or the loss of donor trust.

Jen:  Right. So, how does fraud happen in a not-for-profit organization? It seems like there’s so few people you’d be able to catch it quick.


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Jen: This is the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook. I’m Jen Lemanski, and I’m back again with Nicole Riley, an Audit Senior Manager and one of the faces of the PKF Texas Not-for-Profit team. Nicole, welcome back to The Playbook.

Nicole: Thank you. Glad to be here.

Jen: You know, we’ve been covering topics relevant to not-for-profit organizations, and one thing I noticed that you’ve talked about with clients are the fiduciary responsibilities of a board member. Can you elaborate on that a little bit?

Nicole: A lot of board members don’t realize that they do have a fiduciary duty, and it’s really important that they understand that, because they could be held financially responsible for the financial harm they do to an organization.

Jen: Wow, interesting. So, are there certain steps that they need to be mindful of?


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How well do you listen to your not-for-profit’s supporters on social media? If you don’t engage in “social listening,” your efforts may not be good enough.

This marketing communications strategy is popular with for-profit companies, but can just as easily help not-for-profits attract and retain donors, volunteers and members.


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Jen: This is the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook. I’m Jen Lemanski, and I’m here again with Nicole Riley, an Audit Senior Manager and one of the faces of the PKF Texas Not-for-Profit team. Nicole, welcome back to The Playbook.

Nicole: Thanks. Thanks for having me.

Jen: So, we’re touching on topics important to not-for-profits. Accounting departments and development departments are two really critical components of a not-for-profit organization. How do you facilitate cooperation between the two departments?

Nicole: As you mentioned, they really are critical components of an organization, and when they work together well it can really benefit an organization.


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There was a full house at the PKF Texas office for our second not-for-profit seminar of the year, “2019 Accounting Updates and Changes for Not-for-Profits.” For this breakfast event, Audit Senior Manager and the face of PKF Texas’ not-for-profit team, Nicole Riley, CPA, CFE, discussed timely updates and changes organizations need to know.


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