6 Reasons “Friends of” Organizations Should Bank Abroad

LEGO Globe Europe Africa by AmazingBrickCreations.comThe fiscal responsibilities of an American charity have become more complicated in recent years. Increased scrutiny from the IRS, more intricate tax documentation, the recent economic crisis, and donors’ need for transparency, are just a few of the challenges facing the sector. When a charity operates internationally these difficulties are only exacerbated. These global organizations are expected to be familiar with regional and global charity regulations, comfortable working in foreign languages and cultures, able to cope with inherent increased expenses, and capable of forging new relationships – all while maintaining a high level of accountability.

A powerful tool in helping a “Friends of” organization cope is an additional account abroad in the country in which it operates. When used to its potential, this kind of account is invaluable. Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: December 12

A collection of links to the great articles covering the nonprofit sector that I have reviewed and posted to Twitter between December 1 – December 12.  This week’s topics include: U.S. Tax & Law •  Israeli & Jewish Nonprofits  •  Strategy & Governance  •  Marketing & Fundraising  •  Potpourri. Continue reading

Israeli Government Grants: The Broken Promised Land

"Behind Broken Glass" by HzopakObtaining government funding seems to be every nonprofit’s goal, at least in Israel. I have heard countless lecturers, founders, and foundation representatives preach the Darwinian virtues of incorporating government grants into an Israeli charity’s fundraising strategy; after all, the nonprofit is servicing the Israeli public. It is to the Government’s benefit – if not its outright duty – to ensure that this charity’s program continues to exist

Not bad on paper. In practice, however, these Israeli government grants can sometimes be more trouble than they are worth.

For the purpose of this post, as a banker I would like to restrict my focus on the budgetary challenges associated with these grants.  Specifically, the two disadvantages that arise because grant monies are dispersed only after expenses are incurred. Continue reading

Rise, Knight of the Nonprofit Round-Table

“The Office of the Prime Minister invites nonprofit organizations, companies from the business sector that donate to the public or the third sector, and businessmen that work in the fields of philanthropy, to apply for participation in the roundtable.”

No, King Arthur hasn’t been reborn nor are we in Camelot. Heck, we’re not even in Kansas.  What this is, though, is a serious attempt by the Israel Government and a number of foundations that operate in Israel to increase the cooperation, strength, and transparency of Israel’s nonprofit sector. Continue reading

Guidestar Arrives in Israel (and is looking for volunteers)

The website “Zavit Shalosh” [The Third Perspective] posted on their site yesterday (in Hebrew) that Guidestar has officially come to Israel.  Currently, the Guidestar site is in its pilot stage and is inviting Israeli amutot [nonprofits] to participate.

guidestar_logo

For those that are unfamiliar, Guidestar markets itself as providing “trusted nonprofit information” so interested parties can make “informed decisions” (quotes from the Guidestar site).  The Guidestar website does this by posting organizations’ financial documents.  For United States charities this means that the site posts the IRS’s 990 form — going back to about 2005 for some organizations.  (To date, Guidestar has had the financials for every organization that I have searched for.)   Started in the United States, Guidestar has been slowly entering additional international nonprofit markets. Continue reading