Newsbits May 2014

by: Smith and Howard

May 8, 2014

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A-133 audit threshold raised for small nonprofits

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has streamlined its guidance on grants management, including administrative requirements, cost principles and audit requirements for federal awards. Among other things, the new rules reduce the burden on smaller nonprofits by increasing the threshold that triggers compliance audits currently performed under OMB Circular No. A-133, Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations (also known as single audits).

The federal threshold will jump to $750,000 from $500,000 — nonprofits will be required to undergo a single audit only if they spend $750,000 or more in federal awards in a fiscal year. Those that spend less are required only to make their records available for review or audit by the federal awarding agency, any pass-through agency and the U.S. Government Accountability Office. The new rules take effect for fiscal years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2015.

Study uncovers nonprofits’ online fundraising failures

Most organizations have room for improvement with online fundraising, according to a study of 151 national charities, conducted by the consulting group Dunham and Company and the fundraising think tank Next After. Researchers found that most organizations don’t do enough to persuade supporters to sign up for e-mails and that their messages don’t provide enough direction as far as actions recipients should take, such as donating or signing a petition.

Of those responding, 37% sent no e-mails within 30 days after visitors signed up to receive them, and 56% didn’t ask for a donation within 90 days. Additionally, 84% hadn’t made their donation websites easy to read on mobile devices. And 65% of their websites required visitors to click through three or more pages to give online. With contributions hard to come by, your organization should eliminate any of these shortcomings, if applicable.

Center launches open data tool

The Foundation Center, a source of information about philanthropy, has launched Foundation Stats an online tool that provides free and open access to data on nearly 82,000 independent, corporate, community and grantmaking operating foundations. Users can explore foundations’ basic financial data by organization type, location and fiscal year. The grants section, based on giving by the top 1,000 U.S. foundations, allows users to filter data by recipients’ geographic location and by subject area or population group served.

Users also can generate their own tables, charts and graphs to show trends over time, and all custom results can be downloaded for use in spreadsheets. And the tool includes an application programming interface so Web developers can freely extract multiple years of aggregate-level statistics for their own use.

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