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Technology Tips, Tricks, and Insights for Nonprofit Organizations

What To Do About Withholding?

As we dive head first into the personal income tax season after the passage of the new tax law, it’s becoming evident that the new law has many effects that weren’t foreseen.  News stories are beginning to pop up about filers that owe where in previous years they got refunds.  Most of this is due not only to changes in the tax laws, but also to employees underestimating their own tax bill and taking too many exemptions on their W-4.  We recommend that employers get new W-4s from their employees every year so the staff has the opportunity to review their tax situation and make adjustments as necessary.

Some of the law changes have a major impact.  While it’s great that the standard deduction has doubled, in high tax states such as California, this may not offset the loss of the income tax deduction.  With the deduction for State, Local, and Property (SALT) taxes limited, many taxpayers will not be able to itemize and therefore lose out on other deductions such as charitable contributions and unreimbursed business expenses.

And how does this now affect your income as a nonprofit?  Do you rely on contributions as a source of revenue beyond grant income?  What are you doing to promote charitable giving in light of the potential loss of a tax deduction?

As we move forward into 2019, be a good employer and talk to your employees about adjusting their withholdings to compensate for the new law.  The changes in the IRS tax tables last year helped us all bring home a little more in each paycheck, but if it ends up with us owing at filing, maybe it’s time to rethink what we’re taking home.

All Leases are Capital Leases

As most of the nonprofit community is aware, big changes are no in effect for financial statement presentation.  We no longer have to report Temporarily Restricted funds and the wacky entries for relief of restriction.  There are other changes in FASB 2016-14.  But have you heard of Topic 842, part of 2016-02?  This new guidance states that all leases of longer than one year have to be reported as an asset and liability as well as have impact in the Statement of Cash Flows.  Here’s a quick summary:

For finance leases, a lessee is required to do the following:

  1. Recognize a right-of-use asset and a lease liability, initially measured at
    the present value of the lease payments, in the statement of financial
    position
  2. Recognize interest on the lease liability separately from amortization of
    the right-of-use asset in the statement of comprehensive income
  3. Classify repayments of the principal portion of the lease liability within
    financing activities and payments of interest on the lease liability and
    variable lease payments within operating activities in the statement of
    cash flows.

For operating leases, a lessee is required to do the following:

  1. Recognize a right-of-use asset and a lease liability, initially measured at
    the present value of the lease payments, in the statement of financial
    position
  2. Recognize a single lease cost, calculated so that the cost of the lease is
    allocated over the lease term on a generally straight-line basis
  3. Classify all cash payments within operating activities in the statement of
    cash flows.

Be aware of this new reporting requirements, I’m sure your auditors will be bringing it up.  Be prepared for this is required reporting for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2019, unless you issue bonds, in which case the reporting requirement begins after December 15,2018.  For most of our clients, you’ve got a year to prepare.  We’ve found a few commercial programs that compute and report the necessary present value and amortization amounts needed but we’ve found them to be fairly expensive.  We’re looking into alternatives and will post additional information as we find it.

Please give us a call if you have questions on this new requirement, we’re happy to help as we can.

Introduction to MIP Benefits Enrollment

June 8, 2016 – June 8, 2016

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Description:

New for Abila MIP is the Benefits Enrollment add-on for Employee Web Services.  With BE, you can now roll out an on-line enrollment for your employees.  Using Benefit Plans, employees can select their coverage and see the immediate costs.  You can include documentation for them to review and create dependencies so only eligible plan options can be included.  Once the employees’ selections have been approved and accepted by HR, the payroll system is updated to reflect the new plans and rates as soon as you roll over into your new plan year.  Join us to see how this exciting new module works and how it can improve the efficiency of your system and HR staff.

Register

2016 MIP User Conference

October 5, 2016 – October 7, 2016

2707 S Virginia St

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Description:

Join us Oct 5-7, 2016 at the Peppermill Hotel in Reno, NV.   Come spend 2 1/2 days with other MIP users and explore what’s new, Tips & Tricks and get in-depth training and discussion on specific modules and functions available in through the best fund accounting system there is.

Register

1099 & W-2 Year-End Processing Webinar Classes

NP Solutions is in the process of scheduling their popular 1099 and W-2 classes.  These classes will be offered throughout the month of January (2016).  These webinar sessions have a limited number of attendees per session and tend to fill up quickly.  Be sure to register for one or both classes once dates are published.

NP Solutions Priority Support Plan Subscribers

Good News!  We’ve decided to make these webinars free-of-charge this year.  We’ll provide you with a Special Code once the class days/times are set.  If you’re not a Priority Support Plan Subscriber it’s not too late to become one and get the 1099 and W-2 classes for free. We’ll be scheduling these classes throughout the month of January and they will be offered for $75 per class or $100 for both classes.  For details please call 800-452-6599.

Social Circles in Fundraising Success

Social circles come in a wide array of formats. The local PTA, a fantasy football league, civic groups, or even extended families. When someone in one of your social circles asks you to  contribute to a cause he or she was championing, you are significantly more likely to give and to give more. It’s not rocket science: People give to people, and especially to people they know. In fact, this is the whole idea that peer-to-peer fundraising is built upon and why it is so successful.

 

Understanding your donors’ social circles is key to building relationships that will help you grow your base, donations, and overall influence. By knowing the leaders and influencers in your social groups, you can leverage those relationships and create introduction opportunities.

The Perfect Circle

In many cases, social circles are self-organizing and easy to identify. Think of the groups that already work together to support your cause, such as peer-to-peer fundraising teams or your board of directors. Then go a step further and think of the groups your most enthusiastic supporters belong to outside of your organization. This is where fantasy football leagues and the other aforementioned groups can come into play.

 

Once you have determined a few circles that make sense for your organization, note them in your database of record. In Abila Elevate, for example, you can use the CirclesTM feature to demonstrate these relationships. With one click, you can add or remove any individual to or from a Circle.

Circle the Wagons

Now start to track the various ways these circles engage with your mission. Consider questions like:

 

  • Have members of these circles donated previously?
  • Do members of these circles donate regularly, or have common peaks and valleys?
  • Have they volunteered or attended an event?

 

Depending upon their interaction, you may create specific appeals or even events to deepen their engagement with your organization. It could even influence how you write your thank you note or if you show your appreciation in a non-traditional way. This personal touch says you know who they are and you value their support.

 

Tracking social groups is key to understanding the many ways in which your constituents align with one another and with your organization. Circles are critical to getting a 360-degree view – not only of your individual donors, but of your donor base as a whole.