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March 2012

Arkansas Coalition for Excellence: Helping Nonprofits Help Arkansas We are proud to work with you to achieve ACE’s mission and vision together: Mission: Strengthen Arkansas Nonprofits Vision: A strong, vibrant, united and effective nonprofit sector that is well positioned to meet the diverse needs of all Arkansans. Our Core Values: Best Practices; Inclusive; Unity in Diversity; Connecting & Equipping; Statewide Vision & Regional Approach


Greetings from ACE


Upcoming Trainings & Events


Member SpotlightAR Single Parent Scholarship Fund


Federal and State Policy Updates


Financial Corner

10-11 Resources & Other Links Happy Spring!

Cover Photo: Arkansas Capitol


Contact Us


GREETINGS FROM ACE Dear ACE Members and Friends, The Arkansas Coalition for Excellence (ACE) is excited to kickoff spring with a workshop series designed to give you a checkup on your organization’s efficiency. This workshop series is based on a foundation of nonprofit best practices called the Arkansas Diamond Standards™ and is designed to give you a set of guidelines to make sure your organization is running at its “best.” According to Wikipedia, a best practice is a method or technique that has consistently shown results superior to those achieved with other means, and that is used as a benchmark. In addition, a "best" practice can evolve to become better as improvements are discovered. Best practice is considered by some as a business (or nonprofit) buzzword, used to describe the process of developing and following a standard way of doing things that multiple organizations can use. With the leadership of Jim Harris and other founding ACE board members, the Arkansas Diamond Standards™ were created so that Arkansas nonprofits could use these principles and practices to guide their organizations to excellence in four areas: Mission, Money, Management and Governance. All nonprofits have access to the Arkansas Diamond Standards™ Workbook, Assessment Tools and a Basic Infrastructure Checklist on our website at This spring, ACE will focus on these four areas separately in four regions of the state. We hope you will take the time to check up on your organization and make sure you are running at your best! Click here to access the Arkansas Diamond Standards™ tools and look for more information about our workshop series in the Upcoming Trainings, Events & Programs section of our newsletter. If you have questions about the Arkansas Diamond Standards™ or other ACE benefits, please email me at or call 501.375.1223. Thank you for your continued engagement with ACE. We look forward to seeing you this spring! Sincerely,

Emily Emily C. Ingram


UPCOMING TRAININGS, EVENTS & PROGRAMS It’s Time for Your Checkup! Arkansas Diamond Standards™ Workshop Series: Mission, Money, Management and Governance In this series of workshops, use the Arkansas Diamond Standards ™ (nonprofit best practices) to evaluate your organization’s programs, audit preparation, management practices and board leadership in order to ensure your nonprofit is running at its most efficient. Evaluating Your Impact (Mission) Springdale Many people don't hold evaluation in much regard. In fact, most people only think of evaluation as taking a snapshot of outcomes at the end of a program to prove to a funder that the program worked. However, evaluation can, and should, be used as an ongoing management and learning tool to improve an organization's effectiveness. In this workshop, you will learn successful strategies for effective program evaluation from an experienced group of nonprofit leaders. Workshop led by: Maxie Carpenter, Director of Operations, Samaritan Community Center; Candace Carey, CEO, American Red Cross of Greater Arkansas; and Mike Gilbert, COO, The Jones Center Friday, April 13 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. The Jones Center 922 East Emma Avenue , Springdale Click here for directions. Evaluating Your Impact (Mission) Little Rock Many people don’t hold evaluation in much regard. In fact, most people only think of evaluation as taking a snapshot of outcomes at the end of a program to prove to a funder that the program worked. However, evaluation can, and should, be used as an ongoing management and learning tool to improve an organization’s effectiveness. In this workshop, you will hear from a funder and nonprofit executive about the importance of effective program evaluation. Workshop led by: Laura Duty, Program Officer, Carl B. and Florence E. King Foundation and Diane LaFollette, COO, Museum of Discovery Tuesday, May 1 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Arkansas Studies Institute 401 President Clinton Avenue, Little Rock Click here for directions. 4

Preparing for Your Audit (Money) Little Rock Audits are not fun, plain and simple. But with the right preparation you can relieve stress for both you and your accountant. In this workshop, you will hear from a professional accountant on what it takes to make your audit as painless as possible and some helpful tips from a nonprofit executive director who has mastered the audit process. Workshop led by: Jacob Wells, JPMS Cox, PLLC and Jamie Collins, Executive Director, Mission Outreach of Northeast Arkansas Tuesday, May 8 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Arkansas Studies Institute 401 President Clinton Avenue, Little Rock Click here for directions.

Does Your Board Measure Up? (Governance) Hot Springs Is your board on track to help your organization fulfill its mission? In this workshop, you will learn a step-by-step method to evaluate your board’s strengths and weaknesses, and how to guide your board (and nonprofit) to success. You will also hear from a panel of local funders and experienced board members on the roles and responsibilities of nonprofit board members - and the importance of board leadership when it comes to carrying out an organization’s strategic plan and creating overall sustainability for the organization. Workshop led by: Cynthia VanWinkle, Circle Communications Network, LLC Panel includes: Dorthy Morris- Morris Foundation Melanie Masino Martin- Jane Howard Foundation Ann Carrithers- Hot Springs Area Community Foundation Thursday, May 10 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Hot Springs Transportation Depot 100 Broadway Terrace, Hot Springs Click here for directions.

Successful Management: Keeping It Legal (Management) Jonesboro Learning human resource law can be one of the most complicated aspects of running a nonprofit. In this workshop, you will hear a general overview of issues employers need to be aware of and an update regarding recent changes in employment law. Workshop led by: Daniel L. Herrington, Friday, Eldredge & Clark LLP Friday, May 11 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. ASU Delta Studies Center ASU Campus, International Building, Jonesboro Click here for directions All Workshops $35 ACE Members / $60 Nonmembers Bring a board member or volunteer for FREE (one per paid registration) Click here to reserve your seat online and mail your check to: Arkansas Coalition for Excellence, 200 River Market Avenue, Suite 100, Little Rock, AR 72201

The Arkansas Diamond Standards Workshop Series™ is supported by:

Morris Foundation


The Summit: Where Volunteer, Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leaders Meet Thursday, April 26th and Friday, April 27th Hosted by. the Arkansas Department of Human Services- Division of Community and Nonprofit Support In partnership with the Arkansas Coalition for Excellence and the Arkansas Community Foundation For more information click here

Making the Most of Social Networking Sites Wednesday, May 23, 2012 ACE-Idealware Trainings Presented by. Andrea Berry How do social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn work? And how do you make the most of the medium? We’ll talk through what these sites are, why they might be useful for your organization, what’s worth doing, and how other organizations are using social networking sites. By the end of the seminar, you will understand: • What social networking sites are, and how they work • How these sites can help with typical nonprofit goals • At a high level, how you might use Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn • What’s required – in terms of time, effort, and skill – to succeed with social networking sites • Best practices that can help you make the most of the sites • Whether or not these sites are likely to make sense for you Conducted by Andrea Berry, Idealware's Director of Partnerships and Learning, oversees Idealware's fundraising and training activities including the Field Guide to Nonprofit Software, sponsorship, corporate and individual giving, grants management and online seminars. Time: 10:00a.m.-11:30a.m. Location: Webinar accessible online and by phone Cost: $30.00 Click here to register

MEETING SPACE Know of a great and affordable meeting location? ACE is always looking for space to host our workshops and would love any suggestions you might have. Please e-mail Emily at Thank you!


MEMBERSHIP Thank you to all of our new and renewing members! Youth Strategies, Springdale 4Sight Development, Hot Springs Senior Citizens Activities Today, Inc., Little Rock Cross County Historical Society, Wynne Williams and Anderson PLC, Little Rock American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Arkansas Chapter, Little Rock NEW CASA of Clark County, Arkadelphia Youth Partners of Pine Bluff/ Jefferson County, Pine Bluff Pat Lile, Little Rock (extended membership to 2014)! Family Service Agency, Little Rock PACES, Inc., Jonesboro Sustainable Business Network of Central Arkansas, Little Rock Center on the Square, Searcy Crittenden Regional Hospital Foundation, West Memphis

Interested in becoming an ACE Member? Call or e-mail us at 501-375-1224 or

to find out how ACE can help strengthen your organization.

ACE MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: Single Parent Scholarship of Arkansas Twenty eight years ago this May, the first trickle of awards began to flow into a growing stream of community scholarships aimed at helping single parents earn a college degree. In 1984, Single Parent Scholarships were offered only in Benton and Washington Counties. The amounts were modest, the people helped were a deserving and grateful few, but the planted seeds of these scholarships would eventually sprout to envelop the entire state in what has become a strong network of county-based Single Parent Scholarship Funds. In the year just passed, 2,868 awards worth $1.8 million were distributed in all 75 counties and in Bowie County, Texas (Texarkana area). The 2010 retention and graduation rate among awardees was a remarkable 92%. Vanessa Dolphin of Little Rock is a prime example of a single mother who set her sights on entering a profession and was able to do so with the help of these scholarships. After separating from the father of her baby boy, she began taking courses at UALR and working part-time. Along with valuable scholarship help, Vanessa received a lot of strong emotional backing and encouragement from the Board of Directors and staff of the Single Parent Scholarship Fund of Pulaski County. She credits them with helping her to keep her eyes on the prize of a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Finance, which she earned in 1990. She passed her CPA licensing examination in 2009 and is now seasonal senior tax consultant with Frost Accountants LLC and Windstream. The Director of Arkansas Tech’s Continuing Education Program is Lisa Cochran, who received Single Parent Scholarships in Pope County from 1999 to 2001. Initially interested in health information management, she began working in the Continuing Education Division as an administrative assistant and advanced to her current position in August of 2007. She earned a Bachelor of Science at Arkansas Tech in Health Information Management in 2001 and went on to earn a Master’s in College Student Personnel in 2011. Lisa credits the Board of Directors of the Pope/Yell Counties’ Single Parent Scholarship Fund for believing in her and infusing within her a sense of worth which she will now pass on to other single parents through her approaching chairmanship of that very Board. Vanessa and Lisa are but two of thousands of single mothers and fathers who have overcome great odds to earn college diplomas and enter the job market as well- educated professionals. In a state where only 37.6% of our public college and university undergraduates earn their degrees, the remarkable success achieved by so many single parents in completing college is worth examining. What are the factors at play here? A key element is the role of the community in offering encouragement and support beyond financial aid. Each Single Parent Scholarships Fund is operated by a volunteer board of directors dedicated to assisting its awardees through friendship, mentoring relationships, resource information and the intangible respect and recognition that accompany scholarship assistance. Many scholarship awardees are quick to mention the importance of a team of cheerleaders who care deeply about them and offer strong shoulders to lean on when times are tough. Having someone believe in them is crucial. Another reason why single mothers and fathers are able to earn their degrees is sheer willpower. They are generally older, returning students who value this one good opportunity to move from a life of poverty toward self-sufficiency and prosperity. They well know their children are depending on them to carry through on the promise of creating a better life for their families. The path to that life through higher education is a tough, demanding route, but well worth it. For more information about Single Parent Scholarships, visit the website of the Arkansas Single 7 Parent Scholarship Fund at or call (479) 927-1402.

PUBLIC POLICY AND ADVOCACY House Budget Would Cut Spending, Reform Taxes The House Budget Committee approved a budget that would cut spending more than previously agreed by Congress and protect defense from scheduled cuts – actions that could shift burdens onto nonprofits. Viewed largely as an election-year political statement by the Republican majority, the House FY 2013 budget resolution is not expected to be approved by the full Congress due to strong opposition from the Democratically-controlled Senate, which is expected to insist on spending caps established in the Budget Control Act enacted last August. The House budget would reduce spending by $5 trillion over ten years through spending cuts and entitlement reforms, including a modified voluntary voucher program for Medicare-eligible seniors. The House measure also calls for simplifying the tax code by decreasing the number of tax brackets to two, a 15 percent rate and 25 percent rate, and repealing the adjusted minimum tax (AMT). The budget proposes spending more on defense than sought by President Obama, and it ignores the $55 billion in automatic defense cuts required to occur in January 2013 as part of the Budget Control Act. OMB Hears Nonprofit Concerns on Federal Grantmaking Rules The White House Office of Management and Budget is seeking feedback from nonprofits on its Advance Notice of Proposed Guidance that explores ways to reduce burdens on grant r ecipients and government agencies and better coordinate and streamline reporting requirements. On a call for nonprofit organizations conducted March 16, the Office of Management and Budget explained its proposals for reducing audit burdens, modifying cost-reimbursement rules (including consideration of a flat rate for indirect costs), and reforming administrative requirements for federal grants. Concerns were raised during the call about lack of corrective action in response to a 2010 Government Accountability Office report that highlighted the confusion surrounding indirect cost recovery and the practice by the states of keeping for themselves some of the federal funds allocated for indirect costs. The National Council of Nonprofits seeks input from nonprofit organizations about their experiences in negotiating indirect cost rates and their indirect cost recovery from governments at all levels. The deadline for filing comments on the OMB recommendations has been extended to April 30. Senate to Consider Postal Reform The Senate is scheduled to take up postal reform legislation that would close an $11 billion budget deficit of the Postal Service, but would not alter nonprofit postal bulk rates as proposed in a House bill. Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and other Senators are expected to try to delay consideration of the bill out of concerns over post office closures and other potential changes. Congress is under pressure to pass an overhaul bill before a moratorium on closing postal facilities expires on May 15. Supreme Court Considers Health Care Reform Law For the first time since 1966 in Miranda v. Arizona, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral argument over three days this week when it considers the constitutionality of the individual mandate among other issues in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Published reports indicate that nonprofits (especially 501(c)(4)s and (c)(6)s), as well as businesses, the states, and political parties, will be lining up on both sides of this politically-charged issue before the Court rules this summer to ensure that it is at the center of the presidential and congressional elections in November. 8

FINANCIAL CORNER TAX UPDATES Tax season is here! Make sure you stay informed of all tax laws, and other IRS news. Check out these recent updates      

Tax Year 2011 990 Series Returns Now Available Register for Upcoming Workshops for Small and Medium-sized 501(c)(3)s Payroll Tax Cut Extended: Revised Payroll Tax Form Now Available EO's 2012 Summer Internship Application Deadline Extended Dirty Dozen Tax Scams for 2012 Disaster Relief Resources for Charities and Contributors

Arkansas Black Hall of Fame Foundation Grants Each year the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame Foundation sponsors a special grant program in partnership with Arkansas Community Foundation to support programs that serve African-Americans and other minority communities in Arkansas. Projects must focus on: Education, Health and wellness, Youth development, Small business development/economic development Who Can Apply? 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, hospitals, schools, government agencies and other organizations with a clear charitable purpose are eligible to apply. All geographic areas of the state are eligible. Where Can I Get More Info? Check out the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame Foundation Grants page on the ARCF website for details about this program. You'll be able to download and complete the PDF application form between February 17 and April 15, 2012 Grants for Women’s Shelters in 50 States The Mary Kay Foundation: Shelter Grant Program The Mary Kay Foundation is committed to ending the epidemic of domestic violence by providing grants to women's shelters throughout the United States. Each year, the Foundation’s Shelter Grant Program awards grants of $20,000 to at least one domestic violence shelter in every state; remaining funds are distributed based on state population. Applying organizations must offer immediate overnight housing to women and children affected by domestic violence. The grants provided by the Foundation may be used for the operating budget of the shelter, with the exception of staff travel. The application deadline is April 30, 2012. Visit the Foundation’s website to review the funding guidelines and download the application forms. 9

RESOURCES AND OTHER LINKS NONPROFIT RISK MANAGEMENT TIP OF THE MONTH Soft Power and Quiet Persistence By Melanie Lockwood Herman During a short trip to the University of Notre Dame this week I had an opportunity to visit the impressive campus bookstore and pick up a copy of Susan Cain’s book, “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.” I’ve been buried in the text ever since. One of Cain’s premises is that where we fall on the introvert-extrovert spectrum “influences our choice of friends and mates, and how we make conversation, resolve differences, and show love.” She explains that introversion is regarded by many in the business world as “a second-class personality trait, somewhere between a disappointment and a pathology,” and notes that fast-talking extroverts are generally regarded as “more competent and likeable” than their slow-talking, reflective counterparts. In her chapter titled “Soft Power” Cain writes about “quiet persistence” and “sustained attention”—qualities achieved by “restraining one’s reactions to external stimuli.” While reading Cain’s book, I tried to recall nonprofit leaders who exemplify “soft power” and the callings cards of introversion. When I think about my experiences in the board room, one familiar scenario comes to mind—the board meeting with a handful of talkative, dominant and sometimes brilliant members. I enjoy being in the presence of charismatic leaders who are eager to share their views on the subject at hand. I truly look forward to the give and take of a lively board meeting. But at a recent board meeting I noticed that a colleague across the table was unusually (or so it seemed!) quiet during our deliberations. At the very end of the meeting, she very gently proposed an approach to the issue we had been discussing that was nearly opposite to the options that had previously been suggested. It made wonderful sense to the room full of extroverts and it did not take us long to rally around her proposal. Now that I’ve learned a bit more about introverts I can see that “soft power” and “quiet persistence” can be invaluable in nonprofit governance. Although many board development committees focus on finding dynamic recruits whose outgoing personalities will shine in the boardroom, perhaps we should pay equal attention to the need for thoughtful, reflective, and yes, quiet, introverted leaders, whose instincts, reserve and persistence will help our missions shine. Melanie Lockwood Herman is Executive Director of the Nonprofit Risk Management Center. She welcomes your ideas about any risk management topic, feedback on this article and questions about the Center’s resources at or (202) 785-3891. The Center provides risk management tools and resources and offers consulting assistance to organizations unwilling to leave their missions to chance.


IDEALWARE TIP OF THE MONTH You already know the value a good email campaign can bring to your nonprofit, whether it’s an eNewsletter, action email or fundraising appeal, but how can you tell if your electronic communications are actually having the impact you hoped for? Is the work you’re putting in worth the effort? Email metrics can help you determine the effectiveness of your communications and fine tune them to improve their efficiency. What data should you gather to help you track the success of your emails? Start with the core information about the emails themselves, such as: · Messages Sent. The number of outbound emails sent as part of a particular mailing. · Messages Delivered. The number of sent emails actually delivered to recipients’ inboxes. If they’re not delivered, that means they’ve “bounced.” · Hard and Soft Bounces. A hard bounce is a permanently undeliverable email—for example, one sent to an invalid email address (joesmith@yahoo.con) or an address that no longer exists. A soft bounce is an email that’s only temporarily undeliverable—for example, to a recipient whose mailbox is full. Ideally, you should track both. · Unsubscribes. The number of individuals who unsubscribe from your list in response to each mailing sent. · Messages Opened. The number of recipients who open your email to read it. Due to the way open rates are tracked and the rise of image-blocking software, this number will never be accurate, but can still be useful. · Click-Throughs. The number of times any recipient clicks on any trackable link within the email. Ideally, each link should be counted only once, even if it is clicked multiple times. What to know more?

JOBS CENTER Part Time Instructor, Red Cross Traveling Sales and Maintenance Technician, Museum of Discovery Field Director, Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance Executive Director, Arkansas Coalition for Excellence Create a JOBTARGET account on our site to post your organization’s open positions. For a complete list of jobs click here.


Thank you for reading this month’s edition of our newsletter. Questions or Comments? Contact us.

Emily Ingram, Interim Director Rebecca Zimmermann Membership & Communications Coordinator, AmeriCorps VISTA

Located within the Charles A. Frueauff Foundation Offices 200 River Market Avenue, Suite 100 Little Rock, AR 72201 (501) 375-1223

ACE March 2012 Newsletter  

ACE March 2012 Newsletter

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