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­­­­­­­nonprofitagenda January/february 2010

in this issue Meet Outstanding Leaders page 7

Think Twice Before You Slice

An Unprecedented Regional Campaign by Area Nonprofits

Nonprofit Channel Launches page 8

As we shared in January with Center members, the Center for Nonprofit Advancement and the Nonprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington have announced a joint advocacy campaign for the 2011 fiscal year budget cycles in the District of Columbia, Northern Virginia and suburban Maryland.

Community Comes Together page 11

The campaign, “Think Twice Before You Slice,” is designed to advocate for and educate local elected officials during this critical budget cycle about the incredible assets and services nonprofits bring to their communities. It will also empower the region’s nonprofits and the people they serve to lend their voice to the efforts.

Partners in Advancement page 12 Nonprofit News You Can Use page 14 Member News page 18 Connect Online page 20

“It’s clear that the next six months are going to be crucial for everyone,” Center CEO Glen O’Gilvie said. “By partnering with the Nonprofit Roundtable we are able to amplify the collective voices

continued on page 9

Weathering an Economic Storm The Role of Operating Reserves

In 2009, “Washington-Area Nonprofit Operating Reserves,” a report released by the Urban Institute and funded by the Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation, examined the operating reserves of more than 2,500 nonprofits in the Greater Washington area, ranging in mission from soup kitchens and job training centers to schools and local arts groups. Among the report’s key findings: •

In 2006, a time of relative economic stability, nonprofits in the Greater Washington area had a median operating reserve of 2.1 months of expenses. Most nonprofit financial management experts recommend a minimum of three. continued on page 16


This issue of the Nonprofit Agenda is sponsored by the Center for Nonprofit Advancement Benefits Trust: providing freedom of choice, comprehensive benefits and stable premiums to Center members.

strengthening nonprofits in greater washington education • networking • advocacy • buying power

2010 Class Now Enrolling Project LEAP [Leaders Emerging through Ability and Potential] Thank you for helping me carve out intentional time to learn, grow, teach and explore with peers. —2009 Project LEAP Graduate Project LEAP is an opportunity for senior staff of area nonprofits to strengthen their leadership skills. Participants engage in individual and group activities to examine and assess their leadership skills and how those skills impact their current organization. Workshops include critical thinking and problem-solving activities including essential financial leadership skills. Participants will work in learning circle cohorts to learn from one another, as well as hear from other experienced professionals. Some in-class and out-of-class preparatory readings and journaling will be required. This series is ideal for deputy directors, program directors or other experienced senior level managers. Participants should have three or more years of professional experience in the nonprofit sector. Participants should supervise at least one person for optimum class results. All sessions occur from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm at the Center for Nonprofit Advancement, 1666 K Street, NW Suite 440 in Washington, DC. Lunch is included for all classes. Session #1: Leadership and the Roles of Authority Friday, February 26 Discuss the nuances of managing up while managing down; Discuss the Cohen and Bradford model of “Influence without Authority.” Form a Learning Cohort. Learn about the upcoming DISC assessment. Assigned DISC test (out-of-class on-line exercise.)

Session #4: Finding the Best Supervisor in You Friday, May 14 Build good decision-making skills to hire, motivate and nurture great staff. Develop skills for dealing with unhappy people when facing the toughest of conversations. Learn the value of giving and receiving feedback.

Session #2: Leadership Survey Results Friday, March 19 Presentation and discussion about results of DISC assessment completed by each participant. Learn about personal and leadership strengths as well as motivators that impact your professional accomplishments. Discuss future learning goals as a result of this information.

Session #5: Principles and Practices for Excellence Friday, June 4 Discuss “Good to Great for the Social Sectors” by Jim Collins. Hear about real-life experiences from a panel of nonprofit managers. Exchange best practice ideas.

Session #3: Embracing Financial Leadership Friday, April 16 Learn from a financial leadership speaker. Understand your organization by way of its finances. Discuss a financial leadership case study.

Registration Fees: $400–Grantees of the Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation $425–Members of the Center for Nonprofit Advancement $475- All Others

Registration includes workshops, lunches, books, testing instruments and journals. The series is limited to 25 participants (only one person per organization). Register online at Projectleap2010

We thank the Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation for their support to present this program.

from the center ceo

Looking Ahead in 2010 Dear Partner, As we look ahead in 2010, we want to take a moment to thank you for your membership with the Center, reflect on all that we have accomplished together and share some of our plans for the year to come. On behalf of the Center’s Board of Directors and staff, thank you! We thank you for the great work that you do making a difference for the people and communities you serve. We are honored to support your work and appreciate your partnership with the Center—together as a nonprofit community we are all stronger.

Because your success is so critical to our community, throughout 2009 we worked aggressively to increase the support provided to Center members— striving to be responsive, forging collaborations and leading innovation.

Because your success is so critical to our community, throughout 2009 we worked aggressively to increase the support provided to Center members— striving to be responsive, forging collaborations and leading innovation. Among many accomplishments in our 30th year of service to you, we: •

assessed the economic and capacit y building needs of our region’s nonprofits and shared those results widely with the media, foundations, corporations and community stakeholders.

launched Back Office in a Box, a suite of high-quality administrative services made available at a reasonable cost to members across the region.

partnered with long-time Center member the Public Access Corporation of the District of Columbia (DCTV) to launch DCTV Focus, a television channel which provides Center members the opportunity to regularly share your work and best practices with more than 300,000 in the region.

As we lay the groundwork for activities throughout 2010, we want to share some of our plans for the year with you and, as always, invite your feedback, suggestions and continued support. This year we will bring you: •

Continued exposure to more than 300,000 in the region through our partnership with DCTV.

Opportunities for you to network and connect—with each other, foundations, corporations and the media.

Even stronger Learning and Leadership Institute programming based on recommendations from our Training and Education Task Force.

Best Practices from The Washington Post 2010 Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management.

Advocacy support locally and nationally.

Training and technical assistance in-person, in print, on TV and online.

A renewal of our affordable and comprehensive Health benefits with additional programs and services for nonprofit staff.

And much more!

Please continue to call or e-mail us with your ideas, feedback and technical assistance needs. If your organization is not yet a member, join the Center for Nonprofit Advancement today. Center members, as always, I encourage you to check in to make sure that you and your board, staff and volunteers are taking full advantage of all that the Center has to offer. If you are interested in providing a charitable contribution, volunteering, donating goods or tapping into the nonprofit sector, visit us at Thank you again for all that you do for your community. We look forward to continued partnership in 2010. Sincerely, Glen O’Gilvie Chief Executive Officer

Additional high-qualit y administrative services through our Back Office in a Box (BOB) program. • january/february 2010 nonprofit agenda 3

The center’s mission

the center’s board of directors

The mission of the Center for Nonprofit Advancement (formerly known as the Washington Council of Agencies) is to strengthen, promote and represent nonprofit organizations in metropolitan Washington in order to help them better meet the diverse needs of their communities. To do this, the Center for Nonprofit Advancement provides the region's nonprofit community with the information, tools and resources they need to succeed, including education and training, networking, advocacy, and group–buying opportunities.

Jim Goldberg Goldberg and Associates, PLLC, President George Jones Bread for the City, Vice President Carol Marsh Miriam’s House, Secretary Tim Abercrombie Abercrombie & Associates, Treasurer Derek K. Harps M&T Bank, Immediate Past President Cornelius Baker National Black Gay Men’s Advocacy Coalition Richard Bienvenue Our House Sarah Coviello Coviello & Associates Gwen Ferguson United Communities Against Poverty

The Center’s Staff

Glen O’Gilvie Chief Executive Officer Shantaine Aultman Customer Service Specialist, Health Trust Davina Bennett Accounting Assistant, Health Trust, Staff Consultant Anna Bengtsson Communications Intern Karen Brown Employee Benefits Program Manager Brian Butler Customer Service, Health Trust, Staff Consultant Aaron Dahnke Manager of Education and Membership R. David Dixon VP Group Benefits, Early, Cassidy and Schilling Beth Hess Director of Communications and Membership Taylor Pochekailo Program Associate, Staff Consultant Bernadine M. Robinson Account Executive, Early, Cassidy and Schilling Bart E. Seifert Sales Executive, Early, Cassidy and Schilling Jilla Tombar Manager of Foundation and Corporate Giving, Staff Consultant Bianca Whitfield Quality Assurance/Client Manager, Back Office in a Box (BOB) Finance

The Nonprofit Agenda is published six times a year by the Center for Nonprofit Advancement. Circulation is approximately 14,000. Beth Hess Editor Annemarie Schoen Layout The Center for Nonprofit Advancement 1666 K Street, NW, Suite 440 Washington, DC 20006 T 202 457 0540 F 202 457 0549 e–mail


BCA, LLC (Interim)

Think Green We’ve heard from some of you already that you’re reading the Nonprofit Agenda and catalog of courses online and no longer require a paper copy. If you and others in your organization are doing so, please let us know—we’d love to further lessen our environmental impact by reducing print quantities. To unsubscribe from the print edition, please e–mail with your current mailing address. If you or others in your organization would like e–mail notification when a new issue of the Nonprofit Agenda is posted online, please include contact e–mails in your message to

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Refer a co-worker. Earn $10.


s a member of the Center, you and your employees are eligible to join NARFE Premier Federal Credit Union! Benefits include high interest checking and low loan rates. When you refer a co-worker for credit union membership, they will receive the same great benefits and you will receive $10!*

*Members will receive $10 for each eligible co-worker they refer who obtains two or more products within their first 30 days of membership. Existing member must be in good standing with two or more products to participate. Referring member will receive $10 within 45-60 days. Affiliates of NPFCU including staff, board members and families of the prior mentioned are not eligible.

Contact Kanika Singh at or 800.328.1500, ext 1362.

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A Warm Welcome to Our Newest Members: American Friends of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation American Friends promotes networking, exchange and creative collaboration among scientists, scholars, artists and other professionals in the United States and Germany, consistent with the goals of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. Center for Alexandria’s Children The Center for Alexandria’s Children protects children and strengthens families by coordinating the investigation, prosecution, treatment and prevention of child abuse in one safe, child-friendly facility. Coalition on Human Needs (CHN) CHN is an alliance of national organizations working together to promote public policies that address the needs of low-income and other vulnerable people. Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME) CAHME works to serve the public interest by advancing the quality of healthcare management education. Just Detention International Just Detention International is a human rights organization that seeks to end sexual abuse in all forms of detention. Keely’s District Boxing and Youth Center The mission of Keely’s District Boxing and Youth Center is to provide community centered activities for at-risk children/youth in the Columbia Heights community, that help them deal with daily stresses and life experiences in a positive manner.

Mignon Loraine Inniss Ford Fund The Mignon Loraine Inniss Ford Fund works to raise funds for the provision of educational opportunity for Ethiopian youth and to promote charitable and cultural activities. Mount Vernon at Home Mount Vernon at Home’s mission is to help residents of the Mount Vernon area live safely, comfortably and confidently in their own homes for as long as possible, in the community they love. Open Arms Housing, Inc. Open Arms Housing works to develop housing models for homeless women who are overlooked by current housing programs. Shared Horizons, Inc. The purpose of Shared Horizons is to provide Special Needs Trust Services to individuals with disabilities without jeopardizing their eligibility for government benefits, such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income. The Green Belt Movement The Green Belt Movement works to empower communities worldwide to protect the environment and promote good governance and cultures of peace. Time Dollar Youth Court, Inc. Time Dollar Youth Court focusing on reallocating a youth’s early encounter with the law into a turning point in their life. Voluntary Carbon Standard Association The mission of the Voluntary Carbon Standard Association is to provide a rigorous, trustworthy and innovative global standard and validation and verification program for green house offsets.

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Meet Outstanding Washington Area Nonprofit Leaders In October, the Center presented the Gelman, Rosenberg & Freedman 2009 EXCEL Award for excellence in Greater Washington nonprofit leadership. This competitive award spotlights up to three nonprofit leaders in the Washington metropolitan area for outstanding nonprofit chief executive leadership. 2009 was the fifth year for this competition, and the fourth year that the Bethesda–based accounting firm Gelman, Rosenberg & Freedman has sponsored the award. The 2009 Award recognized three award winners and two honorable mention recipients. To follow are interviews with each of our award honorees which first appeared on our blog at Meet Gelman, Rosenberg & Freedman 2009 EXCEL Award Winner Manny Hidalgo. Manny Hidalgo has transformed the Latino Economic Development Corporation into a strong player in Latino and other cultural communities. The organization’s budget has grown by 30% ever y year under Hidalgo’s leadership. Hidalgo is passionate about picking the right staff…and gives them the room to learn, shine and laugh. Hidalgo knows what’s important in life, stressing that dedication to work and to home are equally important. What does this award mean for you and your organization? Hidalgo: The EXCEL award is an immense honor for both me and my staff at the Latino Economic Development Corporation. Over the past five years, we at LEDC have really worked hard to change what we do through a comprehensive team building strategy involving every stakeholder in the organization. Our collective leadership has helped us double in size to help meet the critical need for quality small business, affordable housing preservation and homeownership services in the DC metro area. I’m honored to share this award with my staff and Board, and we hope to continue our innovative work within the Latino community and other underserved populations in the years to come.

What advice would you offer for other nonprofit executive directors? Hidalgo: One of the best pieces of advice that I can offer is find a coach and mentor who helps you believe in your ability to bring change to an organization. When times are tough, you need to know you have the guidance from someone who’s been there before. Secondly, the quality of an executive director’s ongoing relationship with the board of directors is central when realizing your goals as an executive director. If you gain the trust of your board, you can do a lot of good for your organization. Lastly, recruit a passionate and innovative staff that embraces the journey of change with you. Meet Gelman, Rosenberg & Freedman 2009 EXCEL Award Winner Pam Michell. Serving as New Hope Housing executive director for the past 20 years, Pam Michell has built an organization that not only faces the immediate needs of the homeless in Northern Virginia, but also takes responsibility for seeking long-term solutions to break the cycle of homelessness. Michell looks for greatness in individuals, even when their greatness has yet to be seen. She challenges and empowers staff. Seeing residents, staff and board soar to new heights is part of her style. What does this award mean for you and your organization? Michell: We executive directors don’t spend much time thinking about our leadership and what we do well. So to read the nomination, listen to four people sing my praises to the panel [from the selection committee], and then to win is both humbling and affirming. Most importantly, the Excel award is an opportunity to tell the story of homeless people and what the dedicated staff of New Hope Housing is doing to prevent and end homelessness. continued on page 12 • january/february 2010 nonprofit agenda 7

member benefit

Nonprofit TV Channel Launches Tune in to DCTV Focus

In November, the Center for Nonprofit Advancement and the Public Access Corporation of the District of Columbia (DCTV) launched a new channel, DCTV Focus, to highlight the work of local nonprofits and provide resources, training and tips for nonprofit professionals, board members and volunteers. With a viewership of more than 300,000 in the region, DCTV Focus nonprofit programming airs Tuesdays through Thursdays, 12:00 to 4:00 p.m., on Comcast 96 and RCN 11. As a part of this partnership, the Center hosts a weekly, 30-minute show, Connections, sharing the issues, the experts and the strategies to empower your community. Glen O’Gilvie, Center CEO, serves as the show hosts which features interviews with Center members and faculty from our Learning and Leadership Institute. Center Members, your existing video content may be eligible to air on the nonprofit TV channel! Share your PSAs or other videos highlighting your organization, its services or work in the community. Member Contributed Video Content: If you have video that… •

tells a story about your organization

tells a story about your cause

profiles a client, service or resource

covers an event or interview

gives an introduction to your organization

…please share it with us!

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Videos should meet the following technical specifications: •

Length: any length up to 30 minutes maximum

Format: DVD or DVCAM

How to Submit: Center members, send information about your content and/or a link to existing footage posted online to Beth Hess, Center director of communications and membership, at bethh@ Content will be reviewed on a rolling basis. For final consideration, all footage will need to be submitted in hard copy. Questions about submitting your content for the channel or joining the Center a s a gue s t on C onne c tion s may b e addressed to Beth Hess at 202.457.0540 or To create a PSA or other video about your organization, contact Brandon Felton, DCTV membership manager, at bfelton@dctvonline. tv or or 202.526.7007.

think twice from page 1 of our members and all nonprofits in the region. Nonprofits are a crucial piece of fabric in our communities and our public servants need to understand their impact.”

We will incorporate key messages and provide tools to help you be your best advocate.

We will partner with key allies leading the charge in local jurisdictions such as the Human Services Coalition of Prince George’s County, the Safety Net Coalition of Montgomery County, Nonprofit Montgomery, the DC Fiscal Policy Institute, Fair Budget Coalition, “Save Our Safety Net-DC,” Nonprofit NoVA, the Arlington Nonprofit Network, ACHSO and others.

“This budget cycle is going to be tough for all communities, and nonprofits are not going to go unscathed. The question is to what degree. By joining forces with the Center and its members, our goal is to have an impact on the severity of the cuts,” said Chuck Bean, executive director of the Nonprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington. Along with the campaign, the Nonprofit Roundtable and the Center announced the hiring of Jeanne Ellinport, a long-time local nonprofit advocate to lead the efforts. Most recently Jeanne served as the communications director for the American Red Cross’s Katrina Hurricane Recovery Program. “Our elected officials need to understand that the services nonprofits provide a community enhance and complete a community,” said Ellinport. “People move to an area specifically wanting the services nonprofits provide—arts, job training, afterschool programs—things that will enhance their quality of life.” Campaign Tools and Resources for Members: • The campaign’s Web site will include information on the budget process for each jurisdiction and avenues for nonprofits throughout the region to get involved.

We’re asking Members to: •

Get ready to mobilize your board members, your constituents, your supporters and your broader social network. The challenge is daunting, but our best hope is to work together to prevent cuts.

Send Jeanne an e-mail at jeanne@ellinportconsulting. com to let her know how you are currently engaged in budget issues, including if your staff or Board members have relationships with local or state elected officials.

Bookmark – we’ll be filling in this Web site in the coming weeks with information about budgets, alerts and tools you can use.

For additional information or to get involved, please contact Jeanne Ellinport at • january/february 2010 nonprofit agenda 9




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Community Comes Together On November 16, 8 Neighbors, a collaborative group which includes the Center for Nonprofit Advancement and seven other organizations serving the Greater Washington region, convened “Nonprofit 911: What’s Next?” to explore the economic realities of Washington, DC area nonprofits and the people they serve. Board members, funders, executives and other key leaders in the nonprofit, business and government arenas came together to share what has worked (and what has not) in 2009 and to discuss the outlook for the months and year ahead. In conjunction with this event, the group released a report illustrating how the community is responding to the economy and expectations for 2010. The Center also released its most recent economic survey results showing that nonprofit organizations across the greater Washington region continue to experience increasing demand for services while funding continues to decrease. Nearly (46%) half of respondents to a summer 2009 survey of nonprofits across the region have experienced an increase in demand for services in 2009. As a result of current economic conditions, another 15% have partially eliminated services. At the same time, 41% of respondents were not meeting their 2009 fundraising goals in the first half of 2009 and 44% of nonprofits have heard from current funders that they will decrease funding this year.

“8 Neighbors” convened the community in November for “Nonprofit 911: What’s Next?” Pictured top row left to right are Bill Hanbury of United Way of the National Capital Area, Chuck Bean of the Nonprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington, Glen O’Gilvie of the Center for Nonprofit Advancement and Tim Kime of Leadership Greater Washington. Bottom row left to right are Terri Lee Freeman of the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, Tamara Copeland of the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers, Jim Dinegar of the Greater Washington Board of Trade and David Robertson of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.

Nearly three quarters (73%) of respondents receive funding from foundations and/or government contracts/awards.

The Center surveyed member nonprofits throughout greater Washington in summer 2009 to assess the impact of current economic conditions on the region’s nonprofit sector. A group representative of the region’s nonprofits, including the District, Northern Virginia and Montgomery and Prince George’s counties in Maryland, responded. This is the third survey by the Center on the economy’s impact on local nonprofits. Results of earlier surveys were published in March 2009 and December 2008.

Nearly half of respondents (46%) used or lost at least a portion of their operating reserves in the first half of 2009.

Online Resources:

Local nonprofit organizations have already made cuts to adjust to the economic downturn with additional cuts anticipated. Nearly a third (30%) have suspended or closed down programs and/or reduced staff size. Other findings:

More than half (57%) maintain three months or less of operating reserves.

“It’s clear that the recession has created a matter of life or death among area nonprofits and the people we serve,” said Center CEO Glen O’Gilvie. “It is also clear that strong collaborations between nonprofits, businesses, government and philanthropy can and will continue to make the difference.”

Visit the Center’s Web site at to download the report shared with attendees of “Nonprofit 911: What’s Next?” and to see event photos. • january/february 2010 nonprofit agenda 11

nonprofit leaders from page 7 What advice would you offer for other nonprofit executive directors? Michell: Believe passionately in your mission. Know your values and stick to them, come what may. Think beyond your agency to achieve the greater good. Tell it like you see it. Meet Gelman, Rosenberg & Freedman 2009 EXCEL Award Winner Eleni Rossides. Eleni Rossides thought her sevenyear career on the pro-tennis circuit was tough, until she took on the challenge of a lifetime, as executive director of the Washington Tennis and Education Foundation (WTEF). In addition to juggling a 50-plus member board of directors, a small staf f and a large annual event, under Rossides’ leadership the group seeks to build a second tennis center with land and approval from the District Government. As a board member told us, Rossides did not predict this recession, but she did prepare the organization just in case to position WTEF to succeed in every economy.

Center Welcomes New Partners in Advancement Members In addition to organizational, nonprofit memberships, the Center for Nonprofit Advancement includes a membership category for the business community with unique benefits to suit the needs of consultants, businesses and other professionals that serve nonprofits. With a minimum investment of $250 as a Par tner in Advancement member, businesses receive an array of benefits which are fully described on our Web site. Businesses who wish to become a Partner in Advancement can contact us at 202-457-0540 or visit the Center’s web site at www. The Center welcomes our most recent Par tners in Advancement to join or renew membership: collaborator Hazen Inc. Citizen Capital Development Strategies MMP Associates Accounting with Debits & Credits with Coates & Hutchinson, P.C. Fortunach

What does this award mean for you and your organization? Rossides: This award means a great deal to me and WTEF. We are in the middle of a very exciting time for WTEF as we plan to build a new, tennis education and community center in Ward 7 of Washington, D.C. Validation of the strength of the organization and its leader will be very helpful as we continue to execute plans to build the center to help the neediest children of the District and raise the funds to do so. What advice would you offer for other nonprofit executive directors? Rossides: The EXCEL Award process has been an extremely helpful one to go through. Thinking through how one leads an organization and what leadership means to one’s organization is a very important process. It is important to take a step back and think through one’s strengths and weaknesses and where one would like to improve. I am thankful for this process and the award which enabled me to take the time to go through it.

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continued on page 13

Meet Gelman, Rosenberg & Freedman 2009 EXCEL Award Honorable Mention Recipient Dallice Joyner. As Executive Director of the Northern Virginia Area Health Education Center, Dallice Joyner is leading an organization that works in the growing world of medical language interpretations – serving immigrant and other vulnerable communities in need of health information or facing a health crisis. Joyner often says that if an employee leaves her organization as the same person, without growth or a broader comfort zone, then she has failed as a leader. What advice would you offer for other nonprofit leaders? Joyner: Share. Keep your focus on what’s important for your organization. Work outside of your comfort zone. What does this award mean for you and your organization? Joyner: This award comes at a perfect time in our organization’s life. It serves as a spring board for our next level of growth. It markets and promotes our organization and expertise past our current realm of exposure. Since I plan to use the award money to attend a special political school, it will propel us into a broader and more influential political arena. Meet Gelman, Rosenberg & Freedman 2009 EXCEL Award Honorable Mention Recipient Aleta Margolis. Aleta Margolis is the chief inspirer at the Center for Inspired Teaching which exists to ensure schools make the most of children’s innate desire to learn. They do this by investing in teachers. Board members tell us that she pushes them to be a high impact board. Staff members are challenged professionally – think big/dream big. Teachers are transformed through Margolis’ charismatic and persuasive ideas…all while keeping the benefits of the kids in mind. What does this award mean for you and your organization? Margolis: It reflects positively on the critical work we do to support high quality education and teacher training in the District, and provides meaningful exposure for our

expanding programs. It is an honor to be recognized within the greater community of outstanding DC nonprofits. What advice would you offer for other nonprofit executive directors? Margolis: Be clear about your goals, and support the people working with you. Make sure you learn as well as give feedback and keep lines of communication open with your staff. Most importantly, make sure the work you do is both meaningful and challenging, and always make time for reflection.

The Gelman, Rosenberg & Freedman EXCEL Award Winners’ Breakfast: Making Leadership Matter in Every Economy

Wednesday, March 17, 8:30 - 10:30 am Join us for a conversation with three outstanding nonprofit leaders – winners of the Gelman, Rosenberg & Freedman 2009 EXCEL Award. Learn how they keep their organizations moving forward amid the challenges faced everyday by nonprofit leaders. Featuring our 2009 Award winners: •

M a n n y H i d a l g o, L a t i n o Development Corporation


Pamela L. Michell, New Hope Housing, Inc.

Eleni A. Rossides, Washington Tennis & Education Foundation

This annual breakfast always serves up a heaping share of inspiration and a side serving of tried– and–true learning experiences. This just may be your most beneficial meal of the year! Special Cost: $10 for Center Members, $15 for all others Visit to register. • january/february 2010 nonprofit agenda 13

nonprofit news

Nonprofit News You Can Use To follow are highlights of information first shared with Center members through our e-newsletter, blog, Facebook Fanpage and Twitter account. For updates between issues of the Nonprofit Agenda, sign up for twice-monthly e-mails (the Nonprofit Messenger) at For daily updates, check the Center’s blog at www., fan us on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter at

New and Updated IRS Compliance Guides The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released a new Compliance Guide for Tax-Exempt Organizations (other than 501(c)(3) Public Charities and Private Foundations). This IRS guide "addresses activities that could jeopardize an organization's exempt status and discusses the general recordkeeping, reporting and disclosure responsibilities that apply to non-501(c)(3) exempt organizations." The Compliance Guide for 501(c)(3) Public Charities has also been updated to "incorporate changes in the compliance requirements that apply to public charities and includes information about the redesigned Form 990, the 'e-Postcard,' as well as information about classification as a public charity after the elimination of the advance ruling process." Search for “Compliance Guides” at for links to the new and updated guides.

IRS Announces 2010 Standard Mileage Rates The IRS has issued "2010 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes." New rates took affect January 1, 2010. Search for “Mileage Rates” at for additional information.

Don't Be Left Out!

Data collected by the Census next year will be used to determine a host of issues critical to the nonprofit community. Lower income and more mobile populations, precisely those served by many nonprofits, are frequently undercounted by the census, leading to underfunding of critical services and infrastructure, and under-representation in government. Nonprofits can play an important role in making sure their communities are fully and accurately counted by educating them on the importance of the census and how to participate. Nonprofits Count, a project of the Nonprofit Voter Engagement Network (NVEN), has released a new Census Toolkit for Nonprofit Organizations. This toolkit is available free at http:// and includes information to help nonprofits get involved with the 2010 Census.

15 Minutes to Increase Your Emergency Preparedness How would you carry out your mission if half your employees were out with Swine Flu? How will you continue delivery of critical services if a water main break keeps you out of your building for several days? Invest 10-15 minutes to increase their own nonprofit emergency preparedness capacity by filling out an assessment on a new, robust online tool: This investment will let you know how prepared you are and will show you how your organization can maintain your mission in times of crisis. Search for “Emergency Preparedness” at for additional information.

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Seeking Applicants: 2010/2011 Catalogue for Philanthropy

Is Your Organization Prepared for H1N1?

Applications are now being accepted for the 2010/2011 Catalogue for Philanthropy: Greater Washington. This annual publication and Web site features high-performing nonprofit organizations in the District of Columbia and nearby Virginia and Maryland counties. A collaborative project of foundation, corporate and individual funders, the Catalogue introduces potential donors to new charitable opportunities. It has helped raise over $9.9 million in six years for featured nonprofits.

Center member, the DC Bar Pro Bono Program, has shared two e-alerts prepared by the law firm of Nixon Peabody for the Pro Bono Partnership of Greater New York to help your organization prepare for H1N1. The alerts explain what steps employers should consider in case they experience an outbreak of H1N1 flu among their workers. The following are available for download in PDF format:

501(c)(3) organizations with operating budgets of $3 million or less, and location in Greater Washington, may be eligible to apply. The application deadline is Monday, February 22. Visit for information about eligibility requirements and for access to the online application.

Make a Nomination: 2010 Exponent Award The Meyer Foundation's Exponent Awards honor five exemplary nonprofit leaders who may be in danger of burnout or who would benefit from a leadership development grant to take their skills and organization to a new level. The award comes with a two-year grant of $100,000 for leadership development, which could include coaching, continuing education, or funds to strengthen the board and senior management team. Nominations are due by Tuesday, April 6. Visit: exponent_award/nominations to learn more.

Employment Law Alert: Swine flu in the workplace: an update and proactive response

OSHA Alert: The latest guidance for employers for flu season: the CDC sees employers on the "front lines" of potential outbreak

The National Council of Nonprofits has also compiled a Toolkit on H1N1 Flu Preparedness for Nonprofits. The toolkit provides suggested action steps, tips for preparedness and much more. Search “H1N1” at www.nonprofitadvancement.blogspot. com for links to the PDF downloads and toolkit.

weathering an economic storm from page 1 •

57% had operating reserves of less than three months of operating expenses; 28% of those had no reserves at all. Arts, culture and humanities organizations had the highest percentage of groups with less than the minimum reserve (62%); environment and animal organizations had the lowest with 46% falling below recommended levels.

We talked with Rick Moyers, the Meyer Foundation’s director of programs, to learn more about the report and its implications for nonprofits throughout Metropolitan Washington. Notes from our conversation follow.

The only way, as a sector, we can improve is if boards and executive directors become much more comfortable with nonprofit financial management and devote a lot more attention to understanding cost structures, funding models and building financial management.

What motivated the Meyer Foundation to undertake this study? Moyers: For almost 15 years, we’ve run a cash flow loan program for groups, so we understand how difficult it can be for organizations facing cash flow issues. Having operating reserves is a primary way to avoid cash flow problems. What can the level of operating reserves say about the overall financial health of an organization? Moyers: It’s like taking a person’s temperature as an indicator of their overall health. Operating reserves are one indicator of an organization’s overall financial health and stability. Organizations with adequate operating reserves have the ability to weather fluctuations in cash flow. Organizations with reserves can absorb a 60-day delay in government funding or the unexpected loss of a funder. Operating reserves also give the board more choices in how to handle difficult times and give the organization the ability to respond to opportunities—such as an opportunity to merge—without waiting for new funding to come through.

surprised at the large percentage of organizations in that category. Another surprising finding is that larger organizations are not any more financially secure, and in many cases they are less secure, than smaller organizations. Many organizations get large because of big government contracts. It’s hard to build operating reserves when your funding is primarily government contracts, because they often don’t cover organizational overhead or sometimes even the full cost of programs or services. For nonprofits across Greater Washington, what one or two key findings should they pay particular attention to from the report? Moyers: With this repor t, organizations can benchmark themselves against other nonprofits. For some, this is good news— they’re better off than they think. For others, it’s a wake-up call. What implications does the report have for our region’s nonprofits given current economic conditions? Moyers: The report looked at Form 990 filings from 2000 to 2006 which included the last economic downturn in 2001-2002. As a group, those organizations with lower operating reserves were less likely to survive than those with higher operating reserves. Given the current economic downturn, those nonprofits with higher operating reserves have a better chance of surviving. What resources does the Meyer Foundation make available to nonprofits to assist with strengthening financial management? Moyers: The foundation provides support in three primary ways: •

We make a lot of grants in the form of general operating support. Adequate general operating support is the first building block to building operating reserves over time by operating at a surplus.

Our Cash Flow Loan Program can help grantees facing temporar y cash flow issues.

Was there anything you found particularly surprising about the study’s findings? Moyers: One statistic that might not have been highlighted was the number of organizations with no reserves—those that had negative unrestricted assets. That’s like owing more on your mortgage than your house is worth. I was

continued on page 17 16 • january/february 2010 nonprofit agenda

Current grantees are eligible for additional support through our Management Assistance Program (MAP). Many organizations use MAP grants to hire consultants to help strengthen financial management systems, including budgeting, accounting and overall financial management

only way we can improve the overall financial condition of our sector is if boards and executive directors become much more comfortable with financial management and devote significantly more attention and resources to understanding cost structures, funding models and financial sustainability.

Any additional feedback or advice you’d like to share?

This report might serve as a wake-up call to help boards and executive directors at chronically under capitalized organizations. The current economic crisis has highlighted the consequences of undercapitalization and failure to build adequate reserves. Key organizations are in jeopardy of going out of business.

Moyers: It’s really important for board members to understand the financial conditions of the organizations they serve. One of the barriers that exists is that board members who don’t understand finance or the terminology used may feel self-conscious about asking questions. Board members who are uncomfortable with finance should know that they are not alone. If you don’t understand something, there are probably others in the room who don’t. The


A lot of groups budget for break even because they think that nonprofits should. If you don’t budget for a surplus, you won’t have one.

For a copy of the Washington Area Nonprofit Operating Reserves report, visit


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We have been in the business of providing accounting and consulting services to the not-for-profit community for over 25 years. We are dedicated to meeting the accounting and consulting needs of your nonprofit organization. t t t t t t t


Accounting and bookkeeping services Auditing and A-133 compliance Management information services including hardware/software selection and training Tax return preparation and consultation Indirect cost rate allocations Strategic planning. Outsourcing Services

Our goal is to provide close personal service and attention to our clients. Members American Institute of Certified Public Accountant

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Member News Arlington Community Foundation Celebrates “Spirit of Community” In November, former delegate in the Virginia House of Delegates and longtime Arlington resident, L. Karen Darner, was honored as the 2009 recipient of the Arlington Community Foundation’s annual William T. Newman, Jr. Spirit of Community Award. Established in 1993, the Spirit of Community Award recognizes and honors those people who have demonstrated tireless and unselfish commitment to improving the quality of life in Arlington. Learn more at

Are you a Center member? Do you have good news to share about your work? Send your announcements (including awards, promotions, and transitions) to

Neighbors in Need Fund Invests $645K to Reform and Strengthen Region’s Safety Net In an effort to ensure that critical safety net services are delivered effectively, quickly and continually to area residents hit hardest by the recession, The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region in December announced $645,000 in new grants made through its Neighbors in Need Fund. Unlike the two previous grant rounds, these grants were focused on efforts to reform local public systems across the region that thousands of people depend on for safety net services and nonprofits. This third round of Neighbors in Need Fund grants brings the total awarded to $1.9 million, supporting some 70 Washington-area safety net nonprofits. Two previous rounds awarded grants in March and September 2009, focusing on support for direct service such as homeless shelters, food programs, clothing distribution, foreclosure prevention and emergency financial support. Learn more at Get Discounted Arts and Culture Tickets Center member the Cultural Alliance of Greater Washington brings you two online marketplaces for arts and culture.

18 • january/february 2010 nonprofit agenda

TICKETPLACE is your source to half-price tickets to performances throughout Greater Washington, DC. Listings change daily and include theatre, music, dance, lectures, film and more. Purchase online at or at the booth for advance tickets and day-of-show tickets. is a virtual arts marketplace providing comprehensive information and reliable ticket-purchase options for shows, performances, classes and exhibitions offered by more than 300 regional arts organizations and cultural institutions, making it the region’s richest and most diverse collection of arts and culture activities. Visit to learn more. Habitat Gives the Gift of Home for the Holidays In December, Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery County, Maryland (HFH-MC) dedicated their 47th home. This was also the fourth completed as part of the Neighborhood Revitalization Program, a partnership between HFH-MC and the Department of Housing and Community Affairs to purchase and rehabilitate vacant, foreclosed homes in Montgomery County. This particular home was a result of another partnership between Habitat for Humanity International and Thrivent Financial for Lutherans. This partnership, called Thrivent Builds with Habitat for Humanity, has led to the completion of more than 2,000 decent, affordable homes across the country and around the world since 2005. Learn more about HFH-MC at Members Recognized with Coming Up Taller Awards Center members the Sitar Arts Center and Higher Achievement were recognized with the 2009 Coming Up Taller Awards, an initiative of the

President’s Committee on Arts and Humanities in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Awards “recognize and support outstanding community arts and humanities programs that celebrate the creativity of young people, and provide them with new learning opportunities and a chance to contribute to their communities.” The Sitar Arts Center and Higher Achievement were selected from more than 400 nominations for the 2009 Award. Learn more at Street Sense Welcomes New Executive Director Abby Strunk joined Center member Street Sense this fall as the organization’s new executive director. Street Sense is a Washington, D.C. biweekly street newspaper whose mission is to raise public awareness on the issues of homelessness and poverty in the city and to create economic opportunities for people experiencing homelessness. According to the Street Sense Web site, “Abby is thrilled to bring more than a decade’s worth of marketing and communications experience to Street Sense where she hopes to build community amongst Street Sense vendors, readers, volunteers and supporters; work hand-in-hand with local business and community leaders; and, most important, empower Street Sense vendors to take steps toward financial independence.” Learn more at

Happy Anniversary! We’d like to recognize the following nonprofits celebrating membership anniversaries with the Center this month: 25-Year Center Member National Network for Youth 20-Year Center Members American Association on Mental Retardation 15-Year Center Members The Dwelling Place 10-Year Center Members Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired Home Care Partners The National Society of Collegiate Scholars Shalem Institute For Spiritual Formation USA for UNHCR Western Presbyterian Church 5-Year Center Members Legal Momentum

Is Your Organization on Facebook or Twitter?

National AIDS Housing Coalition

If your organization is active on Facebook or Twitter, we’d love to connect with you! Follow the Center on Twitter at or Fan us on Facebook (direct link on We’ll follow or fan back, watch for your updates and look for opportunities to help promote your work in the community.

Washington Youth Choir

The Center is very proud of these long-standing partnerships and is pleased to be a part of the great work that each of these organizations accomplishes in our community. • january/february 2010 nonprofit agenda 19

Connect with the Center on Your Favorite Social Network Look for daily news and notes on our blog: Follow us on Twitter: Fan us on Facebook (link on Look for photos from recent events on Flickr: And of course, have news and information delivered directly to your inbox through our e–newsletter! Not on the list? Look for the “Subscribe to the Nonprofit Messenger” icon on the Center’s Web site (

20 • january/february 2010 nonprofit agenda

Classified Ads Office Space The M.A. Winter Building at 1436 U street, NW provides affordable, office space to Washington DC based non-profit organizations. Located two blocks from the U Street/ Cardoza METRO, this owner managed ADA compliant Building also features 24/7 security access, elevator, ample off-street parking and a roof deck. A suite containing 2,500 rentable square feet will be available January 15, 2010. As currently configured, there are private offices and workstations for approximately 10 individuals plus large conference room and complete kitchenette. Check out our website at and click on Suite 401. Contact David Miller at 202-483-1666.

The not-for-profit industry faces unique and difficult challenges in today’s rapidly changing business environment. For nearly 40 years, Halt, Buzas & Powell (HB&P) have made helping nonprofits overcome those challenges a core focus of our firm. We work with organizations to improve financial operations and provide accurate and timely information. HB&P has expertise in the following areas:

• Tax • Audit & Accounting • Business Consulting

• Outsourced Accounting • Accounting Software Implementation & Support

We are people-oriented problem solvers, totally committed to and invested in our clients. Call us today to arrange a FREE consultation.


Meeting Space Affordable Downtown Meeting Space: The Center for Nonprofit Advancement has a conveniently located conference room for rent to nonprofit organizations, businesses, or other community members–with discounts to Center members. Available as a half or a whole, by the hour, half-day or whole-day; can accommodate up to 50 people. Located on Farragut Square, the Center is near Red, Orange, and Blue metro stops; underground parking is available. Open Monday- Friday, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. See, Programs & Services for more details or contact Aaron Dahnke at 202.457.0540 or

99 Canal Center Plaza, Suite 230, Alexandria, VA 22314 • 703.836.1350 1525 Pointer Ridge Place, Suite 303, Bowie MD 20716 • 301.218.8950

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Rates: $40 for the first 15 words and 50 cents for each additional word. Member discount: $20 for the first 15 words and 50 cents for each additional word. For more information, contact the Center at 202 457 0540 or by email at • january/february 2010 nonprofit agenda 21

Join us at the Center. Education







Need more time to focus on your mission? Let us take the work out of running your nonprofit. We offer you: s A health care program featuring popular area insurance carriers, guaranteed issue of coverage and COBRA benefits; s

Group buying power, including commercial and liability insurance, retirement plans, and more;


Public policy advocacy that works to better regulations affecting nonprofits;


The Centerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Learning & Leadership Institute, which provides affordable professional development for your staff;


Communications & Networking, providing you with the latest information through our publications and connecting you with the people you need to know;


Awards programs, celebrating the best and brightest people and organizations in the sector; and


Dedicated member services so that you have someone to call with your questions.

Experience the power of membership by visiting nonprofitadvancement. org or calling our membership department at 202.457.0540.


center for nonprofit advancement membership application

We would like to join the Center for Nonprofit Advancement. We agree with The Center’s purpose and objectives. We understand that: • M  embership is limited to 501(c) IRS tax–exempt organizations. • Dues cover a 12–month period

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from date paid. •  Participation in all Center for


Nonprofit Advancement’s services requires membership





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in the organization. •  This is an organizational membership with the Executive Director as the official representative to The Center unless otherwise noted on the application.

Website Address Executive Director

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•  B  y providing the signature, I consent to receive email communications sent to my organization by or on behalf of the Center for Nonprofit Advancement/Center

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for Nonprofit Advancement’s Benefits Trust to the addresses listed on the application.

Please select one Organizational Classification

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* Line 17 of IRS Form 990. Payment must accompany your application in order to activate your Center for Nonprofit Advancement membership.

what center benefits are you interested in taking advantage of? Health Care Program (Health, Dental, Vision, Life)


Commercial and liability insurance

Background checks

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Please attach a copy of Page 1 of your organization’s most recent Form 990. If no form is required by law, please attach a copy of your most recent income statement. Return completed form along with your dues payment to: Center for Nonprofit Advancement, P.O. Box 630481, Baltimore, MD 21263–0481. • january/february 2010 nonprofit agenda 23

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