Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Nonprofit Start-Up Fever Hits the Valley, Sweeps the Nation

Early each semester I graph five years-worth of the number of Arizona nonprofits that gained status as income-tax-exempt under §501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The graph and the data I used to create it is material for one of my graduate seminars at ASU called The Nonprofit Sector, and students always seem interested in thinking about why exemptions might bounce around from year to year. The (great) data is readily downloadable from the exempt organization section of the IRS Business Master File.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Where have all the interns gone?

posted by
Lyn McDonough,

Program Coordinator Sr.,
Nonprofit Leadership Alliance
ASU Lodestar Center
The origin of the word “intern” goes back to the Latin and French meaning: to restrict or confine within prescribed limits, as prisoners of war, enemy aliens, or combat troops who take refuge in a neutral country. Currently an intern is thought to be an individual gaining practical supervised training in a hospital or an assistant or trainee working to gain practical experience in an occupation, generally an internship is a temporary and supervised position where on-the-job training is learned. The current narrative includes a person of little status, conducting menial tasks in hopes of gaining experience, letters of recommendations and potentially a permanent position with the organization.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Who Engages in Professional Associations?

posted by
Mark Hager, Ph.D.

Associate Professor,

ASU School of Community
Resources & Development
The ASU Lodestar Center congratulates Mark Hager for recognition of his article Engagement Motivations in Professional Associations as recipient of the 2014 Award for Outstanding Academic Publication on Membership Organizations by the American Society of Association Executives and the Institute for Nonprofits at North Carolina State University. This blog post summarizes the research presented in his award-winning article.
If you are a working professional, there’s a good chance that you are (or could be) a member of an association of people in your field. Could be local, statewide, national, or international. You pay dues to a central nonprofit that probably has annual meetings, probably educates on the ethics and standards of the field, and maybe even helps people find jobs. These are often called professional associations, and examples are the American Society of Civil Engineers, the American College of Healthcare Executives, and the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE).

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Ask a Nonprofit Specialist - Applying for 501c3 status with new 1023-EZ form

posted by
Anne Byrne,
ASU Lodestar Center

Question: I am starting a nonprofit organization and need to apply for 501c3 status.  Can I fill out the new 1023-EZ form? 

The Internal Revenue Service recently released Form 1023-EZ, the streamlined application for recognition of exemption of 501c3 status. This form is significantly shorter and easier to complete than the regular application, which is a welcome change for aspiring small nonprofit organizations. In order to utilize the streamlined applications, organizations must meet eligibility requirements and complete the Form 1023-EZ Eligibility Worksheet. There are 21 questions on the worksheet and an affirmative answer to any of the questions makes your organization ineligible to utilize the streamlined application.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Public Allies Arizona: Burning You With the 5 Core Values

posted by
Chrisal Valencia
Member Events &
Volunteer Coordinator
Local First Arizona
Public Allies has played a very definitive role in my life. It has enabled me to gain experience professionally, to grow personally and most of all—ignite my love and passion to serve.

As I prepped for what I wanted to say to the next graduating class of Public Allies Arizona, I took a queue from my own days as an ally and reflected. I remembered that it was becoming a mom that inspired me to pursue a life and career that aimed to help better my community, and help shape an even better one for my daughter. My daughter Noelle turned 1 when I started my first year of Public Allies. Now she'll be turning 5 and starting school next month.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Public Allies Arizona: Getting Things Done for America

posted by
Annie Bello
Public Allies Arizona
I quickly realized that Public Allies was no cop out when we were sworn in as AmeriCorps members. Back in September when I stood beside more than 40 committed Allies who had a variety of values, backgrounds, beliefs, and goals, but all taking the same oath I realized this was the real deal. We were committing to something that was bigger than ourselves for the sake of the greater good.

The oath reads:
I will get things done for America - to make our people safer, smarter, and healthier.
I will bring Americans together to strengthen our communities. 
Faced with apathy, I will take action. 
Faced with conflict, I will seek common ground.
Faced with adversity, I will persevere.
I will carry this commitment with me this year and beyond. I am an AmeriCorps member, and I will get things done.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Why you want your nonprofit to fail

posted by
Chloe Silva,

Program Coordinator
ASU Lodestar Center
In a society fundamentally rooted in capitalism, how can nonprofits argue their worth when their work cannot be translated into a monetary sum?

Increasingly, nonprofit organizations are looking for new ways to measure (and thereby validate) the importance of their work. Our organizations have been measuring outputs in one way or another for as long as there has been philanthropy. This is not without good reason. We measure to ensure that our practices are effective, and to demonstrate that to any number of stakeholders, from the donors who fund us to the constituencies we serve.

Many have focused on uncovering new ways of gathering this data and new metrics for analyzing it. Now the discussion is shifting to moving beyond outputs (e.g. number of people served) to impacts (e.g. what difference it made in those people’s lives and the community as a whole). Social impact models seek to move beyond basic performance measures to better understand and illustrate what has been accomplished and, more importantly, what it meant. When faced with shorter attention spans and more critical oversight in today’s fundraising landscape, having numbers that speak to the value of your organization can give you an important edge.


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ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Innovation

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