Nonprofits Mobilize to Help as Cape Town’s “Day Zero” Date is Extended

Nonprofit Quarterly | February 22, 2018

“Day Zero” for the drought-stricken city of Cape Town the date upon which running water service will cease has been moved from late April to July 9th, thanks to widely embraced conservation efforts. The world’s first major city in modern times to face such a threat proclaims that the crisis might be averted…if its four million residents continue to conserve water. Families risk paying taxes and fines if they do not adhere to the city’s Critical Water Shortages Disaster Plan. Starting with the city website offering many aids, such as a Day Zero Dashboard and a Water Calculator, conservation initiatives are in full bloom. Officials are currently limiting citizens to 13 gallons of water a day (enough for a six-minute shower), about a quarter of the daily water usage in the US. Day Zero is defined as dam levels reaching 13.5 percent. If that occurs, Cape Town will establish water collection sites where the public can receive seven gallons of water per day, free of charge. In addition to the city working to bring three desalination plants online, Cape Town’s nonprofits and entrepreneurs are offering more solutions. Mvula Trust is the largest South African NGO supporting water and sanitation development. The nonprofit Water Institute of South Africa (WISA) is calling for volunteers to donate time, empty bottles, and other support. Water 4 Cape Town is an online platform for water conservation news and resources. The water crisis touches everyone. Here is a list of all the NGOs working in Cape Town.

Spotlight

It seems like a far-fetched theory who would want to steal from nonprofit organizations, which are tasked with helping individuals and groups involved in a host of worthy causes? However, fraud does happen at charities, and more often than you would expect. Nonprofit executives and board members need to know what to do to stop criminals in their tracks. In the four years between 2008 and 2012, more than 1,000 charities in the United States reported losses of at least $250,000 due to theft, fraud, or embezzlement.


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FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

Independent Financial Group Donates over $230,000 to Children-Focused California Charities in 2021

Independent Financial Group | May 26, 2022

Independent Financial Group, LLC, a San Diego-based independent broker-dealer, donated a combined $232,500 to seven charities in 2021: Promises2Kids ($50,000); Wayfinder Family Services ($50,000); Challenged Athletes Foundation ($50,000); The Mitchell Thorp Foundation ($50,000); Just in Time for Foster Youth ($25,000); The San Diego Nice Guys ($5,000); and the Well Community For Women ($2,500). IFG's donations went to charities operating in San Diego and in the state of California, supporting foster children, youth, and adults; children with critical illnesses; children and adults with disabilities; and families facing economic hardships. When Joe Miller, David Fischer, and I founded IFG, we agreed that giving back to our community, quietly and consistently, would be a central part of our mission. The three of us are fathers, and our community has been good to us and to our families. We want to make sure that all children and young adults in San Diego, and in the state of California, are being raised with the support and opportunities they need to thrive." Scott Heising,IFG CEO and Co-Founder To date, IFG has donated nearly one million dollars to various charitable organizations. About IFG's Selected Charities Promises2Kids responds to the needs of foster children and those who have been removed from their home due to abuse and neglect. The Challenged Athletes Foundation provides opportunities and support for physically disabled athletes so they can pursue active lifestyles and competitive athletics. Wayfinder Family Services (formerly Junior Blind of America) offers a full range of essential services that meet the needs of people of all ages, including the visually impaired, foster youth, youth with serious medical conditions or trauma, and their families. In memory of their son Mitchell, Brad and Beth Thorp founded the Mitchell Thorp Foundation with the goal of supporting families whose children suffer from life-threatening illnesses and disorders. Just in Time for Foster Youth aims to help foster youth as they transition to adulthood, supporting their efforts to achieve self-sufficiency and well-being. The Nice Guys of San Diego have worked since 1979 to support local families who have fallen on tough times. The Well Community for Women is a San Diego-based nonprofit dedicated to serving women by offering coworking spaces, childcare support, after-school enrichment programs, and other programs and events. About Independent Financial Group Independent Financial Group, LLC (IFG) is a privately held independent broker-dealer based in San Diego, California. Founded in 2003, IFG provides an array of business solutions supporting more than 640 independent financial professionals across 389 offices nationwide. IFG was named among the "Fastest Growing Private Companies in the US" by Inc. 5000 in 2020, for the eighth time since 2010. San Diego Business Journal ranked IFG "#12 Among the Largest Private Companies in San Diego" in 2020. In 2022, IFG was ranked 19th largest among national independent broker-dealers by Financial Advisor Magazine, based on revenue.

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NONPROFIT TECHNOLOGY

Habitat for Humanity International launches initiative to address the Black homeownership gap in the U.S.

Habitat for Humanity International | June 14, 2022

Leveraging funds provided in part by MacKenzie Scott's transformational donation, Habitat for Humanity International is launching a new initiative to address the racial homeownership gap—which now stands at nearly 30 percent, the widest it has been in more than 40 years. Habitat's Advancing Black Homeownership initiative deepens our commitment to increase homeownership opportunities for Black individuals and families—and address the racial and systemic bias that has stymied access to homeownership for generations—through programs that will help end the social and economic disparity many Black people and communities of color continue to face. Habitat is initially investing more than $25 million over the next three to five years—with a goal of raising $100 million or more—to develop and launch a slate of new programs, including an equitable commercial lending strategy and property acquisition fund through Habitat Mortgage Solutions, our community development financial institution. "These efforts are designed to help Black families build intergenerational wealth through homeownership and other strategic supports, such as developing more inclusive communities, increasing the availability of affordable homes near public transportation and jobs, and transforming concentrated areas of poverty into areas of opportunity," said Adrienne Goolsby, senior vice president of the U.S. and Canada for Habitat for Humanity International. "Ultimately, we want to reduce the impact a century of discriminatory housing policies has had on the Black community." Other initiative programs include financial coaching and counseling to help Habitat affiliates address the needs of applicants along their homeownership journey; a national Black homeowner advisory group to help Habitat for Humanity International develop strategies and implement programs to help increase Black homeownership; expanded advocacy outreach through the Cost of Home campaign; and collaborative efforts with affordable housing partners. Funding opportunities will also be made available to Habitat affiliates doing innovative work to help increase Black homeownership. Our mission is driven by our theological imperative to seek justice and to have mercy. Doing so through this work, we put God's love into action and help further our mission to build homes, communities and hope." Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International About Habitat for Humanity International Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity found its earliest inspirations as a grassroots movement on an interracial community farm in south Georgia. Since its founding in 1976, the Christian housing organization has grown to become a leading global nonprofit working in local communities across all 50 states in the U.S. and in more than 70 countries. Families and individuals in need of a hand up partner with Habitat for Humanity to build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. Through financial support, volunteering or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves. Through shelter, we empower.

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NONPROFIT MANAGEMENT

RAM Veterans Foundation Unrolls "Charities For Vets" Initiative

RAM Veterans Foundation Fundraising costs | May 23, 2022

Ahead of the Memorial Day weekend, the Robert Alexander Mercer (RAM) Veterans Foundation launched a new initiative called "Charities For Vets," a public information campaign to encourage effective management of veterans' charitable organizations and allow well-meaning Americans to donate with confidence. In 2021, more than $960 million dollars were donated to lower-rated veteran charities -nearly triple ($350 million) sent to well-rated veterans' groups. The RAM Veterans Foundation intends to make Charities For Vets the Consumer Reports of veteran charities. The problem is clear, and our goal is to provide facts and figures to not only divert donations from poorly-rated organizations, but also increase support and applaud those groups who are already excelling. Transparency is the best disinfectant, and by shining a bright light on the financial paper trail of these organizations, we can root out waste and abuse while better supporting the men and women who served our country so honorably." Peter T. Metzger, Chairman of the Advisory Board and retired Colonel in the United States Marine Corps. Charities For Vets uses publicly available information (including Form 990 tax returns) to group veterans' charitable organizations into three categories: Highly Recommended Honorable Not Recommended Four distinct metrics are examined to place an organization into one of the above categories: Overhead percentage: must be lower than 25% of total budget Joint accounting costs: must be less than 5% of total budget Fundraising costs: charities must keep 50% of money raised in reported solicitation campaigns Asset reserves: must be fewer than three years' budget Unlike other charity evaluation platforms, the RAM Veterans Foundation uses a more strict pass/fail approach. If an organization falls short of any of the metrics, they receive an automatic "not recommended." Founded in 2022, the RAM Veterans Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) organization named after Robert Alexander Mercer, who died on November 11, 1944 during the battle to liberate France from the Nazi occupation. The RAM Veterans Foundation is dedicated to RAM and those who have given life and limb in defense of America and our allies. "For any American looking to meaningfully give back this Memorial Day, please join us in this effort," added Metzger. "Putting an end to veteran charity scams is a high-impact way to show support for those veterans in need."

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NONPROFIT MANAGEMENT

Nonprofit Finance Fund Selects Aisha Benson as CEO and President

Nonprofit Finance Fund | June 30, 2022

Nonprofit Finance Fund is thrilled to announce Aisha Benson as its next CEO and President. Benson, a leader with a substantial track record advancing racial equity in community development finance, was selected after an extensive nationwide search and brings exceptional industry expertise, deep networks, and a passion for social justice to the position. She will be NFF's third permanent CEO and President in its 42-year history. Aisha is the right leader at the right time to support NFF's efforts to help mission-driven organizations achieve communities' aspirations. Her vision, experience and relationships are an exciting match as NFF continues its tremendous growth." Henry A. J. Ramos, NFF Board Chair Benson will start on August 8, and will be based in New York. She joins NFF from TruFund Financial Services, where as Executive Vice President and COO she was instrumental in developing strategy, securing new business, fundraising, and overseeing lending and tax credit services. Benson serves on several key industry boards, including the Opportunity Finance Network, NMTC Coalition (Board Chair) and New York CDFI Coalition (founding member and Vice President). She also serves on the advisory boards of the Community Development Entities of US Bank and Coastal Enterprises. "NFF has earned a reputation for challenging status-quo finance and philanthropy and advocating for the nonprofits we rely on for so much," said Benson. "I look forward to leveraging my industry expertise and lived experience to further hone NFF's strategy and approach to integrating the flow of capital and advisory services in ways that maximize community collaboration and create transformational, sustainable outcomes for communities of color." Benson takes the helm from NFF interim CEO and President Trella Walker, who along with Executive Transition Team colleagues Kristin Giantris and Andrea Briscoe has been leading NFF since June 2021 when longtime CEO Antony Bugg-Levine announced his planned departure. Over the past ten years, NFF has increased its loan portfolio by 400 percent, built a diverse team with a broad range of expertise, and accrued $54 million in net assets without donor restrictions (as of Dec. 2021) to invest in its mission. Recent initiatives including the Strategic Innovation Fund, COVID-19 recovery zero-interest loan funds, the State of the Nonprofit Sector Survey, and Rising Together exemplify NFF's commitment to using its assets and resources in service of community-based nonprofits, particularly those led by and serving people of color. As Walker moves on from NFF she will continue her longstanding consulting practice focused on strategy and impact, organizational change management, and DEI (diversity, equity, inclusion) and belonging—all areas of deep expertise she drew on to help NFF navigate a season of transition. "It has been a true honor to help move NFF forward by strengthening our ability to serve communities of color with staff and resources aligned with our strategy and now Aisha can advance our commitment with great fervor and fortitude," said Walker. "I am excited to see NFF's next chapter." "We are deeply grateful to Trella and the Executive Transition Team for skillfully guiding NFF in bold pursuit of its strategy, and know that other mission-driven organizations will benefit from her sage counsel," said Ramos. "To be in such a strong position, especially amid more global changes in our field and in the world, is a testament to the skill and determination of this team in service of NFF's mission." Benson was selected as part of a comprehensive, nationwide search led by NPAG in partnership with NFF's board. About Nonprofit Finance Fund Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) is a nonprofit lender, consultant, and advocate. For more than 40 years, we've worked to strengthen nonprofit organizations and improve the way money flows to social good. We believe that alongside others we must build a more equitable and just social sector, and are committed to helping community-centered organizations led by and serving people of color access the money and resources they need to realize their communities' aspirations.

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Spotlight

It seems like a far-fetched theory who would want to steal from nonprofit organizations, which are tasked with helping individuals and groups involved in a host of worthy causes? However, fraud does happen at charities, and more often than you would expect. Nonprofit executives and board members need to know what to do to stop criminals in their tracks. In the four years between 2008 and 2012, more than 1,000 charities in the United States reported losses of at least $250,000 due to theft, fraud, or embezzlement.

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