Tuesday, March 11, 2014

No Break for Idealware Seminar this Spring

Idealware: Helping Nonprofits Make Smart Software Decisions

March 2014

Upcoming Idealware Training

Students around the country are counting the days until spring break--and summer vacation--but not us. At Idealware, we're ramping up our training calendar. Spring break is too crowded and noisy, summer still a long way off. Leave the tropics to the college students, crank up the heat at your office, and join one of our upcoming seminars. (If you truly can't stand this stubborn winter and have already fled south to wait it out, remember that you can participate in our online seminars from anywhere with an internet connection.)
In March, we’re offering all sorts of different training models to match your needs. Mastering Your Mix: A Practical Approach to Integrated Communications is a five-week course designed to make your communications mix powerful and effective, and The Private Foundation’s Grants Management Toolkit will save your foundation time and energy in the system-selection process.
Have a little less time to work with? We’re also offering a 90-minute session on email fundraising, and a two-part course on getting your office infrastructure into shape.
Remember, we always offer recorded seminars atidealware.org/online-training, and all of our live sessions are also recorded, so you can listen to them at your own convenience. Read a little more about what we have to offer below, and make this spring break your most educational yet.

New Course: Mastering Your Mix: A Practical Approach to Integrated Communications

March 19 to April 16Between more traditional channels of communications like direct mail, email, and newsletters, and all the new channels you’ve adopted—like social media, multimedia, and blogs—there’s a lot to think about when it comes to your organization’s messaging. How do you create and maintain a consistent voice across so many channels? How do you coordinate your various communications to work in tandem rather than competing, engaging constituents and inspiring them to take action rather than confusing, overwhelming, or annoying them?
This brand new course is the perfect complement to our popular publication, A Practical Guide to Integrated Communications: A Workbook for Nonprofits. Over five weeks, we will help you to understand your communications. We'llexplore their roles in your messaging, and assess your current state of effectiveness before walking you through the planning, scheduling, and implementation stages of creating a communications plan. Along the way, you’ll learn to measure the response you’re getting to adapt your techniques for better results, and ultimately learn to holistically integrate your communications.
Five Wednesdays, 1:00 - 2:30 PM EST, $200.
Read More or Register>>>

New Course: The Private Foundation's Grants Management Toolkit

April 10 to May 8As a grantmaker, you work most efficiently when you have a comprehensive overview of your applications, reviewers, requirements, and payments. The right grants management system can save you time by pulling all of this tracking together in a single place, but the marketplace has never been more varied and complex.
Researching all of the options, scheduling demos, and identifying your needs can take months. The Private Foundation’s Grants Management Toolkit can expedite the core elements of the process to a few short weeks. In this brand new series, Idealware’s grants management software experts will explore the available options for accepting and reviewing applications and tracking grants throughout their life cycles, take a look at what grants management systems do, and compare the strengths and weakness of the packages available for United States-based foundations. Then we’ll recommend packages that might work for your foundation based on our highly regarded research.
Classes April 10 and May 8 from 1:00 – 2:30 PM EST, and nine system demos on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays fromApril 15 to May 1 at 1:00 – 2:00 EST, $400.

Read More or Register>>>

Single Seminars

Thursday, March 20 - Getting Started with Email FundraisingFundraising via email requires an understanding of a number of different elements--designing an email campaign, writing an email, avoiding spam filters, broadcast email tools, online donation tools, and more. We'll walk through what you'll need to know to design your own email fundraising campaign.
1:00 - 2:30 PM EST, $40.00.
Read More or Register>>>
Thursdays, March 27 & April 3 - Covering Your Bases: Two Part Infrastructure CourseIn this two-part seminar, we'll cover the important pieces that keep your office up and running (and no, we don't mean coffee). In the first session, we'll look at how you can make the most of your hardware infrastructure, including computers, printers, phones, networking, and more. In the second, we'll go through what software you need the most to support your organization, including productivity software, email, scheduling, and collaboration tools. Throughout, we'll discuss how you can keep all this infrastructure secure, share and backup files, and save money and time.
Two Thursdays, 1:00 - 2:30 PM EST, $65.00.

Read More or Register>>>
Thursday, April 17 - Measuring Your Mission: Using Data to Track Organizational Health and SuccessAs a leader of your organization, you'd probably like to see clear metrics to track your programs, outreach efforts, and the financial health of your organization. It can be daunting to define the right measures though -- where do you even start?  Based on NTEN's and Idealware's research into what's actually working for nonprofits, we'll talk through what you should think about to define your own data-based metrics strategy, and hear from organizations who have successfully implemented their own strategies.
1:00 - 2:30 PM EST, $40.00.
Read More or Register>>>
Check out our website for even more great online training:www.idealware.org/online-training

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Special Webinar Series on Medicaid Compliance

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Medicaid Compliance...But Were Afraid to Ask
[Special Lunch & Learn Webinar Series] 
Various Dates - April through June 2014
Free to NYCON Members; $75 for Nonmembers
Register Today
Medicaid Compliance... Medicaid Compliance Plans ... Medicaid Self Auditing...Medicaid Self-Disclosures... Medicaid Audits ... Medicaid fraud, waste and abuse...Office of the Medicaid Inspector General ... OMIG...If these words and phrases are part of a typical day at your nonprofit, we have designed the perfect series of webinars for you. In four 90-minute sessions we will be covering:
  1. Medicaid Compliance 101 & the Office of the Medicaid Inspector General (OMIG)
  2. Knowing Thy (Compliant) Self: How to Conduct a Medicaid Self Audit
  3. Self-Disclosure is Not a Four Letter Word!: Protocols & Procedures of Medicaid Self Disclosure
  4. Preparing For, and Surviving, an OMIG Medicaid Audit
Participants will hear directly from experts in the field (including David R. Ross, former Acting Medicaid Inspector General for the State of New York, and David Rottkamp, CPA and leader of Grassi & Co.'s not-for-profit practice area) and get the practical information they need to provide appropriate oversight and management of Medicaid-funded programs, understand the role of the Office of the Medicaid Inspector General, and much more. See detailed session descriptions below.

April 9th, 2014     11:00am to 12:30pm
Medicaid Compliance 101 and the Office of the Medicaid Inspector General (OMIG)
Changes to the oversight of the Medicaid program led to the creation of the OMIG. Learn about the OMIG's powers and duties, as well as its requirements for compliance plans and annual compliance certification for certain types of providers. Also learn about the importance of compliance and other compliance-related issues. Join our experts to hear about reducing Medicaid fraud, waste, and abuse before the Medicaid program is billed, and how to have systems that will identify when errors are made so that corrections can be initiated and made by providers. Provider misconduct, also known as "unacceptable practices," will be illustrated along with the various sanctions available to the OMIG, including exclusion from the Medicaid program and enrollment termination. A question and answer period will be provided.

Webinars are free for NYCON Members
Non-Members $75 per session or $275 for all four. 
*If you would like to attend all four, please choose "Series Ticket" type. You will be automatically registered for each session through June. All webinars are from 11am to 12:30pm  

May 15th, 2014     11:00am to 12:30pm
Know Thy (Compliant) Self: How to Conduct
a Medicaid Self Audit
Part of any provider's compliance program is their compliance plan, and the key part of any compliance plan is the concept of risk assessment and self auditing. This means identifying where errors are most likely to be made, and then reviewing your Medicaid claims and documentation for compliance with applicable requirements. Hypotheticals for risk assessment and self audit will be discussed. As participants will hear, self auditing can be the best preventative medicine. A question and answer period will be provided.

Webinars are free for NYCON Members
Non-Members $75 per session or $275 for all four. 
*If you would like to attend all four, please choose "Series Ticket" type. You will be automatically registered for each session through June. All webinars are from 11am to 12:30pm  

June 5th, 2014    11:00am to 12:30pm
Self-Disclosure is Not a Four Letter Word!
Protocols & Procedures of Medicaid Self Disclosure
Under Obamacare, providers are required to report, repay and explain all Medicaid overpayments received. Learn what "overpayments" are, the sixty day rule, and the federal False Claims Act, which imposes potentially severe civil liability on providers for failing to self-report, repay and explain overpayments received. Learn how to handle routine overpayment situations and also when to seek advice on non-routine matters. A question and answer period will be provided.

Webinars are free for NYCON Members
Non-Members $75 per session or $275 for all four. 
*If you would like to attend all four, please choose "Series Ticket" type. You will be automatically registered for each session through June. All webinars are from 11am to 12:30pm  

June 19th, 2014    11:00am to 12:30pm
Preparing for and Surviving an OMIG Medicaid Audit
This workshop will provide you with an overview of how an OMIG Medicaid audit is conducted and how the audit process works. Learn how to prepare for the audit, how to interact with the auditors when they arrive, and when to seek counsel. Potential defenses to audit findings will also be briefly covered. A question and answer period will be provided. 

Webinars are free for NYCON Members
Non-Members $75 per session or $275 for all four. 
*If you would like to attend all four, please choose "Series Ticket" type. You will be automatically registered for each session through June. All webinars are from 11am to 12:30pm  


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Nonprofit Advocacy Matters | February 24, 2014

Nonprofit Advocacy Matters banner

Big News Coming on Taxes and Spending; Little Traction Expected
Within the next two weeks, the public will learn the details of two major proposals that, if enacted, would significantly alter federal tax and spending policies. Neither, however, is expected to do more than serve as discussion drafts for the 2014 elections. First up, perhaps as soon as this week, is a draft bill by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) that is expected to reduce corporate and individual tax rates and eliminate numerous special-interest provisions. It is unclear what changes will be proposed to provisions that affect charitable nonprofits. Less than a week later, President Obama is expected to release his budget proposal for fiscal year 2015. Early reports suggest that he will move away from past austerity budgets by calling for $56 billion in new spending on domestic and defense priorities. 

While largely symbolic – neither package is expected to be enacted as written this year – the details could well appear in legislatures across the country. For example, the President’s proposal to cap itemized deductions, first raised in his 2009 budget proposal, was enacted in modified form in Hawai`i in 2011 (where it was reversed in 2013 due to the harmful consequences) and considered in several other states in 2013. Likewise, the call to convert tax deductions into tax credits – a proposal seen in several federal tax-reform packages – was seriously considered before being rejected in Minnesota last year.

Proposal to Regulate Social Welfare Nonprofits Under Fire
Partisans and nonpartisan nonprofits alike are expressing the common view that proposed regulations from the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service should be withdrawn. To date, a record of nearly 70,000 comments have been filed on the proposed rules to define what should be considered “candidate-related political activity” by 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations. Many of those comments express concern about the adverse effect on partisan activities of conservative or progressive organizations. The House is expected, this week, to take up a bill to delay consideration of the proposed regulations until after the November elections. Several charitable nonprofit, such as Nonprofit VOTE, the Colorado Nonprofit Association, and the North Carolina Center for Nonprofits have filed comments challenging the draft as overly broad and likely to infringe on the legitimate advocacy and civic engagement work of 501(c)(3) organizations. The National Council of Nonprofits will be submitting comments in the coming days and all interested parties are encouraged to file public comments; the deadline is Thursday, February 27. Read recent articles in Nonprofit Advocacy Matters (January 27, 2014December 16, 2013, andDecember 2, 2013) for background information. 

First Answers Provided to OMB Guidance Questions
The December release of new Grants Guidance by the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has generated enthusiastic interest by charitable nonprofits that perform work on behalf of governments, as well as hundreds of questions from non-federal entities trying to understand the details and scope of the once-in-a-generation overhaul of federal grants policies. In response, the Council on Financial Assistance Reform (COFAR), which is working with OMB to implement the Guidance, has published its first set of 24 answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), covering such topics as when the new rules go into effect and what “profit” means in the context of charitable nonprofits. Federal officials have not yet addressed a number of questions regarding the mandate that pass-through entities (typically state and local governments) pay the indirect costs of nonprofits. The initial FAQs are the first of several expected sets over the next few months. The COFAR is encouraging individuals and organizations to submit additional questions to help it identify where additional clarification is needed. The National Council of Nonprofits also asks nonprofits with governments contracts or grants to share their questions so that we can follow up and work to ensure that the promise of the new OMB Guidance is achieved through appropriate government actions and interpretations. Please give us your questions and feedback.

Taxes, Fees, PILOTs
  • Property Taxes: Legislation in Kansas seeks to remove property tax exemptions from nonprofit human service providers that receive 40 percent or more of their revenues from the sale of membership or program services that would otherwise incur a sales tax if sold by a for-profit organization. For-profit fitness centers reportedly are targeting YMCAs that sell memberships for their athletic programs in addition to providing community benefits particularly to low-income children and families. Other nonprofits, including Goodwill Industries of Kansas, are expressing concern that the legislation could adversely affect their missions as well.
  • Fees: The Honolulu City Council is considering anordinance to extend trash pickup fees and cart usage fees to nonprofits that own real property. The proposal issupported by the local newspaper
Putting “Voluntary” into Volunteerism
Reversing a trend nonprofits have been seeing in state legislatures, a bill in Washington State treats volunteering with charitable nonprofits as a positive incentive rather than a punishment. The legislation would give unemployed individuals theoption of performing volunteer services in lieu of previously mandated job-search requirements. Elsewhere, legislators have sought to impose community service requirements performed at nonprofits as a condition of receiving mandatory or previously earned public benefits. Typically such bills are promoted without regard to the potential avalanche of people who might descend on well-known “name-brand” charities and the sudden liability exposure the bills could impose on nonprofits. Bills to create the community service mandate, known as “mandatory volunteerism,” have been introduced most recently in Alabama and Michigan.

Nonprofit Compensation Flags Agenda Items
Scrutiny of allegedly high compensation levels paid by some nonprofit organizations can lend support for others to advance their agendas against charitable nonprofits. The St. Louis County Missouri Assessor recently announced that he has launched a review of tax-exempt organizations to determine whether they continue to qualify for property tax exemptions. The Assessor, an elected position, was responding to a series of articles in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch questioning the charitable care provided by two nonprofit senior living facilities that pay their CEOs in excess of $1 million each and whether they deserve to remain exempt from paying over $3 million in property taxes annually. In Oregon, a labor union is collecting signatures to put an initiative on the November ballot that would cap the salaries of nonprofit hospital executives at no more than 15 times that of the lowest-paid workers. Hospital officials assert that the ballot measure is designed to give unions leverage to organize and negotiate at the nonprofit hospitals.

Big Day Advocacy
There’s every day advocacy to which most of us aspire, and then there is Big Day Advocacy like CommonGood Vermont choreographed in the Green Mountain State earlier this month. The Vermont Nonprofit Legislative Day, conducted this year on February 6, presented a lineup of events that left no doubt that charitable nonprofits have the ear of legislators.

The day began with a welcome from the Speaker of the House, followed by a panel of luminaries providing an overview of legislative issues facing the nonprofit sector, how nonprofits can effectively communicate their impact, and advocate for their issues. 

In an interesting twist, the House of Representatives opened its session with inspirational words from a nonprofit leader (seeWorth Watching, above) and a Vermont Nonprofit Proclamation, during which the speaker estimated that half of the members of the House have served their communities through local nonprofits, whether as employees, board members, or volunteers.

The day also included not just lobbying for the nonprofit policy agenda but also testimony before a Senate Committee on the top legislative priority for the year, a bill to require results-based accountability by government. Five nonprofit leaders, includingLauren-Glenn Davitian of CommonGood Vermont, provided committee members with hands-on analyses of what better data collection and reporting will mean for government efficiency and the work of charitable nonprofits.

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