Technology Outsourcing for Nonprofits – Why do it?

By outsourcing certain technological tasks, nonprofit organizations can focus on their core mission while leaving the day-to-day tasks of managing technology to a third party. This can be a cost-effective way for nonprofits to get the technology they need without breaking the bank.

Technology is an integral part of society and its continuous development. The way that technology has been integrated into our daily lives has changed dramatically over the last few decades, with new technological advances being made all the time. This means that there are always ways to make your work more efficient and effective through the use of technology.

In order to do this, nonprofit organizations are turning to technology outsourcing. By outsourcing certain technological tasks, these organizations can focus on their core mission while leaving the day-to-day tasks of managing technology to a third party. 

What is technology outsourcing?

Technology outsourcing for nonprofits refers to the process of hiring a third-party company to provide specific technological services. This can include anything from managing email systems to developing and maintaining websites. By outsourcing these tasks, nonprofits can free up time and resources to focus on their core mission.

There are many benefits to technology outsourcing for nonprofits. Perhaps the most obvious benefit is cost savings. By contracting out technological tasks, nonprofits can often save money compared to hiring in-house staff.

Technology outsourcing can help improve efficiency and effectiveness. By working with a qualified partner, nonprofits can get the expertise and support they need without having to invest in training or infrastructure.

When it comes time to choose a technology outsourcing partner, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Be sure to select a company that has experience in working with nonprofits. This will ensure that they have an understanding of the specific needs and challenges of these organizations.
  2. It is important to select a company that is reliable and trustworthy. Make sure to ask for references and read reviews from past clients.
  3. Evaluate the cost of outsourcing and whether or not it is worth the investment. Nonprofits should carefully consider the amount of time and money that will be saved by outsourcing, and whether or not those savings are significant enough to justify the expense.
  4. Nonprofits should also assess how much control they will have over their outsourced tasks. Will they be able to customize their services to meet their specific needs? Will they have access to support and maintenance if needed?
  5. Finally, be sure to establish clear expectations and parameters with your outsourcing partner. This will help avoid any misunderstandings down the road. By taking the time to do your research and establish a strong partnership with your technology outsourcing provider, you can maximize the benefits of outsourcing for your nonprofit organization.

Nonprofit organizations can benefit greatly from technology outsourcing. By turning to a third party to manage their technological tasks, these organizations can focus on their core mission and goals.

Outsourcing can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of nonprofit organizations.

Downsides to Technology Outsourcing

There are a few drawbacks to technology outsourcing for nonprofit organizations.

When tasks are outsourced, there can be a loss of control over those tasks. Nonprofits may not be able to customize their technology services the way they would like, and they may have to rely on a third party for support and maintenance.

There is also always a risk that the third party will not be able to meet the expectations of the nonprofit organization. This could lead to frustration on the part of the organization and a decrease in efficiency and effectiveness.

Getting Started

There are a number of resources available to help nonprofits get started with technology outsourcing. TechSoup provides a wealth of information on technology topics as well as many other free and useful resources.

Nonprofit organizations are starting to turn to technology outsourcing for all of the reasons listed above, but before beginning any type of third-party relationship, make sure you carefully evaluate the cost-benefit analysis of outsourcing, as well as how much control they will have over outsourced projects.

You’ll want to make sure you’re getting what you need from your service provider before signing anything – so be sure to do some research beforehand.

“Should you outsource your IT for your nonprofit?” from TechSoup is another great place to start if you still have questions. And of course, don’t forget to ask your peers for recommendations! Many times other nonprofit professionals have already gone through the process of outsourcing and can offer great advice.

If you’d like to speak with our own technology experts feel free to contact us or schedule a 15-minute discovery call to see if RoundTable Technology can meet your organization’s needs.

We also have a free guide – What to Pay for IT? – that is useful when starting to compare providers. 

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Employee Loyalty: The Secret Sauce and Tips Your Organization Needs

How loyal are your employees to your organization? As you consider this question, a few employees might stand out in your mind for their dedication to your nonprofit’s cause or their above-and-beyond contributions to a recent project for your business. But in reality, employee loyalty is a difficult thing to measure and quantify.

That isn’t to say there haven’t been attempts to measure employee loyalty. In 2018, management and consulting firm West Monroe found that 82 percent of employees have a high sense of loyalty to their employers. However, they also found the following:

  • 45% of employees have applied to new jobs after a bad day at work
  • 59% of employees would leave if they got a better offer from another organization
This graphic illustrates the finding that 82 percent of employees feel loyal to their employers.

What does this all mean? Employee loyalty is volatile. Similar to a tropical plant that requires exact amounts of water, careful fertilization, specific stretches of time in the sunlight, and consistent pruning, employee loyalty is something you have to carefully nurture.

One current, large-scale threat to employee loyalty is a new trend called “The Great Resignation.” This refers to the massive amount of turnover the U.S. is currently seeing. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4.4 million employees quit their jobs in September 2021 alone. And The Great Resignation isn’t likely to end soon. Astron Solutions national director Jennifer Loftus recently discussed this topic with other HR experts in a Cerini and Associates webinar, predicting that The Great Resignation will likely continue for the next two years.

A variety of things could be causing so many people to leave their jobs, including burnout from the pandemic and a realigning of personal priorities. But instead of deciphering the causes of The Great Resignation, your organization should focus on mitigating its effects by increasing long-term loyalty among your employees.

In this article, we’ll give you the information you need to understand what employee loyalty is and how to create it in your workplace. We’ll cover the following:

Are you ready to start taking action to improve your employees’ loyalty to your organization and its work? Let’s jump right in!

This CTA encourages readers to learn more about what Astron Solutions can do to help them grow employee loyalty at their organization.
In this section, we'll walk through some frequently asked questions about employee loyalty.

Employee Loyalty: FAQs

A number of questions can arise when discussing employee loyalty. Let’s tackle a few of these to help you cultivate loyalty among your workers.What is employee loyalty?

Employee loyalty is the idea that employees at your organization are genuinely invested in your organization and its work because they believe in it and want to see it move forward. Loyal employees view your organization as the best place for them to work.Why is employee loyalty important?

Employee loyalty is important because it affects overall employee satisfaction and retention. If an employee is loyal to your organization and is satisfied with their job and compensation, they will be much more likely to continue working at your organization in the long run.What does a loyal employee look like?

There is no comprehensive checklist for determining whether an individual employee is loyal to your organization or not. But loyal employees do have some key qualities, many of which are easy to identify. They come to work on time, complete their work, and participate in company culture. But there are also some characteristics that make a loyal employee stand out from the crowd.

A loyal employee is truly invested in your organization’s work. You may have heard these employees described as “engaged.” They see the bigger picture of your work or mission, instead of just focusing on the day-to-day. This is often reflected in their efforts to improve themselves in their current roles or take advantage of career development opportunities. A loyal employee helps brainstorm ideas that will benefit your organization as a whole and gives honest feedback about their experience because they want to make your organization a better place to work. They also accept final decisions that come from the top and run with them.

Loyal employees also have boundaries. They don’t sacrifice their health, personal endeavors, or time with loved ones for your organization. They take their vacation time, use their sick days, and are better workers because of it.

This graphic identifies some of the characteristics of a loyal employee.

How do you improve employee loyalty?

You can’t improve loyalty at your organization overnight. Much like a relationship with a donor or client, loyalty has to be cultivated over time, and that effort can take many different forms. In the sections below, we’ll give you actionable strategies for improving employee loyalty.

What employee loyalty means and looks like will vary from organization to organization. Loyalty is a complex idea to define and measure, but there are some effective ways to make positive changes in your organization so you can foster loyalty among your workers. It all starts with what we call “the secret sauce.”

In this section, you'll learn about the secret sauce your organization needs to improve employee loyalty.

Employee Loyalty: The Secret Sauce

The reality of employee loyalty is that most organizations try to get their employees to truly care about the organization and their work and end up missing the mark. Why?

Because they aren’t applying the “secret sauce.”

This secret sauce comes from an idea David Turt and Todd Nordstrom shared in a 2019 Forbes article called “The Truth About Employee Loyalty, And 5 Things Every Leader Should Know”:

You, as the leader, can only control your loyalty to them. We’ve personally seen so many managers get wrapped up in trying to ‘fix’ employee behavior. That seems like the job of a boss. But, it’s not. As a leader your job is to focus on what you can do to bring the best out of people. If it’s not working, keep focusing on what you could do differently.

-David Turt and Todd Nordstrom

This is the secret sauce: realizing that you can’t control your employees’ feelings about their jobs or your organization. The only thing within your control is your ability to create a work environment in which employees thrive in their roles, causing them to feel loyal to your organization and you as a leader.

The secret sauce of employee loyalty is realizing you can't control your employees' feelings about their jobs or your organization--you can only control how loyal you are to them!

Organization leaders who realize they can’t force loyalty look at their employees and their organization differently. They see their employees as assets who need to be treated fairly and compensated in a way that communicates appreciation. These employers do everything in their power to ensure employees enjoy their jobs and have opportunities to learn and grow professionally. Then in return, employers like these get the dedication and investment they want to see from loyal employees.

Now that you know about the secret sauce of employee loyalty, you may be wondering what changes you need to make to your approach to apply the secret sauce and create an environment where employee loyalty can grow.

In this section, we'll cover 15 tips you can use to cultivate employee loyalty at your organization.

Employee Loyalty: 15 Tips for Positive Change

What do your employees need from you right now that can help them develop loyalty toward your organization? Check out these 15 tips for creating a workplace that employees will want to stay and thrive in.

Note that some of these tips may need to be modified depending on what your workplace currently looks like during the COVID-19 pandemic. Be sure to follow state and local guidelines and to modify these tips as needed.

In this section, we'll talk about how working with an HR consultant can help you improve employee loyalty at your organization.

1. Work with an HR consultant.

Does your organization have the human resources policies and processes in place to encourage employee engagement and long-term retention? In order for your employees to buy into your organization and its work, you may need to work with an HR consulting firm that can provide an objective third-party evaluation of your current strategies and help you to improve them.

To select an HR consultant for your organization, follow these steps:

This graphic walks through the steps of choosing an HR consultant that your organization can work with to improve employee loyalty.
  1. Define your needs. Identify what you need from an HR consultant. This might include streamlining your performance management process, changing your approach to compensation, or improving how you find and hire job candidates. Your needs will help guide your search for a consultant.
  2. Discuss with key stakeholders. Before you commit to any engagement with a consultant, make sure your team is on board with the idea of hiring outside help. This will be especially important if you’re working with a strict budget.
  3. Outline your guidelines. Set your expectations for working with an HR consultant. Consider the budget you have, the expected start date, and the timeframe for the engagement.
  4. Begin your research. Search the internet for candidates or reach out to professional connections for recommendations. Remember to consider whether or not you’re willing to work with someone remotely and to filter your options accordingly.
  5. Draft an RFP. An RFP, or request for proposal, will detail your organization’s needs and expectations. When you submit an RFP to a consultant, they can use that context to draft a strategy for your organization, which will help you decide whether or not you want to work with them.
  6. Compare the candidates. Once you’ve submitted your RFP to your chosen candidates and received their proposals, review the proposals and candidates with your leadership team.
  7. Make your pick. After researching your top candidate and reviewing their references, reach out to them and start working together.

HR consultants can help you see the blind spots in your strategy for cultivating employee loyalty at your organization and help you determine what you need to change as an employer. Be open to your consultant’s ideas, but don’t be afraid to push back on or workshop the strategies they bring to the table, too.

The second tip for improving employee loyalty is to equip your employees with the best tools for their work.

2. Equip your employees with the best tools for their work.

Do your employees have the best tools available for their roles? For example, an employee might suggest that Slack or Trello could enhance workplace communication and project management. How do you respond? If you’re willing to try it out, this shows your employees that you care about their ideas to improve how they work.


Providing your employees with the best tools can require investing in technology or other resources you may be unfamiliar with. But letting your employees have more of a say in how they complete their work helps communicate your loyalty to them and receive their loyalty in return.


Plus, never underestimate the effect purchasing up-to-date tools and equipment (like new computer monitors or desk chairs) can have on morale!

In this section, we'll talk about how having open conversations about retention can help you with your efforts to improve employee loyalty.

3. Discuss retention openly.

Your efforts to retain your employees don’t have to be a secret. In fact, communicating to your employees that you want them to continue working for you can actually help your retention efforts. This will not only make them feel valued, but will also help both you and your employees speak up about what you need to change or keep doing to continue working together.

One of the best spaces for discussing retention is one-on-one meetings between managers and their direct reports. Because managers are in the best position to get to know their direct reports and be involved in their work, they are also in a great position to discuss potential retention risks. Here are some questions that can help guide managers when talking about retention:

  • What do you like about your job?
  • What do you dislike about your job?
  • Do you feel like your work is meaningful?
  • Do you feel you’re able to develop new skills and take advantage of professional development opportunities in your role?

Questions like these can help you proactively extinguish potential employee turnovers before they even have a chance to spark. You can also use retention surveys to gauge new employees’ first impressions of your organization, reasons that star employees stick around, and why employees leave, all of which can inform your strategy for cultivating employee loyalty.

In this section, we'll explain how total rewards compensation can be helpful when trying to cultivate loyalty among your employees.

4. Take a total rewards approach to compensation.

According to our guide to total rewards compensation, “a total rewards approach to compensation is the most viable method of keeping your employees satisfied, increasing retention rates, and growing your organization sustainably.”

This approach encourages employers to view compensation more holistically, offering not only direct compensation and benefits, but also things like:

  • Scheduling flexibility and PTO usage
  • Performance recognition
  • Career development opportunities such as continuing education courses, professional association memberships, and relicensing or recertification opportunities

A total rewards approach to compensation can help you create the kind of internal culture where employees thrive and want to stay. This will encourage them to strive for constant improvement in their roles, boosting retention and loyalty all around.

Transparency can go a long way in helping your employees feel more loyal to your organization.

5. Be transparent about everything.

Transparency is key to building trust and loyalty with your employees. Transparency ensures that both your and your employees’ expectations are clear and can be met. Whether you’re open about compensation or an upcoming merger, employees will appreciate it when you make an effort to keep them updated and involve them in big-picture organizational moves.

It’s also important to be transparent about the negatives. If your nonprofit loses a major source of funding or a client’s relationship with your company sours, employees will want to know. Instead of scaring them away, you’ll show them that your organization has high ethical standards and wants to collaborate with everyone to improve and move forward.

In this section, we'll discuss how an employee recognition program can have a positive impact on your efforts to grow employee loyalty.

6. Set up an employee recognition program.

According to an Apollo Technical article on employee recognition, an employee who receives recognition for their work is 63% more likely to stay at their current job for the next three to six months. What does this mean for you? Frequent and thoughtful recognition is key for ensuring your employees are happy and productive in their roles, which can increase their feelings of loyalty toward your organization.

Here are a number of ways to recognize your employees:

  • Set up an incentive plan, encouraging individuals or teams to meet certain goals to earn a reward, like a gift card or an extra day of PTO.
  • Write thank-you notes for employees that go above and beyond.
  • Give star employees shoutouts in staff meetings or newsletters.
  • Select an employee of the month and give that employee extra perks for the month, like a reserved parking spot.
  • Throw parties or host special lunches or dinners for teams who go above and beyond.

Remember, employee recognition doesn’t have to break the bank. According to our article on low-cost employee recognition, “the point of employee recognition is to make the employee feel valued by the organization.” No matter your budget, you can find a way to incorporate recognition into your strategy for cultivating employee loyalty.

In this section, we'll explain how management training can have a positive influence on employee loyalty at your organization.

7. Provide management training.

Management training can help your employees—from those in entry-level positions all the way to those in top-level management roles—learn more about how your organization works and what it means to be a good boss. These opportunities can help employees who aspire to be in a management role and provide insight for others interested in learning more about why their boss makes the decisions they do.

Offer management training sessions to your employees in which you discuss how you run your organization and how managers fit into the organization’s hierarchy. Create spaces for open discussions about good management techniques, like active listening and providing feedback, so that both managers and their direct reports can get more out of their relationships with management.

Remember, teaching your employees what it means to be a great manager won’t mean much if you don’t live by what you talk about in training. Actively apply the advice you give in training to show your employees how to put it into action themselves.

In this section, we'll give you some reasons that prioritizing employee health is good for employee loyalty.

8. Promote employee health.

Employees will feel more connected to your organization when your organization promotes healthy ways of living. Why? Because employees want to know that you see them as people, not just parts of an always-working machine. There are a variety of ways you can promote healthy living, including:

  • Offer a mental health stipend.
  • Hold daily or weekly workplace yoga, meditation, or stretching sessions.
  • Keep your breakroom stocked with fresh fruits, vegetables, and caffeine-free beverages.
  • Encourage teams to take walking meetings.
  • Enter teams of interested employees in fun runs or walk-a-thons.
  • Install standing or cycling desks.
  • Invite a sleep expert to present to your employees about getting the rest they need.
  • Host challenges to see which department can walk the most steps or drink the recommended amount of water every day for a certain period of time.

Show your employees that you care about them and their well-being by incorporating more health initiatives into their day-to-day tasks. They’ll be more satisfied and happy with their jobs, as they’ll feel like your organization is a place where they can both develop professionally and maintain or improve their mental, physical, and emotional health.

In this section, we'll show you how faciliating social events can help you cultivate employee loyalty.

9. Facilitate social events.

Employees need friends at work to enjoy their jobs and want to stay with your organization. To create an environment where friendships can grow, host social events. These events can be big or small. For example, you might organize an after-work happy hour, take the office out for lunch, host a holiday party, or even set up an employee trip to an amusement park.

Ask your employees for suggestions and be sure to listen. They’ll let you know what social opportunities are the best fit for them, and they’ll love the chance to meet people from other departments and develop memories outside of their day-to-day work with each other.

In this section, we'll walk you through how career development opportunities can have an impact on employee loyalty.

10. Provide career development opportunities.

Another great way to increase your employees’ loyalty to your organization is to offer them career development opportunities. Career development opportunities are likely already part of your organization’s talent management process. But also thinking about them as something that employees want and need to feel more invested in their work can help your efforts to increase loyalty.

Here are some popular opportunities you can offer your employees:

This graphic illustrates the many career development opportunities you can offer your employees that will help you grow employee loyalty at your organization.
  • Stretch Assignments: These are out-of-the-ordinary assignments that require employees to learn and develop a new skill.
  • Cross-Functional Teamwork: This gives employees the opportunity to work with a team or department they usually don’t get to interact with in the scope of their daily duties.
  • Continuing Ed Courses: Continuing education courses, especially those that offer continuing education credits, can give your employees the chance to learn from experts in their field.
  • Recertification/Relicensing Opportunities: If your industry requires employees to recertify or relicense, your organization can provide study materials and pay for the relicensing exams to encourage employees to keep their skills sharp.
  • Conferences and Webinars: Provide your employees with opportunities to network and mingle with people in their field, allowing them to develop professional relationships and keep up with new industry knowledge.
  • Association Memberships: Associations create a community of professionals within the same field and provide opportunities like networking, conferences, workshops, and social events to help your employees grow their professional networks.
  • Management Training: In-house management training can help your employees develop a stronger understanding of how your organization works, how they can get the most out of their relationships with their managers, and how they can work toward a management position.

No matter where your employees are in their professional lives, it’s always a good idea to promote continuous learning and improvement. Providing career development opportunities like these can help you develop a great reputation with your employees as you encourage them to learn and grow within your organization.

In this section, we'll explore how championing diversity and inclusion can help you with your efforts to improve employee loyalty.

11. Focus on diversity and inclusion.

According to Glassdoor, 76% of employees and job seekers report that diversity is an important factor when they evaluate companies and jobs. Work with your organization’s top leaders to evaluate your Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) efforts. You might need to take action to adopt fairer hiring practices or to revise your compensation approach.

Remember, it’s not enough to just talk about DEI. Your employees want to see you making real, positive changes in the workplace.

In this section, we'll look at how empowering employees to give back to their communities can boost employee loyalty.

12. Empower employees to give back.

Employees love to see opportunities from their employers to give back to the community. Opportunities to donate or volunteer enrich employees’ lives, and they also boost your reputation in your local area. Here are some opportunities you might consider offering:

This is a clipboard image that notes three ways you can empower your employees to give back to the community: donation matching, volunteer grants, and corporate volunteer days.
  • Donation Matching: One of the most popular ways for employees to give back is to donate to causes they care about. Try offering gift matching to help employees increase their donations’ impact. To learn more about the good that gift matching can do, check out 360MatchPro’s article on corporate giving and philanthropy.
  • Volunteer Grants: Volunteer grants are donations organizations make to nonprofits where their employees regularly volunteer. These grants encourage employees to volunteer more and can be a great boon to nonprofits.
  • Corporate Volunteer Days: When you organize a corporate volunteer day, you’re arranging for all of your employees to participate in a nonprofit’s cause for the day. Whether you’re building a new playground or tutoring school kids, your employees will find fulfillment in lending a helping hand on these designated days.

If giving back is something that your organization values, providing opportunities for employees to do the same communicates to them that your organization is consistent and has a genuine desire to do good. As you look for ways to help your employees make a difference in your community, you’ll likely notice an increase in dedication to your organization.

In this section, we make the case for showing appreciation for the little things in the name of employee loyalty.

13. Show appreciation for the little things.

When it comes to recognizing your employees or communicating how appreciated they are, remember to thank them for the little things. An employee might clean the coffee pot, water the office plants, or take notes in a meeting without being asked. Be sure to tell them “thank you.” Those two words can go a long way in making your employee feel like they belong at your organization.

Another great way to bolster employee loyalty is to change up the routine for your workers.

14. Change up the routine.

Sometimes the best thing you can do for your employees is to shake things up. A change in routine can be a lot of fun, relieve stress, and reset your team to be more productive. Try out one of these ideas:

  • Hosting a work retreat
  • Surprising your employees with catered breakfast or lunch
  • Bringing in therapy dogs for employees to interact with for an afternoon
  • Hosting meetings in different locations, like outside of your office building
  • Switching out office chairs for exercise balls for a day

Monotony can turn into a retention risk. By demonstrating that your organization works hard to make each day fresh and new, you can make a positive impression on your employees.

When you put forth a real effort to listen to your employees' feedback, you'll notice employee loyalty getting stronger.

15. Listen to your employees’ feedback.

To feel invested in their work and loyal to your organization, employees need to know that when they give their managers feedback, suggestions, or ideas, they are being heard. Surveys are a great tool for getting feedback from your employees. When employees can remain anonymous, there’s less pressure to keep their ideas to themselves and more encouragement to share what’s on their minds.

To learn more about surveys and to choose survey questions that will help you get actionable feedback, we suggest working with an HR consultant. A consultant can help you design a survey, administer it, understand the survey responses, and implement positive changes to make your organization a better place to work.

In this section, we'll wrap up this post on employee loyalty and point you toward useful additional resources for learning more.

Wrapping Up

Employee loyalty is complex, and your employees’ feelings about your organization can change on a regular basis. However, when you apply the “secret sauce” and work to demonstrate your loyalty to your employees by applying the tips we’ve discussed in this article, you’ll start to see more dedication to and investment in your organization’s work.

To get expert help with your efforts to cultivate employee loyalty, reach out to an HR consulting firm like Astron Solutions. Astron Solutions can provide you with the services and solutions you need to improve your employer brand and keep your organization moving forward.

Interested in learning more? Check out these additional resources:

This CTA encourages readers to learn more about Astron Solutions' services and solutions for employee loyalty.

Cybersecurity Concerns Related to Ukraine / Russian Conflict

As the Ukraine / Russian conflict continues, many people and organizations have expressed concerns about the potential for cyber-warfare and potential impact on their organizations and/or people.

If you answer yes to any of the following questions, then your organization and/or personnel may indeed be facing greater than usual threats as a result of this conflict:

  1. You have operations in Russian or the Ukraine
  2. You have personnel working in Russia or the Ukraine
  3. You support journalism, research, or activism (especially human rights) in Russia or the Ukraine
  4. You are responsible for US critical infrastructure such as power, gas, water, or hospitals

Most people and organizations will answer no to all those questions. For those of you, the situation has not meaningfully changed. Your most significant threat is from cyber criminals and criminal organizations that wish to take your money. They will attempt to do this by tricking you (e.g. business email compromise and gift card scams) or through ransomware attacks or various other means.

Your best defense is a solid foundation of cybersecurity. At the absolute minimum you should:

  • Using multi-factor authentication on ALL your business critical applications
  • Ensure all your devices and software are patched – running up-to-date versions
  • Ensure you have verifiable, secure backups of all of your critical data
  • Train your staff regularly on cybersecurity awareness

You may also wish to inform your staff to be extra cautious of phishing attempts (via email, text or social media) on current news events, in this case, any communication purporting to be about Ukraine or Russia.

We do not advise trying to perform a year’s worth of security projects in a week. To paraphrase an ancient proverb,

“The best time to have started a comprehensive security program was several years ago. The next best time is today.”

Data Ethics and Privacy for Nonprofits

Data Ethics and Privacy for Nonprofits

We are proud to announce a joint webinar with LA Tech4Good’s Technology Lead, Rachel Whaley and RoundTable Technology’s VP of Data Strategy, Kim Snyder presenting “Data Ethics and Privacy for Nonprofits”.

Does your nonprofit collect potentially sensitive data from clients or staff? Do you want to be sure you’re doing the right thing with the data you collect? Join us on Thursday, March 31st at 2pm EST for an introduction to principles of data ethics and privacy.

During this educational webinar we will be discussing the following topics:

– Fundamental principles of data ethics and privacy
– The case for tackling ethics and privacy concerns at the same time
– How to incorporate both into a data management program
– Frameworks for tackling data ethics
– Common ethics and privacy questions to ask when establishing information management program

2022 Nonprofit Trend Report Overview

2022 Nonprofit Trend Report Overview

As we move deeper into 2022, many of the issues that have impacted the sector in 2020 and 2021 continue to affect us in 2022. The Covid pandemic doesn’t appear to be ending anytime soon, Nonprofits are faced with the Great Resignation, supply shortages, cyber security threats, and lack of funding. If Nonprofits are fully aware of the issues they are facing they can hopefully get ahead of them and make the most of 2022.

IMPACT OF COVID:

The Coronavirus continues to take a center stage and it will for most, if not all of 2022.

  • Change in WorkForce: 55% of all employees want a hybrid work model, it is what they have become accustomed to over the last 2 years, so nonprofits need to relook at their structure to determine if this is possible and how they can continue to ensure that these employees are effective remote.
  • Vaccination/Mask Policies: Organizations will need to continue to monitor the ever-changing regulatory environment and remain compliant as employees’ and constituents’ safety remain a top priority.
  • Start and Stop of services: We expect there to continue to be the need to be flexible to ensure that everyone is able to pivot at a moment’s notice, especially after we all just witnessed the aggressive nature of the omicron variant. We are predicting to see more of a return of services to pre-pandemic levels by the 3rd or 4th quarter.

THE GREAT RESIGNATION:

19 million US workers quit their job between April and September 2021. Causing remaining team members to be carrying more responsibility than they were in the past. To combat this and retain employees we must look at multiple things:

  • Developing Strong Leadership: Employees are not as connected to an organization as they once were, they are instead connected to their team and leadership. It is important to look at your leaders and ensure that they are working effectively with their teams.
  • Flexible work schedule: People’s priorities have shifted to more of a focus on work-life balance, family, travel, etc.
  • Prioritize your people: Employees are looking for added benefits and a priority on mental health.
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: This needs to be more than policies, it should be part of your organizational DNA.
  • Increased Salaries: Nonprofits can expect to have to provide raises of at least 3-6%.

FUNDING:

Nonprofits need to develop budgets and contingency budgets, being ready to react quickly. CARES Act funding has dried up and with inflation, organizations should expect a potential rise in cost. Plus, with volunteerism down 66%, those services you once had volunteers for, may now require you to hire staff for. As a result, it is increasingly important to relook at your fundraising strategy:

  • Using SMS marketing strategy as opposed to email, we are seeing text messages have a 99% open rate, while emails have a 33% rate.
  • Make your website mobile-friendly, we are all spending more and more time on our phones and less and less on our computers. You need to work to ensure that people can easily make donations from their phones.
  • Make it easy for people to donate with apps like PayPal, Apple Pay, and Google Pay.
  • We will see a continued rise in Crypto Currency donations. Last year, on giving Tuesday $2.4 million in crypto was donated, which is 583% more than the previous year’s Giving Tuesday. Don’t miss out make sure you are set up to receive crypto donations.
  • Be personal. Don’t just reach out for end of year giving, form meaningful relationships with your donor’s and increase monthly giving.
  • Make asks relatable. People want to have an idea of what impact their money is making (examples: a book in the hand of a child, housing for a month, etc.).
  • Expect technology to continue to play a big role in events going forward. Have streaming options and text communications throughout your event to make sure everyone can be a part of it.

CYBER SECURITY:

We are all seeing an increase in Cybersecurity issues. According to the Institute for Critical Infrasturuce Technology, 50% of nonprofits have experienced a ransomware attack. In order to protect the data of your volunteers, constituents, and donors it is important to take these threats seriously. Nonprofits should look at options for cybersecurity training to ensure their employees are aware of what to look for and how to avoid these threats.

WORKSPACE TRENDS:

In the last 2 years we have seen a shift in how we use our space, clean our spaces, capacity of space, etc.

  • Space will need to be more malleable to meet the changing needs of the organization on a day-to-day basis.
  • Re-evaluate office space, on average, office space cost $5,000 per person per year. Relook at your space … do you need it all? Can you renegotiate your lease to downsize?
  • With hybrid schedules office staff is constantly rotating and people will most likely not have permanent desks anymore, this will increase the need for disinfection and will require more durable furniture.

With us being a little more than a month into 2022, we see things continuing to change and pivot. If the last two years have taught us anything it is that anything is possible. So continue to be flexible as we move forward.

Check out our full Trends Report Here and see what professionals in the nonprofit sector see as the upcoming trends in fundraising, office space, marketing, technology, and more.

This article was also featured in our newsletter NFP Advisor Vol. 25

Kenneth R. Cerini, CPA, CFP, FABFA

KENNETH R. CERINI, CPA, CFP, FABFA

Managing Partner

Ken is the Managing Partner of Cerini & Associates, LLP and is the executive responsible for the administration of our not-for-profit and educational provider practice groups. In addition to his extensive audit experience, Ken has been directly involved in providing consulting services for nonprofits and educational facilities of all sizes throughout New York State in such areas as cost reporting, financial analysis, Medicaid compliance, government audit representation, rate maximization, board training, budgeting and forecasting, and more.

Infrastructure Bill Ends ERC Early but Provides other Funding Opportunities

Infrastructure Bill Ends ERC Early but Provides other Funding Opportunities

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is a $1.2 trillion bill that provides funding for roads, bridges, ports, and railroads including highway safety programs and public transit, as well as investments in water and power infrastructure, broadband internet, climate initiatives, and environmental remediation.  

Read on to see how this bill impacts nonprofits.

Early termination of the Employee Retention Credit (ERC)

  • Program ends one quarter early – The Act terminates ERC as of September 30, 2021 for all employers but a recovery startup business (RSB).
    • An RSB is a business that began operations after February 15, 2020 and had less than $1 million in revenue for each of the prior three years and does not meet either ERC eligibility test (business suspension or gross receipts test).
    • An RSB may claim the ERC for both the third and fourth quarter of 2021 but the credit is limited to $50K per quarter for all employees.
  • Deadline reminder – As a reminder for our clients and friends – employers who didn’t claim the ERC on their originally filed quarterly payroll tax return (Form 941) may retroactively claim it by filing an amended return (941-X). Employers have three years from the date the original return was filed, or two years from the date taxes were paid, to claim the ERC.

Funding opportunities for nonprofits

  • Priority investments – The Act prioritizes investments into two main categories: transportation and infrastructure.
    • Transportation investments include funding for highways, bridges, rails, airports, ports, and public transit, as well as investments in transportation safety, electric vehicle infrastructure, and reconnecting communities.
    • Infrastructure investments include funding for clean water, climate control, environmental remediation, and broadband access.
  • New or expanded grant programs – Nonprofits who support transportation and infrastructure initiatives may be eligible to receive funding – directly or indirectly through states and local governments – from new or expanded grant programs.
  • Direct opportunities – Below are just a few examples of programs under which nonprofits may be eligible to receive funding:
    • Planning and/or capital construction grants for the renovation or replacement of a facility that restores community connectivity (Sec. 11509)
    • Advanced transportation research pilot program grants (Sec. 25013)
    • Grants for nonprofits partnering with public schools to assist with energy improvements (Sec. 40541)
    • Pilot program for energy efficiency materials projects that result in energy or fuel use reductions (Sec. 40542)
    • Grants to increase internet access and the adoption of broadband (Sec. 60305)
    • Grants to improve residential and community recycling programs through public education and outreach (Sec. 70402)
    • Grants to nonprofit organizations that support minority business enterprises (Sec. 100401)
  • Indirect opportunities – Below are examples of programs under which nonprofits may be eligible to receive state appropriations:
    • Establishing safe school routes for children in primary, middle, and high schools (Sec. 11119)
    • Projects that seek to achieve a reduction in the number of wildlife-vehicle collisions (Sec. 11123)
    • Grants for electric vehicle charging and fueling infrastructure (Sec. 11401)
    • Testing or compliance monitoring for and remediation of lead contamination in drinking water at schools and childcare programs (Sec. 50110)

Cryptocurrency reporting requirements

  • On brokers – The Act imposes cryptocurrency reporting requirements on brokers providing transfers of digital assets. For purposes of the Act, a broker is defined as any person who (for consideration) is responsible for regularly providing any service effectuating transfers of digital assets on behalf of another person.
  • Required information – Cryptocurrency information is required to be reported to both the IRS and to customers, including gross proceeds from the sale of digital assets as well as amounts of capital gains.
  • Focus on transparency – One of the goals of the new legislation is to reduce the underreporting of cryptocurrency gains, which are already required to be reported on income tax returns.
  • Effective date – The new reporting requirements are effective January 1, 2023 (tax returns filed in 2024).

YPTC is here to help – in the coming months, federal agencies and states will be releasing information on grant applications and program requirements.  Your YPTC Associate can help your organization gather the documentation needed to apply, determine the proper accounting treatment for grants and contracts received under the Act, and assist with ongoing compliance. 

AM MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: PNP Staffing Group

PNP STAFFING

We recently sat down with Gayle Brandel, CEO of PNP Staffing Group to talk about her company and the importance of the Salary Report PNP produces each year, and how this year, in particular, is critical in gathering as many surveys as possible in order to help the nonprofit industry.

NRH: Tell us about PNP and the services it provides

GB: Since 1996, PNP Staffing Group, also known as Professionals for NonProfits, has been providing talent exclusively to the nonprofit sector.  Specializing in Executive Search and Direct Hire, Interim Professionals, Consultants, Temp-To-Hire, and Contract/Temporary Staff – offering a single source of staffing solutions a nonprofit might need.    

Our specialties are in the areas of Executive management, Fundraising and Development, Finance, Human Resources, Program Management, Database, and Office Support.  

NRH: Can you tell us a little about your role at PNP?

GB: I currently serve as the CEO of PNP. Prior to founding PNP, I served in a financial and business management capacity in numerous leading NYC nonprofit institutions. I have extensive strategic talent management, and capacity-building experience.  But above all, I am committed to helping nonprofits make smart hiring decisions.

I sit on several nonprofit Boards, have authored numerous articles on hiring, retention, and professional development for publications in this sector.

NRH: Can you tell us a little about your team at PNP?

GB: Our team is comprised of a diverse group of executives and recruiters who have many years of experience in the nonprofit sector.  Team members have been with PNP between 7 to 22 years.  Our expertise, experience, and connections to leaders in the sector help us reach the top 10% of talent in the marketplace to bring the best staff to help nonprofits sustain their missions and advance capacity.  

NRH: What is  PNP’s motto?

GB: We believe in the power of nonprofits to make a difference in people’s lives and are proud that PNP provides the staff to help make that difference.  

NRH: Gayle, can you explain what the Salary Report is and why it is so important for nonprofit organizations to take the time to complete and submit the survey?

GB: Every summer we start gathering salary information from nonprofits by sending out a salary survey to the sector. It is critical that as many people as possible fill out the survey so that our information on our Salary Report is accurate.  PNP’s Annual Salary Report for Nonprofits provides hiring managers with valuable salary information to help them compete effectively for talent in the marketplace.  This free report is available every November. 

NRH: What would you say is the key to a nonprofit organization’s success?

GB: I would say the key to an organization’s success and sustainability, large or small, is the quality of its staff.  In addition, a staff that is diverse tends to be more innovative and productive.  Diversity, equity, and inclusion are at the core of all our placements as we spread a wide net in the marketplace for the best talent for our clients.  

NRH: What are the goals for PNP as you move forward into the future?

GB:  We always strive to provide staffing expertise and service to our current clients and to expand our reach more fully into the association sector and universities. In addition, we would like to increase our partnerships with companies providing services in the sector to be able to offer more robust services to clients.  

We would like to thank Gayle for spending some time with us and for all this great information.

If you want more information about Gayle, PNP Staffing, or would like to access the salary survey, white papers, and other valuable resources, go to www.pnpstaffinggroup.com.

Lost in Translation: Bridging the Gap Between Development and Finance

Join YPTC for an interactive discussion on breaking down and overcoming the most common barriers to collaborative relationships between development and finance staff.

Learning Objectives:

1. Discuss common barriers that can cause the breakdown of collaborative relationships between development and finance staff

2. Share common reporting differences between development and finance departments

3. Identify solutions that support collaboration between departments

4. Provide tips for building collaborative relationships between development and finance staff

Powered By Professionals

Powered by Professionals (PBP) (https://www.poweredbyprofessionals.com/) is a national fundraising and event management firm, based in New York City, that specializes in helping charity and non-profit organizations exceed their fundraising goals. Utilizing their unique strategic approach (https://www.poweredbyprofessionals.com/fundraising/), PBP identifies the key individuals involved in your organization including board members, honorees, and committee members, and works with them to transition their personal relationships into fundraising relationships.

Over the last 20 years, PBP has worked with over 100 nonprofit organizations (https://www.poweredbyprofessionals.com/clients/) to maximize their fundraising efforts and in the process have managed and produced hundreds of in-person, virtual, and hybrid events (https://www.poweredbyprofessionals.com/production/), resulting in close to $150 million raised for these charities.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, PBP has been at the forefront of the virtual and hybrid event space (https://www.poweredbyprofessionals.com/hybrid-and-virtual-events/), working with dozens of nonprofits to rethink their fundraising strategy and take both their event and fundraising online. Here are a few tips from PBP that can help you plan a successful virtual fundraising event (https://www.poweredbyprofessionals.com/nonprofit-virtual-event-examples/):

MAP OUT YOUR EVENT

Whether you are looking to go hybrid or fully virtual for your annual fundraising gala, awareness run/walk, or benefit concert, you will need to determine your event format and how you envision it happening so that the rest of the event planning falls into place. Once you have figured out what parts of your event you want prerecorded vs. live, create an event timeline (https://www.poweredbyprofessionals.com/event-timelines/) and run of show to start outlaying your event planning process.

IDENTIFY YOUR TECH PARTNERS

There are so many types of virtual event platforms available now; it can be difficult to decide which to use. PBP is constantly exploring new platforms and revisiting existing ones, as the platforms are continuously evolving and adding new services. Sometimes a combination of different tech platforms works best for your event. PBP has a couple blog posts that can help you pick the best platform for your organization linked here (https://www.poweredbyprofessionals.com/virtual-event-tech-questions/) and here (https://www.poweredbyprofessionals.com/vendor-highlight-tech-platforms/).

REHEARSE!

You cannot rehearse too much. If your event has live components, you will need to make sure all your speakers know how to access the event, when they will be seen on screen, and how they will interact with the audience. Even if your event is fully prerecorded, you will need to watch your video content many times to find the best places to put any graphics, make sure the videos transition well, and that your program’s message is clear to the audience. The more you rehearse, the more flawless your event will be because you will be able to pick up little details you may not have thought of before.

For more virtual and hybrid event fundraising and event planning tips, tune into our webinar on September 21, where PBP CEO and Founder, Darren Port, will be discussing how to adapt your event and fundraising strategy in a world of COVID-19 uncertainty. More information about the webinar and how to register is below.

Register for the webinar here.