Tag Archives: management

Dear Housing Works Thrift Shops

On Thursday, Oct. 11 at about 5:15pm I intended to donate a bookcase clock to your Gramercy Thrift Shop. I had been carrying it around all day with Housing Works in mind.

While in the bag the clock unscrewed from its pedestal and I screwed it back in. The young woman accepting donations saw that and when I put it on the counter she laughed. The clock swivels in its pedestal and I surmise she decided it was broken and a worthless item.

When I asked her for an explanation she insisted, “Nothing is wrong” and chuckled when I accepted her offer of a donation form. Her unsuppressed snickering turned me off and moved me to withdraw my donation. She offered no apology or explanation.

She’s [description omitted]. The clock is 2 years old from Bombay Company.

Your thrift operations need to be more attentive to hiring and training.

I have donated to the Gramercy store previously and bought from there. My most meaningful purchases were a $250 chair with ottoman and a $100 file cabinet. I have bought smaller items as well.

Your inconsiderate employee cost you a donor and buyer.

I blog on philanthropy and fundraising. I may well blog this as an example of what not to do.

Sincerely,
Tony Martignetti

I emailed that to Housing Works’ vice president for development on a Sunday. He emailed me back on Monday:

So sorry to learn about your experience at the Thrift Shops. I’ve forwarded your email to our director of stores. I expect that you’ll hear back from her shortly.

Please know that we appreciate your generous support over the years and we hope that this experience doesn’t completely end our relationship with you. Staff training is very much important to us; however, we sometimes fall short of our customer service goals.

Feel free to call me at any time; my contact info is below.

Housing Works’ director of stores left me two messages on Tuesday. She was very apologetic. I called her back but we haven’t spoken.

Rather than an example of what not to do, which I anticipated, it’s representative of the right way to handle a customer complaint.

Well done, Housing Works.

Nonprofit Radio for August 24, 2012: Campaign Volunteers & Fiscal Sponsorships

Big Nonprofit Ideas for the Other 95%

Listen live or archive:

Tony’s Guests:

Rich Foss
Rich Foss: Campaign Volunteers

Rich Foss, author of Greenlight Fundraising, on the importance of volunteer leadership in your campaign. How to recruit your chair and lead donor; the other volunteers you need in place; and what their jobs are. He has job descriptions and other resources that will go up on LinkedIn and Facebook.

 

Gene Takagi & Emily Chan
Gene Takagi & Emily Chan: Fiscal Sponsorships

Our regular legal contributors, Gene Takagi and Emily Chan of the Nonprofit & Exempt Organizations Law Group (NEO), make sense of this complicated relationship. What it is; why your office might become a sponsor and what that looks like; how to get started.

 


Top Trends. Sound Advice. Lively Conversation.

You’re on the air and on target as I delve into the big issues facing your nonprofit—and your career.

If you have big dreams but an average budget, tune in to Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio.

I interview the best in the business on every topic from board relations, fundraising, social media and compliance, to technology, accounting, volunteer management, finance, marketing and beyond. Always with you in mind.

When and where: Talking Alternative Radio, Fridays, 1-2PM Eastern

Sign-up for show alerts!

Here is a link to the audio podcast: 106: Campaign Volunteers & Fiscal Sponsorship. You can also subscribe on iTunes to get it automatically.

IRS Filing Prompts Charity Registration Compliance

Last week I used Mary J. Blige’s foundation as an example of a noncompliant charity and opened an explanation of why it’s important to register your charity in each state where it solicits donations.

Here’s a motivation I didn’t mention last week: IRS Form 990.

If you’re required to file Form 990 annually, rather than one of the shorter annual forms like 990-EZ or 990-N (the postcard), then you’re answering questions about whether your charity is complying with state registration laws.

The alternate forms for smaller charities (based on gross receipts and/or total assets) don’t inquire about that.

For 990 filers, take a look at Part VI, question 17. (Use the link above to view the form.) It asks you to, “List the states with which a copy of this Form 990 is required to be filed.” Submitting the form is a basic request in every state registration regimen.

If you’re required to register in a state, you are required to submit the 990. (I speculated last week that not having its 990 ready may be why Ms. Blige’s charity hadn’t kept up with its New York registration.)

Charities required to file Schedule G of the 990 (who’s required?) will have their interest piqued by Part I, question 3: “List all states in which the organization is registered or licensed to solicit contributions or has been notified it is exempt from registration or licensing.”

That’s straightforward reporting of your compliance with state laws.

To blatantly nitpick, there is another possibility beyond registration and notification of exemption. Many states allow you to decide for yourself that you’re exempt. You won’t get notified by those states.

This is all quite interesting. A federal agency’s form asking about your compliance with state laws. Might that information be shared with states? I don’t see evidence that it is now, but I have heard rumblings about greater cooperation between IRS and state charities bureaus.

To round out your 990 thrills, the form is signed under penalty of perjury by an officer. It best be filled out honestly.

Nonprofit Radio, May 4, 2012: Survey Savvy & Content Marketing

Big Nonprofit Ideas for the Other 95%

Listen live or archive:

My Guests:

Paul Gearan
Paul Gearan: Survey Savvy

Paul Gearan, a partner at Professional Survey Group, explains how surveys are cultivation tools for your donors. You can increase awareness of your work; gauge willingness to support; heighten sensitivity to challenges; and get feedback on how you’re doing. But you have to do it right if you want reliable results.

Please take a moment to take the survey for this week’s discussion with Paul. You’ll find it here at the end of the guest and segment descriptions. Thank you! If you could also share it with other nonprofit professionals, I would appreciate it.

Scott Koegler
Scott Koegler: Content Marketing

Scott Koegler is our long-standing technology contributor and the editor of Nonprofit Technology News. This month he encourages you to give away high quality, interesting content through your blog. You are blogging, right?

 
 
 
 


Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

Here is a link to the survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CXHJPHR


Top Trends. Sound Advice. Lively Conversation.

You’re on the air and on target as I delve into the big issues facing your nonprofit—and your career.

If you have big dreams but a small budget, tune in to Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio.

I interview the best in the business on every topic from board relations, fundraising, social media and compliance, to technology, accounting, volunteer management, finance, marketing and beyond. Always with you in mind.

Sign-up for show alerts!

“Like” the show’s Facebook page, and join us on LinkedIn too.

Make sure to tune in at 1pm ET on Friday and you can share your observations on Twitter by using the #NonprofitRadio hashtag on Twitter.

Here is the link to the audio podcast: 090: Survey Savvy & Content Marketing.

Nonprofit Radio for October 14, 2011: Giving Beyond The Check: Non-Cash Giving & Proactive Prospect Research

Big Nonprofit Ideas for the Other 95%

You can subscribe on iTunes and listen anytime, anyplace on the device of your choice.

Tony’s Guests:

Michael King
Michael King: Giving Beyond The Check: Non-Cash Giving

Recorded at the National Conference on Philanthropic Planning last week in San Antonio, Michael King of the National Christian Foundation shares the processes for closing gifts of unusual assets like collectibles, real estate and intellectual property.

Maria Semple
Maria Semple: Proactive Prospect Research

Regular contributor, Maria Semple, The Prospect Finder, follows-up on her last spot by going into greater detail on making your small shop prospect research proactive.

 

Top Trends. Sound Advice. Lively Conversation.

You’re on the air and on target as I delve into the big issues facing your nonprofit—and your career.

If you have big dreams but an average budget, tune in to Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio.

I interview the best in the business on every topic from board relations, fundraising, social media and compliance, to technology, accounting, volunteer management, finance, marketing and beyond. Always with you in mind.

When and where: Talking Alternative Radio, Fridays, 1-2PM Eastern

Sign-up for show alerts!

“Like” the show’s Facebook page.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the show’s podcast on iTunes. Download and listen whenever and wherever you want.

Here is a link to the podcast: 063: Non-Cash Giving