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Nonprofit Radio for January 8, 2016: Don’t Burn Out in 2016 & The PATH for Charities

Big Nonprofit Ideas for the Other 95%

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Paul Loeb: Don’t Burn Out in 2016

Paul Loeb

Paul Loeb has been doing social change since the Vietnam War and his most recent books are “Soul Of a Citizen” and “The Impossible Will Take a Little While.” After nearly 50 years of activisim, he has a lot to recommend about keeping yourself motivated day-after-day. We talked at Opportunity Collaboration 2015 in Ixtapa, Mexico.

Gene Takagi: The PATH for Charities

Gene Takagi
Gene Takagi

The PATH Act signed by President Obama late last month includes 3 key items for charities: IRA Rollover, conservation easements & food inventory gifts. Gene explains them all. He’s our legal contributor and principal of NEO, the Nonprofit & Exempt Organizations Law Group.


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Hello and welcome to tony martignetti non-profit radio big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. I’m your aptly named host happy new year to the live and podcast listeners happy new year again for our affiliate listeners. They had a special show last week. Happy new year, everybody! We have a listener of the week! Susan hurt on twitter she’s at susan hurt bassett. She has a thing for basset hounds clearly, and she volunteers at open door animal sanctuary in st louis, missouri. She volunteers and listens to non-profit radio, and she doesn’t merely listen, quote, i have learned a tremendous amount of valuable information from you, and i’m so inspired by your optimism and generosity, you are a true inspiration. Is that the best you can do? Susan really mean like no comparison even to god or anything like that? Susan hurt listener of the week congratulations and thank you so much for loving non-profit radio oh, i’m glad you’re with me. I’d be thrown into a log. Akufo sis, if i heard you say the words i missed today’s show, don’t burn out in twenty sixteen paul lobe has been doing social change since the vietnam war and his most recent books are soul of a citizen, and the impossible will take a little while. After nearly fifty years of activism, he has a lot to recommend about keeping yourself motivated. Day after day, we talked that opportunity collaboration twenty fifteen in x top of mexico on the beach and the path for charities. The path act, signed by president obama just late last month, includes three key items for charities the ira rollover, permanent conservation easements and food inventory gif ts jean explains them all place he’s got some other stuff for us, he’s, our legal contributor and principle of neo the non-profit and exempt organizations law group on tony’s take two thank you. We’re sponsored by pursuing full service fund-raising data driven and technology enabled, you’ll raise more money pursuant dot com. We’re also sponsored by crowdster online and mobile fund-raising software for non-profits welcome crowdster and thank you for supporting non-profit radio crowdster dot com here is paul lobe don’t burn out in twenty sixteen. Welcome to tony martignetti non-profit radio coverage of opportunity collaboration twenty fifteen we’re back on the beach in x top of mexico with me is paul lobe. He’s, the author, most recently of soul of a citizen and the impossible, will take a little while, plus three other books before those those two have sold over a quarter million copies, you’ll find paul lobe the impossible dot org’s polo. Welcome to the show. Glad to be here. Thanks. I’m glad we’re together on the beach. I want to talk about avoiding burnout. A lot of your work for decades. Going back to the seventies is in activism. Citizen activism, right? Taco actually, let’s. Start with a cool story that i heard you tell about rosa parks. So it’s. Interesting. Because rosa parks is the sort of story that everyone thinks they know. You know, i can go. I can be overseas and people know the name. I can talk to eleven year olds and they know the name. Oh, yeah. She’s the lady on the bus. But what’s interesting to me is that most people know in a certain version and they know it as one day she was writing on this bus and sort of just feed retired. She just refused out of nowhere and single handedly launched the civil rights movement. You know, all by yourself is this lone heroic woman. And i get very frustrated when i hear that story because duitz it strips away the context that’s, so important. I understand that actually is much more empowering that that story. And so i look in there several elements. There’s the one he is that’s, their mistake, the element of community. So she at that point is the secretary of the end of the civil rights organization in montgomery, alabama. And she has worked for dozen years. With the co founded by her husband, that particular chapter was a barber in the city and she’s doing these sort of humble towns, like getting people to come to meetings and all the stuff that certainly is not going to make the history books or the network news or even page six of the local paper. And when you take that away and you take out all the other people that she’s working with, it becomes a sort of lone crusade, which is very much a mythology of our culture. I mean, you know, one of things i sometimes bright lad in the language around social on for ownership is lone hero. Super person. Yeah, but she’s part of a community that she’s built and there’s others in it. There’s ah, a union organizer, gotomeeting nixon who’s, the head of the local. At that point, he’s, the person who gets a very young and reluctant martin luther king involved king is all these excuses. He’s young he’s, new in town is king was reluctant to join. He was reluctant to join. Yeah, he’s reluctant step for we think of them as leaping forward, but at that point he has not really fully he’s not embraced that path. He’s still, you know well, i i’ve got divinity school. I’m going to be a minister and it’s not at all clear, that that’s going to be his direction. So he’s looking, i think warily at it and there’s a phrase i used the perfect standard, which is the notion that you need to know everything be the perfect place in your life be the combination of sort of albert einstein, gandhi, king wonder woman, mother grace, you know, add seven other people. You know, none of us is ever going to get there so and it’s also about the perfect time and place. And of course he he’s saying, well, it’s not the perfect time in place. I’m too young. I’m do knew all the excuses, you know, in his case elements of truth, but he’s their excuses. And so it’s nixon, who persists, gets king involved. And montgomery is where the world hears the king as well as in rosa parks. So when you strip that away and you make it the long hero, it ends up, i would say, being very disempowering to people, even though think it’s an inspiring story because they have to be as her work as the perceived the problem with rosa parks pristine rosa parks as opposed to the real heroism which is doing the stuff day after day after day hyre and then the second element is that they think it is a sort of accidental action. One day, her feet hurt buy-in there she wasn’t the first person refused to move to the back of the bus. There was a young woman who was actually unmarried and pregnant, they decided not from the youth section not to build a campaign around because they’re up against enough as it is latto strategic decision and these parks had got the summer before arrests, going to trainings at a place called highlander center labor and civil rights center still going in tennessee despite being burned at once by the group klux klan and so she’s meeting with an earlier generation of civil rights activists smaller moving but still certainly present and when she acts it’s intentional, intentional doesn’t mean she knows the outcome. I always said that, there’s a two, two aspects one is, you’ve gotta have a leap of faith, the minister, jim waller’s from the social justice magazine, sojourner says hope is believing in spite of the evidence and then watching the evidence change. Yeah, so, you know, by your actions, you change and you have believe in faith about the possibility, but right next to that is intentionality, which just means you’ll be strategic. So you’re looking at you’re saying, ok, what you want accomplished? How do we get there? Who are allies are the obstacles? How do we get the resource is how do we carry it out? How do we tell our stories? All the practical stuff? Of course they had to deal with that montgomery and and when parks took that leap, she also knew that it was going to be part of intentional campaign. They would run his best they could, and, you know, they’d see where late and it is, yeah, i love the story because of the intentionality aspect, and that leads us to the social change work the people are doing now, right? And where we get to the potential for burn out in all this day after day after day after work that is so intentional and so time consuming, right? And and so and so emotionally fraught. And the stakes could be, like death and disappointing. Yes. And i just pointing, yeah, yeah, you know, never enough resource is all of those kinds of things. So so i think there’s a third element that’s missing is perseverance, which is okay, you know, twelve years, if she gives up in your tender rate, we’ve never so and so and so that that carries into that question of burnout resisted. You have to keep going. So let’s, spend some time talking about empowering people toe, right? Not burn out in their day to day work as they’re going about their struggles. Where? Wherever in the world yeah, you you believe a lot in support and they do. And the disempowerment of isolation, isolation is the killer. I mean, when you feel like you’re the only one, you’re up against everything, but when you change it to okay, we’re up against a lot. But there is a on the wii doesn’t have to be thousands of people. It can be three or four people that are the ones that you rely on but it’s so easy. I mean, i i find myself i run a project. That i found it that gets students engaged in elections using the resource is of the colleges and universities shut that out, what’s the name, the campus election engagement project, listselect dot or yeah, it’s really demanding on, you know, re sources and on also sometimes, you know, really hard personnel situations and, you know, because this comes up, you hire people and sometimes problems that you and i, rem number one particularly acute situation, which really wass i mean, it was just the kind of thing we are going to details that just wrenches your heart, wrenches yourself on it had the potential to destroy the organization and and just trying to deal with my own and then, you know, call. I talked to a friend who we have really wonderful street newspaper in seattle where i live real change that we’re homeless, people sell it, and it’s, partly professional staff partly almost poses a great model and, you know, i just called my friend who ran it it’s like, ok, tim, why don’t i d’oh it’s like, you know, you really you know, this is something that you can’t you’re not large enough to handle this on your area on you know, you just hear this, you have to be ableto, you know, hard as it is to say, this person can’t be apart the organization because, you know, it’s just this otherwise you’ll be in constant crisis that we need to have support yeah, it could be it could be colleagues similarly situated in the community or across the country, right? Yeah, i could be with funders even made the tech with technologies we have, you know, it doesn’t have to be geographically focused, yeah, but you do have tohave and you have to have a team of folks i mean, on the other side is we’re doing, like, i mean, i’m asking people in my election project to basically take the culture of a college or university, get access to the administration, and we go in through some networks that they tend to work with, but even still, you know, and the student government convinced them to do something that they haven’t done before, or now that some of them now they have done because they worked with us, which is to make a priority of registering their students to vote and getting to reflect on issues and helping them turn out of the poles and all non partisan does this last? Lorts yeah, and i mean, we’re just think, okay, here it is, here’s how we’ve done it before go do it and so it’s hard. So, you know, part of even like, working it’s harder working virtually, but we have our conference calls each, you know, in the heat of it geever and me, we’re gonna do a video and we don’t go hang out or whatever, and we’re supporting each other, we’re appreciating each other’s successes were brain streaming through the do the project, we also have coaching the cohesion in the group is what sort of were being extremely were being extremely intentional cohesion doesn’t happen automatically were laughing and making jokes were talking about did something cool happened in your personal life? Two be able to sort of give people the sense that it’s not just because in our particular case, they really are physically on their own there’s not somebody in an office, but they’re off on a college campus know whether off where if they happen to live, and then they’re either talking by phone or visit making site. This is tow campuses, but they don’t have the calling next to them. So we try and very intentionally create that community because otherwise they will burn you’re tuned to non-profit radio. Tony martignetti also hosts a podcast for the chronicle of philanthropy. Fund-raising fundamentals is a quick ten minute burst of fund-raising insights, published once a month. Tony’s guests are expert in crowdfunding, mobile giving event fund-raising direct mail and donor cultivation. Really, all the fund-raising issues that make you wonder, am i doing this right? Is there a better way there is? Find the fund-raising fundamentals archive it. Tony martignetti dot com that’s marketmesuite n e t t i remember there’s, a g before the end, thousands of listeners have subscribed on itunes. You can also learn maura, the chronicle website, philanthropy dot com fund-raising fundamentals, the better way. Yeah. About in in recruitment, there’s gotta be there’s gotta be things that you look for bringing people to the organization that are going to help create this cohesion, you know, it’s a good question, i’m not, and i wouldn’t say i’ve always been perfect at it. I would have had my share of fallibility, but i do think that, you know, as i learn and we all do, you know, that being able to i mean, have a strong sense of self but also know that you’re not going to do it all on your own know that you’re going to be working with others no, that have a sense of humor. I mean, if you’ve got a sense of humor and helps help cement slim and you see people in just, you know, dealing with the hardest possible, heart wrenching situations and there’s a sort of i mean, somebody called gallows humor, which french trenches humor has in-kind wartime or whatever guys get you through it’s so important in prison culture, they talk about the brotherhood of suffering, yeah, it helps to be that cohesive group, right? And so, you know, one of the stories i tell in the impossible. Take a little while is you know, they’re breaking it. Robben island prison in south africa. You know, they’re telling mandela and all those other folks, you know, you are going to rot here. The world has forgotten about you. You will never leave here alive. They isolate him in every way they can. And so they’re breaking rocks in a prison courtyard and they start whistling a freedom song and just just that, you know, okay, we’re not allowed to have this political conversation, but we all know what this means, and they’re they’re ice. They’re denied newspapers and, you know, further isolate him and they see a guard. Who’s got his tuna fish sandwich wrapped in a newspaper and throws, you know, it’s sam with sores on his paper in the trash, i take it, you know, surreptitiously under their shirt, they see a story that they think might give each other heart. And in a kind of coded script on toilet paper’s only paper. Most of them had access to the right, you know, just something that will tell that story of the outside world so that you are connected to the outside world into each other and then they pass it hand in hand, you know, when they’re waiting, you know, had lunch or whatever, but they have a chance in the yard. Yeah, so it’s just it’s those air extreme situations, but they also suggests to me that and this is the lesson of both soul of a citizen and be impossible to take a little while that in any situation, you know, you don’t have to be faced in prison. But if you’re doing difficult work, you need that camaraderie. You need that community. And you have got to be, you know, recently intentional about trading it about the scope of the work of the organization being judicious about what the organization takes on, right. So it’s not straying from mission and and stressing stressing in killing staff? Well, yeah, i think we are. I mean, i think we all face that challenge because if you’re trying to do something, i mean, i have the needs are so great, the needs are so great. And i always encourage people to think really large and to tackle big systems on a lot of times. There’s a tendency to sort of yeah, which describe it. It’s i think there’s a value in that more delimited personal work, it’s i don’t want to demean it in any way. Hyre but i remember stanford students saying very well meaning lee um, i’ve learned so much volunteering at this homeless shelter, i hope my grandchildren get the opportunity to volunteer at the same homeless shelter that i have and as his friends sort of try to gently remind him that really wasn’t the point. And so if you’re working at the homeless shelter, which is great, you wantto look upstream and you want to be able to say, okay, what am i learning from this one on one encounter? And how do i buy-in with others and joined together others to tackle homelessness on a larger platform? Because if you don’t it’s just going to the endless parade of need, so i think that that’s true and at the same time, well, where do you draw the bounds? And you look around at the issues and there poverty and inequality and climate change and, you know, went on and on, you know, police violence, i’ve got stuff on on on how do you deal with all of it? And so i think part of it is just you do have to think about what your capacity is. You do have to think about the past people. I tend to be somebody who thinks large and tries to get my project and staff to think large and probably, you know, maybe drives them a little too hard. But by my national directories is one of twenty eight year old is pretty good at balancing. All right? You know, this is what we can ask people to do. And if they do it, well, that will matter. But i have this wonderful friend who i nufer years who died at a hundred to is an environmental activist. And of course, you know what time she reaches our, you know, late eighties and nineties, um, you know, you’re asking your weather sees her secret of longevity is certainly but also her secret of being able to keep doing this work. Yeah, on dh. So, you know, one of the phrases she does that you know, you you do what you can, you can’t do everything you have to say no to people, but you could do what you can and then you could do some more, and you could do that your entire life. And then she also another point she was talking about reviving our spirits and she said, you know, you go kayaking, you go hiking, shooting both into her nineties, and she gets the mist of a smile and she says, then you come back ready to take on exxon, you know, so she’s willing to take on exxon, but she also knows that she has to go do those other things to renew her soul, you know? And, you know, and humor and just she on this sort of goes to the recruitment to you, right? You recruiting hole people? Yeah, you have other interests beyond the work that you’re you’re hiring them for your not recruiting robot? Yeah, no, absolutely. And so i think having, you know, having people who really are just i mean, it’s hard because i always when people are passionate about the car, but also but not one dimensional, but no one dimension. Yeah, yeah, and not, you know, we’re not recruiting robots. What about the idea of the bored as potential support you, you know, in times again, times of burnout. We’re not talking about yeah, fiduciary responsibilities, but hyre valuable to have a couple of trusted board members who, you know, i would you can’t trust confide in i mean, i would say the trusted people can be anywhere, so i think, you know, if they’re on the board that’s terrific, you know? And there was also i mean, sometimes you sort of worry, will you exposure in, er, you know, the afraid of the classic phrase about politics and sausage making it’s like you really don’t want to see how the sausage is made? I mean, there was there at least those those sure are mediators and made sausage sometimes i really don’t want to see how it’s made and, you know, do you expose the inner workings that boardmember than thinking, oh, my god, this is like, you know, we’re in crisis, we’re in crisis, you know, you know, and the same things too, with funders, i mean, certainly myself, you know, there’s funders who i have a very serious, trusting relationship you really do want to know and who i trust if they recognise that oh, everything is not going perfectly, but this is true in any organization and is not and is perfectly compatible with doing astounding work. You know, i remember i had a staffer once was running operation brilliant, brilliant guy and you, you know, innovated. A lot of the things that moved us forward is an organization about at one point he liked to plan, which is good because he brought. He brought us to a higher level of planning, and planning is really good, but at one point, he said, it’s supposed to election, he said, you planned all this stuff out and, you know, it’s all going out, it’s all happening, different blade. Yeah, and i’m like and yes, and that’s always going to be the way it isthe it is gonna happen differently and the planning with good and it makes us respond, you know more effectively, but there’s always going to be if you’re doing anything worthwhile, ambitious enough to be worthwhile, there are always gonna be things coming in from left field and purples and what not and it’s just how about sort of going backto what the one hundred two year old activist saying she kayaks, etcetera, right? And he’s mischievous? I mean, she remember us hundred two years, i think, like he was busy in your party little chablis apartment lived on second, section eight subsidence dilgence social security, which, when she was twenty three years old, is a young union activist should help lobbied through one of the first public pension programs in america became a model for social security, so something she didn’t twenty three or four benefits there are ninety eight and nine, one hundred, and i think her i can’t see what she was talking about her landlord and said, well, you know what? If something happens, you know? Yeah, just dig a hole in the backyard didn’t pretty small letter and take up my case, you know? She just was she didn’t know there was one point. Yeah, there was a reason in central america something there was a congressman did she met. It was very active in the audubon society and who very condescendingly in the way that when does towards the old and the young i said to her, oh, so i hear you’re a birdwatcher like isn’t that? And she said, yes, there’s a lot of birds in washington d c but been watching these days, but i was thinking of the kayaking, she she takes care of herself, she takes care of its just got this wonderful sense of humor, right? And she’s a kayaker and yes, you know, so having similar to recruiting people who aren’t one dimensional, not being one dimensional yourself. Yeah, i mean, you do have to take care of yourself. You do? I’m a big proponent of naps. Yeah, i’ve blogged about the the the the love i have for napping. But whatever it is you do, you need to have something outside. Yeah, yeah, i know. And it’s true and, you know, and again, i think we all wrestle with i mean, i certainly rest that it’s like, yeah, you know, my wife’s going out to see a play? I’m she works very. She works very hard, but in a more contained space, probably ad, you know, and i’m like, yeah, i got this deadline i got to do this, you know? But you know, if i over the years, i’m a runner. And run early sixties been running since i’m fifteen and fortunately, my knees haven’t given out and so, you know, if i go run, i also live in seattle, so i get to run by water. But, you know, if i’m traveling, lecturing on the road, it’s, like i take a break, which because i make it sound like my living, you know, i take a break and i run along usually if there’s water around, i’m going to run along the river or the stream of the, you know, whatever the lake and it just, you know, physically, it flushes me, you know, the toxicity out of you, but it also just, you know, it gives you a space and it’s it’s, you feel better afterwards? Endorphins, there’s lot to be said for endorphins, flood flow. All that stuff suppressing the stress hormones. Yeah, yeah, i can think of offhand. Well, dahna general in one of them. Yeah. Suppressing those. Yeah, and building up endorphins. And yet, yeah. And i think also things like diet. Yeah. He’s getting enough sleep? Yeah, yeah. I mean, i called. I mean, i called the holy trinity of, you know, exercise diet, which includes, um, good supplements. So yeah. Okay. Now, now, there’s not a not on the suicide. Very practical. And you know what? Yeah, you are dealing with serious dressed. This will help. Uh, this will lower your cortisone there’s. Another right doesn’t stretch on and, you know, and sleep, were i my sleep tends not to be that great. So i just figure okay, i’m gonna log nine hours to get a where you get seven and a half, okay? You know, and you know, and that helps about switch gears a bit to the two donor-centric dahna burnout, right? You know, i’ve been doing this. I’ve been supporting this cause a long time. I feel like it’s time to move on. I need any advice around that. Well, i think part of what happens is people have this constant pressure to sort of see the quick short term results and a lot of times howard’s in new york by accepting the impossible take a little while, the greatest story. And he talks about the optimism of uncertain you don’t know when the moment will turn you go backto parks of all the wasn’t like she was doing lots of things for twelve years as they all were one of them little spark. But you couldn’t anticipate which and so i think, it’s, very it’s. Very easy to sort of say that success is for human dignity that we’ve had were inevitable civil rights movement. Of course. Eventually they would have revealed gay rights in eventually. Well, our environmental challenges open question whether we will be able to you do what we need. Well, we are able to do what we need climate change. But they have the will is yeah, the will for it. I mean, right now, you know, the technology is there. Renewables have now passed, you know, they are cheaper than coal. There are equal with fossil fuel without any externalities at all. And you know, when next molly’s it’s not even close, so but will we have the political will? I don’t know. Um, it depends on us and you and the stakes are pretty ultimate because, you know, we’re talking about the habitability of the planet. So, you know, when i when i look at it, you know what i what i see is donors being subject to the same schools is the rest of us, but possibly possibly in a more immediate way because they’re not actual sum of money but a lot of making sure they aren’t in the field, they’re they’re dealing with, you know, with them, you know, then the publicans of hands, possibly and it’s so and they’re getting reports, but they may not even have time to read the reports and, you know, depends on how good the people are a storytelling and so i think and, you know, let’s, be honest, at least some issues, they they may be insulated by privilege, they’re not, you know, they’re not seeing in their social circle, and i remember talking with one of our funders, and she said, well, she has a couple different pieces, like one of her groups, they are just not always down in silicon valley, they are just not at all concerned about this stuff at all and, you know, so she’s in an environment that is not reinforcing her concern yeah, yeah, that’s but, you know, that makes it harder to continue as a donor, then everyone’s talking about these urgent issues and oh, yeah and, you know, here you are, so you’re trying to address them, so i think you know, the challenges well for the rest of us, to try and offer that perspective in our work, which is hard because we’re often mean again, the stakes couldn’t be life and death, you know, they’re huge, even if they’re not immediately life and death wait care passionate about our summit is to myself, it’s like this is what we can do, and we want to put these many people on the ground in our states in time to really work with the school’s for this election and the clock is ticking and, you know, so theo, from the donor perspective, if you want to try and really see that long term, you know, i mean, and of course, you want to be rigorous and you want all the rest of this stuff, but not get but see that long term goal is here long term goal recognize the the short term, the short term impacts we can have, right? And but you also see the longer the wait and see how things build on the other thing i think is, you know, there’s a certain, you know, i would argue that our our culture, including certain the non-profit donor intersection, has that has adopted on obsession with certain kinds of measurement to the detriment of other kinds of metro meant measurement. And so it’s, metrix, metrix, metrix, metrix. And i mean, i mean, i’ve been seattle in a city where it’s particularly talks because we’ve got a tech culture. And yeah, some of the numbers could be exceptionally important. Question about that. But here’s, a story that embodies the process of what’s occurring. That can be equally indicative. And so when you’re trying to evaluate impact, which is a reasonable and good things, you want to take that broad, long term picture. And you want to get the understand all the different ripples of a particular organization you’re supporting our considering supporting on. That that’s that can be as warm or important. Then then the numbers, you know, and not to dismiss the numbers, you know, but another way of measuring there’s qualitative his bed storytelling as well. Yeah, but, you know, in which can include numbers which can include numbers the air of i mean, you know, when i talked to donors, they know we have some very good numbers on our project. Yeah. Mark, best calculations. A couple hundred thousand students who voted our last year who wouldn’t have otherwise? This is huge, you know, for a tiny minute budget of labbate. Ah, half less than half a million dollar budget for that level of impact is amazing. Yeah, yeah. You have about a minute left or so you’ve been doing activism. What? Forty some years? Forty something years. It creeps up on you. What do you love about it? Why do you keep forty you? Why so long? What do you love? Well, some of it’s that the work continues to need to be doing dahna but some of it is that you do. I think the old skills and you build a sense of capability. And you can see things happen that you’ve done or and this is what i would say is that every way the books that i write try a likely impossible soul try to connect people to a broader stream of people working for such for social justice that started way before any of us were born and is going to continue long after we die. And if we feel connected that stream, it can help carry us, and we can help carry others. Add to me that’s a lot of what keeps me doing it because it means that not only do i have a community that supports in the current time, but i have a community historical time, which i could see is supporting, and that makes you an awful lot of difference. Follow-up he’s written five books, most recent, our soul of a citizen and the impossible will take a little while you’ll find him at the impossible dot org’s paul, thank you so much. My pleasure. A real pleasure talking to you. Thanks a lot. On the beach on the durney martignetti non-profit radio coverage of opportunity collaboration. Twenty fifteen. Thanks so much for being with us. Boy was good listening. To that beach on dh paul lobe sharing so much jean takagi and the path act for charities coming up first. Pursuant you know them, they’ve been with non-profit radio for six months supporting us. They have fund-raising management software for small and midsize shops. It’s it’s that simple. Use the tools you need and don’t subscribe to the other ones. I presume you need to raise more money in twenty sixteen than you did twenty fifteen growth is good, they’ve got the tools to help you do that like they’re a prospector and velocity. So check him out. You know what? What? Ah, they’re ideal for small and midsize non-profits what’re you waiting for for pizza pursuant dot com welcome crowdster just like it sounds they do crowdfunding, but not the usual. Their crowd funding sites are elegant and simple and fast, so easy for your admin, though in the back end and super easy for your donors. I had two long talks with ceo joe ferraro, and we both decided that crowdster is perfect for non-profit radio listeners, in fact, he runs a charity himself, which helps orphans globally, and he runs crowdster on the the guy likes to stay busy. What can you say? Um, you can talk to him. You know how i love picking up the phone and talking to people to do business. Give him a call. Five one, six, five o one, ninety three, double six if you want to check them out first crowdster dot com they really do make very good looking sites. Now. It’s time for tony’s. Take two. Thank you for loving non-profit radio over the holidays. I read the testimonials on itunes, which ah, i got a couple of non-profit radio listener that’s what he or she called themselves said tony’s, an animated host who knows how to conduct a good interview black oak games. Even though tony is interviewing the guests, it feels natural and they have a true, too way conversation, which i really appreciate. Back-up richard tony’s, a skillful interviewer who attracts great expert guests, thank you so much for that and all the other comments that air on on itunes and the other feedback i get, especially on twitter, thank you so much. I don’t even i don’t even have a sarcastic come back for those just thank you and you know, i hope. That i always do want your feedback, good or bad? That’s tony’s, take two. I got chink takagi on the line. You know, jean takagi is the managing attorney of neo the non-profit and exempt organizations law group in san francisco. He and it’s the wildly popular non-profit law blogged dot com and he’s at g tack on twitter happy new year jean takagi. Happy new year durney great to be here. Thank you again. This would be your fifth year. I believe we’re beginning your five. I think it’s been a good long run. I’m glad. Glad to have you back another year. That’s. Amazing. Tony and its great teo continue having our conversation. So thank you. All right, um, before we get into the path act, there is something that you alerted me to just happened yesterday. The irs had this proposal for acknowledging gif ts of two hundred fifty dollars, or more. And they have withdrawn the proposal. Can you can you get us up to date? Sure. Um, and so that’s. Ah ah, great new happening for the nonprofit sector. Although we have cem cem maybe controversial or dissenting about about that, we’ll get there. Go. Ahead. Okay. Object in your presentation, please. So let’s, start by saying what? What? What? The proposal wass and it was for providing an alternative for donors tio evidence that they actually have made a charitable contribution of two hundred fifty dollars, arm or under existing laws, donors are required to have a written receipt that contains certain information, including, you know what, the chick who the charity is, what amount of the contribution is, and importantly, there must be a statement on that receipt that says no goods or services were provided by the charity and return assuming that was the case. If donors don’t maintain that receipt, then they could get their deductions denied, even if they had actually made the contributions right. The time of getting that receipt, they must have that receipt in hand, or it must have been prepared before the donor files their tax return. It’s no good to do it after they’ve been audited and can’t produce that. So that was the original problem. So the irs said, well, you know, we should make up a rule that allows the charity tow, have some responsibility as well if they opto have it and it is really important which you’ve pointed out to me, said it is optional for the charity under this new rule, which ultimately was withdrawn. But the proposal was that the charity could file another information, return to the irs with the donor’s name, the amount of the contribution and the donor’s social security number, and that would be in lieu of providing a proper receipts the donor, and meeting those requirements of having a proper written receipt so that would evidence a charitable contribution to charity would take on the burden at its options, and you go about it there’s that the donor loses the receipt, or the charity didn’t issue the receipt with the right information about that no goods or services were provided to the charity. In return, it was still ok, everything was good. The donation was good because charity filed that information return with the irs, that evidence the contribution, that that the big dispute about that and why a lot of non-profit organizations, especially the big advocacy and national organisations got upset was because of the social security numbers that the non-profits would have to collect if they wanted to file that return, right? Ok, s o the need for the social security number makes sense because that’s the identifying part, may that’s the identifying the piece of data so it’s clear why it’s needed, and i just want to point out that this has been a problem just taking a little step back. It’s been a problem where donors and you and i have talked about this, so i make it clear for everybody. Donors have had their deductions denied because they don’t get or don’t keep well, i guess it’s more don’t get from the from the non-profits that contemporaneous acknowledgment that they need so this has been a problem area. And as you said, iris was trying to address it. You were, i’ll give you first shot we have is we didn’t really have a difference of opinion on the substance of this, that there was something around it that was troubling me. But you were very much opposed to this and a lot of others. You’re right. The big dick secure. Oops around the concern about that having that social security number metoo yeah. Thanks for letting me first time. Yeah. You know, the big problem is identity theft is a huge and growing problem both for individuals and the country itself. Identity theft is a huge problem, and the federal government has been i’m saying as a matter of policy, t people into agencies don’t collect social security numbers unless you absolutely have to, because there’s a danger in not adequately protecting them. So if non-profits opted to do this, they would have to make sure that they had adequate protections not to allow those social security numbers to get into other people’s hands. Andi so that was one of the big problems is could non-profit adequately protect the social security numbers if they didn’t really understand the rules regarding protection of what it’s called personally identifiable information that would allow people teo steal a person’s identity and there are a lot of laws around that and non-profits probably don’t know many of those laws and might accept the burden of taking on the ocean security numbers and filing that new information returned because they didn’t know about the laws, and that would create more liability for charities. That was the big problem. The other problem that comes up a scam artist would now be able to call donors. And ask for their social security numbers on behalf of a charity that they know that the donors are associating with so they might show up at a charity event. No, get to meet some people there, give them a call and ask for the social security numbers is part of the scam saying that they represent the charity, get that social security number and then commit identity, you know, theft that way as well. But those are a couple of the big, big problem that we had with this and, well, i’ll let you go next, and i have an additional tried t try to be civil about these things now in the place where we different was was not the substance i agree with your concerns and all the other agencies and and bloggers who are concerned about the substance of what opting in would mean my disagreement was why do we presume? It seemed like so many people were presuming that non-profits weren’t bright enough? Tow opt out of this, remember it’s totally optional. So why are we presuming that non-profits would opt in with great, vast unawareness of what it means to protect someone? Social security number versus presuming that the non-profits would say, you know that that opens up it’s up to some real potential liability and expenses of protection and software. So let us not opt in it’s a great point, and i don’t want to be little the expertise on dh ah skill that that non-profit leaders bring throughout the country, and certainly there are smart leaders throughout the sector, and the sector is the most trusted of all of the sectors by far and there’s reason for that. On the other hand, tony, last five years we’ve had more than six hundred thousand non-profit organisations lose their tax exemptions for failure to file with the irs. We’ve also had probably more than half of the organization’s they’ll tow register and states to engage in charitable solicitations in the state. Um, and, you know, part of that has to do just with a failure to understand some of the laws that may apply in the laws change from time to time, creating new requirements, which is case with the irs and smaller non-profits having to file all of a sudden, but also there had been a lack of really enforcement by different agencies. On non-profits because non-profits were trusted so much and a lot of scandals that have been coming up, you know, mostly because of the media attention that focused on a really pew of very isolated number. But very bad actors now has raised the enforcement level from from all the agencies. And because non-profits are not used to this level enforcement, it could easily oversee the neto to really adequately protect itself on legal compliance issues and that’s what we see a lot really well intentioned non-profits really bright leaders, but not being used to this level of enforcement. That’s our big concern with social security numbers. All right, let’s, go out for a break, gene, you and i’ll keep talking about this subject for just ah, a couple of minutes after the break, and then we got to move on to the path act. Um all right, so keep it civil. I do have to have something to say in response, but let’s, let’s, take a break and gene and i’ll be right back. Like what you’re hearing a non-profit radio tony’s got more on youtube, you’ll find clips from stand up comedy tv spots and exclusive interviews catch guests like seth gordon. Craig newmark, the founder of craigslist marquis of eco enterprises, charles best from donors choose dot org’s aria finger do something that worked neo-sage levine from new york universities heimans center on philanthropy tony tweets to he finds the best content from the most knowledgeable, interesting people in and around non-profits to share on his stream. If you have valuable info, he wants to re tweet you during the show. You can join the conversation on twitter using hashtag non-profit radio twitter is an easy way to reach tony he’s at tony martignetti narasimhan t i g e n e t t i remember there’s a g before the end he hosts a podcast for the chronicle of philanthropy fund-raising fundamentals is a short monthly show devoted to getting over your fund-raising hartals just like non-profit radio, toni talks to leading thinkers, experts and cool people with great ideas. As one fan said, tony picks their brains and i don’t have to leave my office fund-raising fundamentals was recently dubbed the most helpful non-profit podcast you have ever heard. You can also join the conversation on facebook, where you can ask questions before or after the show. The guests were there, too. Get insider show alerts by email. Tony tells you who’s on each week and always includes link so that you can contact, i guess, directly. To sign up, visit the facebook page for tony martignetti dot com. Lively conversation. Top trends. Sound advice, that’s, tony martignetti non-profit radio. And i’m ken berger from charity navigator. We have such a treasure trove of drops that occasionally people move on. So that was king burger, formerly ceo of charity navigator. Sam will have teo to take that one out of the rotation, but there are many others. Okay, jeanne, now you mentioned the way can’t devote a couple more minutes of this and we’ll get carried away. You mentioned, you know, the six hundred thousand or so now that lost their tax exempt status for failure to file three years in a row, even just a little return little postcard. But we know that a lot of those were defunct, you know, out of out of commission organizations. Not all but a lot of those were that were so they wouldn’t be soliciting. Continue. Teo, get donations anyway of any size. All right? And then you you mentioned charity registration that hits my sweet spot. Of course, we know that i do that part of my practices, keeping charity’s compliant in each state where they are soliciting donations on your right there’s a lot of lack of awareness. I say that a lot when i’m speaking in training and even for those who are aware there’s a lot of misunderstanding of it. So i i grant that i just ah, sametz dahna from, you know, it’s, just the seams, the constant presumption that charity’s won’t figure it out and do it correctly. Andi, just not up to opt in. Ah. Okay, i guess. You know, i’m pretty much just repeating myself. I don’t know anything else you want to. You want to add to that to that discussion? Well, i’ll just add that if donors really want to be sure that they’re going to get a deduction, they should really just ask the charities to make sure that they maintain permanently the receipt that was issued to them at the time. So if the donor loses at the charity will maintain it permanently, or at least for the number of years where they could go back, um, to make that deduction and that will have the same effect. Okay. Okay. But i mean, donors have responsibility too. You know, the charity sends you an acknowledgement letter or e mails it to you. You want to save it, you know. Ah, charity’s only do so much for tow. Hand hold their donors and then it becomes the donor’s. Fault. Really? Okay. Um, let’s move to the path act protecting americans against tax hike. I believe as a path and there’s ah, there’s stuff in there for charities. And most significantly, the ira rollover made permanent. Yeah, i mean it’s a really interesting act and is part of this greater bill that was signed into law but there’s three charitable giving provisions that were originally established this temporary laws and year by year they were extended for for the following year. But because congress would wait until, like, december of each year to make retroactive so effective for the previous night, that was so annoying, they would do it like november or october or something and give you, you know, thirty days or sixty days to market and promote it infinite into your your fourth quarter, but busiest time fund-raising plan. It was crazy. Yeah, and sometimes it what? There wasn’t enough time, particularly with the ira charitable roll over. So let’s talk about the diver roll over first, so that the provisions of the ira charitable roll over, which was first available in two thousand seven, allowed individuals age seventeen and a half older to donate up to one hundred thousand from their traditional or their roth iras latto eligible public charity. So no donor buy-in funds, no private foundations, no supporting work. And you didn’t have to count those distributions to charities as taxable income. Yes, very important. Yeah. And so that would be separate because i mean otherwise. At seventeen and a half, you have to start taking distribution from your iras and that’s typically taxable income to you. So instead of taking it and then making a gift of it, which you know you could get a terrible contribution from you just don’t include it in your income. It all right? So right. The nice thing about about that if you don’t get it, actually not included his income and take a charitable deduction because that would be double dipping, but but you don’t reflected in your gross income, which has a lot of different benefits that it that are even better than it’s been getting a charitable deductions so you don’t want to recognize it is income and then take it as a deduction. You want to make sure this is done right? Which means that the ira has to be made directly to the public charity and eggs. I can’t go through you first as an individual and then tow a public charity. Right there is there is an exception to that gene. If, ah, one of the years it was, it was available, there was ah, you know what they call them? Not private letter rulings, but attacks alert or something that if the charity writes the check payable to the sorry the ira custodian, your ira custodian writes the cheque payable to the charity and sends that to you and then you that you then convey that check to the charity that’s. Okay, that that does qualify as a as what? This is really a qualified charitable distributions. Technically, not a roll over, but i just want to say so that’s a possibility. And the other way, the other group of people that this could be really valuable for is non itemizers. Because if you’re not itemizing you, don’t you don’t earn a chat, you know, claim a charitable federal income tax deduction. You take the standard deduction, but you can benefit from this. Roll over and be a non itemizers. Still get the benefit? Yeah. That’s absolutely right. So most people don’t itemize their deductions, so getting a lower growth income on dh, lower taxable income, in effect is much, much better than nothing at all, which is what would happen if you’re a non itemizers and you make a gift to cherish and, of course, that’s a big benefit. Also another benefit of a lower growth income, which would happen by making the charitable roll over, is that your tax treatment of social security benefits is better and you have a lower medicare premium as well, right there they’re all based on taxable income thresholds, right? Exactly right? So the extent you can keep your taxable income lower, you’ll you’ll get you’ll have greater benefits in the store security area and and others too very true, and we don’t want to get too much into this, i think is an hour to go through them, but another big benefit of certain states charging income tax to their residents, the state income tax, but i don’t recognize a charitable contribution deduction for state income tax purposes, but they will take the lower growth income based on the charitable contribution exactly made from from the ira. So again, another benefit that you wouldn’t get if you took in the ira as income and then made a gift out, so this rollover provisions is really beneficial and has been seen tio for the years that it’s been around has been seen to be a very, very valuable tool for forgetting jean. We have to we have to move past that now because we promised people all three components of the path act and we only have about a minute and a half left, so i’m going to sort of summarize the first one for gifts of food inventory. Non si corporations can now can now deduct ah greater amount up to their basis there there cost plus fifty percent of the fair market value and for non si corpse that used to be limited to just your basis in that food inventory. If i even the playing field now so that small businesses could get the same benefit big businesses which are typical, see corporations so really nice to see that you can get not only a deduction of your coffee of the food that you’re donating, but half of the profits you would have made if you sold it and well. Seymour contributions from food to food banks because of that. Excellent. Okay. And you got to be concise on the third one. I’ll let you go. We just have a minute left. Okay? Landowners can deduct the value of a conservation easements land that they’re giving up their development rights over so that there’s preserve preservation natural resource is the old rule. Thirty percent of your adjusted gross income for up to six years could be deducted. The new rule. Fifty percent of your adjusted gross, thinkin and up to sixteen years. So really promoting land conservation. That’s why i let gene explain it. You see how much more articulately and concisely he does it than i do. Thank you, jean. Thanks. Study. Jean takagi, managing attorney of neo non-profit exempt organizations, law group and our monthly legal contributor. You’ll find him on twitter at g tak g t a next week. Tips from maria part do maria sample back with smart tips from her book magnify your business if you missed any part of today’s show, find it on tony martignetti dot com where in the world else would you go? There’s little flat on go i’m still thinking about this for twenty sixteen, i’m not. I’m not sure. Responsive by pursuing online tools for small and midsize non-profits data driven and technology enabled pursuing dot com. We’re also sponsored by crowdster. Welcome again, online and mobile fund-raising software for non-profits crowdster dotcom are creative producers. Claire meyerhoff, sam legal, which is the line producer. Gavin dollars, are am and fm outreach director, and the show’s social media is by dina russell. Our music is by scott stein. Be with me next week for non-profit radio big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent go out and degree. Yeah. What’s not to love about non-profit radio tony gets the best guests check this out from seth godin this’s the first revolution since tv nineteen fifty and henry ford nineteen twenty it’s the revolution of our lifetime here’s a smart, simple idea from craigslist founder craig newmark yeah insights, orn presentation or anything? People don’t really need the fancy stuff they need something which is simple and fast. When’s the best time to post on facebook facebook’s andrew noise nose at traffic is at an all time hyre on nine a m or eight pm so that’s, when you should be posting your most meaningful post here’s aria finger ceo of do something dot or ge young people are not going to be involved in social change if it’s boring and they don’t see the impact of what they’re doing. So you got to make it fun and applicable to these young people look so otherwise a fifteen and sixteen year old they have better things to do if they have xbox, they have tv, they have their cell phones. Me dar is the founder of idealist took two or three years for foundation staff, sort of dane toe add an email address card, it was like it was phone. This email thing is right and that’s why should i give it away? Charles best founded donors choose dot or ge somehow they’ve gotten in touch kind of off line as it were on dh and no two exchanges of brownies and visits and physical gift. Mark echo is the founder and ceo of eco enterprises. You may be wearing his hoodies and shirts. Tony, talk to him. Yeah, you know, i just i i’m a big believer that’s not what you make in life. It sze, you know, tell you make people feel this is public radio host majora carter. Innovation is in the power of understanding that you don’t just put money on a situation expected to hell. You put money in a situation and invested and expect it to grow and savvy advice for success from eric sabiston. What separates those who achieve from those who do not is in direct proportion to one’s ability to ask others for help. The smartest experts and leading thinkers air on tony martignetti non-profit radio big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent.