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The Commons – Our Blog

News, Tips, & Insights from Staff & Guests

News, Tips, & Insights from Staff & Guests

Welcome to The Commons, 501 Commons' new blog, where we'll be sharing:

  • How-tos, tips, and tricks from nonprofit tech, finance, HR, and other areas
  • News and updates about upcoming events, programs, and services
  • Thought-provoking pieces around topics, such as skills-based volunteerism, nonprofit management, and more
  • Stories from clients about the impact of 501 Commons' programs and services

Plus, we invite your comments! Add your thoughts to these posts, so our blog truly becomes "The Commons."

Treasury and IRS Withdraws Proposed Nonprofit Gift Substantiation Rule Change

Published Jan 21, 2016 11:20 AM

After receiving more than 38,000 comments from the general public, the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service decided to withdraw a proposed rule change that would have permitted, but not required, nonprofits to file a return that would include the social security numbers (and other information) of donors who contributed gifts worth more than $250. Congratulations on making your voices heard!

Treasury and IRS Withdraws Proposed Nonprofit Gift Substantiation Rule Change - Read More…

Wishing You Success in the New Year!

Published Jan 19, 2016 09:35 AM

Nonprofits in the state of Washington that made a New Year's resolution to strengthen their organization in 2016 can count on 501 Commons to provide a broad range of expertise and hands-on assistance to make that a reality. We will offer a diverse lineup of cohort programs, direct services, consulting help, and free resources this year that can help make 2016 your most successful year yet!

Wishing You Success in the New Year! - Read More…

The Case for Writing Your Own Documentation

Published Dec 28, 2015 02:50 PM

Documentation is important when planning, implementing and improving upon a technology project. Unfortunately, both process and technical documentation tend to get pushed to the side by organizations. We provide a compelling case for why you should write your own documentation, how you can use it for maximum benefit, and helpful tools to get you started.

The Case for Writing Your Own Documentation - Read More…

DemandTools: The Swiss Army Knife for Salesforce

Published Dec 18, 2015 12:20 PM

DemandTools is a data quality and data cleansing tool that is free for any 501c3 nonprofit organization that uses Salesforce for their database needs. Able to handle just about any database management task you might have, DemandTools is free to download if you provide them your 501c3 letter. We recommend, however, you consult a Salesforce expert to ensure you are able to use the tool properly. Learn more!

DemandTools: The Swiss Army Knife for Salesforce - Read More…

The IRS Needs to Hear From Nonprofit Board Leaders

Published Dec 11, 2015 03:40 PM

We are passing along a message from BoardSource, an online resource for nonprofit board leaders. We are asking that you provide the IRS valuable feedback about a drastic new rule change that would require some nonprofits to collect their donors' social security numbers. Our position is that this change will make donors more hesitant to give and would cost nonprofits heavily in the need for additional cyber-security measures.

The IRS Needs to Hear From Nonprofit Board Leaders - Read More…

Mark Your Calendars: The Next King County Executive Director Forum is on Dec. 18

Published Dec 04, 2015 10:46 AM

The Executive Director Forum is a unique opportunity for nonprofit EDs/CEOs to connect with their peers, share ideas, and learn from each other in a supportive environment. In each session you will visit three discussion groups facilitated by an outstanding leader. This round includes Sallie Neillie from Project Access Northwest, Jake Weber from FamilyWorks, and Sharonne Navas from Equity in Education Coalition.

Mark Your Calendars: The Next King County Executive Director Forum is on Dec. 18 - Read More…

The Relationship between the Executive Director and Board Chair  Affects Organizational Success

The Relationship between the Executive Director and Board Chair Affects Organizational Success

Published Dec 02, 2015 04:20 PM

In any nonprofit organization, no relationship is more crucial than the one between the executive director/CEO and the board chairperson. However, it takes time and commitment to create a relationship that works. An investment in an expert facilitator who can help set the groundwork for an effective working relationship will pay dividends for everyone at the organization. Read what Sherry Jennings (Sound Governance) has to say about this topic.

The Relationship between the Executive Director and Board Chair Affects Organizational Success - Read More…

Helpful Resources: A Meeting of the Minds

Published Nov 30, 2015 10:12 AM

Meetings provide opportunities to exchange ideas, learn about organizational successes and challenges and hatch plans for organizational improvements or program growth. But how can you ensure that a meeting is worth the time and cost and that your meeting goals are met? We provide some helpful resources for making the most out of your meetings of the minds.

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Our Impact Across the State of Washington

Published Nov 20, 2015 01:15 PM

Did you know 501 Commons served 15 counties across the state of Washington in 2014? Or that the Executive Service Corps and VIP Manager Corps donated $1.3 million worth of services to nonprofits? We'd like to thank the funders and donors who made accomplishments like these possible. Find out more about the impact our organization made in the nonprofit sector in 2014.

Our Impact Across the State of Washington - Read More…

Hope your #GivingTuesday rocked! Want to plan for next year?

Hope your #GivingTuesday rocked! Want to plan for next year?

Published Nov 13, 2015 01:50 PM

If you didn't participate in #GivingTuesday or want to be prepared to make a stronger push for donations during this holiday-themed crowdfunding campaign next year, we have some helpful tools for you, including a few resources from a recent Giving Tuesday training session hosted by 501 Commons and SeaTech4Good. The presenters came from The Seattle Foundation and Legal Voice.

Hope your #GivingTuesday rocked! Want to plan for next year? - Read More…