Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Bitcoin and Other Virtual Currency

As described in Wikipedia, bitcoin is a software-based online payment system introduced as open-source software in 2009. Payments work peer-to-peer without a central repository, government backing, or a single administrator, which has led the US Treasury to call bitcoin a decentralized virtual currency. Although its status as a currency is disputed, media reports often refer to bitcoin as a "cryptocurrency" or "digital currency."

Merchants have an incentive to accept the digital currency because fees are lower than the 2–3% typically imposed by credit card processors. However bitcoins can be subject to wide price swings, can be stolen, and lack consumer protections.

Along with the growing popularity of Bitcoin,  the number of charitable organizations that accept virtual currencies has been growing. At the same time, so has government scrutiny, creating uncertainty about the continuing value of Bitcoin, Ripple, Litecoin,  and other, smaller currencies.  In March, the Internal  Revenue Service issued its long awaited opinion on the taxation of virtual currencies, ruling they should be treated as property, not currency.  That creates administrative and paperwork problems for those using Bitcoin, but also allows donors to obtain generous charitable income tax deductions for donating Bitcoin that is worth more than they paid for it, just as they do for giving appreciated stock to charity.

Here are a variety of links on Virtual Currency:

How to Donate Bitcoin to Charity and Get a Big Tax Deduction

Bitcoin: How the Charity RNLI is Using the Virtual Currency

How Bitcoin is Used in Combatting Ebola

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Succession Planning

A variety of links on aspects of Succession Planning

Succession Planning for Nonprofits of All Sizes
Exodus of executive directors expected

Executive Transition in the San Diego Nonprofit Sector

Executive Transition Monographs

Nonprofit Leadership Sea Change Requires New Skills

Corporate Social Responsiblity

From Industry Canada
CSR via the Blogs
A variety of articles via our Recent News Blog.

A variety of articles via our International News Blog

Other web material we’ve seen.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Crowd Funding


  • What is Crowd Funding?
  • General Sources
  • Vendors and Platforms
  • Ethical Considerations
  • Best Practices
  • News Links

What is Crowd Funding?

As discussed in Wikipedia (TM), crowd funding refers to the collection of funds through small contributions from many parties in order to finance a particular project or venture, usually on Internet platforms. According to various sources, the term has been used since 2006.

General Sources

For a brief overview of this rapidly changing field plus a list of useful resources and a selection of crowd funding websites, see the following article from Advancing Philanthropy. (Requires login as an AFP member to access.)

How Crowdfunding Helps Engage Donors You Wouldn't Attract in Other Ways


For a short introduction to crowdfunding and steps to get you started, see:

CrowdFundamentals: 11 Steps to Fundraising Success

For a detailed discussion of ethical and legal issues in crowdfunding for nonprofits, see the following article. (Requires a subscription to The Chronicle of Philanthropy.)  For a detailed discussion of current vendors and fee structures, see the entire 9/25/14issue. 

Caution! The Downsides of Crowdfunding

What Is and Is Not Crowd Funding

Do Crowdfunders Have to Register to Solicit?’t-crowdfunders-have-to-register-to-solicit.php

Crowdfunding Controversies and How They Impact Nonprofits and Charities

Vendors and Platforms

The Internet contains hundreds of  crowdfunding vendors and platforms, and the numbers continue to grow. Here are links that mention some of them.

7 Top Crowdfunding Sites for Nonprofits and Higher-Ed Institutions

How to Pick the Best Crowdfunding Platform

Which Crowdfunding Platform Is Best for Your Nonprofit?

Ethical Considerations

Some crowdfunding services charge fees based on a percentage of funds raised. A discussion of when such fees are permissible under the AFP Code of Ethics will be presented in a forthcoming post.

Crowd Funding Best Practices

How Nonprofits Can Leverage Crowdfunding: Best Practices and Data -


News Links

The AFP Recent News Blog contains a variety of additional articles about Crowd Funding:

The AFP Technology Blog also contains some articles about Crowd Funding. (Some overlap occurs.)

Monday, June 23, 2014

Muslim Giving and Inclusive Giving

From AFP

An interview that the Chair did on CBC Radio. You can find it here:

AFP filmed all the sessions and is uploading them to the following YouTube channel (though we’re a little behind in receiving video):

We eventually expect to have these Resources available through the Inclusive Giving Site directly.

Via the AFP Resource Center blogs we have collected the following over time:

Here are a few articles from the web which may be in the above blogs as well:     

 Ramadan food-bank campaign Give 30 expands across Canada

Operating Reserves

The AFP Fundraising Dictionary defines reserves as "assets set aside that usually represent a percentage of an organization’s operating budget for an emergency or other use." An operating reserve may be thought of as a "rainy day" fund--assets set aside to cover unforeseen expenses that may arise.  Compare: CONTINGENCY FUND
Members may find the AFP Fundraising Dictionary Online at:

Note: You must be an AFP member to access the Fundraising Dictionary Online.

The following articles contain information about operating reserve policies and related material:

      Operating Reserve Policy Toolkit for Nonprofit Organizations -Sector Source  
     Operating Reserves | Sustainability | Nonprofit Management ...
     Operating Reserve Policy Toolkit -
     Operating Reserves Policy - Nonprofits Assistance Fund
     Nonprofit Fiscal Policies & Procedures - Compass Point ...
     Operating Reserve and Investment Policy - Colorado Nonprofit
     About Operating Reserves for Nonprofits | Nonprofit ...

     Operating Reserves - National Council of Nonprofits

Readers may also wish to consult the following book available for sale in the AFP online store:

Developing Fundraising Policies and Procedures, Best Practices for Accountability and Transparency