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Archives for June 2019

Pam Baker, CPA, CGFM – Managing Partner – A Recipient of PICPA’s 2019 Women to Watch Awards

Pam Baker, CPA, CGFM – Managing Partner – A Recipient of PICPA’s 2019 Women to Watch Awards

Women of the PICPA have consistently exemplified leadership and mentorship in and outside of the accounting profession throughout the association’s history. They have served as thought leaders and mentors to colleagues within their firms and businesses, and to affiliates of community and professional organizations through their innovative volunteering initiatives.

In recognition of their accomplishments and offerings, the PICPA and the AICPA and present their third annual Women to Watch Awards program.

Read more about the PICPA Women To Watch Awards

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How the New Tax Law Continues to Impact Giving

By: Jeffrey Kowalczyk, CPA CFE CGAP

Since the roll-out of the TCJA in 2017, charitable giving has found a new rhythm. While some areas of charitable giving are in decline, others are rising. In fact, according to Blackbaud’s annual Charitable Giving Report and a Fundraising Effectiveness Project (FEP) recent study, overall giving is on the rise (1.5%, 1.6%, respectively). It appears that the ominous predictions on the demise of charitable giving have yet to come to fruition.

 The Philanthropy Outlook 2019-2020, produced by researchers at the Indiana University Lilly School of Philanthropy, predicts that total giving is expected to increase by 3.4% in 2019 and by 4.1% in 2020. This news is a pleasant surprise to those who only months ago were bracing for demise. The report forecasts a season of growth due mainly in part to above-average progress in the S&P 500 in the preceding and projected years, increases in personal income, and expansion of the prior years’ GDP. Understanding your donors is a great way to anticipate your next move. The Outlook’s insight into expected giving patterns can help you prepare a solid strategy for the future. Below, we have summarized the trends that should be on your radar.

Concerning Individuals

  • Giving will continue to climb in 2019, rising above the year 10-average; however, in 2020, individual donations are expected to surpass the historical 10-year, 25-year, and 40-year annualized average.
  • Growth in personal income, close-to-average growth in household and nonprofit net worth, and above-average growth in the number of itemizers are all cited as factors in influencing giving over this two-year period.

Concerning Foundations & Estates

  • Foundations are expected to increase giving by 7.0% in 2019 and by 6.1% in 2020.
  • Strong growth in the S&P 500 offers foundations room to run with their budgets.
  • As the GDP also continues to climb, a similar trend in giving will emerge; however, analysts note that foundations may choose to defer giving in a period of economic downturn.
  • Estates are expected to increase their giving by 5.4% in 2019 and by 5.6% in 2020.

Concerning Corporations

  • Projections for corporate giving predict an increase of 3.2% in 2019 and 2.6% in 2020.
  • GDP and above-average growth in corporate savings are the reasons for this anticipated growth. However, it is important to note that these numbers are at risk for modulation. An increase in profits sometimes defers company resources away from philanthropic initiatives.

There are conditions; however, that could negatively affect this outlook. The Philanthropy Outlook itemized three potential deviation scenarios.

  1. The Uneven Growth Scenario uses trickle-down economics to explain an increase in individual/household and foundation giving.
  2. The Flat Growth Scenario shows total giving reaching the point of stagnation or decline due to a flattened market and economy.
  3. The Economic Downturn Scenario predicts imminent recession based on trade policy, stock market volatility, and rising interest rates.

While this forecast will help put nonprofit leaders’ minds at ease, it should not become an excuse to become too comfortable. While we continue to monitor tax law changes and their associated impacts on nonprofits, we encourage you to prepare for various scenarios. The professionals in our office can help you come up with a solid strategy to help you sustain and grow your organization. Call us today.

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Foundation Center and GuideStar Join Forces to Become Candid

By: Steven Kutsuflakis, CPA

Foundation Center and GuideStar Join Forces to Become Candid.  What happens when two notable names in the nonprofit industry combine forces? A powerhouse – most appropriately called Candid. The long-awaited merger between GuideStar and the Foundation Center is the result of over ten years of conversations, data mining, and patience for the right time. Candid, a 501c3 nonprofit organization, strives to be a one-stop shop for information on grants and nonprofits.

The strength of the Foundation Center as the leading source for insight on philanthropy worldwide, combined with GuideStar, the leading source of information on nonprofit organizations, gives Candid a solid foundation for success. Although a “new” organization, Candid has a combined 80 years’ worth of experience with various forms of data under its belt.

The new organization, led by Bradford Smith, former president of Foundation Center and Jacob Harold, former president and CEO of GuideStar, will be governed by a board composed of the current trustees of Foundation Center and GuideStar.

According to Smith, the two organizations are joining forces to build on each other’s strengths, using a natural synergy to connect people who want to change the world with the resources they need to succeed. Candid will centralize its inherited data and intelligence in order to inspire, support, and promote smarter giving among its 16 million users.

As Candid continues to synthesize their resources, users are encouraged to access Foundation Center and GuideStar products and services through their respective websites.

With Candid’s upcoming launch, now is a great time to evaluate your organization’s presence on nonprofit watch-dog sites and ensure the information they communicate about your organization is accurate and informative. If you would like to talk about using sites like Candid to maximize your outreach to grantors and donors, please give our office a call.






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Are You Prepared for the Impact of Disaster?

Are You Prepared for the Impact of Disaster?

By: Edmund Fosu-Laryea, CPA

Are You Prepared for the Impact of Disaster? Most nonprofits expect to face challenges in their operations, however many never expect natural disasters, so they neglect to prepare for them. A comprehensive disaster plan can mitigate total devastation and allow your organization to restore operations in a timely manner.

Portland State University and the Nonprofit Association of Oregon (NAO) issued a state-wide survey of Oregon’s nonprofits. The report found that a majority of the organizations neglect 20 of the 36 activities the NAO associates with disaster-resilience best practices. The findings are revealing, considering the respondents live and work in a state that experiences (or has the potential to experience) almost every natural disaster.

It is easy to cast stones, but if you are honest, would you be able to rank your organization’s disaster resilience higher than the nonprofits in the Oregon study?

Below are a few of the NAO’s best practice activities for disaster planning. How many of the items can you check off your list?

  • Attend meetings and discussions, or heard talks about how a major disaster could affect the region
  • Had your building(s) inspected by a structural engineer or other building professional
  • Formed a disaster preparedness committee
  • Developed a written disaster plan for your organization
  • Developed an evacuation plan for your building
  • Obtained an emergency kit for use by your organization in a disaster
  • Made plans to share resources (building, staff, materials, etc.) with other organizations (including government) in the event of a disaster
  • Developed a notification system for staff/volunteers activated in case of an emergency
  • Developed a plan for how your organization would continue operations after an emergency/disaster (contingency plan or business continuity plan)
  • Identified long-term recovery resources (e.g., insurance, physical resources, financial resources)

We cannot stress enough the importance of having a plan in place. Crafting the right plan (or any plan) takes time and resources. Most of the nonprofits in the NAO study cited a lack of personnel and financial resources as a barrier to creating a plan. If you do not have a plan or have not addressed a majority of the items above, the following questions are a great place to start and require minimal resources. Your answers will reveal the nuts and bolts of what it will take to assure continuity of business:

  1. What functions are essential to fulfilling your mission?
  2. What must be done to resume these functions after an interruption of operations?

If you would like to download a copy of the NAO’s robust preparedness checklist, please click here. It is a fantastic resource to help narrow your field of vision. We know that creating a plan takes a healthy amount of due diligence. The professionals in our office are standing by to answer your questions and help you craft the right plan for your organization. We look forward to your call.

About Barbacane, Thornton & Company LLP
Barbacane, Thornton & Company LLP is a highly regarded, regional certified public accounting and consulting firm specializing in auditing and tax services for government agencies and nonprofits. For more information about Barbacane, Thornton & Company LLP, please call (302) 478-8940 or visit




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