ABC's for Exempt Organizations

IRS Exempt Organizations offers the following resources to help the manager of a new exempt organization navigate tax issues. These materials are not comprehensive; for further assistance, consult a tax adviser. 

Twelve Principles of Governance That Power Exceptional Boards

The Source, By BoardSource
Exceptional boards add significant value to their organizations, making a discernible difference
in their advance on mission. Good governance requires the board to balance its role as an
oversight body with its role as a force supporting the organization. The difference between
responsible and exceptional boards lies in thoughtfulness and intentionality, action and
engagement, knowledge and communication. The following twelve principles offer chief
executives a description of an empowered board that is a strategic asset to be leveraged. They
provide board members with a vision of what is possible and a way to add lasting value to the
organization they lead.

Exceptional boards govern in constructive partnership with the chief executive, recognizing that
the effectiveness of the board and chief executive are interdependent. They build this partnership
through trust, candor, respect, and honest communication.
Exceptional boards shape and uphold the mission, articulate a compelling vision, and ensure the
congruence between decisions and core values. They treat questions of mission, vision, and core
values not as exercises to be done once, but as statements of crucial importance to be drilled
down and folded into deliberations.
Exceptional boards allocate time to what matters most and continuously engage in strategic
thinking to hone the organization’s direction. They not only align agendas and goals with
strategic priorities, but also use them for assessing the chief executive, driving meeting agendas,
and shaping board recruitment.
Exceptional boards institutionalize a culture of inquiry, mutual respect, and constructive debate
that leads to sound and shared decision making. They seek more information, question
assumptions, and challenge conclusions so that they may advocate for solutions based on
Exceptional boards are independent-minded. They apply rigorous conflict-of-interest procedures,
and their board members put the interests of the organization above all else when making
decisions. They do not allow their votes to be unduly influenced by loyalty to the chief executive
or by seniority, position, or reputation of fellow board members, staff, or donors.
Excerpted from The Source: Twelve Principles of Governance That Power Exceptional Boards. Washington, DC:
BoardSource 2005. For more information or to order a copy of the complete book, please visit or call 800-883-6262.
Exceptional boards promote an ethos of transparency by ensuring that donors, stakeholders, and
interested members of the public have access to appropriate and accurate information regarding
finances, operations, and results. They also extend transparency internally, ensuring that every
board member has equal access to relevant materials when making decisions.
Exceptional boards promote strong ethical values and disciplined compliance by establishing
appropriate mechanisms for active oversight. They use these mechanisms, such as independent
audits, to ensure accountability and sufficient controls; to deepen their understanding of the
organization; and to reduce the risk of waste, fraud, and abuse.
Exceptional boards link bold visions and ambitious plans to financial support, expertise, and
networks of influence. Linking budgeting to strategic planning, they approve activities that can
be realistically financed with existing or attainable resources, while ensuring that the
organization has the infrastructure and internal capacity it needs.
Exceptional boards are results-oriented. They measure the organization’s progress towards
mission and evaluate the performance of major programs and services. They gauge efficiency,
effectiveness, and impact, while simultaneously assessing the quality of service delivery,
integrating benchmarks against peers, and calculating return on investment.
Exceptional boards purposefully structure themselves to fulfill essential governance duties and to
support organizational priorities. Making governance intentional, not incident al, exceptional
boards invest in structures and practices that can be thoughtfully adapted to changing
Exceptional boards embrace the qualities of a continuous learning organization, evaluating their
own performance and assessing the value they add to the organization. They embed learning
opportunities into routine governance work and in activities outside of the boardroom.
Exceptional boards energize themselves through planned turnover, thoughtful recruitment, and
inclusiveness. They see the correlation between mission, strategy, and board composition, and
they understand the importance of fresh perspectives and the risks of closed groups. They
revitalize themselves through diversity of experience and through continuous recruitment.

What are the legal responsibilities of nonprofit boards?

By: BoardSource

Under well-established principles of nonprofit corporation law, a board member must meet certain standards of conduct and attention in carrying out his or her responsibilities to the organization. Several states have statutes adopting some variation of these duties which would be used in court to determine whether a board member acted improperly. These standards are usually described as the duty of care, the duty of loyalty and the duty of obedience.

Duty of Care

The duty of care describes the level of competence that is expected of a board member, and is commonly expressed as the duty of “care that an ordinarily prudent person would exercise in a like position and under similar circumstances.” This means that a board member owes the duty to exercise reasonable care when he or she makes a decision as a steward of the organization.

Duty of Loyalty

The duty of loyalty is a standard of faithfulness; a board member must give undivided allegiance when making decisions affecting the organization. This means that a board member can never use information obtained as a member for personal gain, but must act in the best interests of the organization.

Duty of Obedience

The duty of obedience requires board members to be faithful to the organization’s mission. They are not permitted to act in a way that is inconsistent with the central goals of the organization. A basis for this rule lies in the public’s trust that the organization will manage donated funds to fulfill the organization’s mission.


Creating a Funder Profile

The research team at GrantStation is dedicated to delivering the most current, reliable, and pertinent information on funders anywhere. You depend on us for your successful grantseeking, so we want to share with you the process we use to develop a Funder Profile. This page explains how we target funders, research their giving guidelines, and write the profiles that you retrieve when searching GrantStation’s Find-a-Funder.

As you’ll see, this is a time-consuming process, but it’s one we undertake with great pride. We do the work for you, so you can point-and-click your way to reliable funders that match your organization’s funding needs.

This research process was created for fundraisers, by fundraisers, so we have you the grantseeker in mind whenever we add a new Funder Profile. No other grantseeking service or directory offers a more accurate set of Funder Profiles, making GrantStation the only grantseeking tool you need to do your research.

Creating a Funder Profile is a four-step process:

  1. Targeting Funders
  2. Researching Funders
  3. Composing Funder Profiles
  4. Updating Funder Profiles

Targeting Funders

The first step of the process is establishing a list of funders who give nationally, and also separate lists of funders who give only in specific states. We scour both the traditional and online sources for establishing these lists. These sources include: state grantmaker directories, email alerts, philanthropy newsletters, corporate giving guides, and both federal and state websites. We are continually targeting new funders and adding them to our master lists.

Once we establish a list of potential funders, we then determine if they meet our criteria. To ensure the most dynamic and efficient database for our subscribers, we include funders that:

  • Accept applications, proposals, or letters of inquiry
  • Give grants and awards (not just scholarships)

Note: In this ever-changing world of mergers and acquisitions, funders may dissolve, change their name or contact information, modify their giving guidelines and priorities, or stop accepting applications altogether. Though we update our profiles regularly, it’s possible that you may encounter these changes before we do. Always check with the funder to make sure their guidelines and priorities haven’t been revised.

Continue reading Creating a Funder Profile

Grant Stations: Partner Depot – Current Announcements about Upcoming Opportunities


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Grants Management Systems (GMS)
Free White Paper to Help Evaluate Grant Management Software

Many nonprofit organizations find the process of tracking and managing grants a tedious task. Sifting through the available management solutions can cause any accountant to tear their hair out. Grants Management Systems (GMS) has spent the last 30 years developing grant and loan management software and has your solution! GMS invites you to download a free white paper, What are the Key Features You Seek for Your Grant Management System?, explaining how to find the right grant management software for your organization. Click here to fill out a request to download the white paper. To sign up for free news updates from GMS click here.

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New Product Donations – First Come, First Served – Includes Clothing, Diapers, Furniture, Office/School Supplies, and Personal Hygiene Items

Recent new product shipments have our warehouses filled near capacity.  If you are a nonprofit or a school, we have product donations available that may help you with your mission.  Right now we have Crayola markers and paints, paper towels, picnic tables, mattresses, Post-It Notes, video games, cleaning products, and DVDs available.  For larger nonprofits, we have pallets and truckloads of products available.  New products arrive nearly every day, so please visit Good360 today to see what’s available today!

Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children: The Foundation of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry

U.S. Charitable Giving Snapshot

The Foundation of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
211 East Chicago Avenue
Suite 1700
Chicago, IL
60611 -2637

Phone: 312-337-2169
Fax: 312-337-6329

Primary Contact:
Ms. Tracey Schilligo
Grant Management and Corporate Relations Coordinator

Geographic Scope:

Type of Organization: Foundation

Total Annual Giving: Not Available

Eligibility Requirements:
Nonprofit organizations, government agencies, hospitals and clinics, colleges of dentistry and medicine, dental societies, and physicians’ groups

Application Deadlines:
Letters of intent: August 15, 2011
(The 2012 deadline will be available in the summer.)

Areas of Interest:
Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children: The Foundation of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry supports service, education, and research that advance the oral health of infants and children through adolescence, including those with special health care needs.

The initiative offers the following grant opportunities:

Access to Care Grants
These matching/challenge grants of up to $20,000 per year support U.S. service initiatives that provide dental care to underserved/limited access children.

Funds may be applied to cover costs of clinic supplies and instruments, patient/parent education materials, take-home supplies (toothbrushes, toothpaste, etc.), education and/or outreach to recruit dentist participation in program activities, or other activities with direct impact on pediatric oral health care.

Special consideration will be given to programs that have demonstrated success and/or have potential for replication in other communities. Initiatives demonstrating collaboration with other institutions and organizations will be given priority consideration.

Oral Health Research Grants
These multi-year awards of up to $100,000 per year for a three-year time period are available for research initiatives consistent with the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry’s Research Agenda.

Future Dental Researcher Fellowship
This fellowship supports the careers of third-year investigators focusing their research on the study of dental care programs targeting underserved and limited access child populations. This year’s pilot program will provide one qualified investigator with up to $75,000 per year for three years.

Application Procedures:
Application guidelines and forms are available on the Foundation’s website.


Last Updated: 6/1/2011

Dutch Postcode Lottery Green Challenge

Grant Station’s International Charitable Giving Snapshot

The Dutch Postcode Lottery Green Challenge is a competition to encourage the development of innovative, creative, and commercially viable products or services that contribute to an eco-friendly lifestyle, directly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and score highly on convenience, quality, and design.

Entries in the following categories are accepted: lifestyle, information and communication technologies, design, energy, or mobility. Ideas should have the potential to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and be developed as a usable product or service within the next two years.

Individuals 18 years or older, companies, businesses, institutions, and all other organizations from any country are eligible to enter an idea in the competition. The winner will win €500,000, expert coaching, and help to bring the idea to market. Two runner-ups will receive €100,000.

The application deadline is July 29, 2011.

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Department of Health and Human Services: Projects of National Significance: Partnerships in Employment Systems Change

Grants Station’s U.S. Government Snapshot

CFDA: 93.631

Deadline: Letters of intent: July 13, 2011. Applications: August 15, 2011.

Amount: Estimated funds available: $2,200,000. Estimated grant range: $300,000-$500,000. Estimated average award: $400,000. Estimated number of awards: 6.

Eligibility: Public and private nonprofit entities, including state and local governments, tribal governments, institutions of higher education, and faith- and community-based organizations working within a consortium consisting of, at a minimum, a State Developmental Disabilities Council, a State Vocational Rehabilitation Agency, a State Developmental Disabilities Agency, and a State Educational Agency

Description: This program provides support to design and implement statewide model demonstration projects that stimulate and advance systems change in order to expand competitive employment in integrated settings for youth and young adults with developmental disabilities, including intellectual disabilities. Proposed activities should be aimed at maximizing personal and economic independence for youth and young adults with developmental disabilities as they transition from education (secondary or postsecondary) or pre-vocational services to employment.

Contact: Larissa Crossen, 202-690-5999, 202-205-8037 (fax)

Agency Announcement | Full Announcement

Congresswoman Hanabusa's Statement on President Obama's Press Conference

Jun 29, 2011 Issues: Jobs and Economy

Honolulu, HICongresswoman Colleen Hanabusa released this statement following President Obama’s press conference Wednesday morning:

“I support President Obama’s call today for Congressional Republicans to step up, do their jobs, and show real leadership in addressing our nation’s economic concerns. Hawaii’s families continue to feel the sting of our nation’s economic downturn and Congress needs to take action to ease the burden on our working families, from job creation and the payroll tax reduction to addressing our debt ceiling and preserving America’s credit worthiness in the global economy. It is long past time for Republican leaders to end their single minded protection of tax breaks for the super-wealthy and oil companies, and acknowledge that America is a place that values decisive, effective action over political posturing.”

Congresswoman Hirono Votes to Improve Hawaii Charter Schools

Washington, Jun 22, 2011

Congresswoman Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) today voted to reauthorize the federal Charter School Program in the House Education and the Workforce Committee. The Empowering Parents through Quality Charter Schools Act, HR 2218, H.R. 2218 would strengthen quality and accountability in the nation’s charter schools, and passed the committee by a bipartisan vote of 34-5.

There are 31 charter schools in Hawaii. Twenty-four of those schools are located in Congresswoman Hirono’s district, which includes the Neighbor Islands and rural Oahu.

“I have personally visited or met with representatives from over a dozen of Hawaii’s charter schools. Many charter schools provide innovative approaches to learning, including the 17 Native Hawaiian-focused charter schools that use the Hawaiian language and incorporate traditional cultural knowledge as part of the curriculum,” said Congresswoman Hirono.

Continue reading Congresswoman Hirono Votes to Improve Hawaii Charter Schools