Monthly Archives

June 2023

The Top Nonprofit Trends for 2023

By | Nonprofit | No Comments
calendar with the year 2023, blocks which spell trends, Welter Consulting logo

Are you looking to jazz up your volunteerism? Spice up your marketing? Or simply looking for new ways to energize donors and supporters?

If you answered “Yes!” to any of these, then these top nonprofit trends for 2023 fit the bill. Ranging from trends in volunteerism to technology, this list encompasses useful things any nonprofit, big or small, can fit into their activities. Choose the nonprofit trends that fit into your overall mission, vision, and plans for 2023, and get ready to grow.

Three Nonprofit Trends to Try in 2023

  1. Volunteer Management Trends

Managing volunteers can be challenging. It can be difficult to find enough people willing to donate their time. Work, family engagements, and other obligations often keep people from volunteering the hours that a nonprofit needs.

However, one of the trends in volunteer management is the notion of hybrid volunteerism. This trend is like hybrid work: some of it is online, while another portion is in person. In a hybrid volunteer model, nonprofits add virtual options to their events and other activities. People who may not be able to attend in person often find they can attend online.

In the post-pandemic world, people expect virtual options for about everything. And why not? Offering a lower-cost virtual ticket to an event or fundraiser is a terrific way to expand the opportunity, raise additional funds, and build a sustainable, long-term fundraising event.

Another development in the world of volunteering is micro volunteerism. As the name implies, it encourages people to volunteer in small, ad hoc ways. Many people who cannot otherwise contribute can make a small yet meaningful contribution to an organization through micro volunteerism. Think about online opportunities such as sharing on social media, asking people to sign up for matching programs or other incentives, and similar activities.

Lastly, do you have a mobile volunteerism initiative planned? Like hybrid volunteerism and micro volunteerism, a combination of technology and the internet has made mobile volunteerism an important trend for 2023. Think text messages (sent to the recipient with their permission, of course!), apps, or other information that can be portable on a mobile phone.

  1. Fundraising Trends

While the bake sale or rummage sale is not out of the question, nonprofit fundraising trends have grown increasingly more sophisticated with the passage of time. Among the 2023 nonprofit trends are fundraising trends. These include:

  • Personalizing donor experiences: providing donors with personalized content to thank them and engage them in your nonprofit’s mission.
  • Online fundraising activities: the internet has broadened everyone’s ability to fundraise. What was once limited to local activities can now be shared globally with the goal of raising more funds.
  • Membership programs: if it makes sense to do so, a monthly giving program can translate into a membership with benefits for members that make it worth their while to participate.
  • Monthly giving plans: a regularly occurring gift can provide a steady recurring source of revenue.
  • Immediate needs: another trend shaping up for 2023 is digital fundraising to impart a sense of urgency, listing the nonprofit’s immediate needs.
  1. Nonprofit Technology Trends

We have mentioned the internet continuing to have significant impact on volunteerism, fundraising, and program delivery for nonprofits. Other types of technology are also having a major impact on nonprofits and increasing their ability to reach volunteers, donors, and program activity recipients.

Consider your current technology base; do you have what you need to run your organization efficiently? Grant and fundraising software, tracking software, and nonprofit accounting software are all critical components of an efficient nonprofit.

Among nonprofit technology trends, the following are trends that continue to grow in importance as we head into the second half of 2023:

  • Social media: nonprofits use social media for a variety of reasons, but every social media platform provides a fantastic way to interact with the public.
  • Texting: special software exists that can send automated texts for fundraising, events, immediate needs, etc. It is important, however, to always follow permission-based marketing best practices.
  • Videos: video continues to be one of the most popular ways to share content and it continues to grow exponentially. Almost every social media platform now offers some form of video content, so think beyond TikTok or YouTube and connect with your audience wherever they prefer to be online.

Ready for 2023 Nonprofit Trends? Let’s Talk

If you are reading this and you feel like you have fallen behind on keeping up with the trends, never fear – there’s still time. Focus on the basics, build your plan, and then enact it. Even enacting just one new tactic may invigorate your programs and breathe new life into volunteerism, fundraising, or technology.

Welter Consulting

Welter Consulting bridges people and technology together for effective solutions for nonprofit organizations. We offer software and services that can help you with your accounting needs. Please contact us for more information.

Closing the Books, Part 2

By | Accounting, Nonprofit | No Comments
person writing in ledger and Welter Consulting logo

In Part 1 of Closing the Books, we shared tips for making month-end close smooth sailing. Now, let’s delve into year-end close.

Year-End Close Considerations

As your fiscal year draws to a close, it’s time to look at:

  1. Receivables and payables
  2. Salary fringe allocations/accruals
  3. Worker’s Comp/Unemployment Insurance
  4. Year-end postage (and other supplies)
  5. Reclassification of temporarily restricted/unrestricted net assets
  6. Reconciling statement of position (balance sheet) and closing/opening accounts

Receivables and Payables

At year-end, it is important to review all receivables and payables to ensure they are attributed to the correct year. If any are “subsequent events,” they need to be adjusted so they reflect the correct fiscal year.

Salary Fringe Allocations/Accruals

Review all entries pertaining to salaries and benefits. Make sure that any benefits, including bonuses, are attributed to the correct fiscal year. Carry over any Paid Time Off (PTO) or other benefits that accrue year-to-year.

Workers Comp and Unemployment Insurance

These expenses should be evenly apportioned among programs. You can do this via journal entries. Workers Compensation insurance may have varying rates; however, workers comp insurance for specific positions may be higher than for others.

Year-End Postage and Other Supplies

Postage and other supplies that are not carried as prepaid expenses or inventory assets should be moved from the expense account to the prepaid inventory account and then reversed in the opening month of the new fiscal year.

Reclassification of Temporarily Restricted/Unrestricted Net Assets

If you have fulfilled the restricted purposes or conditions of any net assets, the balance of the net asset categories must be updated. It’s a good idea to do this monthly or quarterly, or you can do it at the end of the fiscal year via a journal entry.

Reconciling (SOP) Statement of Position (Balance Sheet) and Closing/Opening Accounts

When you receive the auditor’s year-end adjustments, double check that your financial statements match the audit figures. This check helps with several things. First, it ensures that you have entered all the audit entries correctly into your accounting software. It also ensures that all subsequent statements will be correct. This is especially important for SOP account balances; they carry over from year to year. Statement of Account (SOA) ending balances should also match your system so that you can view accurate year-over-year comparisons.

Make Year-End Close Easy

Although taking time from your busy day to complete monthly and year-end closing can be challenging, failing to do so can lead to many problems. Your accounts can quickly get out of sync, showing incorrect assets and liabilities; amounts won’t tally with bank or credit card statements; and you’ll quickly lose sight of the big picture of your organization’s finances.

Using the outline in Part 1 and the next steps detailed here in Part 2 of the various steps needed to close monthly and end of year accounting, you will make this process smooth and easy—and gain an accurate and complete picture of your organization’s finances.

Welter Consulting

Welter Consulting bridges people and technology together for effective solutions for nonprofit organizations. We offer software and services that can help you with your accounting needs. Please contact us for more information.

Multifactor Authentication in the Modern Digital Landscape

By | Nonprofit, Technology | No Comments
person at laptop

Everyone who is a cybersecurity professional agrees that multifactor authentication (MFA) is better than single-factor authentication when it comes to protecting systems from phishing. MFA depends on varieties of methods to verify a user’s identity such as emails and text messages, however, experts are finding that cyber predators are finding workarounds to MFA. So, what can your organization do to best protect itself from phishing and/or cyber-attacks?

Identify Your Vulnerabilities

What makes system access security most vulnerable is human involvement, which is unavoidable in most cases. For example, if a text-based MFA is sent to a phone without MFA, then it becomes pointless to use it. It’s important, then, to ensure that when it comes to your company’s systems, there’s a clear and concise guide for employees to follow to help prevent breaches. If your organization doesn’t have a guide for best MFA practices, we’ve got you. Below are some things to consider:

  1. Trust Your Vendor

Like any software, look for red flags beforehand. For example, is the vendor claiming to be “unhackable” in the same way the Titanic was deemed “unsinkable?” There’s no 100% guarantee that hackers won’t figure something out with time, so make sure that your vendor is being honest. Also, make sure that their encryption and products are described and presented clearly, and that the product can grow and change as the landscape around it does.

  1. Improve the Human Involvement

As we mentioned, human involvement is the biggest vulnerability when it comes to MFA, so make sure that you’ve taken the time to educate your staff and ensure they have the support and tools they need to comply with security guidelines. Hold training sessions, bring in experts, and be sure to show your employees what using MFA properly looks like.

Also, be sure to roll out your MFA to the entire organization and not in disparate silos. This is especially important if your workforce is partially or fully remote.

  1. Ease of Use, But Not at the Expense of Security

Along with proper training, ensure that you have an expert or security leader rolling out your MFA so that it’s configured properly from the get-go. If it’s challenging for your team(s) to use, your MFA might start causing more problems than solutions. If it’s possible, let your employees choose their MFA solutions—i.e., text messaging or fingerprint scanning. When they can choose what they’re most comfortable with, they’ll likely feel more in control and comply with the MFA.

Ensure, however, that if your employees are choosing their MFA, they understand the risks associated with each choice. Listen to the concerns of your employees and get a sense for who might need extra guidance or help in this process.

Implementing MFA in your organization can be easier than it sounds. Speak with a software consultant well-versed in nonprofits and your organization’s unique accounting needs before choosing an MFA provider to ensure the transition goes smoothly.

Cybercrime may be a constant threat, but there’s much you can do to prevent it. These tips, along with the right technology, can go a long way to protecting your organization.

Welter Consulting

Welter Consulting bridges people and technology together for effective solutions for nonprofit organizations. We offer software and services that can help you with your accounting needs. Please contact Welter Consulting at 206-605-3113 for more information.