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Blogs & Tips

OUR CEO's BLOG & TIPS

TIP #1 - How to Select A Charity to Fund


The question we get asked most frequently from new donors is, "How do I know which nonprofit to support or partner with?"  That's one area that we love to help our clients answer. Our answer always begins with a great response from the National Council of Nonprofits, "What causes interest you? Do you want to support an organization that is seeking the cure to a specific disease? Are you passionate about ensuring there is arts education in schools? Do you want to protect the environment for future generations? Are you hoping to focus your generous gift locally, nationally, or internationally?


Try to identify a few nonprofits with missions that best align with your priorities. Get to know the organization. Visit its website and read whatever you can, including their operations, Better yet, visit the organization in action. 


A review of financial information alone will not tell you the impact that the organization is having in the community. Volunteering for the organization is a wonderful way to determine if the nonprofit is worthy of your support.


IPG can help you narrow down the selection by identifying and vetting the charities that best align with your mission and goals. Contact us to learn more. 

By Charisse Browner

September 2018

My uncle once said to me when I told him that I was starting my own nonprofit to help athletes, celebrities and companies give back to the communities they serve, "You have had the best career of anyone that I know!"  He is correct!


Helping others do good in the world is a job that I've been most passionate about for more than 25 years.  Impact Philanthropy Group (IPG) is a long awaited organization that I have carefully and thoughtfully created over a period of time.  My career path for more than 25 years has lead me to this current chapter in my life that I am most proud of, most passionate about, and most excited about.


I started volunteering when I was only 14 years old reading to residents at a local convalescent home.  It brought me much joy to know I was making a difference in an elderly person's life just by taking time out of my playful and care-free day to tend to others in need.  To bring comfort.  To bring companionship and joy to others.  From the 14 year old volunteer, to volunteering at Cedar Sinai Hospital, to getting involved with the CEO at Motown Records for the annual Juvenile Diabetes fundraiser, to managing the nonprofit foundation of radio station, Power 106FM, to helping star athletes and celebrities create and manage their foundations, it was pretty obvious that I found my purpose in life...to serve others in whatever capacity that I can.


For many years, my family, friends, clients and co-workers would encourage me to start my own consulting organization. I knew that was the best option for me, however, I also knew the timing had to be right.  I wanted to prepare myself to be the best consultant I could be to those that trusted my expertise, knowledge, skills and guidance.


After many years of gaining experience and honing my skills and knowledge of the nonprofit industry, and with the help and support of a stellar group of nonprofit professionals whose expertise, skills and compassion for the community is unparalleled, we created Impact Philanthropy Group (IPG).


Together and as a team, we provide philanthropic services to the world that is unlike any other organization that provides similar services.  We are who we are and in our opinion, we are the best advisers to provide you with all of the services that you desire, want and need.


IPG is not just another fiscal sponsor.  We are much more than that!  We are your extended family.  We are your support for all things nonprofit.  We are your trusted advisers to ensure you are successful with your projects.  We walk with you to make sure you are doing it right and in the most efficient and effective manner. 


We choose to be in this line of business and we are very fortunate to have clients that trust us to get the job done.  As our motto says, "We are only as successful as you are!"


WELCOME TO IPG!  HOW CAN WE SERVE YOU?

Tip #2 - Securing Sponsors for Your Fundraising Event

October 2018

Securing sponsorship for an event is tough!  Those that are successful at securing sponsorships have a special skill set, a unique talent, a passion for their craft.  


There are millions of companies in the United States, however, only a fraction of them sponsor charitable events.  You also have to keep in mind that there are more than 2.4M registered charities with the IRS.  Guess how many turn to Coca-Cola, The Gap, Target, Walmart, Wells Fargo and numerous other Fortune 1,000 companies DAILY for sponsorship consideration? ALL OF  THEM!  So how do you make your proposal stand out?  How do you make yourself appealing to the potential sponsor?


First, do your homework and learn as much as you can about the company, their community outreach initiatives (or CSR programs), and how it aligns with your charity's mission and goals.  Make sure there are obvious ways you can support the company's efforts (generally, how can you help them expand their reach, bring more awareness of their CSR, further their cause or initiative, etc.). Secondly, you have to get in the door!  Upgrade your LinkedIn account so you can gain access to companies and their executives.  Hoovers is a good option too. Write them a compelling note. Be creative!  No pie-in-the-sky promises (they will read right through you), but real, tangible opportunities that you can deliver on...and well! Once you are in the door, don't sell yourself or your organization, but rather tell the brand or company what you can do for them and how you can help!  Make sure your deck is exciting, has data, is clear in what is being delivered, the impact the sponsorship will make on their bottom line, and most important, keep the cost of the levels off the deck.  You want them to call you to discuss the price, not see what it is and make a decision without talking to you further.


The other tip to keep in mind is to keep the sponsorship deliverables open and customize it for each and every sponsor.  Each has their own needs.  Be flexible, and most important, deliver on your promises so make sure you are offering considerations that you can fulfill.


If you are running out of time before the v=event and a sponsor is interested, but spent their budget, extend their payment terms as far out as six months if that will help.  I would only make this kind of arrangement with an established company and only with a down payment, otherwise you run the risk of providing tickets to your event, signage, recognition and other perks without collecting any funds for your considerations. 


IPG can help you design a winning sponsorship package and provide you with guidance on how to secure sponsors that will be a long-term partner of your foundation.  Contact us for more information. 


Ertz Family Foundation Philadelphia Launch Coming Soon!

October 2018

It's so exciting to know we are two weeks away from our client, the Ertz Family Foundation's launch of their foundation in Philadelphia and the announcement of their very special, City of Love Fund, that will support local Philadelphia area charities!  Their first launch was in July where they raised more than $200,000 for Mission of Hope - Haiti, College Is Real and Kensington High School Football Team.


We are so grateful to work with our clients, brainstorm on different concepts and ideas, and see their vision come to fruition in a matter of months!  The City of Love Fund is going to be HUGE and a great resource for community based organizations that do wonders in the neighborhoods that they serve. 


The City of Love Event and Auction Fundraiser will take place on Thursday, November 29, 2018 at Lincoln Memorial Field in Philadelphia.  Tickets can be found at: http://bit.ly/CityofLoveFund and sponsorship information can be found at: http://www.ertzfamilyfoundation.org/events.



Tip #3 - Creating a Mission Statement

November 2018

Most grant-making organizations and donors will ask, "What is your mission statement?" However, most people never remember it.  Why? Because most mission statements simply aren't that memorable!  How to avoid this issue when you create yours: 
  • Use the appropriate language your target audience will understand
  • Always bet on pulling the heart-strings of your audience - it works!
  • Communicate the what, how and why
  • Make it concise, avoid a drawn out statement
  • Make it a single sentence, not a paragraph
  • Say it out load and if it sounds good, keep it
  • Is memorable, not typical
  • Is specific, not vague

A great mission statement is a way to position your organization as memorable and unique. It provides a bird's eye view of the one thing you want your organization to be known for and remembered by. More importantly, your mission statement should encourage further inquiry or certainly food for thought.  Do you need help creating a memorable mission statement for your public benefit program?  Contact us for assistance.

Tip #4 - Is A Fiscal Sponsorship the Right Fit For You?

March 19, 2019

Fiscal Sponsorship is a relatively new concept to the masses, however, it has been around for some time.  With more than 2.4M nonprofits established, the competition is fierce meaning the possiblility of raising enough funds to sustain your ofundation may be cost-prohibitive for a new foundation that we call in "incubation." That means your project is just getting started and there may not be enough in funds to hire a staff to help move the foundation to the next level.  This is where a fiscal sponsorship may benefit your program. 


Under fiscal sponsorship with a 501c3, you are considered a "project" that furthers the mission of the fiscal sponsor as noted in your sponsor's Articles of Incorporation.  You and the fiscal sponsor sign an agreement in which your project is viewed as a nonprofit organization under the management of the fiscal sponsor.   Contact us for assistance.

A Huge "WELCOME" to Our New Project!

March 5, 2020

Women ROCK and we are VERY excited to announce our new client (fondly known as "Projects") at Impact Philanthropy Group - Women in Electronics. WE is a reputable and worthwhile project that is making a huge impact on the lives of women working and interested in the Electronics Industry.  Welcome to the IPG family!


Women in Electronics (“WE”) was formed in the fall of 2017 by a group of 20 inaugural women from across the US who assembled for the first conference in Laguna Beach, CA. The group was built with the premise of women working collaboratively to find inspiration, strength, and empowerment through a sense of community. The goal of the organization is:


*   EMPOWER women within the Electronics Industry through networking opportunities including national conferences, regional events, and online events.

*   DEVELOP leadership skills through virtual resource sharing and discussion groups.

*   ADVOCATE for women with a formal Mentorship Program that provides industry-specific tools, leadership guidance, and the encouragement needed to succeed in the rapidly changing and evolving Electronics Industry.

*   CELEBRATE the accomplishments of women and the organizations that support them.   


We are very excited to work with Jackie Mattox, Founder/President/CEO of WE and look forward to a wonderful working relationship to help her and the WE team shape the future of Women in Electronics!   


Want to learn more about how you or a project you know can join our amazing family of charity organizations?  Contact us for more information!

Nice to See Our Family of Projects Grow!

March 12, 2020

A huge welcome to another new project at IPG...welcome to our family, Give to Change Foundation!


More to come about this amazing organization - stay tuned!


Want to learn more about how you or a project you know can join our amazing family of charity organizations?  Contact us for more information!

Amid the World's Covid-19 Pandemic, Now Is NOT the Time to Stop Giving!

March 23, 2020

SOURCE: The Chronicle of Philanthropy


This week, amid global panic surrounding Covid-19, financial markets took the worst hit of any single day since 1987. Investors and portfolio managers began preparations for austerity and continued belt-tightening as governments grappled to respond to the growing crisis. Both publicly and privately, philanthropy began to wonder whether it should hold off on making grants or liquidating investments.


We will say this plainly: As markets collapse and nonprofits face drastic drops in government and private support, it is no time for philanthropy to think about cutting back. Instead, we must give more. We must give more to address the public-health crisis while continuing to fund existing social and systemic change efforts. There is a real risk that philanthropy will be tempted to cut back on its investments and grant-making. After the 2008 market collapse, for example, philanthropic gifts dropped by more than 15 percent. 


This left $30 billion sitting in private coffers instead of being used to further the public good.


Our tendency in philanthropy has been to continue making the minimum legally required payout instead of thinking first about maximum impact to prevent long-term societal damage. In the midst of this crisis, too many foundations will be tempted to continue that practice — but this moment is both a mandate and an opportunity to fundamentally question that approach. The virus will eventually dissipate, but its effects will be longstanding and will exacerbate the social inequalities we already face.


What’s more, we are already dealing with a number of existential threats that will not evaporate and that will require long-term changes. Philanthropy must use this moment as an opportunity to fundamentally rethink past practices and upend the status quo.


Nonprofits are already facing a drop in donations, and many are increasingly concerned about their ability to pay and support their staff, and have incurred losses from canceled fundraising events and program-related travel. Within nonprofit organizations themselves, most lower-level employees — often the first to be let go when finances get dire — come from marginalized communities themselves.


A number of foundations have begun announcing plans to give more, many notably altering the terms of their grantmaking by turning funds earmarked for programs into money for general operating expenses. This is a good start, but others must join them. We simply cannot justify leaving our vast resources — whether they be held in foundations, private investment accounts, or donor-advised funds — on the table this time around. The stakes are too high.

Philanthropy has a particular responsibility to give more to support these organizations given that the last several years have been highly profitable for wealthy donors and philanthropy. These gains — a significant portion of which are ill-gotten gains from the Trump administration’s tax cuts, if we are honest — never reached the middle class, much less the most vulnerable members of society. And today, to add insult to injury, service-industry workers face the lack of paid sick leave, shortened hours or layoffs, and jobs that put their health at risk. Gig-economy mothers are forced to deal with an inability to afford or secure care for their children who are out of school. Immigrant families, many of which are of mixed-status, are grappling with the fear of going to the doctor or hospital because of draconian immigration policies that place entire communities in harm’s way.


Given this reality, our increased funding must focus squarely on promoting social justice — and provide immediate support those who have been most negatively (and disproportionately) harmed by the public-health crisis. As well, we must continue supporting existing programs and projects for needed long-term social and systemic change. Philanthropy must give more in unrestricted funding, give strategically to organizations that are filling gaps in the society safety net, and support efforts to undergird the temporary protections put in place for Covid-19 and make them permanent. That is the only way to ensure we are better prepared the next time a pandemic comes along.


One potential silver lining of Covid-19 is that it has revealed broad public support for a government that works for the people. Government officials — including elected officials on both sides of the aisle — are calling for subsidized or free health care, paid sick leave, reduced public travel and consumption, and economic policies that support the working class, not the billionaire elite.


It has also revealed the extent to which governments can take drastic action in response to a public health emergency. After weeks of reduced global travel as a result of quarantines, closures, and government policies, pollution is so much lower that it is noticeable from space. Our actions are, for once, having a brief positive impact on the environment. Can you imagine if we took the same public-health approach to planetary crises like the climate emergency? Philanthropy can and must help governments and activists lead the way as we work to simultaneously address a public-health crisis and the catastrophic risks of climate change.


This response cannot be a one-off, either. Even beyond Covid-19 responses, philanthropy must double down on its investments in public health, social justice, and economic and environmental justice. We must understand, too, that these investments have far-reaching returns and will help society prepare to address a climate emergency that will likely kill many more people.


It will be a hard fight, but we have both the resources and the capacity. For the world, now is the time to consume less, travel less, and prepare for change. For philanthropy, it is the time to spend more.


Want to learn more about how you can help or start a charity organization?  Contact us for more information!

How the CARES Act Changes Deducting Charitable Contributions

November 18, 2020

Whether taxpayers are supporting natural disaster recovery, COVID-19 pandemic aid or another cause that’s personally meaningful to them, their charitable donations may be tax deductible. These deductions basically reduce the amount of their taxable income.


Here’s how the CARES Act changes deducting charitable contributions made in 2020:


Previously, charitable contributions could only be deducted if taxpayers itemized their deductions.


However, taxpayers who don’t itemize deductions may take a charitable deduction of up to $300 for cash contributions made in 2020 to qualifying organizations. For the purposes of this deduction, qualifying organizations are those that are religious, charitable, educational, scientific or literary in purpose. The law changed in this area due to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.


The CARES Act also suspends limits on charitable contributions and temporarily increases limits on contributions of food inventory. More information about these changes is available on IRS.gov.


Here are some resources for people making donations:


Tax Exempt Organization Search
Taxpayers must give to qualified organizations to deduct their donations on their tax return. They can use this tool to find out if a specific charity qualifies as a charitable organization for income tax purposes.


Publication 526, Charitable Contributions

This publication explains how taxpayers claim a deduction for charitable contributions. It goes over:

  • How much taxpayers can deduct.
  • What records they must keep.
  • How to report contributions.

Publication 561, Determining the Value of Donated Property

Taxpayers generally can deduct the fair market value of property they donate. This publication helps determine the value of donated property.


Form 8283, Noncash Charitable Contributions

Taxpayers must file Form 8283 to report noncash charitable contributions if the amount of this deduction is more than $500. The instructions for this form walk taxpayers through how to complete it.


Schedule A, Itemized Deductions

Taxpayers deducting donations do so on Schedule A. The instructions for this form include line-by-line directions for completing it.


Frequently asked questions: Qualified charitable distributions

Taxpayers age 70 ½ or older can make a qualified charitable distribution from their IRA – up to $100,000 – directly to an eligible charity. It’s generally a nontaxable distribution made by the IRA trustee to a charitable organization. A QCD counts toward their minimum distribution requirement for the year.


More information:

Tax Topic 506, Charitable Contributions

Deducting Charitable Contributions at a Glance