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I see it all the time. Someone sees a need in the community, gets a few interested people together and forms a nonprofit organization for the purpose of addressing that need. Things go great initially because that’s the honeymoon period. Everyone is in love and the world is rosy and bright. Six months to a year later, reality sets in and things aren’t looking so good anymore.

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If your volunteers use their car in the course of doing volunteer work for your organization, they can take a deduction of 14 cents per mile driven while performing service.  This rate holds for 2011 and 2012. 

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As I placed the telephone back into its recharging cradle, a melancholy feeling surged inside and I started regretting that I had even called for the interview. Her name is Louise. Louise asked me not to use her last name, or the name of the now defunct charity for this article.

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You’ve seen the guy on television, the rather hyper fellow standing in front of the Federal Building wearing a yellow jacket and pants plastered with question marks. He’s trying to convince you that Washington wants to literally throw good money at you for darned near any reason. Got a business that needs funding? He says there’s a grant for that. Got a kid in home-school? He says there’s a grant for that. Got a bone in your leg that’s at least a week old? There’s a grant for that.
 
 
No, there’s not. Conversely, for those who choose wisely, there are various forms of federal funding opportunities available.

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One of the hardest things to do in the non-profit world is writing a great appeal letter.   It is easy to pound out a letter that states, "Please Help" and then get discouraged when the donations don’t come in.  Is your appeal as effective as it can be?

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