Saturday, July 31, 2010

Helping Nonprofits (NGOs) Overseas

The Denton Program allows private U.S. citizens and organizations to use space available on U.S. military cargo planes to transport humanitarian goods, such as clothing, food, medical and educational supplies, and agricultural equipment and vehicles, to countries in need. The program is jointly administered by USAID, the Department of State (DOS), and the Department of Defense (DOD). In FY2008, more than 600,000 pounds of humanitarian goods were sent to 17 different countries through the Denton Program.

Since Denton is a space available program, it is impossible to predict when transportation will materialize. Therefore, no guarantees can be made regarding completion of a shipment. Although the program is active in most areas of the world, it is more difficult to obtain transportation for more distant countries.

Overview of Denton Application Process

Online applications and additional information about the DOD Humanitarian Assistance Programs, Denton and Funded Transportation's Programs, are available at

The Funded Transportation Program

The Funded Transportation Program provides door-to-port surface transportation of humanitarian aid to worldwide destinations at little or no cost to the donor. Potential shipments are reviewed for appropriateness and feasibility on a case-by-case basis. All PVOs, non-governmental organizations and individuals interested in shipping to worldwide destinations are encouraged to contact the Program Manager for the Funded Transportation Program at (703) 601-3854. Guidelines and an online application for this program can be found at:

Contact Person:
Sara Lemanski, Traffic Management Specialist, OFR Program Officer, Office of Acquisition and Assistance, Transportation, (202) 712-1181 or

Friday, July 30, 2010

Charity or Profit Potential?

Unfortunately in today’s world it does not seem that there are much goodness and mercy left. You would think as a consultant for nonprofits I would be surrounded by all like minded people that in short are all seeking to make a difference in others’ lives and doing everything for the right reason.

Now more than ever I feel as if I have to be on constant guard as I am approached by individuals, all that tout they want to take up the banner of “doing good” and helping others. Yea, right!

As I talk to others and peel away the layers seeking to really understand what the person’s motivation might be, in many cases I discover quickly that it is not all about helping others, but helping themselves as well.

Let’s look at a case in point that is known nationally. Most of us at some point have seen TV commercials advertised by various chain office supply stores encouraging you to help the kids going back to school with school supplies because they can’t afford to buy them.

The local stores in turn ask their customers to buy that extra pack of paper or box of pencils and donate them to the school of their choice. On the face there is nothing wrong with school teachers getting help but we tend to forget the store is making a sale. All that warm and fuzzy advertising is just that, advertising.

Likewise, there several different websites like and that have as a goal to connect teachers with donors. Again, there is nothing wrong with that! How the programs generally work is that teachers post a wish list and then donors can go and make purchases via the site to help with that wish list that was posted. The donor gets a donation receipt, the teacher gets the item and the website….well the website or I should say the managers of the site get a commission on the sale.

Again, is good being done, absolutely! However, if there were no profit potential would the site be online because it was the right thing to do or would the store care about the school children needing school supplies?

I’ll let you answer this question in your own mind.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Nonprofits Geting A "Free Pass" By Government

Today the IRS announced a one-time filing relief for small organizations that failed to file for three consecutive years!

Small nonprofit organizations who were at risk of losing their tax-exempt status because they failed to file required returns for 2007, 2008, and 2009 can preserve their exempt status by filing returns by October 15, 2010.

Two types of relief are available for small exempt organizations - a filing extension for the smallest organizations required to file Form 990-N, Electronic Notice (e-Postcard), and a voluntary compliance program (VCP) for small organizations eligible to file Form 990-EZ, Short Form Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax.

Find more information about the filing relief program on