Wine Knowledge Helps Nonprofit Professionals

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Andrew Stevens of Twin Liquors Marketplace at Hill Country Galleria (Store #60) teaches a class on French Wine

A headline like that needs an explanation, doesn’t it?

Well, networking and socializing are key activities for development officers and other nonprofit professionals. Recognizing this, the Texas Grants Resource Center and the Grant Professionals Association – Austin Chapter partnered to bring an essential (and fun) event to their members: French Wine 101 – a primer for nonprofit events and fundraisers.

The attendees got a chance to learn about and taste wines from France. And the group also learned wine essentials like how to decant wine and how to increase your vocabulary of taste descriptions (hint: taste, smell and savor various natural items – like during a visit to a farmer’s market). But folks also took the opportunity to socialize, win prizes and have some holiday cheer.

Special and heart-felt thanks goes to the skillful presenter Andrew Stevens and the Twin Liquors Store #60  Manager, Andrew Zemites.

Andrew Stevens lead the group on an exciting and educational virtual journey through French wine country. Attendees learned not just about how wines are made and what to look for when enjoying them, but they learned the history and social aspects of the French regions as well. Andrew Zemites kindly set the whole experience up and created a very welcoming environment.

If anyone has questions about any wines or other spirits, the team at Twin Liquors Marketplace at Hill Country Galleria (Store #60), 3925 Market St, Bee Cave, TX have proven they will give you kind and knowledgeable service. You can find the store next to Dick’s Sporting Goods and behind the Verizon store at the Hill Country Galleria.

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And by the way, here are the wonderful wines that were covered in the class:

  • Alsace – Mure Reisling Signature
  • Loire – Dom Dugois Trousseau
  • Roussillon – Cuvee Constance
  • Burgundy – Liger-Belair Bourgogne
  • Bordeaux – Neipperg Collection
  • Rhone – La Fermes Du Mont Vendange

Cheers and Happy Holidays!

 

 

 

 

Images: Erler, Cochran

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Top Ways the Tax Law Impacts Nonprofits

TGRC Tax presentation

Timothy A. Clark, Managing Director UST and Wealth Strategies Advisor at U.S. Trust speaks to nonprofit professionals at the Texas Grants Resource Center

Many of the changes to the federal tax code (passed at the end of 2017) have taken effect this year. This month, the Texas Grants Resource Center (TGRC) had a primer on how these changes might influence the work of nonprofit organizations.

Timothy A. Clark, Managing Director UST and Wealth Strategies Advisor at U.S. Trust and Amber Carden, Senior Vice President and Private Client Advisor at U.S. Trust/Bank of America Private Wealth Management spoke to nonprofit professionals at the TGRC to help guide their mission-driven work through the maze of tax changes.

Some of the top tax law changes that might impact nonprofits are:

  • The adjusted gross income limitation on cash contributions to public charities, including donor advised funds, was increased from 50 to 60 percent;
  • Standard deduction increased from $12,700 to $24,000 for those filing Married-Joint;
  • Pease limitations were repealed (phase-out of itemized deductions no longer applicable).

Will these changes lead to more or less charitable giving? Conventional wisdom suggests that an increase in the standard deduction (for example) means fewer people will itemize deductions, meaning fewer people will be able to take the federal income tax charitable deduction.

However, Americans have been making charitable gifts since before there was even a tax code. Also the data shows that Americans give to nonprofits because they are charitable (not necessarily for a tax incentive). This was one the biggest take-aways from the presentation: nonprofits should keep appealing to donors’ sense of going good – this sense is generally a higher motivator than tax incentives.

 

 

Image: Erler

IMPORTANT:  This presentation is designed to provide general information about ideas and strategies. It is for discussion purposes only since the availability and effectiveness of any strategy are dependent upon your individual facts and circumstances. Always consult with your independent attorney, tax advisor, investment manager, and insurance agent for final recommendations and before changing or implementing any financial, tax, or estate planning strategy.
 

How Can Nonprofits Best Use Facebook?

Facebook at TGRC Sept 2018

On September 25th Veronica Peñaloza Wolfermann, Facebook Account Manager for nonprofits spoke to a group of nonprofit professionals from Texas Grants Resource Center

Social Media is a great way to get the word out about the work of your nonprofit organization. Facebook offers so many options for nonprofits: from outreach to fundraising. On September 25th, 2018 Veronica Peñaloza Wolfermann, Facebook Account Manager for nonprofits spoke to a group of nonprofit professionals from Texas Grants Resource Center about how best to use Facebook for the good of the community.

Here is a selection of some of the info, tips and hacks that Veronica described:

  • There are currently 2 million nonprofit pages on Facebook
  • 150 million people are connected to a nonprofit page on Facebook
  • If a nonprofit wants to get verified with Facebook this is the link to start: facebook.com/donate/signup
  • Also it would be wise for a nonprofit to be registered and up to date with GuideStar
  • Facebook will be participating in a coordinated effort for #GivingTuesday (this year it is November 27th)
  • 100% of donations made through Facebook payments to nonprofits now go directly to those organizations
  • Suggestion: if you have an influencer who supports your nonprofit, ask that influencer to add a ‘donate’ button to a Facebook live video
  • Some nonprofits that use Facebook well (to look at for examples): St. Jude Children’s Research Hosptial, Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, Save the Children.
  • If a nonprofit has a donate button on a Facebook live feed, there is 10 times more engagement than other “non video” donation posts.
  • Nonprofits can set up mentorships if their page has a group
  • When deciding what to post on your nonprofit’s page, always ask: “will this translate into donations, volunteers or other support?” If the subject is not aligned with the nonprofit’s mission, the post probably won’t help much (even if it gets a lot of likes).

Here is a link to some of the Facebook offerings that Veronica described. Here is a link to info about future Texas Grants Resource Center presentations.

 

 

 

Image: Erler

 

Funder Focus: The Moody Foundation

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Bernice Torregrossa, Grants Analyst and Regional Grants Director for The Moody Foundation speaks to nonprofit professionals at the Texas Grants Resource Center

On August 23, 2018, The Moody Foundation‘s Bernice Torregrossa, Grants Analyst and Regional Grants Director for Central Texas, spoke at the Texas Grants Resource Center. She described the philanthropic work of the Foundation, gave information about the guidelines for applying and answered questions from the nonprofit professionals in the audience.

The Moody Foundation is a Texas funder that supports the arts, education, environment, health, and social services. The Foundation accepts inquiry letters on an ongoing basis from Texas-based nonprofits. Over the years, the Moody Foundation has made more than $1.2 billion in grants throughout the state.

The Texas Grants Resource Center’s monthly presentations for nonprofit professionals further the mission of the University of Texas at Austin’s Division of Diversity and Community Engagement (DDCE). The DDCE’s Community Engagement Center (CEC) houses this program. To sign up to get first notice of upcoming speakers go to this page.

Thank you to the Moody Foundation for all the work you do to support Texas and for coming to present to central Texas nonprofit organizations at TGRC.

 

 

Image: Erler

Funder Focus: St. David’s Foundation

St Davids Foundation

Elizabeth Krause, ScM, Senior Program Officer at St. David’s Foundation presenting to TGRC on July 10, 2018

St. David’s Foundation is a Central Texas funder that generously supports innovative organizations solving problems related to bringing good health into reach.

On July 10, 2018, Elizabeth Krause, ScM, Senior Program Officer at St. David’s Foundation spoke to a group of nonprofit professionals at the Texas Grants Resource Center (a program of the University of Texas at Austin’s Community Engagement Center).

Elizabeth described the philanthropic work of the foundation and the grant-making process. The foundation’s work is around three focus areas (and subcategories within each area):

Providing Central Texans with the healthiest care in the world:

  • Connection to Specialty Care
  • Strong Safety Net
  • Dental Health
  • Health Care Workforce
  • Insurance Enrollment & Use

Creating the healthiest places for Central Texans to live:

  • Access to Healthy Food
  • Housing Wrap-Around Services
  • Opportunities to Be Active
  • Rural Communities

Helping Central Texans be the healthiest people they can be:

  • Aging in Place
  • Childhood Adversity
  • Teen Pregnancy Prevention
  • Women’s Health

Some of the practical grant-seeking tips Elizabeth shared include:

  • Contact Program Officers at St. David’s Foundation if you have an idea that aligns with a strategic priority;
  • Communication with a Program Officer will help to determine if the possible project aligns and is eligible;
  • The foundation encourages collaboration;
  • The foundation has grant opportunities by invitation and they also extend periodic Requests for Proposals;
  • One way to keep up-to-date with RFP and other opportunities is to follow the foundation on their social media accounts.

Be sure to visit the St. David’s Foundation site for more information on the grant process and the focus areas.

Relationships with Foundations

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Erica Ekwurzel – Presenting at the Texas Grants Resource Center

On June 8th, 2018, The Texas Grants Resource Center’s Nonprofit Partner series featured Developing Donor Relationships with Family & Private Foundations, presented by Erica V. Ekwurzel, CFRE. Erica shared tips from her experience leading and supporting family and private grantmakers.

Here are some of the top take-aways from the TGRC session:

  • When it comes to applying for grants – don’t do “mission drift.” Don’t lose sight of your mission by chasing grant funding that reflects the ideas of others;
  • Review and proofread all applications;
  • If you know one foundation…well, you know one foundation.
  • Make sure that the application you send is purposeful and intentional;
  • Have data to support your proposal.

For more information on presentations by the Texas Grants Resource Center, visit Texasgrc.org.

 

Image: Erler

Tips to manage, leverage, and energize your nonprofit board

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The Texas Grants Resource Center’s May presentation was all about getting the best out of your nonprofit board. Long-time nonprofit consultant Tara Levy shared the top tips for leveraging your board to support your organization’s mission.

Tara is an experienced trainer and consultant on nonprofit leadership and management, including a decade assisting nonprofits at Mission Capital before launching her independent practice (Tara Levy Nonprofit Consulting). She has served nonprofits as a staff member, board member, and volunteer.

Here are just a few of Tara’s tips on board relations:

  • Mentor new board members (pair new members up with established members);
  • Have an annual board self-evaluation;
  • Do board succession planning (for example: consider having an Incoming Board President position);
  • Connect and enjoy each other as a team.

The TGRC provides events that will uplift, educate and connect in ways that make Austin’s nonprofit community even stronger.  This program furthers the mission of the University of Texas at Austin’s Division of Diversity and Community Engagement (DDCE). The DDCE’s Community Engagement Center (CEC) houses this program.

 

 

Image: Erler