Monthly Archives: July 2013

Member Benefit Spotlight: Jitasa

ImageJitasa (formerly Easy Office) is a social venture dedicated solely to the nonprofit sector, providing accounting and bookkeeping services to nonprofits of all sizes.

How can they help? With Jitasa, you can outsource basic bookkeeping functions like recording cash receipts and cash disbursements while gaining instant access to internal financial controls. In addition, Jitasa will make your chart of accounts work more effectively, help you track complex grants, and provide consistent monthly financial reports. Jitasa works with your auditors and can provide IRS Form 990 and 990EZ services if needed. The objective? To help you get your financial house in order and to provide timely and useful financial information to your staff and board.

Regional associations are eligible for a 15% discount on onboarding & account set-up and IRS 990 Preparation/Filing services.

To learn more about Jitasa’s services and special Forum discounts please contact Susan Lentini (917-363-8396) at Jitasa. Susan will also be at the upcoming conference in Milwaukee as a sponsor.


Highlights from RA Blogging

A highlight of recent activity from the 14 regional associations currently blogging.

Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers: Adventures in Philanthropy

Arizona Grantmakers Forum

Council of Michigan Foundations

Donors Forum

Florida Philanthropic Network: The Florida Philanthropy Blog

Gateway Center for Giving

Minnesota Council on Foundations: Philanthropy Potluck

Northern California Grantmakers

Philanthropy New York: Smart Assets

Philanthropy Northwest

Philanthropy Ohio: Let’s Talk Philanthropy

Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers: The Daily WRAG

Other regionals blogging include: Colorado Association of Funders, North Carolina Network of Grantmakers, and Southeastern Council of Foundations.

West Virginia Grantmakers Unveils Year-Long Project

WVG logoAs part of West Virginia’s 150th Anniversary, the West Virginia Grantmakers unveiled a year-long project (June 20, 2013 through June 20, 2014) titled “Sharing the Helm of the Mountain”. This will guide the state in focusing on what we need and will do for our next 150 years to be filled with prosperity and progress for all citizens and communities.

Every week West Virginia Grantmakers will release a guest op-ed from an established or rising leader on a specific issue. The first two have featured Senator Jay Rockefeller and Delegate Amanda Pasdon (51st District).

Read the op-eds and more about this project.

Are you Ready for the Forum’s Annual Conference?

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We look forward to welcoming many of you to Milwaukee, WI one week from today for the Forum’s Annual Conference July 29-31. The conference planning committee has put together a program including: 

  • An opening keynote by Bruce Boyd, Arabella Advisors on the evolving role of regional associations
  • A breakout session featuring Amy Sample Ward of NTEN on data measurement and how to make the most of what you are collecting
  • A presentation on latest data from the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) by Aaron Dorfman
  • A panel discussion featuring two regional associations’ (Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers and Indiana Grantmakers Alliance) experiences and successes with national initiatives
  • A fast-paced interview on the trends in the sector with Tim Delaney, National Council of Nonprofits; Aaron Dorfman, National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy; and Sue Santa, Council on Foundations

Sign-up for Additional Activities

In addition to the learning and networking opportunities during the conference sessions, we’ve planned some additional activities to connect with your colleagues, get out of the hotel, and experience some of Milwaukee. More information about these activities including lists of registrants is available here.

  • Historical Walking Tour of Downtown Milwaukee (8:45am on Monday, July 29)
  • Micro Brewery Tour at Lakefront Brewery (6:30pm on Tuesday, July 30)
  • Historic Third Ward Walking Food Tour (6:30pm on Tuesday, July 30)

Resource Table
We will continue to have space available for any resources or materials that you’d like to share with your colleagues at the registration desk. If you would like to ship printed materials for display in the resource area, please ship to: Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers Meeting, 7th Floor, Attention: Terri Mackey/Senior Conf Service Mgr, The Pfister Hotel, 424 East Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53202

Visit the Forum’s website for more information about the conference and institute.

Tax Reform on the Road

Charitable_Giving_Coalition_LogoIn late June Senators Baucus and Hatch, Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, announced a “blank-slate” approach to tax reform. This approach strips out all deductions, exclusions, and credits and asks all Senators to make a case for why such tax breaks- including for charitable donations- should be maintained. Senators have until July 26 to submit their proposals.

Senator Baucus and Representative Camp, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, are also taking tax reform on the road this summer. Their first stop was to the Minneapolis-St. Paul area with visits to 3M and Baldinger Bakery. They have also created a congressional website,, to seek input on the issue, and new Twitter account, @simplertaxes.

To support your efforts to inform your lawmakers on the potential impact of tampering with the charitable deduction, the Charitable Giving Coalition has provided materials under the “Take Action” section of the Coalition’s website including:

  • Strategic and tactical recommendations and guidance
  • Talking points
  • Template letter to elected officials
  • Template news release
  • Template op-ed
  • Message and media guidance

Regional Associations on the Topic

GEO Releases Cracking the Network Code: Four Principles for Grantmakers

Cracking the Network CodeFor the past few years, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations has been putting out exceptional reports on how networks can be leveraged for greater impact. As a network ourselves, this work is very important to the Forum and regional associations. The latest report, Cracking the Network Code: Four Principle for Grantmakers, not only continues GEO’s work to tease out the DNA of successful networks, but also bolsters the case for grantmakers to engage those networks to take on increasingly complex work.

Read more and download the report on GEO’s website.

Recent Regional Releases

Preparing Students for Success in Life
This report from Philanthropy Ohio and its Education Advisory Committee report identifies top education priorities of Ohio’s philanthropic community. The 16 action recommendations identified are based on a careful analysis of Ohio’s progress in improving education opportunities for its students in early childhood, K-12 and postsecondary education. It builds on Philanthropy Ohio’s previous successful education reform work, its groundbreaking 2006 Education for Ohio’s Future and the 2009 Beyond Tinkering reports.

AZ 2012 Annual Report2012 Annual Report
Arizona Grantmakers Forum’s 2012 annual report is an overview of the work AGF and their members accomplished in 2012. Read about some of AGF’s main focus areas, including public policy and the EngAGEment initiative. Also be sure to check out the innovative funder collaboratives and global partnerships that AGF supports and facilitates.

ACA White Paper

White Paper on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act & Its Implications for Florida Philanthropy
This Florida Philanthropic Network report looks at how the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) is likely to impact the lives of Floridians and suggests key roles for philanthropy to play as the ACA is implemented in the state. FPN led this project on behalf of its Health Funders Group (HFG), which is comprised of FPN members who share an interest in supporting health issues, organizations, and needs in Florida.

PNY- 2012 Annual Report2012 Annual Report
Philanthropy New York’s 2012 Annual Report was guided by the question “How many ways can you take advantage of your PNY membership?” The report looks not just on the accomplishments of PNY, but shines a spotlight on the many ways in which their members utilize programming, networking opportunities, and public policy work to maximize their engagement with the rest of the philanthropic community, the larger nonprofit sector, and government. As part of the process of creating this report, PNY developed a Member Engagement Checklist (see page 3) that guided the Member Engagement Profiles featured in this report and coming soon to PNY’s website.