Social Impact Insights
Our blog provides insights for social impact professionals in business and nonprofits. We offer advice on making the greatest impact in your organization by giving clear real-world advice on important topics of today.
In today's highly competitive business landscape, small business owners are constantly seeking ways to differentiate themselves and enhance their market position. While traditional marketing strategies undoubtedly play a crucial role, incorporating philanthropy into your business model can provide a powerful boost. By aligning your business with a cause and actively participating in philanthropic initiatives, you not only make a positive impact on society but also strengthen your brand reputation and forge stronger connections with customers. Let's explore how philanthropy can be a game-changer for small businesses.
Building Brand Reputation
Philanthropy is an excellent avenue for small businesses to establish a positive brand reputation. By supporting a cause that aligns with your core values, you demonstrate your commitment to making a difference beyond profits. Engaging in philanthropy not only appeals to socially conscious customers but also generates goodwill among the wider community. Through targeted initiatives such as donations, volunteering, or cause-related marketing campaigns, you can create a lasting impression that fosters trust and loyalty, ultimately enhancing your market position.
Creating Emotional Connections
Philanthropy allows small businesses to connect with customers on a deeper, more emotional level. When people see a company actively involved in charitable activities, it evokes a sense of shared purpose and empathy. By communicating the impact of your philanthropic efforts through storytelling, social media, or public events, you can engage customers in a meaningful way. This emotional connection cultivates brand advocates who not only support your business but also spread positive word-of-mouth, strengthening your market position and attracting new customers.
Differentiation and Competitive Advantage
In a crowded marketplace, standing out from the competition is paramount. Philanthropy provides a unique opportunity for small businesses to differentiate themselves. By focusing on a cause that resonates with your target audience and crafting purpose-driven messaging, you distinguish your brand from others solely focused on profit. This differentiation acts as a powerful competitive advantage, attracting customers who share your values and are more likely to choose your products or services over those offered by your competitors.
As a small business owner, incorporating philanthropy into your business strategy offers a myriad of benefits. From enhancing brand reputation and creating emotional connections to differentiating your brand and gaining a competitive edge, philanthropy provides a unique avenue to improve your market position. By leveraging the power of giving back, you can not only make a positive impact on society but also strengthen your business's bottom line in the process. Embrace philanthropy as a strategic tool and unlock its transformative potential for your small business.
Fundraising is a vital aspect of nonprofit organizations, providing the necessary financial resources to support their mission and programs. Nonprofit leaders play a crucial role in driving successful fundraising efforts. To effectively navigate the complex and competitive landscape of fundraising, nonprofit leaders must possess a diverse set of skills. In this blog post, we will explore the key skills that nonprofit leaders need to succeed in fundraising and make a lasting impact on their organizations.
1. Relationship Building:
One of the fundamental skills that nonprofit leaders need for successful fundraising is the ability to build and nurture relationships. Building strong relationships with donors, supporters, and stakeholders is crucial for cultivating trust, loyalty, and long-term engagement. Effective leaders invest time in getting to know their donors personally, understanding their motivations, and tailoring their fundraising strategies accordingly. They prioritize building genuine connections based on shared values and a common vision.
2. Communication and Storytelling:
Effective communication is at the heart of successful fundraising. Nonprofit leaders must possess exceptional communication skills to convey their organization's mission, impact, and financial needs to potential donors and supporters. They should be able to craft compelling stories that evoke emotions and inspire action. By effectively communicating the importance of their cause and the impact of donor contributions, nonprofit leaders can create a sense of urgency and motivate individuals to support their organization financially.
3. Strategic Thinking:
Fundraising requires strategic thinking and planning. Nonprofit leaders must be able to analyze the funding landscape, identify potential funding sources, and develop comprehensive fundraising strategies aligned with their organization's goals. They should be capable of identifying opportunities, anticipating challenges, and adapting their strategies to changing circumstances. Strategic thinking involves setting realistic fundraising targets, developing action plans, and evaluating the effectiveness of different fundraising initiatives.
4. Financial Management:
A solid understanding of financial management is essential for nonprofit leaders involved in fundraising. They need to be knowledgeable about budgeting, forecasting, and financial reporting to ensure transparency and accountability to donors. Nonprofit leaders should have the ability to create and manage budgets, track financial performance, and demonstrate responsible stewardship of funds. By showcasing sound financial management practices, nonprofit leaders can instill confidence in potential donors and strengthen their fundraising efforts.
5. Networking and Collaboration:
Nonprofit leaders need strong networking and collaboration skills to expand their reach and access a wider donor base. Building relationships with individuals, businesses, foundations, and other nonprofit organizations can lead to strategic partnerships, shared resources, and collaborative fundraising opportunities. Effective leaders actively engage in networking events, conferences, and community gatherings to establish connections and foster mutually beneficial relationships. By leveraging these networks and collaborations, nonprofit leaders can enhance their fundraising efforts and create a larger impact.
6. Data Analysis and Evaluation:
Nonprofit leaders must have the ability to analyze data and evaluate the success of their fundraising strategies. They should be comfortable working with fundraising software and tools to track donor contributions, measure campaign effectiveness, and identify trends and patterns. By leveraging data-driven insights, nonprofit leaders can make informed decisions, refine their fundraising approaches, and optimize their efforts for better results.
Fundraising is a critical aspect of nonprofit leadership, and mastering the necessary skills is key to achieving success. Nonprofit leaders who possess strong relationship building, communication, strategic thinking, financial management, networking, and data analysis skills are better equipped to navigate the challenges of fundraising. By continuously honing these skills, nonprofit leaders can inspire donors, mobilize resources, and make a significant impact on their organizations and the communities they serve.
Hiring a contractor or consultant to perform work for your company or organization could result in significant cost savings while also providing a high level of expertise you may not be able to afford otherwise. The cost savings associated with hiring a consultant versus a permanent staff member can vary depending on several factors such as the level of expertise required, the length of the project, and the specific scope of work. Here are some potential cost savings that organizations may experience by hiring a consultant rather than a permanent staff member:
Lower Overhead Costs:
Reduced Hiring Costs:
Hiring a consultant instead of a permanent staff member can provide significant cost savings for organizations, particularly for short-term or specialized projects. However, it is important to carefully evaluate the costs and benefits of each option before making a decision.
As a nonprofit organization, you may be familiar with the concept of tax-exempt status. However, it's important to understand that there are some types of income that are not exempt from taxes, known as unrelated business income (UBI) tax.
What is Unrelated Business Income Tax?
Unrelated business income tax is a tax on income that is earned by a nonprofit organization through a trade or business that is not related to the organization's primary exempt purpose. The purpose of this tax is to prevent nonprofit organizations from using their tax-exempt status to gain an unfair advantage over for-profit businesses.
Examples of Unrelated Business Income
Here are fifteen types of income that may qualify as unrelated business income:
Reporting Unrelated Business Income Tax
Nonprofit organizations that earn unrelated business income are required to report it on Form 990-T, also known as the Exempt Organization Business Income Tax Return. The organization must file this form if it has gross income of $1,000 or more from unrelated business activities.
In addition to reporting the income, the organization must also calculate and pay any taxes owed on this income. The tax rate for unrelated business income varies depending on the amount of income earned, but it generally ranges from 21% to 28%.
It's important for nonprofit organizations to understand their obligations when it comes to unrelated business income tax. Failing to report or pay taxes on unrelated business income can result in penalties and potential loss of tax-exempt status.
Consequences of Not Reporting UBI
If a nonprofit fails to file Form 990-T to report their unrelated business income tax (UBIT), they may face penalties and potential loss of tax-exempt status.
The penalty for failing to file Form 990-T is $20 per day, up to a maximum of $10,000 or 5% of the organization's gross receipts, whichever is less. Additionally, if the IRS determines that the failure to file was willful, the penalty increases to $1,000 per day, up to a maximum of $50,000.
In addition to penalties, failing to report UBIT can also jeopardize a nonprofit's tax-exempt status. If the IRS determines that a nonprofit is engaged in a substantial amount of unrelated business activity and has not reported it, the organization may lose its tax-exempt status.
Unrelated business income tax can be a complex topic for nonprofit organizations to navigate, but it's an important aspect of maintaining tax-exempt status and ensuring compliance with tax regulations. By understanding what types of income qualify as unrelated business income and how to report it, nonprofit organizations can protect their tax-exempt status and continue to serve their communities in a financially responsible manner.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is everyone's job within a company. CSR initiatives should not be the sole responsibility of one department or individual within a company. Instead, CSR should be integrated into the company's culture and values, and all employees should be encouraged to contribute to CSR efforts in their own way.
All employees, from entry-level staff to executive leadership, can play a role in supporting CSR initiatives. This can include volunteering for community service events, participating in sustainability initiatives, reducing waste and energy consumption in the workplace, supporting diversity and inclusion initiatives, and advocating for ethical business practices.
By involving all employees in CSR initiatives, companies can create a culture of social responsibility and sustainability, which can have a positive impact on both the community and the company's bottom line. Additionally, involving employees in CSR initiatives can increase employee engagement, job satisfaction, and retention, which can lead to a more committed and motivated workforce.
CSR projects should be a collective effort involving various departments and people within a business. In practice, the following departments are typically most involved in implementing CSR initiatives:
Note: This article refers to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). CSR activities are also often referred to as Corporate Responsibility, ESG, Community Investment, Social Impact, and Community Relations.
If you're an employer competing for top talent in your industry, you may want to consider creating a formal plan to encourage volunteer service among employees. Working somewhere that encourages volunteer service can be important for several reasons.
As more and more companies recognize the importance of social responsibility and community involvement, many are turning to volunteer service programs as a way to give back and make a positive impact. However, simply encouraging employees to volunteer on their own time may not be enough to create a meaningful impact. To truly make a difference, companies need to develop a formal plan to encourage and support employee volunteer service.
Here are some reasons why your company needs a formal volunteer service plan:
A formal volunteer service plan can provide numerous benefits to both employees and companies. By supporting and encouraging employee volunteer service, companies can improve employee engagement, build a positive reputation, support local communities, improve employee skillsets, and enhance corporate social responsibility. If your company has not yet developed a formal volunteer service plan, now is the time to do so and make a meaningful impact.
Business Partnerships with Nonprofits: What to Consider When Choosing a Partner
Businesses partnering with nonprofits can be a win-win situation. Nonprofits can benefit from increased exposure and access to resources, while businesses can benefit from improved reputation, customer loyalty, and employee morale. However, not all partnerships are created equal. Businesses need to carefully consider several factors when choosing a nonprofit partner to ensure a successful and meaningful partnership.
But with so many nonprofits out there, how do you choose the right one to partner with? With these factors in mind, you can create a successful partnership that benefits both your business and the nonprofit you choose to partner with.
1. Values Alignment
First and foremost, businesses should choose a nonprofit that aligns with their values and mission. A partnership should be mutually beneficial, so it's important to find a nonprofit that shares similar goals and values. For example, a business that prioritizes environmental sustainability may want to partner with an environmental nonprofit, while a business that prioritizes education may want to partner with an education-focused nonprofit. If the nonprofit's mission doesn't align with your business's values and goals, the partnership may not be as effective as it could be. Take the time to research the nonprofit's mission statement and programs to ensure that they align with your business's values and goals.
2. Due Diligence
Once a potential nonprofit partner has been identified, businesses should research the organization thoroughly. This includes reviewing their mission statement, financial statements, and impact reports. Businesses should ensure that the nonprofit is reputable, transparent, and well-run. This due diligence is crucial to avoid any red flags, such as a nonprofit with a history of mismanagement or unethical practices.
3. Track Record
Another important consideration is the nonprofit's impact and reach. Businesses should assess the nonprofit's ability to make a meaningful difference in the community or cause they support. This can include reviewing the nonprofit's track record of success and their plans for the future. How effective is the nonprofit at achieving its goals? What kind of impact has it had on the community it serves? Look for nonprofits that have a track record of success and can demonstrate the impact their programs have had. Businesses should also consider the nonprofit's reach and visibility. A nonprofit with a large and engaged following can help increase the business's exposure and reputation.
4. Clear Expectations
In addition to impact and reach, businesses should consider the logistics of the partnership. This includes determining the scope of the partnership, setting clear goals and expectations, and establishing a timeline. Businesses should also consider the resources they are willing to allocate to the partnership, such as financial support, in-kind donations, or employee volunteer time. It's important to establish clear communication and expectations upfront to avoid misunderstandings or misaligned goals down the road.
Transparency is key when it comes to nonprofit partnerships. Make sure the nonprofit you partner with is transparent about its finances, how donations are used, and the impact its programs have had. Transparency builds trust with customers and can help ensure that the partnership is successful.
6. Plan Ahead
Businesses should prioritize building a strong relationship with their nonprofit partner. This means investing time and effort into getting to know the nonprofit's leadership and staff, understanding their needs and challenges, and finding ways to support them beyond financial donations. Building a strong relationship can lead to a more impactful partnership and can also help improve the business's reputation and employee morale.
Successful partnerships require collaboration. Look for a nonprofit that is willing to work with your business to create a mutually beneficial partnership. The nonprofit should be open to your ideas and suggestions and willing to work with you to achieve your shared goals.
8. Red Flags
While there are many great nonprofits to partner with, there are also some red flags to watch out for. Here are some things to avoid when choosing a nonprofit partner:
Partnering with a nonprofit can be a powerful way for businesses to give back to their community, improve their reputation, and boost employee morale. However, it's important to choose a nonprofit partner carefully and thoughtfully. Businesses should prioritize finding a nonprofit that aligns with their values and mission, has a proven track record of impact and reach, and is well-run and transparent. Be sure to watch out for red flags like lack of transparency, lack of impact, lack of collaboration, and controversial programs. By building a strong and meaningful partnership, businesses and nonprofits can work together to make a positive difference in the world.
Philanthropy, the act of giving and supporting those in need, has been an important part of human society for centuries. In modern times, corporations have increasingly become involved in philanthropy, through charitable donations, community involvement, and other forms of social responsibility. Here are the top five reasons to invest in strategic philanthropy.
1. Investing in philanthropy can help corporations build a positive reputation and enhance their brand image. When a corporation supports a charitable cause, it shows that they care about more than just profits and are invested in the well-being of their community. This can lead to increased loyalty and trust from consumers, who are more likely to support a business that aligns with their values. In addition, it can also help attract and retain employees who are passionate about making a positive impact on society.
2. Philanthropy can benefit the community by addressing social issues and improving quality of life. Corporate philanthropy can take many forms, including donations to charities, community engagement initiatives, volunteer programs, and more. By supporting these efforts, corporations can help provide essential services to those in need, such as food, shelter, healthcare, education, and more. This can have a significant impact on improving the lives of individuals and families, especially in disadvantaged communities.
3. Investing in philanthropy can help corporations build relationships with stakeholders, including customers, employees, suppliers, and investors. By working together to address social issues, corporations can foster a sense of shared purpose and collaboration, which can lead to stronger relationships and increased trust. This can be especially important during times of crisis, as stakeholders are more likely to support and stand by a corporation that has shown a commitment to social responsibility.
4. Corporate philanthropy can help corporations improve their bottom line by increasing customer loyalty and sales. Studies have shown that consumers are more likely to support businesses that demonstrate a commitment to social responsibility, and are willing to pay more for products and services from these companies. This can lead to increased revenue and profits, which can then be reinvested in further philanthropic efforts.
5. Investing in philanthropy is simply the right thing to do. As members of society, corporations have a responsibility to use their resources and influence to help address social issues and improve quality of life for all. By investing in philanthropy, corporations can help create a more just and equitable society, where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.
It is clear that investing in philanthropy is important for corporations, communities, and society as a whole. By demonstrating a commitment to social responsibility, corporations can build a positive reputation, benefit the community, build relationships with stakeholders, improve their bottom line, and make a positive impact on the world. As such, it is important for corporations to prioritize philanthropy as an essential part of their business strategy, and work to create a more just and equitable society for all.
Choosing the right bank for a nonprofit organization is a crucial decision that can have a significant impact on the organization's financial stability and ability to achieve its mission.
Nonprofit organizations may face several unique challenges when it comes to banking, such as difficulty accessing loans or lines of credit, limited options for fee-free banking, and the need to manage donor funds and maintain transparency and accountability. Additionally, nonprofit organizations often have fluctuating cash flows, which can make it challenging to maintain consistent account balances and avoid overdraft fees.
With so many banks and financial institutions to choose from, it can be challenging to know where to start. In this blog post, we'll explore the key factors that nonprofits should consider when selecting a bank.
1. Mission Alignment
The first and most critical factor to consider when selecting a bank for a nonprofit organization is mission alignment. The bank should share the nonprofit's values and mission, and be committed to supporting the organization's work. Nonprofits should look for banks that have a history of working with nonprofit organizations and have a track record of supporting causes that align with their mission. Because of the unique challenges related to banking for nonprofits, you will want to have a bank that has experience working with nonprofit entities.
2. Fees and Costs
Nonprofits should be mindful of the fees and costs associated with banking services. Banks typically charge fees for various services, such as account maintenance, wire transfers, and ATM usage. These fees can add up quickly and eat into the organization's budget. Nonprofits should look for a bank that offers low or no-cost banking services or provides discounts for nonprofit organizations.
3. Accessibility and Convenience
Accessibility and convenience are also critical factors to consider when selecting a bank for a nonprofit organization. Nonprofits should look for a bank that has a convenient location and offers online banking services, mobile banking, and payment processing. This will make it easier for the organization to manage its finances and access its funds when needed. If your nonprofit operates outside of your headquarters state, make sure executives can access the banking services from anywhere.
4. Customer Service
Customer service is another essential factor to consider when selecting a bank for a nonprofit organization. Nonprofits should look for a bank that provides excellent customer service and is responsive to their needs. The bank should have a dedicated team that specializes in working with nonprofit organizations and understands the unique challenges they face. Consider the availability of customer service representatives and the responsiveness of the bank's support team.
5. Security and Fraud Protection
Security and fraud protection are critical considerations for any organization, but they are especially important for nonprofits. Nonprofits should look for a bank that offers robust security features, such as two-factor authentication and fraud prevention tools. The bank should also have a system in place for quickly detecting and addressing any fraudulent activity. Ensure that the bank has robust security measures in place to protect your funds and investments from fraud or cyberattacks. Ask about their policies for data protection, encryption, and fraud prevention. Of course, you will also need to verify that the bank is FDIC insured, which means that your funds are protected up to $250,000 in case the bank fails.
6. Interest Rates and Investment Opportunities
Nonprofits should consider the interest rates and investment opportunities offered by the bank. Nonprofits should look for a bank that offers competitive interest rates on its deposit accounts and provides investment opportunities that align with the organization's financial goals.
It's important to choose a bank with a good reputation and a history of stability and reliability. Look for a bank with positive reviews and feedback from other nonprofits or businesses, and consider their track record of financial performance.
Conduct due diligence and research potential banks thoroughly before making a decision. This can include reading reviews and ratings, comparing fees and services, and asking for recommendations from other nonprofits or trusted advisors.
Selecting the right bank for a nonprofit organization requires careful consideration of several factors. Nonprofits should look for a bank that shares their values and mission, offers low or no-cost banking services, is accessible and convenient, provides excellent customer service, has robust security and fraud protection measures in place, and offers competitive interest rates and investment opportunities. By taking these factors into account, nonprofits can find a banking partner that will help them achieve their financial goals and further their mission.
Nonprofit organizations have long struggled with finding the right talent for their entry-level positions. However, there is a growing pool of untapped talent that nonprofits can leverage: teenagers. By hiring youth workers, nonprofits can not only fill their entry-level roles but also enjoy a host of benefits. By investing in youth workers, nonprofits can build a stronger, more innovative, and more sustainable workforce. Of course, it is important for employers to understand and comply with these child labor laws to ensure the safety and well-being of their young employees. Employers should go above and beyond to protect the wellbeing of all employees. Child labor laws are just the bare minimum expectation of how a minor should be treated in the workplace.
Benefits of Hiring Teenagers for the Employer
Benefits of Having a Job for the Teenage Workers
Having a job in their youth can provide numerous benefits for teenagers, both in the short term and in the long term. In this research brief, we will explore these benefits in detail.
Short term benefits:
Long term benefits:
It is important to note, however, that there are also potential downsides to teenagers having jobs. Working too many hours can lead to stress and burnout, and may interfere with academic performance. Additionally, some jobs may expose teenagers to hazardous or unsafe working conditions. Employers should follow all child labor laws when hiring a teenager and monitoring their safety and work conditions.
Having a job in their youth can provide numerous benefits for teenagers, including money management skills, responsibility, time management skills, social skills, work experience, career readiness, financial independence, better academic performance, networking, and confidence. While there are potential downsides to working, the benefits outweigh the risks for most teenagers.
Protecting Minors from Exploitation, Abuse, and Unsafe Working Conditions
Child labor laws are in place to protect minors from exploitation, abuse, and unsafe working conditions. When hiring teenagers to work, employers must adhere to these laws to ensure the safety and well-being of their young employees. Here are some of the child labor laws that employers must follow:
Cause marketing is a marketing strategy that involves a company partnering with a nonprofit organization to promote a charitable cause while also promoting their own brand. The idea is that customers will feel good about supporting a good cause while also purchasing a product or service from the company.
There are three main ways you can incorporate Cause Marketing into the marketing plan for your company.
25 Examples of Cause Marketing Campaigns
Closing down a nonprofit or small business can be a difficult and emotional process. However, it is sometimes necessary due to financial constraints, lack of resources, changes in the market, or other reasons. If you find yourself in this situation, it's important to know the steps you need to take to properly close down your organization. In this blog post, we'll outline the key steps you need to take to close down a nonprofit or small business.
Closing down a nonprofit or small business can be a challenging process, but by following these steps you can ensure that you do so in a responsible and professional manner. If you need help with any of these steps, be sure to consult with legal or financial professionals who can provide guidance and support.
Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) is an umbrella term used to refer to the set of standards, practices and policies that a company has in place to ensure they are taking responsibility for the environment, social issues and governance. ESG has become increasingly important as businesses become more focused on sustainability, ethical practices and the overall health of their operations.
Small businesses, in particular, have an important role to play in ensuring that they contribute positively to society and the environment. However, monitoring ESG impacts can be challenging for small businesses, especially those with limited resources. By monitoring their ESG impacts and tracking relevant metrics, small businesses can identify areas for improvement and take action to become more sustainable and responsible. By doing so, they can not only benefit the environment and society but also enhance their reputation and build a loyal customer base.
Small businesses can be involved in ESG in a number of ways. First, they can commit to sustainable practices and ethical operations. This can include adopting renewable energy sources, minimizing waste production and disposal, and implementing fair labor practices. Second, they can ensure they are compliant with legal regulations and labor standards. Third, they can invest in social initiatives, such as initiatives to support local communities, education and health. Finally, they can adopt corporate governance practices that are transparent and accountable.
Small businesses can monitor their ESG performance by regularly measuring their progress against their goals. This includes tracking their environmental, social and governance progress against targets, such as reducing their carbon footprint or increasing their charitable giving. Additionally, businesses can use third-party audits and assessments to measure their ESG performance and identify areas for improvement.
Small Business Environmental Impacts (E)
Small businesses are an important part of any local economy, and with the increasing global focus on sustainability, it is important for these businesses to become more sustainable. Fortunately, there are a number of ways that small businesses can make changes to reduce their environmental impact and become more sustainable.
Small Business Social Impacts (S)
Employers have a responsibility to ensure that the labor conditions they provide to their employees are safe, fair, and equitable. Improving labor conditions can have a positive impact on employee morale, productivity, and overall job satisfaction.
Small Business Governance Impacts (G)
Small businesses should pay attention to their corporate governance practices. This includes ensuring that there are clear lines of communication between management and employees, that all employees have a say in decision-making, and that any corporate policies are in line with ESG considerations. A governance policy can help ensure that the company is being managed in an ethical and responsible manner. In terms of governance, small businesses can track metrics such as regulatory compliance and ethical conduct. This can help them ensure that they are operating in a responsible and transparent manner and that they are complying with all relevant regulations and laws.
ESG, CSR, CSI, DEI, etc.! What to call your business's charity and volunteering activities
If you are a business owner, executive, or business leader working to make the world a better place through corporate giving and volunteerism, you may find yourself wondering how to make sense of it all. With so many terms thrown around that are used to describe business activities in philanthropy, which one can you use to help you benchmark and improve your company's Corporate Social Responsibility programs? Sometimes it's referred to as Corporate Responsibility and other times it's corporate citizenship or ESG. What is the difference of all these terms, or is there a difference at all? We hope to clear up some confusion on the topic of terminology in corporate philanthropy.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is an approach taken by many businesses to actively support and contribute to the betterment of their local and global communities. This could be done through activities such as volunteering, financial donations, or by creating and implementing sustainability initiatives. CSR can be seen as a business-wide commitment to conduct business responsibly and ethically, as well as to ensure that the business is taking into account the impact of its decisions on the environment, society, and its stakeholders.
Corporate Responsibility is often used interchangeably with CSR, however, it is actually a broader term that encompasses the environmental, social, and economic responsibilities of a company. Corporate Responsibility is more focused on long-term initiatives that can benefit all stakeholders, such as investing in local job creation, reducing environmental impact, and promoting diversity and inclusion.
Corporate Citizenship is a term that is used to describe a company’s commitment to ethical and responsible business practices. This can involve activities such as supporting local charities, taking part in community-based initiatives, or by investing in social and environmental projects. Being a good corporate citizen means taking responsibility for the impact of your business on the environment, society, and economy. It also means taking responsibility for any negative impacts your business activities may have, and working to mitigate and address those impacts.
Corporate Social Investment (CSI)
Corporate Social Investment (CSI) is a term that is used to describe a company’s commitment to investing in projects and initiatives that have a positive impact on the community. Corporate social investment is when companies invest their resources, such as their time, money and knowledge, into programs and initiatives that are aimed at improving the lives of people in their local community. This can be done through a variety of ways, such as providing volunteering opportunities, providing educational or training programs, or providing financial support to those in need.
Corporate Giving or Corporate Philanthropy
Corporate Giving and Corporate Philanthropy are terms used to describe a company’s commitment to donating to charitable causes. This could include activities such as donating money, providing volunteer services, or sponsoring local events.
Cause marketing is a marketing strategy that combines the goals of a for-profit company with the mission of a non-profit organization or cause. It allows businesses to give back to their communities and support important causes, while also promoting their own products and services. companies can also partner with non-profit organizations to create campaigns and events that support a specific cause. These campaigns can be multifaceted and include things such as social media campaigns, special events, and even product sales.
Community Investment is a term used to describe a company’s commitment to investing in local initiatives that benefit the community. This could include activities such as offering internships, providing financial support to local schools, or investing in community development projects.
Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG)
Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) is a term used to describe a company’s commitment to conducting business in a manner that is environmentally, socially, and economically responsible. Environmental considerations include reducing carbon emissions, conserving natural resources, and reducing pollution. This can be monitored through energy and water use, waste management, and other activities. Social considerations include promoting diversity and inclusion, supporting employee wellbeing, and engaging in responsible labor practices. This can be done through surveys, listening to employee feedback, and providing resources and support. Lastly, Governance considerations include ensuring ethical business practices, transparency in operations, and promoting sustainability initiatives.
Impact investing is a type of investing that focuses on achieving both financial returns and positive social or environmental impacts. It is a form of investment that seeks to generate a measurable, beneficial social or environmental effect alongside a financial return. Impact investing can be used to fund a variety of projects, from renewable energy to affordable housing and health care. For example impact investing can fund affordable housing projects by providing housing that is affordable to lower-income households at a lower return than they may get in market rate housing. By investing in these projects, investors can help to address the issue of poverty and provide a safe and comfortable living environment to people who may not otherwise be able to afford it.
Social impact is a measure of the positive and negative influence a company has on its local, regional and global communities. It is often used to evaluate the effectiveness of a company's CSR initiatives, such as its environmental policies, charitable contributions, and other activities. Social impact can be measured in terms of the number of people affected, the amount of resources used, and the long-term effects of the company's actions.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)
DEI stands for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. It refers to the conscious and intentional efforts made by companies to create a culture that embraces and celebrates the differences among employees. DEI aims to foster an environment where everyone feels valued, respected, and supported, regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, or any other characteristic that makes them unique. DEI is important for a company because it creates a competitive advantage by attracting and retaining top talent, improving employee morale and engagement, enhancing the company's reputation, and increasing innovation and creativity. When employees feel valued and respected, they are more likely to be motivated, productive, and committed to the company's mission and vision.
All of these terms are used to describe a company’s commitment to conducting business in an ethical and responsible manner. Each of these terms has its own focus and purpose, but ultimately, they all share the same goal of creating a better environment for all stakeholders. Companies have the potential to make a real difference in the lives of those around them and in the community as a whole, and this cannot be done without investing in the community. By investing in strategic philanthropy, companies will be able to demonstrate that they are taking a responsible and sustainable approach to business operations. This can help them to stand out in the marketplace and build trust with stakeholders, customers, and employees.
All nonprofits registered as tax-exempt with the federal government must file an annual report with the IRS every year. No matter what income, asset, or activity level, your organization is required to file to maintain your active status as a 501C3 public charity or foundation. These forms may look very scary but are relatively straightforward if you have the right information available to you. You will need detailed information about your financials so access to full bank records is key. Of course, maintaining clean records throughout the year will make filling out the tax forms a breeze.
To fill out an IRS 990 form, you will need to have an EIN, basic organizational information, financial documents and records, information about the organization’s board of directors and officers, and revenue and expenditure information. Depending on the organization’s type, you may need to provide additional information or documents.
The Five Main Types of Tax Exempt IRS 990 Forms
The IRS 990 is an annual report that tax-exempt organizations must file with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It provides information about the organization's mission, programs, finances, and activities. There are five main types of 990 filings, and each one has a different purpose and filing requirement.
Each form is slightly different and provides different information. Form 990-EZ is the simplest form and is used to provide basic information about the organization. Form 990 provides more detailed information about the organization's finances, activities, and governance. The Form 990-PF is more detailed and focuses on the private foundation's activities, investments, and charitable giving. Form 990-N is the simplest form and provides basic information about the organization. Form 990-T is solely for tax exempt organizations that have unrelated business income that may be open to tax liabilities.
Option for a Six-Month Extension to File
There is a sixth form you ought to be aware of is Form 8868 "Application for Extension of Time to File and Exempt Organization Return." If the filing deadline is coming up quickly and you do not have all of your financial and organization information ready to submit your annual report tax form, then file an extension. Completing Form 8868 will put in a request to give you permission for a 6-month extension to complete your forms.
What happens if you do not file your IRS 990 form?
Failing to file your IRS 990 form can have serious consequences. The IRS requires organizations to submit a 990 form to remain in compliance with federal tax law. If an organization does not file a 990 form, the IRS may impose penalties and fines. These penalties can range from a small fine to the revocation of the organization’s tax-exempt status.
In addition to penalties from the IRS, not filing a 990 form can also lead to a decrease in donations and grants from donors. Donors and grantmakers often use the 990 form to assess the legitimacy of an organization's work and its financial stability. Without the 990 form, the organization is not likely to receive donations or grants.
Blackbird Philanthropy Advisors is happy to share general information related to nonprofit tax forms, however, we are not accountants. The best way to determine how to complete these forms is by contacting a tax professional who specializes in nonprofit accounting and finance. Contact us and we would be happy to provide a referral to a trustworthy CPA who can help you.
If you're asked to serve as a member of the Board of Directors for a nonprofit organization, make sure you will be covered by Board Member D&O Insurance (Directors and Officer's Insurance). Most companies and nonprofits will cover the cost of this insurance for all board members, but if they refuse you have the option of purchasing a policy yourself. You also may want to think twice about joining a board that will not cover your exposure to financial risk.
What is Nonprofit Board Member Insurance?
Nonprofit board member insurance (D&O insurance) is an important protection for those who volunteer their time and expertise to serve on the board of a nonprofit organization. Think of it as a safety net that protects you as a board member. It covers board members from the risks they may face while serving on the board, such as personal liability for decisions made in the course of their duties, legal fees, and damages they may be held responsible for. D&O Insurance is a type of liability insurance that covers the legal defense costs and any settlements or judgments that may result from legal action taken against you for alleged wrongful acts or decisions made in your capacity as a board member.
Why Do Nonprofit Board Members Need D&O Insurance?
If you are a nonprofit executive leader, you should spend the money to offer a policy to your Board of Directors. Having this insurance can demonstrates a commitment to responsible governance and can attract high-quality board members who value the protection that insurance offers.
Nonprofit board member insurance is especially important in today’s world, where nonprofit organizations often take on complex and challenging projects, and face a variety of legal and financial risks. Board members are ultimately responsible for the decisions made by the nonprofit organization, and can be held personally liable for any mistakes or oversights. Even if the board member is not directly at fault, they may still be held liable for any losses or damages suffered by the organization.
It's not a matter of if a lawsuit will happen, but rather when. As a nonprofit board member, you can be held personally responsible for any decisions or actions that result in financial loss or harm to the organization or its stakeholders. Even if the allegations against you are false or baseless, the legal defense process can be lengthy and expensive. D&O Insurance can give you peace of mind so you can and focus on your role as a board member without worrying about personal financial repercussions. Nonprofit board member insurance provides financial protection for board members in the event of any legal action taken against them. It can cover legal fees associated with defending the board member against any allegations, as well as any damages that may be awarded. In some cases, this insurance may even cover the cost of settling out of court.
When is D&O Insurance Used?
D&O Insurance can be used in a variety of scenarios. Here are some examples:
D&O Insurance is an essential component of any nonprofit organization's risk management strategy. As a board member, having this insurance in place can provide peace of mind and protect you from personal financial loss in the event of a lawsuit. It's important to ensure that the nonprofit you are involved with has this coverage in place to protect both the organization and its board members.
Having the right insurance in place can help protect board members from any financial losses they may face due to their involvement in a nonprofit organization. It can also help to reduce the risk of financial ruin for the organization itself, as well as for its board members.
If you need help finding a reputable, trustworthy risk management advisor for your nonprofit organization, contact us and we can help point you in the right direction.
Outsourcing your business’ accounting department to a third-party can be helpful for those who want to focus on growing their business without having their time taken away by bookkeeping and accounting. Choosing a CPA accounting firm to delegate these tasks can free up more time for businesses to dedicate to managing. It’s important to know what to look for when choosing a CPA firm to take over this aspect of your business. Here are key things to look at:
Secure, Advanced Technology
Look for a CPA firm that invests in up-to-date technology. You want to ensure that the firm handling your finances and business information is using software that has convenient features and works well with your needs and is a secure way to conduct business. Newer technology even has options for integration between accounting and point-of-sale. Know what your needs are and make sure to ask the firm the right questions about their technology.
Whether they are a small business accountant or a large firm, good service will lead to good reviews. Look up your CPA choices before making a decision and find insight through the experiences of past clientele. You can also check with local businesses in your area to see what accounting firms they utilize and what their opinions are.
Always ask about the services the CPA firm offers. Every accounting business differs when it comes to what they can specialize in so understand the needs of your business before making a decision. Ask yourself if you’re looking for basic bookkeeping, need attention put towards monthly audits of financial statements or looking for more financial advice. Different accounting firms will be suited for different needs.
Double check the schedule and availability of the firm you’re looking into. Some people only need to meet with their firm a few times a year for tax purposes. If you want to be able to reach your accountant at any time for questions, you will need to find a firm that is able to cater to that.
At the end of the day you want to work with people that know what they’re doing and have the years of experience to back up their work. The best firms will have owners and staff with years of experience in varied industries. Make sure the firm has worked with your industry.
Should You Close Your Nonprofit?
Closing a nonprofit organization is usually the last thing that comes to mind when considering potential futures for an organization you’ve dedicated so much passion and time towards. It is natural for companies to run their course whether from successfully completing their mission or from a variety of issues that may arise like financial instability or loss of resources. In fact, an article by Candid evaluating various scenarios showed that 4 percent of nonprofits would close in the absence of a crisis. Our country is currently going through a unique crisis, one that has occurred only once in the past century. Battling the coronavirus pandemic has been difficult for everyone. Even with government aid and public willingness to support nonprofits, organizations may still be facing a variety of challenges. Evaluating your nonprofit’s status during a global pandemic with an honest approach is a brave action to take. Here is what goes into consideration when it comes to closing a nonprofit:
What to Evaluate When Looking at the Life of Your Nonprofit
There are a number of reasons for dissolving a nonprofit organization. These all tie into whether or not you’re able to continue running a nonprofit.
Other organizations that rely on donations are also feeling the stress of the pandemic trickle through. Members of the community have been struggling to make ends meet during the pandemic. There have been many instances of lay-offs and furloughs since last March. Families are also having to deal with loss of income from being unable to work due to medical problems or quarantining. “Nearly two in five American households say they’re making less money since the start of the pandemic.” This limits the amount of charitable donations that people are able to make.
While emergency funding through grants and loans are an option, relying on these for extended periods of time is not a solid strategy for the health of your nonprofit. Look over your available funds and income sources and if you see continued issues, it might be time to consider closing.
The coronavirus pandemic, along with public unrest stemming from social justice issues, has also boosted specific nonprofits to the forefront of peoples’ minds. Those making charitable contributions are dedicating their resources to those working on the frontlines, COVID-19 related nonprofits, and, in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement, nonprofits that work to promote social justice. This leaves others like those focused on arts and education, for example, struggling with unexpected competitors. At certain times, there may not be enough bandwidth in the system to support as many nonprofits.
Throughout the crisis, Johns Hopkins University found that over 1.6 million nonprofit workers have lost their jobs. With many nonprofits being under-resourced even before the pandemic began, holding on to staff during difficult times may not be possible. Less staff may lead to the inability to carry out your organization’s work and limit your work towards your mission.
Nonprofits are also facing a new problem when it comes to volunteer numbers. The pandemic has prevented people from being in close contact with one another which means organizations that rely on the help of in-person volunteers may feel the strain more than before. Sacrificing the work of an organization in favor for the safety of people is never a bad choice.
Sometimes, people just become too burned out. This is understandable when it comes to running an organization you are passionate about. The past year has taken its toll on people in unimaginable ways. A lack of energy to dedicate to an organization may also be an important resource to take into account when considering closing your nonprofit.
Actions to Take When Closing a Nonprofit
There are a number of steps to take in the event of a nonprofit closure. One of the key points to remember is to keep your staff and your clients at the center of your actions. This means keeping people informed and approaching the situation with patience and empathy. Many people have dedicated time, energy, hopes, and even their hearts in your organization. Take the time to walk them through this process and offer support where you are able.
These are important actions to take when going about closing a nonprofit organization. Each organization’s dissolution plan will differ according to their structure and needs, but here is a basic outline of an effective closure strategy.
It is also important not to forget federal and state entities in your notification process. You will need to file a formal intent to close with the state as well as submit final tax documentation to the IRS within a few months of closing.
Clients may suddenly have a gap that needs to be filled. Refund fees for unused services, refer clients to similar organizations in the area, or offer what help you are able to in the final days of your organization.
The philanthropy landscape has changed just within the past year. With different causes emerging to the forefront of the news cycle, the priority of philanthropists has also shifted to focus on contributing to issues that have been highlighted since last Spring. The Black Lives Matter movement has been around since 2013, but only recently has there been a surge in donations towards this cause and many other Black-owned nonprofits. Philanthropists have switched gears and invested more of their time and money into nonprofits that support social change, Black communities, and Black leaders.
Businesses Contributing to Social Justice
While the Black community and community of color have faced countless acts of injustice, it took the events of the pandemic and highly publicized murders occurring last year to shine light on many of the issues these communities have been dealing with. Since then, corporations have been taking a role in funding these movements and supporting people in these communities.
The George Soros Foundation pledged to distribute $220 million to organizations and leaders in Black communities. These contributions were spread across a variety of organizations from those that foster civic engagement in Black communities to those working in public safety, incarceration, and the police. This foundation, like others, is dedicated to showing a long-term commitment to supporting organizations that work with social justice-related issues.
Well-known corporations have also stepped in when it comes to donations. Chick-fil-A gifted $5 million in grants to serving black communities and nonprofits. Other business giants have reached out to Black and minority owned businesses to provide support. Netflix pledged to support Black-owned businesses in Los Angeles and PepsiCo planned to invest over $400 million in Black communities and in developing Black leaders, especially at their own company. They committed to making these contributions over the next five years.
Organizations to Invest InThere are plenty of organizations focused in the racial justice sector to contribute to. Many websites like Charity Navigator can help you search for and evaluate nonprofits. They include highly rated charities that promote Black health, education, rights, and community development.
Other nonprofits to donate to include:
Taking popularity contests into consideration is not something that first comes to mind when engaging in charitable work. While we would hope that all organizations doing nonprofit work on behalf of a variety of causes are receiving the aid they need, this is simply not the case. There are differences when it comes to the type of causes that people like to fund. This doesn’t mean that it is impossible for less “popular” causes to raise money, but that more innovation and dedication may be required to raise funding for their goals. Those willing to rise to the challenges of these obstacles can still do great work for their causes.
Funding Priorities Around the World
Donors around the world have different viewpoints on organizations they are willing to fund. A study from WealthInsight has shown that, overall, philanthropists are most involved when it comes to funding cultural institutions, academic institutions, and healthcare. In 2017 alone, health related charities saw a 15.5 percent rise in donations from American households. Causes that seemed to be less popular among donors in the world include religion, sports, human rights, and military causes. However, preferences vary by region with those in the Americas and Europe seeing more donations to health and culture causes while education dominates donations in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.
There are also more variations when you investigate each sector. While health may be a top priority for many philanthropists, areas in health that touch on issues like mental health, addiction, or sexual health see significantly less donations than health organizations that address topics like cancer. For example, the nine cancer charities in the top 100 fundraising charities have a combined income larger than the 13 charities in the top 100 related to other health issues.
Facing the Road Ahead
There’s plenty of actions organizations can take if they are looking to boost their donations. The key is showing others the importance of advocating and supporting the cause the organization is passionate about. Take an active role in educating about the cause and show evidence of the impact a donor’s funding can make. Continue to appeal to the public’s emotions and take advantage of opportunities to elevate the nonprofit’s profile.
A good reference is an article published in the International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing touching on “unpopular causes and how they can achieve fundraising success”. There may be a tough road ahead but, holding on to a positive outlook and having specific strategies on the fundraising journey can play an important role in how successful an organization is.
Are You Good At Making Money? That Doesn't Mean You'll Be Good At Giving It Away.
Philanthropic giving may seem like an easy process. Many who get involved have the ability to make significant impacts on the causes and nonprofit organizations they are helping. But, simply having the desire to help others doesn’t necessarily mean you will be effective at it. There’s plenty of forethought that goes into charitable giving. This is why creating a strategic philanthropy plan allows you to be intentional with your donations and guides you through your decision making.
How to Give Money Away...Strategically
The following questions will help you determine the best way to distribute your income.
What are you and your family’s values, concerns, and beliefs?
Figuring out what you care about is one of the first steps when it comes to philanthropic giving. You want to have a clear understanding of why you are doing what you’re doing and that starts with anchoring your philanthropic efforts in ideas, beliefs, and values that are important to you and your family. This helps you begin your process in solving complex problems. Once you’ve determined this you can go about looking for organizations or issues you hope to impact. This is also the time to see what others in the field are working on and the types of aid a specific issue needs.
What does success in philanthropy look like to you?
Success can look different to everyone. This could mean seeing the organization you are funding reach their goals, you reaching your own philanthropic goals, or even just being able to actively contribute your time and money to the cause you care about. The main focus is understanding what you would like to see yourself achieve. Take time to think about potential outcomes and research whether or not your goals are feasible.
How will you go about giving?
This is the stage where you map out the type of resources you can bring to the table and how you will go about contributing them. If it’s money you are looking to donate, look into how often and how much you are willing to give as well as any risks involved. Giving can also be done through other avenues such as through volunteering, mentoring, or creating connections for the organizations. Divide up your time and resources into something that makes sense for you and stick to it.
Whether you have been giving for a few decades or just stepping into the philanthropic world, you might be curious about different styles of giving and wonder what your tendencies lean towards. Well, according to the Foundation Source, there are five common methods of giving that they have noticed among clients in the charitable giving world. Curious to see where you may fall within these categories? Read ahead to discover the five types of philanthropists!
Those who are labeled checkbook philanthropists can be pictured as someone who whips out their checkbook without much notice or forethought and is ready to donate to needs as they come their way. There is more spontaneity when it comes to these donations and oftentimes, this means that they are simply happy to contribute to the organization’s work and do not expect much in return.
Philanthropists who are focused on a very specific cause or field of interest and actively respond to requests for funding within their interests. These types of donors can be good for nonprofit organizations targeting strategic philanthropy because they know the exact guidelines and circumstances under which responsive funders are willing to provide monetary support. This concentrated focus on certain giving areas can be very impactful to organizations in those sectors.
Donors who focus on applying venture capital tactics and strategies using hands-on involvement and mentorship fall under venture philanthropists. They are much more likely to be involved with the organization in more ways from day-to-day tasks and with setting goals for long-term success. Venture philanthropy is looking to grow organizations.
Those who want to fix the problem and not just treat the symptoms are results-based philanthropists. These donors work with individuals involved on all levels from nonprofits to government sectors to make an impact. They are more likely to invest a lot of time in researching nonprofit organizations before taking any on as a philanthropic project. This is because they have a desire to understand all aspects of the problem before setting and tackling achievable goals.
Those who understand the need for the involvement of multiple parties to work towards a common goal are collaborative funders. This could involve bringing together family foundations, corporate philanthropists, etc. to share the responsibilities of supporting a cause based on their ability. These types of philanthropic setups involve diverse individuals concentrating on specific tasks to accomplish an overall goal.
About a decade ago, a number of the world’s influential billionaires came together to share ideas on how they could motivate other wealthy people to contribute their wealth to philanthropy. This was the inception of “The Giving Pledge,” a campaign that encouraged the rich to dedicate at least half of their wealth to philanthropic efforts.
"The Giving Pledge” was a campaign that was discussed at a private dinner meeting in May of 2009 that consisted of some of the most well-known billionaires like David Rockefeller, Michael Bloomberg, and, reportedly, even Oprah Winfrey. While this meeting was kept secret when it occurred, a year later, its hosts, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet announced the launch of the modest campaign. This desire for change was fueled by the lack of donations from the billionaire population.
The call for action was not too specific or demanding. It requested that billionaires pledge 50 percent of their fortune to philanthropy. Those who made the pledge would not be bound by requirements meaning they could give to any causes they desired through any method and without time constraints, although donations to political parties would not count. Gates and Buffet hoped that the relaxed guidelines would serve as a strategic choice to get more billionaires to commit to donating.
At its start, 40 of America’s wealthiest individuals signed up for the commitment and it has since grown to over 200 of the world’s richest individuals, couples, and families from 25 different countries. The pledge works by having those who sign up issue a public commitment towards its mission. Those involved are able to independently work on their contributions and are then invited to an annual gathering to celebrate, share, and learn from one another as well as experts.
These billionaires come from different backgrounds and have diverse philanthropic interests ranging from issues including poverty, education, health, research, environmental sustainability, etc. A full list of pledge signatories can be found on the pledge’s website. It also includes the public pledge that each signatory released at the time of commitment. Here are just a few of the pledges made:
While the purpose of the pledge was to encourage billionaire’s to contribute their wealth, the sentiment of giving generously is relevant to capable donors of any financial status. For some insight on strategic giving, visit our blog for information!
Estate planning requires juggling a variety of decisions involving property, money, and entities. When trying to decide what happens to your valuable possessions, many will usually set aside something to loved ones while also dedicating some of their fortune to a good cause. Those interested in pursuing a philanthropic option can do so by seeking out nonprofit organizations whose missions closely align with your values. When these plans are incorporated, it is known as “planned giving.”
The trend used to be that many philanthropists would leave behind a trust or a foundation for giving to occur after they have passed. The responsibility then falls on heirs to ensure organizations are being properly funded and your wishes are being carried out. But, this tradition has become a way of the past. Many are choosing to give actively throughout their lives rather than saving everything for later. There’s plenty of good that can come from choosing to engage in philanthropy now rather than the future but it is understandable that many considerations come into play when deciding this.
Pros and Cons of Giving Now and Later
One of the considerations that comes up when you decide to participate in charitable giving is the topic of anonymity. Depending on the type of person you are and the effects you are looking for, giving anonymously may seem like the way to go rather than making your donations well-known to everyone. There’s arguments for each side and ultimately, the decision is up to you. Before making your next philanthropic move, weigh the advantages and disadvantages of giving anonymously and publicly.
There are plenty of factors that go into making the decision to be anonymous in your giving. These can include your background, the organization you are supporting, etc. Here are the advantages and disadvantages associated with giving anonymously:
Public donations are preferred by many organizations and offer them more opportunities and benefits than you may realize. For example, the more donors they are able to publicly include on their list, the more likely they are able to grow their work with the community. Not only does your donation help fund their projects, you name attached to a charitable gift can be used to help elevate fundraising efforts, create compelling stories, and help the organization build a relationship with you as a donor.