Digital Books and Publications

The Greatest Ongoing Nonprofit and Donor Debate

September 4th, 2017

Recently, I’ve started to see renewed push-back from donors about their gifts to charity. If you participate in nonprofit groups, I’ve heard some exasperated nonprofit executives and fundraisers speaking about donors demanding to know how much of their donations are going directly to programs. This debate and discussions have been going on for a long time. I thought we were heading in the right direction, but apparently, many donors and the public still don’t understand.

For years, there has been a back and forth between nonprofit leaders and major donors about expense ratios. In the digital age, general donors and volunteers have gotten into the discussion demanding on social media that charities publish how much of the monies they receive go directly to programs. The implication is clear. Donors, even smaller gift supporters, don’t want a dollar of their money going to pay for operational costs such as rent, lights, infrastructure, and worst of all–salaries!

It’s as if the push by Dan Pallotta and others, including me, to stop the insanity of telling nonprofits they have to continue to suffer what Stanford Social Innovation Review coined the “nonprofit starvation cycle” has not changed a lot of donors’ minds.

Why the Expense Debate is a Problem

The problem with this particular debate is that frequently the supports asking it aren’t evaluating the right information, don’t accept that nonprofits are businesses or have not done proper due diligence.

  1. Many times donors who ask this question have not reviewed the financials of an organization.
  2. I would venture to say that most donors do not know how to effectively read the financials of a nonprofit, especially the IRS 990 report.
  3. Candidly, it’s ridiculous to think that nonprofit businesses don’t need any money for operations and salary. Granted, keeping the lights, investing in digital technology or paying salaries are not as exciting as knowing that your money is directly going to help a child, but it’s much tougher to save that child or accomplish any mission if there are limited resources to do it.
  4. There’s a misconception about the meaning of the IRS designation around “nonprofits.” Nonprofits are businesses. The difference is that nonprofits don’t have shareholders and they receive tax-deductible donations. They are allowed to make a profit, but that profit is to be reinvested into the organization. It does not go to shareholders.
  5. Depriving charities of nonprofit money continues to perpetuate the reality that exists of hundreds of thousands of nonprofits that make less than $100,000 a year and can never grow beyond that or become sustainable because donors believe they are supposed to miraculously somehow have all money go to direct program costs.

This tension in the nonprofit sector also creates situations where nonprofit leaders place operating money into budget lines related to programs (where they may not belong). That then skews the financial reporting that nonprofits do and reporting of proper ratios. And, then you may have instances where a donor who knows financial reporting and nonprofit financial management challenges charity executives because reporting appears incorrect or even dishonest when in reality donors are helping to create this environment.

What Donors and the Public Have to Understand About Nonprofits

Donors have to understand that nonprofits are a business. On the other side of the coin, nonprofit leaders and fundraisers also have to make a clear case to supporters about what it takes to run a nonprofit business. Shying away from it so as to not upset donors is doing a disservice to your organization and the mission you serve. It’s essential that donors understand:

  • It takes money to grow an organization to be sustainable so it can better do its mission.
  • It takes money to hire excellent people who are well educated, experienced, informed and qualified to do the work. You don’t want your organization to have to rely on a revolving door of average workers who are looking for their next opportunity. You want a talented and committed team.
  • It takes money to promote your nonprofit business. There’s a perception that a lot of the things that happen in the digital world are free. But, you can look like a million books, or you can look as if you run your nonprofit on a shoestring budget, which doesn’t garner confidence. Also, pay to play social media is here. Posts that placed organically (i.e. not paid) have a reach of approximately 1 percent. If you want to grow your nonprofit brand, you have to pay to sponsor posts, especially on Facebook.
  • It takes money to build the infrastructure needed for a nonprofit that can make an impact at a significant level. That means, your organization needs computers, software programs, telephones or mobile phones, paper, mailings, event planning funds, etc.

If your donors are asking you about what percentage of their funds are going to operations and what goes to programs, make it a point to inform and educate them. There’s plenty of excellent information to help you address the issue head on. Lowering expense ratios to unrealistic levels (e.g. zero percent goes to overhead) is not the answer. It takes everyone in the philanthropic sector to continue to inform and educate donors and the public.

Central Bank Chicanery and We, the Revenue Units

August 16th, 2017

“Unfortunately no one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself.” ~Morpheus in the movie, The Matrix

The Oxford English Dictionary defines “chicanery” as, “legal trickery, pettifogging, abuse of legal forms; the use of subterfuge and trickery in debate or action; quibbling, sophistry, trickery.” You need not read past, “legal trickery,” to understand the overlooked impact central banks have on we, the revenue units. But perhaps more worrisome is where central banks appear headed.

A quick review of central banking’s role as regards currency informs us that a global monetary system dominates and controls all other systems of the world. Like the 800-pound gorilla in the living room, this fact becomes impossible to ignore once you see it.

Just as it is impossible to fully understand planet earth without realizing the role of the solar system that contains it, so also is it impossible to fully understand money separate from the monetary system.

The global monetary system is a network of 17 central banks worldwide of which the Federal Reserve Bank is the one in the U.S. Central banks are the only banks capable of issuing currency, (a private product we pay to use), issued via “fractional reserve banking,” loaned into existence, and repaid with interest. This formula, called the “expansion multiplier,” in the Federal Reserve’s pamphlet, Modern Money Mechanics, multiplies profits for the architects of the system and their cronies.

Currency trickles down from the governmental level to commercial and local banks when a country’s government borrows money from its central bank. When a business repays a commercial loan plus interest (a.k.a. the debt-service) they pass on their bank-loan charges to their customers as increases to the price of goods and services. Over time, what began as “simple” interest becomes “compound” interest which in-turn increases prices at an ever-faster pace.

As a result, we, the revenue units, must increasingly work harder and pay more for the same basic goods and services for which people in the 50’s and 60’s paid far less. This exponential rise in the cost-of-living has become glaringly obvious in the real estate and insurance industries.

Once in power, more power is needed to remain in existence.

The 2008 economic meltdown tested the Fed. It employed the desperate measure of dumping trillions of newly-issued money into an ailing monetary system via a series of Quantitative Easings (QE) to “stimulate” the economy, as well as, its position of power. Their monetary strategy led most Americans merrily down the yellow brick road of the appearance of recovery and wealth.

Yet, like the Wizard of Oz, appearances are often deceiving. In reality, the glut of newly-issued currency contributed to deeper devaluation of the dollar (now worth less than 3 cents). Going forward, the Fed would have to keep up with what the QE’s had begun. To continue ensuring liquidity in the marketplace, larger and larger amounts of currency would have to be injected into the system.

This is where it gets interesting. By all accounts, to sustain ongoing liquidity, the Fed tactics have advanced to aggressively buying-up public assets, company stocks and “toxic” real estate, which has contributed to the double-digit rise in the stock market. Increasingly drastic measures provide a type of expansion putting the economy at risk of being swallowed whole by the financial sector. Think: further concentration of power.

Here’s why:

“So the central banks have a problem here, they are now “forced” to purchase assets to prevent market downturns but one should ask the question ‘who will they eventually sell to?’ The answer of course is ‘no one’ because there is no one large enough to take these assets off their books.” Bill Holter, Central Banks Will Destroy Their Own Currency By Doing What They Do… Creating Currency And Credit. From Here, The Faster They Run, The Faster The Boogeyman Catches Them!, April 22, 2017

The Fed has the legal authority to endlessly purchase assets of which they can then drive up the prices that virtually no one can out bid. Higher costs-of-living due to more inflation do not translate into a recovered economy, contrary to popular opinion, and especially for the majority of Americans without assets.

As long as someone is receiving a paycheck, they seem to care little about the system producing it, an entrenched system that owns and controls the ability to create an endless supply of money, (new credit). Additionally, if central banks decide to transition to blockchain technology, as discussed in my February and April recent blogs, it would not be a decentralized application, as is Bitcoin. Instead, blockchain technology would simply enhance central banking’s already centralized system.

With every successive economic downturn, the Fed doubles-down to minimize the economic impact on society. Minimizing the economic impact equals the Fed taking on more and more control of the situation to sustain their power, and in an attempt to counterbalance the ongoing, exponential loss of value in all fiat currency. The role of central banking is like a snowball growing larger as it rolls down the hill; I wonder if anyone sees what I see?

“Only the small secrets need to be protected. The big ones are kept secret by public incredulity.” ~Marshall McLuhan, author

The Difference Between Digital Books and Ebooks

February 21st, 2017

Most humans today, don’t apperceive the aberration amid a agenda book and an ebook. In fact, abounding humans anticipate they are one and the same. They couldn’t be further from the truth. They are absolutely altered breed of the aforementioned animal.

Digital books

Digital books, sometimes aswell alleged cyberbanking books or PDF books, are scanned, agenda facsimiles of accepted printed, appear books. You can anticipate of them as added copies of the absolute harder or album books we accept appear to apperceive and love.

When we are talking about the agenda adaptation of newer publications, they are appealing abundant identical to the original. When talking about old or even age-old publication, they are abundant bigger than any aboriginal you would acquisition on the shelf of your bounded library. Since they are facsimiles of the aboriginal printing, this absolutely increases superior and helps affected the problems of abounding earlier books, such as yellowed pages, stains, apparent or onion derma blazon paper, black paper, amber inks, etc. These are scanned pages, not ‘copied’ pages, and the superior of book absolutely represents a bigger superior than the book of the aboriginal book.

The abundant majority of agenda books appear in PDF format, admitting Amazon offers a Kindle edition, Mobipocket offers the MOBI version, again there is the apparent TEXT format, as able-bodied as abounding others.

Digital books are usually far beneath big-ticket than their harder or album counterparts, and there are hardly anytime shipment costs, unless they are delivered on a CD (Compact Disk).

Ebooks

Ebooks are agenda books too, but they were advised and accounting for the internet. Many, if not a lot of ebooks were never clearly “published” at all, unless you calculation announcement something on the internet as publishing.

Most ebooks were meant to be accounting quickly, with little or no costs except for possibly distribution. The majority are short, about consistently beneath than 100 pages, usually beneath 50 pages. Some ebooks are actually slapped calm in a amount of hours. Generally they are little added than several abbreviate letters accumulated together.

Many ebooks are self-help books, or manuals of some kind, admitting there are some eBook works of history and fiction to be begin if you attending for them. Added generally than not, they accept little or no arcane value, their intentions getting the administration of facts, instructions and/or ideas.

Sometimes you may appear beyond the eBook adaptation of a harder or bendable awning book. It will even be alleged the “ebook version” of whatever book. But if you attending closer, you will acquisition that this eBook adaptation is about consistently far beneath pages than the original. You may as able-bodied alarm the “ebook version” the “condensed version” of the book.

Though you will acquisition abounding ebooks in PDF format, abundant like agenda books, but abounding appear as assorted all-encompassing alternate applications. But don’t let the antecedent allure of alternation fool you. Even if this sounds like top tech apprenticeship at first, you will acquisition that there is not abundant to the affiance of interaction. It just disguises the actuality that these books are short, technically no added than a few pages, with little to no absolute practical, and even beneath bookish value.

Last but not least, ebooks are generally chargeless or cheap, admitting you will occasionally acquisition some specialty apprenticeship “programs” costing hundred of dollars.

Conclusion

Technically, ebooks are agenda books, admitting about there is a big difference. Personally, I usually adopt a agenda book to its eBook cousin.

By Thomas A. Retterbush

After a long, harder airing on the agrarian side, I’ve assuredly become a legal, honest, acknowledged aborigine and amusing media geek, active in SA, Texas. I accept committed my activity to proving, that success of one’s hopes and dreams are accessible no amount how far you accept fallen, how low you’ve alveolate or what bedrock you’ve crawled out from u.

Digital Book Readers – Reading on the Go Made Simple

November 12th, 2016

If you are the blazon of getting that can absorb a atypical in a day, again the library is apparently one of your baby friends. If you accept not yet heard, there is accession accompaniment out there just cat-and-mouse for the account enthusiast to accompany its forces: the agenda book reader. This cyberbanking accessory allows you to download and apprehend actual just as you would with printed text. Since the end aftereffect is the same, you may be allurement yourself, “why not stick with borrowing from the library?” E-books can save paper, ink, amplitude and money. In addition, as with a library, there are abounding chargeless books to be found!

If anybody acclimated a agenda book clairvoyant instead of account the books, magazines, and publications on paper, just anticipate of all of the copse that would be saved. The bulk of ink ashen annually would aswell be acutely decreased. As far as amplitude is concerned, anticipate about your accepted accumulating of books. Now anticipate about the assorted works you may accept adopted from a friend, ancestors affiliate or library. Imagine getting able to accept all of the advice accessible on a accessory the admeasurement of a notepad, or in some cases, even smaller. Additionally, abounding of the texts accessible for these e-readers are priced lower than a album novel. Thousands of e-books are aswell accessible as a chargeless download.

The appearance accessible on a agenda book clairvoyant absolutely depend on the archetypal in question. Some of the appearance you adeptness attending for include:

· Dual Screen

Dual awning models action the adeptness to use the e-reader as if it were a acceptable text.

· E-ink Screen

E-ink offers added readability after the eyestrain that some humans acquaintance if examination acceptable argument on an LCD.

· Expandable Anamnesis Option

This allows the user to abundance added books in the future, should they use up the accepted bulk of memory.

· Library Checkout

Yes, you apprehend that correctly! Some models action you the befalling to analysis books out of the library and appearance them appropriate on your awning at your convenience.

· Techie Extras

More and added models are now advancing accepted with webcams, microphones, and even chip wireless connectivity.

A agenda book clairvoyant was the next analytic footfall in the access that is technology. With the e-readers getting so affordably priced, there is no agnosticism that a lot of households will own at atomic one in the abreast future. There is even allocution of universities because these as an another to the acceptable textbook.

The agenda book clairvoyant aswell makes a agitating allowance for a child, apron or acceptable friend. If your adolescent does not assume absorbed in reading, a allowance of an e-reader is abiding to accessible up his eyes! As a ancillary note, if you are because this acquirement for your wife who loves to apprehend while in the tub waterproof cases now accomplish that an option. Additionally, some publishers are opting out of the digital-rights administration (DRM) agreement; this agency if you acquirement one for yourself and a friend, you can accurately allotment the e-books that you purchase, thereby acid your media costs in half!