Resource Links:
Information Providers & Publications
Information Providers
(publications are under a separate heading below)
(Offices: D.C. & Bay
Alliance for Justice, in Washington, D.C., is the main go-to place for progressive nonprofits
involved in issue advocacy.  The Alliance does very important work to preserve the voice of
nonprofits in the development of public policy, encouraging nonprofits to engage in public policy,
and generally trying to make our government more public interested, and less in the service of
corporations and the wealthy.  The Alliance monitors the rapidly evolving area of tax and election
law, and has started an
advocacy blog.  I should perhaps have listed them in the technical
assistance section, because they provide a helpline for nonprofits with advocacy questions.  You
should also get on their mailing list for alerts when law changes are pending.
AICPA (American
Institute of Certified
Public Accountants)
The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, in addition to maintaining standards of
practice for CPAs, produces the flagship financial management
AICPA National Not-For-Profit
Industry Conference
each year in June, held in Washington D.C., attracting 1,000+ registrants,
speaker and planning committee member for a few years.  Here is the full Brochure for
NFP 2010
to give you an idea of the dynamism of the conference.  To try to view information online, go to the
main AICPA page and click on "Store."  (Brace yourself; the cpa2biz site is *so* 1999.  It's worth the
effort though.)
The IRS website is better than most people think; almost all Forms and Publications can be
downloaded for free as PDF files.  It has a
tax-exempt organizations main page at the second level
with many educational resources and publications about tax compliance.  For advanced users, the
CPE Texts" are a phenomenal resource:  papers from the IRS' smart national EO legal team,
written in pretty plain language to provide guidance to their field auditors on how to think about the
topic in the title of the paper.  The IRS is also still trying to continue down the "customer"-friendly
educational path.  I recently attended a day-long workshop in San Francisco that attracted a few
hundred groups and ran for three day-long sessions in a row; it was a great effort to increase
compliance through education, and featured an IRS employee, Joe Kroll, who is a master trainer.  
About a month later, the IRS did a large-scale conference call on the new Form 1023 (application
for recognition as a 501(c)(3) charity).  On the website, you can, nay, MUST (ok, "really ought to")
subscribe to the free "
EO-Update" email newsletter which is blessedly concise and will notify you
of educational offerings like the two I mentioned.  They are to be commended for this effort!
San Francisco
& Other Cities
The Foundation Center is far more than a traditional library: their information is substantially
online, the staff is knowledgeable, and they often produce programs free to the public; I have
spoken on a fiscal sponsorship panel which was part of a day full of sessions specifically for
individual artists seeking grant support.
This is an interesting project.  I think parts of it are brilliant, and parts are dull.  Out of concern for a
lack of financial transparency (might I say "prescient" concern), various movers and shakers in the
conversion from your general ledger to all the various regulatory reporting formats that NPOs often
must use:  
"At a minimum the UCOA has been set up to unify the reporting requirements for:
* Federal and state Forms 990
* Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB)
* Statements of Financial Accounting Standards Nos. 116 & 117
* AICPA's Audit & Accounting Guide for Not for Profit Organizations
* OMB Circular A-122 for nonprofit grant recipients
* United Way of America's accounting and budgeting guides
* Standards of Acctg & Financial Reporting for Voluntary Health and Welfare Orgs
* Other nonprofit accounting standards and guides"
UCOA is brilliant on the balance sheet side in clarifying issues that constantly bedevil Boards of
Directors (yes, Virginia, the Board Reserve is in fact Unrestricted Net Assets), but its income
statement side accounts are too dull and industrial.  I favor a more robust "tell your story" type of
wording, so, if you adopt UCOA, do make changes to add some color to the expense line item
names.  It also can lead you down a primrose path - for example, it suggests that it is a good idea
to accumulate expenses associated with rental income, but we don't want readers to confuse that
with providing too many ancillary services, which renders Rental Income something which is
actively carried on and thereby not exempt from taxable unrelated business income.  I also notice
that suddenly UCOA is copyrighted (granted, with a public license, when, if memory serves, it was
once completely public domain.  This suggests lawyers must have become involved. :)
If you work in the sector, you must subscribe to the Chronicle.  It is expensive and arrives
relentlessly, but is the newspaper of record for our sector.  
If you read nothing else, read the
.  It will keep you current on tax and financial issues, as well as best practices, and, of
course, lots of "doings" at foundations.
With the tag line "Innovative Thinking in the Nonprofit Sector," this quarterly, published by a
nonprofit called Third Sector New England, has turned itself into an interesting journal of ideas.  I
will admit it builds up on my reading pile.  I will admit that sometimes I read the articles and they
seem a little oblique.  But then a few weeks later I'll be in some situation and think "oh this is what
they were talking about in that article."  It's good mind candy, and up to Volume 12 or 13!.
My favorite article in this (relatively new to me) journal so far, was a provocative opinion piece by
Jeanne Bell Peters and Jan Masaoka of CompassPoint, calling for Section 501(c)(3) to be more
differentiated so that community-based smaller charities are not always caught up in the regulatory
net when their private foundation, hospital, and university brethren are caught engaging in abusive
activities or straying from their charitable trust.  Great idea!  SSIR is up to Volume 3 or 4.
Kim Klein & Stephanie Ross have published this journal for a long time.  Full of tips and tricks, with
a surprisingly wide range of content and website full of material.  In August 2006, Grassroots
Fundraising Journal is sponsoring the
Raising Change Conference, August 4 and 5, 2006 in
Oakland, intended to be both a major convening of social change activists as well as a place to
Kim & Stephanie's Chardon Press is now a "Series" within Jossey Bass, an imprint (division) of
Wiley.  Regardless of which part, all three (and now one) compan(ies) have a long commitment to the
nonprofit world.  Andy Robinson's first two books are available from Chardon
Nolo Press is a "do it yourself law" publisher.  Anthony Mancuso publishes "How to Form a Nonprofit
Corporation in California."  It has competent Articles, Bylaws, initial "forms" of minutes and actions
(on CD!), and basic tax exemption application information.  The work is not as good as what's
available from an expert law firm, but for small vanilla nonprofits, it can be used effectively.  I note he
also has a generic "50-state" book, and I'd be hesitant about that, because nonprofit codes really do
vary between states, so good Bylaws should as well (the only way to be generic is to salt it with all
sorts of "as provided by law" references that will not help a grassroots board figure out what to
actually do.
Kay Sohl and Cynthia Cumfer are on the fourth edition of their book which covers similar territory for
familiarity with the realities of nonprofits and their world.  This means that the book is more broad,
and more deep, than the Mancuso/Nolo book.  Besides the legal, accounting, and tax aspects of
nonprofits, they also discuss management and maintenance (the messy human side!).  If you are a
manager or practitioner in Oregon, this should be on your shelf.
(Code, Regs, wiki)
The Future?
Sponsored by Intuit (manufacturers of Quickbooks) this is an effort to make available a wide range of
tax information - Code, Regs, Forms, discussion groups, wiki entries.  I haven't used the site much,
and have been annoyed by some of the misinformation (one post by a guy claiming to be an authority
with a grain of salt, just like all of the interwebs!).
You must also keep an eye on this great little online journal.  I know, who ever heard of a "blue"
avocado?  But check it out!  "taking on the powers-that-be" and "against-the-tide practical content"
is how they'd like to think of themselves (from my local chair they may *be* the "powers that be" but
that's a nit; the journal is great, and fun, and sometime this year it'll print something you can't do