Are non-profits neutral?

Non-profits like people to think that they are neutral , but their agenda is influenced to a large extent by their largest contributors.  Even for international bodies, the companies who make the largest contribution are the ones who influence the decision making process to the greatest extent.

Online education

During the current recession, as jobs are scarce, it is important to keep your skills updated so that you can fully utilize the limited resources available. If you have sufficient savings, you can take a sabbatical from your work and attend classes in a college. Working professional can add to their qualifications by getting an online IT degree from Regis University. The course work can be done as per the students convenience after considering their other commitments. Specializations include Business Technology Management, Computer Information Systems, Computer Networking and Computer Science.

A Masters degree in Business Administration gives the individual an overview of how businesses work and improve his or her career prospects. Regis University offers an online MBA course which can be completed in less than two years by the student. However, considering that many of the students are working professionals, there is a lot of flexibility in the schedule and they may take up to 6 years to complete the coursework.

Today many of the richest people in the United States have pledged a large portion of their wealth to charities increasing the demand for well qualified personnel for non profit management. Regis university offers both degree and certificate courses in Non profit management which can be completed online. These qualifications are useful for decision makers in a charity or individuals interested in starting their own charity.

Finding charities – I

Guidestar allows you to search for nonprofits by organization name and searching for key personnel. It has information on more than 1.7 million non-profit organizations worldwide. Visitors can access a list of the top 400 viewed nonprofits , with company profile , website and other information without registering.

Basic membership of  Guidestar is free and allows donor to find out whether a contribution will be tax deductible, to view a nonprofit’s recent Forms 990, or find out more about its mission, programs, and finances.

A premium membership of Guidestar is also available for professional users like financial firms and philanthropic foundations . The user friendly tool allows users to analyse the various charities.

Assistance for startups

SCORE is a nonprofit association founded in 1964 which  works for the  formation, growth and success of small business in the United States by helping entrepreneurs .  The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has partnered with SCORE.

Business owners, working and retired executives donate time and expertise as business counselors to entrepreneurs through SCORE. All the information provided remains confidential. There are 389 chapters of SCORE in the United States with over 10000 volunteers.

If you are starting a business, you can get information on sample business plans and instructions on how to write a business plan. at http://www.sba.gov , http://www.score.org or http://www.bplan.com . You can find the nearest SCORE chapter by entering your Zip code at the SCORE website. The business owner can call them and arrange for a free meeting with a SCORE counselor to review the business plan and discuss various loan options available to you.