Recently learned about another organization that provides very low-cost software to nonprofit organizations.
If you want to get really, really low prices on your basic software, check out these outfits:
Don Boudreaux has a fantastic PowerPoint presentation posted at Café Hayek: Stagnating Middle-Class? It is from a presentation he gave at Cato University.
He opened up a 1974/1975 Sears catalogue. He then calculated how many hours a person would have to work to buy something in 1975 compared to buying a similar item today.
To make the comparison he obtained the hourly wage of an average non-supervisory employee in 1975 and the same average wage today. Those average wages are $4.87 in 1975 and $19.00 today.
For example, in 1975, a 35mm SLR camera, pretty nice for back then, was $347. That is 71.3 hours work for an average worker. In contrast, a Nikon Coolpix 12.0 mp camera today is 4.8 hours of labor.
How to combine the idea of opportunity cost, cul-de-sac, and government overruns in one post?
Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal editorial (behind paywall) says:
When it was first conceived, the shuttle was supposed to be a kind of space truck, going into orbit 50 to 75 times a year and carrying large payloads at a cost of $54 million a launch in 2011 dollars. It didn’t work out that way. The shuttle went aloft an average of five times a year. The cost-per-launch averaged some $1.5 billion. Its heaviest payloads barely exceeded what an unmanned Delta IV rocket can carry.
Let’s do some math, shall we?
A colleague of mine needed an employer identification number for a new entity. Did a Google search and went to the first source listed. Wasn’t until the process was almost done that the website asked for a credit card. At that point my colleague realized there was something wrong and did not pay $150. My colleague backed out of that place, went to the IRS website and got an EIN for free.
There are websites out there that will charge you for what you can do for free.
In the back of the mind, most ministry and business leaders want to be “the best in the world”. With the way we think of that phrase, it is extremely difficult to achieve that level.
Seth Godin, in his book The Dip, offers a different perspective on what that phrase means when he explains the definition of best and world. A change in focus means it is possible to be best in the world.
How do we make life better for people?
Is there a relationship between the level of economic freedom in a country and the level of income, life expectancy, civil rights, and a cleaner environment? Is there an inverse relationship between the level of economic freedom and the level of corruption, infant mortality, and child labor?
The answer to both questions is yes.
The higher the level of economic freedom is in a country, the higher the level of those good things. With more freedom there are less of those bad things. See this very innovative, creative video, from the Charles Koch Foundation, for a visual explanation:
Quick summary of the retroactive reinstatement available for small NPOs whose exempt status was revoked. Post is Exempt Status Retroactive Reinstatement by Katie Thomas, CPA on the Nonprofit GPS blog.
The retroactive reinstatement is only available to smaller organizations, those with income under $50,000. Larger organizations who wish to get their exempt status back will be nonexempt from May 2010 through the date of the new application for exemption.
In California there were 33,733 organizations whose exempt status was revoked.
I previously discussed this issue here.
New cartoon is available at Once Upon Internal Control.
Good procedures protect against false accusations – feature cartoon #2 from Once Upon Internal Control illustrates another way that good procedures can protect your staff. Cartoon runs about 8 1/2 minutes.
The first feature cartoon is here.
What if a replicator, like you see in the sci-fi movies, was a reality?
People who have developed the technology call it 3-D printing.
When is it time to push through the obstacles and keep trying to achieve?
That is the topic of Seth Godin’s book, The Dip. Since the book was written in 2007, I am late to the party. Still want to write about it because most people I talk to are not familiar with his work.
We need to distinguish between cliffs, cul-de-sacs, and dips.
The headline of a great article, Foreign Payees, Activities, and Financial Accounts Increase Your Compliance Burden, points towards an answer of yes.
CPAs Daniel Skerbitz and Laurie Gnad, of Stanfield & O’Dell, provide a great introduction to the extra reporting paperwork that arises for overseas missions or even dealing with foreign missionaries when they are in the U.S.
Seth Godin asks which of the following four things are getting in your way:
You don’t know what to do
You don’t know how to do it
You don’t have the authority or the resources to do it
Figure out what is blocking you. Everyone of those things is a very serious obstacle. Name it. Figure out how to go around, under, or over to get past. Find a battering ram if you have to.
I had hit a block on my cartoons. Reading the above post helped me identified the block. Unfortunately, it took me a week or two to remove the obstacle but I did. I’m moving forward again.
Figure out what is in the way of you getting done what you really want to do and just blast it to smithereens.
Seth Godin reposted his tips on how to make e-mail less painful for recipients, and you. He did this
in the naive hope that it would eliminate (or perhaps merely reduce) the ridiculous CC-to-all emails about the carpool, the fake-charity forwards, the ALL CAPS yelling and the stupid PR spam.
See his 36 tips here.