Heather Comstock Connects

Helping nonprofits and other volunteer organizations develop strong relationships and a clear voice in the community.

Category Archives: Nonprofit Startup

New Year: Time to Do a Check Up!

2015 is here! January is a month with several looming deadlines for nonprofits so now’s the time to take stock of common tasks. Key among them is making sure you issue 1099’s and W-2’s for contractors and employees by January 31st. It’s also a good idea to touch base with last year’s donors and thank …

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Helping One-Eyed, Six-Toed Cats and More Money Than I Know What To Do With: Nonprofit Alternatives

I’ve made it a personal mission in the last several years to share the start-up experience, warts and all with people so they can make an informed decision. I don’t want to frighten folks, it’s just that nonprofits aren’t all just unrestricted grant funds and happy feelings. They are expensive, the structure can be cumbersome, …

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May? Already?

With the warmer weather, I have been slacking off a bit. Here’s a few gems I have found in my RSS reader that have gotten me thinking about nonprofit issues. Enjoy! The Chronicle of Philanthropy provides an overview of the Mark Zuckerberg donation to the Newark Schools and the recent look back at how the …

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By-Laws: The Pitchfork of the Nonprofit World

Picture the classic movie mob of villagers rampaging on the local mad scientist’s castle. There’s always one guy wielding a pitchfork, right? It is a valuable tool for farmers but can also double as a weapon. One could argue the same thing about nonprofit by-laws. Unfortunately, by-laws get a bad rap because too often they …

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You Can’t Pick Your Family…For Your Nonprofit Board?

“We are family!” says the Sly and the Family Stone song. People trust family and rely on those relationships. Family can be a springboard when you’re doing something big and need support, but do you want to include family on your board? Can you include family members on your board? Like most nonprofit questions, the …

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Is Your Organization Ready for Scrutiny?

Did you know that IRS code 501(c) has designations from 1 through 27 and then some?* I learned that a few years ago working on my certificate in Nonprofit Financial Management at UMUC. That is a mind-boggling number and it doesn’t even include the political parties and groups. The Chronicle of Philanthropy wrote a great …

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Start-Up Growing Pains Are Nothing New: The Acts of the Apostles

During the Christian liturgical year from Easter through Pentecost, many churches study the Acts of the Apostles which describes the formation of the early Christian Church. As I listen to these readings, I realize the Apostles wrestle with familiar start-up issues: organizational and operational structures and how to grow without sacrificing mission. Moving on without …

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Three Lessons about Nonprofit Operations from M.A.S.H.

We dumped our cable a few years ago because I was tired of paying a ton of money for my son to watch one or two channels and frankly, we haven’t missed it. We were delighted when a few months ago, when a new channel was added to the local over the air lineup that …

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Your Library Can Help! Free Start-up Seminar at the Annapolis Library

On Thursday, December 13th at 2:00 p.m. at the Annapolis Area Library I will be leading a free workshop on How To Start A Nonprofit.  Join us as we discuss the broad process of nonprofit startup and address specific questions and concerns!  More information about the event and how to RSVP can be found in …

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Counting Blessings this Thanksgiving Day

This week is the prelude to the holiday season starting with Thanksgiving.  For me, this is a season to think about blessings and sharing those blessings with others.  In my years of working with nonprofits, I have always impressed and grateful for the many people I encounter who give generously of themselves whether it is …

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