Heather Comstock Connects

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

Category Archives: Operations

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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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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Learning from Opposites

I am preparing for another presentation at the Annapolis Library next week and I am thinking about nonprofit start up. Doing these presentations is always enjoyable because of the people I get to meet. It is also a wee bit intimidating. As I think about the kinds of organizations the attendees represent or are interested …

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December: When Calendar and Fiscal Years Collide

It is the end of December and I am amazed that Christmas is almost upon us! I have neglected my poor blog here as I have been very busy winding down the year.  I wanted to share what I’ve been up to  because these end of the year tasks are very easy to lose track …

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Don’t Let Planning Get In the Way

I am currently involved with a small group working through some personal organizing strategy and it calls to mind some failed strategic planning and even some general planning meetings I have attended. Unfortunately, the planning process can be so interesting and exhilarating it is easy to get sidetracked and not get anything really accomplished. So …

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What I Did on My Summer Vacation

The summer is winding to a close and my blog has taken a back seat to more exciting ventures during the warm Maryland months. As the academic year begins, I like to reflect on my summer and what I gained from my adventures. What did I do and learn on my summer vacation? I volunteered. …

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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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Keeping Up With the Grants

While not as reality-tv worthy as Kardashians, grants and other foundation funding are vitally important for many nonprofits. If your organization is thinking about or has already applied for (and hopefully received) grant funding, one of the obligations will be completing a report about how the money was used and the impact of the project. …

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A Few Minutes on Minutes

Minutes. We love to hate them don’t we? The quality of minutes is all over the place. I’ve seen some groups that literally include a verbatim transcript of the meeting (snore) to minutes where major decisions of the board are glossed over (uh, what just happened?) offhandedly.  Nobody wants to be the secretary and take …

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