Nonprofits and finances – in practice, these two words should fit together well for organizational flourishing, reflecting capable stewardship and stability. But all too often, financial aspects of nonprofit operations can prove intimidating, overlooked, or otherwise mismanaged. CPA Michael Batts of Batts Morrison Wales & Lee has recently published a stand-out resource, entitled Nonprofit Finance: The Field Guide for Financial Operations of Ministries, Schools, and Other Public Charities. This easy-to-digest book is chock full of worthwhile pointers, helpful instructions, and advice well worth following closely, all to help nonprofit leaders achieve optimal success and integrity in financial administration.
As religious leaders continue to grapple with appropriate COVID-related safety measures for their congregants, a federal appellate court recently clarified that no legal barrier exists under Illinois law for religious gatherings. In Cassells and the Beloved Church vs. Snyder, issued on March 8, 2021, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals recognized that religious organizations may legally gather as they wish – consistent with their First Amendment religious freedom and assembly rights, and otherwise in accordance with appropriate health and safety considerations – since the prior Executive Order prohibiting religious gatherings of more than ten people is no longer in effect. This significant court ruling dovetails with Illinois’ accelerating re-opening efforts, lightened capacity restrictions, and enormous push toward widespread vaccinations.
How does a nonprofit best protect children from harm? A new organization called the Evangelical Council for Abuse Prevention (ECAP) is answering this question through newly minted accreditation standards, now in the public comment phase and soon to be tested among ministries nationwide. ECAP has also scheduled its first national conference for June 17, 2021, to provide hands-on guidance for organizations particularly as they reopen in-person programs this summer and fall.