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Find news you can use on a variety of topics; opportunities to raise money, changes in postage rates; statistics and facts that impact volunteer programs; and more.

~ March 2005 ~ Topics

Washington State University Extends Deadline for Training Institute

Washington State University will offer the first face-to-face Volunteer Management Certificate Program at Port Hadlock from April 26 – 29, 2005. This is an up-close-and-personal version of the award winning online course. Hosted by the WSU Learning Center the training is in the shadow of the Olympia Mountains and across the Straits of Juan de Fuca from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Join three top-drawer faculty in an intensively interactive institute designed to hone your skills in organizing and managing volunteers. For detailed information visit the Volunteer Management Institute Web site at http://emmps.wsu.edu/volunteer. Deadline for registration is extended to March.

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Museums Highlight Black History

The Chronicle of Philanthropy recently reported on the dramatic growth in the number of museums in the USA devoted to the history of black and African Americans. It reported on the struggles of the older established museums, such as the Wright Museum of African American History (40 years old) in Detroit and the African American Museum (28 years old) in Philadelphia. While older museums have faced some financial challenges, there is $1 billion effort to build or expand museums from Washington D.C. to Washington state. Volunteer efforts, foundation grants, and government money is being used to construct new facilities. Here are a few of those planned for building.

  • National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington, DC. It will open in 2013 on the National Mall.
  • The Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco, will open this year.
  • As yet unnamed, a museum on black history is planned for Seattle in 2007.
  • The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Cincinnati opened in 2004.
  • The Tubman African American Museum and the African American Panoramic Experience in Georgia are both planning substantial expansions.

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Free Software For Nonprofits

Nonprofit organizations in the USA usually have to file an IRS tax form called the 990. The Internal Revenue Service made electronic filing available to charities though commercial software companies in 2004 for the 2003 tax year. Fees can sometimes exceed $1000. The Urban Institute's Center for Charitable Statistics has developed a program that allows charitable organizations to enter, verify, print, and electronically file their tax forms. If you are not responsible for taxes in your organization, you might share this information with those who are.

The software includes tips for filling out the form, does the mathematics automatically, and catches common errors. A program is under development to allow organizations to file informational returns with certain states over the Internet. For more information: http://efile.form999.org.

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USA Tax Advice for Tsunami Donations

Many people have donated to tsunami relief efforts. In the USA, donations made before January 31 are deductible. For all the details on how to record those donations on the 2004-year tax forms you can visit a Web site. Distribute the information widely to your volunteers. They are likely to appreciate the update. http://biz.yahoo.com/brn/050129/504_1.html.

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