Not for profit organization: American red cross
Not-For-Profit Research Paper: For the Not-for-Profit analysis, the main objective of the assignment is to select a not-for-profit organization and identify that organization’s mission statement, and then describe the extent to which their mission and goals were accomplished, using information obtained on the entity and their financial data. You will need to identify your own criteria for evaluation of the mission statement, measure achievement, and offer a conclusion on the evidence presented. Questions you are required to address in your research paper include (in no particular order):
1. Did the organization turn a profit, sustain a loss, or break even? Was this appropriate given the circumstances the organization is facing?
2. Would you invest, give, or donate to the organization? Why or why not?
3. What is your assessment of the overall financial health of the organization, and what is their economic outlook? (Hint: you might use ratio analysis to form your thoughts and conclusions)
4. How much money was spent on administrative and overhead costs versus program costs? How does this affect the organization’s ability to serve its constituents?
5. What are the positive and negative internal and external factors that have impacted the entity (risks and threats to long-term sustainability)? What is the organization doing to overcome these challenges?
6. What are their streams of revenue and funding structure? How much of that revenue is from fundraising efforts, grants (federal, corporate, and foundations), and charges for program services, etc.? Is the division of revenue streams appropriate based on their mission and goals?
7. How did they get started? What programs do they offer and what was the catalyst that drove formation of the organization?
Here are some recommended resources for obtaining information and use on your selected nonprofit:
1. That’s a given.
2. Financial statements and/or annual report. Use the most current report as well as consider using the prior 2 or 3 periods for comparative information. I do not want financial statements reproduced in your paper. However, I do encourage discussion of financial information as well as the use of graphs and charts or condensed financial information to give additional insights on their financial performance and trend analysis.
3. Form 990 federal return. There is a lot of good information on this form if you can retrieve it. Many entities do not make this publicly available because there can be sensitive salary information contained in it. You can also try and use Guidestar.com to obtain the Form 990. I caution you that some of the free information on the website can be outdated. I do not recommend paying for information just for the sake of this paper.
4. Strategic planning documents. Sometimes these can be available on the entity’s website, and sometimes not. But if you can find a strategic plan, it will be immensely helpful in answering the main objective of the assignment.
5. Interview a Board Member, the Executive Director/CEO, Director of Finance/CFO, or Director of Development/Fundraising. Yes – actually call them up and reach out to them! These folks are often anxious to talk about and promote their organization, and would be happy to take the time to answer your questions and educate you about their mission and goals. That’s what they are trained to do and this may be your single most valuable resource. You can ask for the information identified above as well if you can’t find it on the web or in the library. Keep in mind the larger the organization, the more difficult it may be to get a hold of someone in executive management. But if you plan ahead by making an appointment to meet in person or talk on the phone, the better your chances of success. And be sure to thank them for their time.
This research paper is meant to be written in an academic essay format, meaning you are to fashion a coherent set of ideas into an argument. You should open your paper with a brief discussion of the history and general overview of the organization. The paper should be a minimum of three pages long, single-spaced, in 12-point font. References and a title page must be included, but will not be counted as part of minimum page count. The paper should be submitted in the Assignments section. Your paper will be graded as a deliverable designed to show your mastery of the presentation of ideas, use of resources, references (APA/Chicago Style format in text citation and properly presented “Works Cited”), originality, and appropriate style and grammar. And just as a warning (because it happens a lot), do not plagiarize your paper or simply paraphrase information from the web because I will know if you did. I want to see original thought. For more information on Not for Profit Organization see this: https://www.dictionary.com/browse/not-for-profit
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