Overhead Rhymes with Garlic Bread . . . editor notes issue #96

"The time has come," the Walrus said, "to talk of many things:
"Of rent and desks and insurance -- and whether pigs have wings.
"Why no one wants to pay for overhead, and all the grief that brings."

Overhead is on the upswing as a discussion topic:

  • Oregon last year passed a law requiring nonprofits to stay under an overhead ceiling -- or lose their tax-exempt status, and several other states are considering similar laws
  • Dan Pallotta has raised the question of overhead in catchy, provocative ways
  • OMB (the federal Ofice of Management & Budget) has issued a new Guidance mandating a minumum of 10% overhead in government contracts with nonprofits
  • Guidestar, Charity Navigator and BBB have felt compelled to proclaim that overhead is limited as a measure of nonprofit effectiveness
  • At least four regional associations of grantmakers are holding discussion groups on the topic of overhead in grant budgets

So this issue we're pleased to have "A Funder Talks to Other Funders About Overhead" with grantmaker Unmi Song, and next issue we'll publish "A Board Member's Guide to Nonprofit Overhead."

* Also in this issue of Blue Avocado: HR and transgender employees, "I Followed a Founder," a new approach to board agendas, classic nonprofit jokes, and 40 Inspirational Speeches in Two Minutes. (I love this issue.)

* Please take a moment to look at the right column and bottom of this page and recognize our advertisers, who help keep Blue Avocado free to everyone.

* And don't forget: pass this issue along to your pals and co-workers! Oh . . . and funders! -- Jan Masaoka, Susan Sanow and the Blue Avocado team

Comments (5)

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for taking this subject on with the usual Blue Avocado finesse (and bravery).

    Apr 21, 2014
  • Anonymous

    Re: mention of Dan Pallotta-- a little more reference please.

    Apr 23, 2014
  • I love Blue Avocado, but have just one suggestion about the graphics. Put some space between the texts and photos. Text flush to the picture on the right side makes it harder to read. Love everything else, though! Your wit and useful stories are the best.

    Apr 23, 2014
  • Terrific magazine. Thanks for including me.

    Apr 28, 2014

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