News for Nonprofits: Spring 2022

Support for female causes growing slowly

While women’s and girls’ organizations have seen some gains in recent years, a new report from the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University finds they still account for a small percentage of giving. According to “The Women & Girls Index: Measuring Giving to Women’s And Girls’ Causes,” such organizations made up 3.5% of registered charitable organizations in 2018 (the latest year with available data) but received only 1.9% of giving.

Yet women’s and girls’ organizations matured more quickly than other organizations from 2014 to 2018 in terms of financial measures like revenue and expenses. They also saw strong growth (6% overall) in philanthropic support from 2017 to 2018, especially those organizations focused on the environment (37.1%) and civil rights and advocacy (32.3%). But their assets are growing at a slower rate, suggesting gaps in long-term financing.

Do your employees qualify for loan forgiveness?

The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) is revamping the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program, which cancels loans after 10 years of public service by eligible borrowers. Among other things, the DOE is providing a temporary opportunity (through October 31, 2022) for borrowers to get credit for payments they’ve made that wouldn’t otherwise count toward PSLF.

Any prior payments made while working for a qualifying employer will count as a qualifying payment, regardless of loan type or repayment plan. The DOE says this change will be particularly important for borrowers through the Federal Family Education Loan Program, many of whom received inaccurate information from their servicers about PSLF. The waiver also includes borrowers with Direct Loans, those who have consolidated their loans into the Direct Loan Program and those with other types of federal student loans who apply to consolidate while the waiver is in effect.

Microsoft bolsters nonprofits’ cyber defenses

Software giant Microsoft recently launched its Security Program for Nonprofits, a set of robust security offerings. Nonprofits are often perceived as vulnerable because they may not have adequate resources to safeguard the data they need to operate. Microsoft’s “2021 Digital Defense Report” found that nongovernmental organizations and think tanks were the second most targeted sector by cybercriminals (government was the most targeted).

Microsoft plans to support 10,000 organizations in the program’s first year, with a three-year goal of providing these services to 50,000 organizations worldwide. The program includes free threat notification in certain circumstances. It also offers security assessments of existing endpoints, identity access, infrastructure, network and data. Microsoft plans to provide no-cost access to some of the top recommended training for both IT staff and end-users. Employees can learn, for example, the latest strategies to protect themselves from online scams and work from home more securely.

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