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Fundraising for Nonprofits: Define Your Work Area

Fundraising is not an easy job. The nature of the nonprofit organization and the kind of activities it does are the important facts to be considered while in the process of nonprofit fundraising. 

 First and foremost, we must define our nonprofit organization's work area. We must identify our work area and then identify possible resources to approach. After the method you use for fundraising might differ from place to place and time to time. However, few things you should consider important are listed below.

 Money Source

There can be several different sources to look for while you are undertaking a nonprofit fundraising activity. There are individuals, corporations and business houses, national and international government bodies, federal funds, and last but not the least, foundations. Individuals are till date the largest source for fund collection for nonprofit activities. The total amount of money donated by individuals in US reached $199.07 billion in 2005. Business houses give money to keep up with the notion of Corporate Social Responsibility. It gives them good will. If it’s a onetime event, corporate houses can be potential places to approach. Local and international government bodies have funds set aside for special nonprofit ventures benefiting mostly the marginalized and underprivileged group of society. These funds are mostly fixed amounts and there are fixed criteria to meet to win these grants. Federal funds like United Arts can be a notable amount of money to established nonprofit bodies. Many different types of foundations also have substantial amount of money to be awarded as grants to specific are of nonprofit work.

 On-going or one time

 While in the process of nonprofit fundraising, we should approach organizations for both one time and continuous financial support. The on-going support can be an annual fund, a multi-year grant or a continuous financial support. Some nonprofit organizations might have long running projects, like a shop or a library. Seeking grants for running of such projects would be to seek a continuous financial support. Funds for projects that run for a few years are multi-year grants, while an annual fund is given for a year of a project, mostly irrespective of the duration of the program. One-time grants, on the other hand, is given for onetime events or other activities. 

 Capital fundraising and planned giving

Also, an important type of nonprofit fundraising, capital fundraising is for projects like building a house, building assets or for researching on some issues. Planned to give on the other hand is when a donor pledges to donate a sum of money on a certain occasion in life, like his or her death, or while they receive their income etc. 

 Determining what type of organization, you are, and the type of funds you are looking for is every important in nonprofit fundraising. A careful balance of all these different types of fund collection can ensure success of your larger fundraising goal. While running a nonprofit outfit, we will need all different types of funds. Understanding how all these fund resources and the ways to approach them is half your success. Rest is the proper execution of your projects.

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Fundraising for Nonprofits Can Be Fun 

Running a nonprofit outfit is a noble deed indeed. You are set out to help other in less fortunate circumstances. You put your own personal comfort and preferences aside to help others – less privileged ones. Giving to the one who does not have, does not mean that you must be rich yourself. Non-profit organizations carry out numerous activities to collect funds to undertake their projects. These activities broadly relate to nonprofit fundraising. 

 It is the most noble thing to do but raising fund for anything is not an easy task. On top of that, if it’s a non-profit one, where the giver does not get anything back in monitory terms, it's more difficult. The process of non-profit fundraising therefore can be a very boring affair. However, systematically preparing and thoroughly executing the step by step process can take you to a rewarding conclusion. And, there are ways to bring in fun in fundraising. 

 Nonprofit fundraising should not be such a taxing job. Think of it as a job where you don't have to lose anything. You set out to give anyway, and that's a good place to start. Build up from there and always remember why you're doing it. Prepare yourself for many hurdles to come your way, and keep in mind that you're doing it for a cause. 

 First, clearly define your project and the objectives, based on which you can derive at an amount you need to raise. Plan out your activities leading up to the execution of the main project, that way it will be easy to monitor work progress. Select a group of people you enjoy working with and those who are also equally passionate about non-profit fundraising. After your group is ready, sit down and brainstorm on the kinds of activities you can carry out. At this step, it is very important to consider the time you have in hand for fundraising and the limitations you might have because of various reasons to carry out certain kind of activities. You might also want to consult the experts on this matter or browse the net to read about examples set by others. 

 Be different. That almost always works. This is where you show your color and at the same time bring in that fun element in it. Think of a different concept, idea and method to raise fund. Be creative. Writing volumes of grant proposals and approaching big donor agencies might sound big but is not necessarily a sure shot approach. Organize events, like auctions combined with rock concert, painting exhibition with gala dance party etc. Anything out of the ordinary catches the attention of the people easily. That's exactly what you need to do in the non-profit fundraising – catch their attention. 

 Always decorate your event with a bit of extra details, people appreciate that. Do not leave thing half done. Working with children and young people is always fun. Organizing ballroom dance events, or the old, by the children, for example is an extraordinary idea. Young group of pop singers putting together a concert for old people home can be another. 

 Take out time to put in a fine finishing touch to any fundraising event you do. That is very vital to ensure future contribution by the same individual or organization. And always be thankful.

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Fundraising for Nonprofits: Administrative Tasks 

Sometimes it’s just not enough to have a great idea that could possibly change the world. At the very least the worlds of those who will be affected. Most times these great ideas run into one common problem: funds.

What can you do with a brilliant idea that could help make the air cleaner, or educate thousands of children every year, or provide meals to the hungry if you don’t have any funds or financial resources to implement them? Well, if you are serious about it, and you are on your way to setting up or already have a non-profit organization. Start off by identifying organizations and people who could be your possible source of donor funds. Wait, wait, it’s not that simple, though we all wish it was. 

The first thing you must do is streamline your motive, the main idea of what you or your organization is going to be doing. Write an articulate but short and powerful introduction about your organization and its motives. Until a decade ago just having an office was enough. These days if you really want to be able to raise funds to do what you hope to, then you have to setup a website as well. It's not just a way to be more accessible regarding your work to the masses by having an online presence, but a website is a great tool where interested people could contribute funds immediately if they are convinced about what your nonprofit organization’s motives are. 

But even before all that make sure that your nonprofit organization is registered as a 501 (c) (3) organization so that it is tax exempt. Not only that, but all your donors may deduct any donations to 501 (c) (3) organization as a charitable deduction on their tax returns. Your donors will know that they are getting back two things when they donate to your organization; first a good thing for humanity, and second, part of their money back in tax returns!

So if you’ve got your motives straight, registered as a 501 (c) (3) organization, have produced text about it and setup a website, then the next and most crucial step is researching what bigger organizations, national or international, work or support work in the field that your organization hopes to be active in. Almost all such donor organizations, Ford Foundation for example, have their websites and the process of contacting them usually well laid out on their websites. 

Contact as many as you can because it’s not guaranteed that every one of them will respond. Not because they don’t like your idea, but because of the volume of inquiries they receive. But almost every one of them will send you a generic notice of receipt and eventually a second notice of interest or inability to support your program at that time. But if some of the organizations you have send inquires to don’t have a defined working interested or history in your nonprofit organization’s field, then don’t be surprised to get a notice that might say they don’t work with that subject matter yet. Never expect immediate or prompt response. Once communication is established, don’t slack either. They might take time to respond, but you should be as communicative and convincing as possible. These are the basics, but remember that persistence and evidence of being able to do the work you plan to are key elements in being able to get funds.

 

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Fundraising for Nonprofits 101

Do you have a non-profit organization with a wonderful humanitarian idea? Are you stuck in the process of turning those ideas into realities because you are struggling to fund your project? Then perhaps reading the rest of this article might be of some help.

The donor community, those who run no-profit organizations, have a short attention span and it can be very difficult to grab their attention. There are two things that are key to successfully getting their attention; a brilliant idea, and evidence that you can turn it into a reality. Why? This is a generally very competitive market and if your idea is not unique or timely, it will face even more relentless competition. Unless the people involved have extensive or at least some experience in the field, the organization itself has taken the initiative to do something along the line of their purpose, chances of winning them over is low. 

Let’s say you have the right idea, the right team and have some working history also. So, what’s the next step to fundraising for your non-profit organization? There are several approaches you can take. One is taking a closer look at the donor community so that you can identify the donors that seem related to what your non-profit organization is trying to accomplish. Once you have a list, extensive or not, start researching their contact information. Most times it might be just a generic email address or their mailing address and fax number. Sometimes, you can find the contact info for the person who is designated to handle inquiries based on certain subjects only. The easiest way to find this information is from the websites. Almost all nonprofit organizations have a website.

 There are several other methods that you can use to fundraise for your non-profit organization. Hosting drives in your community or organizing big or small-scale fundraising events are quite popular too. There are traditional methods like mail-in fundraising requests or by calling people on the phone as well. But again, you can try these but the internet is quickly overtaking these methods.  

Consider making a website for your organization. If you already have one, then perhaps you should consider adding a link where visitors to your website can donate money online in a secure and efficient way. If you haven’t noticed, it is becoming one of the fastest ways to raise funds for all sorts of causes these days, including for the campaigns of the candidates seeking office. Anyway, just make sure that you are registered as 501 (c) (3) organization so that you are tax exempt and all your donors can deduct any donations to 501 (c) (3) organization as a charitable deduction in their tax returns. This way, your donors will get a part of their contribution to your organization’s cause back in tax returns at the end of the fiscal year. 

Well there you have it, a crash course on fundraising for your non-profit organization. And don’t forget, persistence and patience are key.

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Five Recession Warning Signs: Be Prepared, And Don’t Freak Out! 

 We all know that history repeats itself, and there are lots of red-flags associated with recessions. The media is always talking about it, but this time it might be a reality. Don’t let that freak you out just yet! Let’s go over the basic patterns that are typical before a recession hits.

  Is A Recession Really Going To Happen? 

No one knows exactly when a recession will occur. Lots of different factors can change, and any economic situation can reverse under the right circumstances. We aren’t claiming to know the future, but we do know the past. Several puzzle pieces need to fall into place before the economy starts to decline. That’s what we are focusing our forecasts on. It’s not a guarantee of a recession. The current situation is looking bleak, and here’s why we think it’s going to get much worse.

  1. The US Treasury 

If you want to know what the last seven economic declines had in common, then you don’t need to look any further than US Treasury Bonds. The whole world is losing their mind over it. It’s almost turning into mass hysteria. That’s because the yield curve has inverted. It shows that the economic future of the US economy is uncertain. Most economists think of this as a foolproof indicator of a recession looming over the country, but that’s a subject of debate among experts. The bottom line is that all recent recessions happened shortly after the US Treasury Bonds yield changed for the worse. It doesn’t prove that a decline is around the corner, but it makes it a realistic possibility. Some experts are completely convinced that the old world of economics is over, and they believe that this increase of uncertainty in the market will have little effect on the value of the dollar. It could be possible that technology has sped up value tracking to the point that the market seems more fluid than it actually is. That might mean our feedback could be more volatile, and it could make trends extremely unpredictable. 

 2. Probability Models 

 The most accepted probability models of an economic recession are by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. If you’re already worked up, then just take a minute to collect yourself before we go into this point. The Federal Reserve has estimated that there is around a 30 percent chance of a recession occurring within the next twelve months. Their estimates have stayed at less than ten percent since January of 2009. This a big deal, and their predictions are continuing to lean towards a coming recession. Economists who rely on the Federal Reserve’s index are assuming that we’re going to feel the results of these statistics midway through 2020. If something doesn’t change fast, then you might only have a little less than a year to prepare yourself. Conclusions are easy to draw from the Federal Reserve’s data, but that doesn’t mean it’s set in stone. We could bounce back within the next few months, and the US economy hasn’t come close to tanking yet. 

  3. Employment Statistics 

 Unemployment rates have been stable for most of the last several decades. Everyone wants to focus on unemployment, but the real insight is found within the employment data. What’s the first thing that businesses cut when they are uncertain about the economy? It’s always going to be the wages of their workers. That doesn’t mean people are getting paid less, but it does mean that employees are working fewer hours. The average number of hours worked per week have slowly been declining since 2017. It’s not enough for us to freak out about, but it’s enough to get our attention. A growing economy should show substantial stability, and that’s the opposite of what we’re seeing this year. The next big issue is the increase in temporary positions among employers. Our jobs are shifting more towards temporary employment than ever before. These type of opportunities are great for companies who are unsure about the stability of their business because they can easily downsize with very few repercussions. That tells us that businesses want to keep their workforce fluid and expendable. A strong market is made up of skilled workers with specialized training. A growing economy is built through high-demand production. The going outlook is more based on convenience than quality. This could be detrimental to the employment rate in the event of a financial collapse. 

  4. Confidence Indexes 

 One of the most important factors in any economic system is the opinion of the people. The United States is the financial trend-setter of the world economy, and the ongoing trade conflicts with China are having a huge impact on businesses. Many companies have been more reluctant to make new investments until the situation is resolved. It’s having clear effects on the confidence of businesses in almost every market. The indexes don’t lie, and that’s why we’re convinced that this is an important indicator in the coming recession. Supply and demand can change overnight based on the opinions of the public. Is this a sign that investors are nervous about what the future holds for North America? It certainly seems that the ongoing trade war might be the tipping point that leads us over the edge financially. Several Consumer Sentiment Indexes have been published over the last few years that show an obvious dissatisfaction across the board. Consumer confidence is higher than in decades past, but we saw the first major hurdle in the begging of 2019. Business indexes have dropped to their lowest point in three years. Opinion matters more in the long-term than it does at the moment. If we continue to see the presence of pessimism from the coming studies, then it could encourage less spending. It becomes a problem when that increased pessimism becomes a trend for a few years in a row.

  5. Personal Debt Increases 

 Spending habits tend to change significantly when a recession is about to happen. People buy fewer cars, but they borrow more money to maintain their current lifestyle. You’ll also see a decrease in the number of new homes that are built, and the number of home renovations will slow down. That’s what we’ve noticed over the last ten years. The debt of the average American keeps growing, and that might be the only thing that’s giving the economy life. The debt-bubble is bound to pop at some point. Don’t be surprised if it gets a lot tougher to acquire a business loan in the coming years. Banks will have to make up for their loses on unpaid personal loans by cutting back somewhere. 

  Conclusion: Don’t Freak Out 

 We are at a point in time that’s filled with uncertainty, and that’s why you should maintain your certainty. Don’t freak out, and don’t panic! It’s only going to add to the problems we have at hand. The main point we want you to focus on is being prepared if a recession occurs. You don’t have to cut back, but you should shoot to hit a surplus on your budget for the next year. Getting ready isn’t about counting on the worst outcome. We just don’t want you to be taken by surprise! Work on reducing your expendable costs, and you’ll make it out just fine.

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Reinforce cost-effective strategies from your employees

Every time your staff makes a wise choice in corporate travel planning, it can be helpful to reward this behavior so it will be replicated the next time around. This can be done in the form of recognition or special prizes. Rewarding your employees can help them stay motivated in keeping budget limits at bay.

 What are some examples of rewarding employees?

 Upgrading their work space or equipment: Reinforcing good decisions of employees can be done by providing them the best tools to help them succeed in their work.

Say “thank you”: Sometimes, even a simple thank you can make an employee’s day. When you start a culture of gratitude, you can ensure unity in your team to help achieve corporate travel agenda.

Hold a simple celebration: It doesn’t have to be a fancy party to honor your team. It can even just be treating them to a simple lunch or holding a “lunch break party” to help acknowledge a member who did the right decision during a corporate travel.

Reward your employees publicly: Reprimands should be done in private, while rewards should be done in public. Presenting a certificate, a plaque, or any other form of incentive can help your employees feel motivated to do their best in corporate travel decision-making.

 Corporate travel planning does not have to be stressful. By keeping these strategies in mind, you will have a productive yet cost-effective trip for your company.

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Sign up for travel services or group promotions

Some travel companies offer promotions for people going in groups. If you are planning for a corporate outing, there is room discount available in some resorts that are geared for such types of events. Travel service companies also have affiliations with hotels, restaurants, stores, and attractions that can help you save more money rather than booking independently. You may want to consider this as an option if you're traveling as a large group.

 Here are some characteristics of a good travel agency:

 Accreditation: Some high-quality travel agencies are accredited by the department of foreign affairs or small business associations of specific locations. Since most travel agency arrangements are now done online, knowing that a company is accredited can help you feel assured with where you’re money is going.

Able to prepare a quotation: Travel agencies who take your business seriously can prepare a quotation of your itinerary even without commitments. It also gives you an idea of how knowledgeable they are about the location as well as their ability to get discounts from affiliates to make the best deals for your trip.

Prompt communication: Shady travel agencies usually respond sparingly and are difficult to talk to once you have settled your payment. A good sign that you’re in great hands is when travel agents are willing to communicate with you to answer any questions you may have.

Realistic prices: Suspicious travel agencies will offer ridiculously low prices to attract new clients. However, be wary of this scheme as you may end up losing hard-earned money. Find a travel agency that has realistic and competitive prices. This means that they offer prices based on the market average and they are transparent about all the charges in their quotation.

Years in the business: A travel agency that has been in the business for more than just a couple of years may be the best choice if you’re going to a new location. Years of experience means they can already anticipate potential problems and know how to give you the best experience.

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Find ways for your employees to be productive during travel

This may not be directly related to saving money on corporate travel, but it can help you increase your employees' output during their trip. Increased productivity during travel can help you save money as idleness may sometimes result in unnecessary expenses.

 Some companies incorporate a software tool that integrates the travel schedule from the main database to their employees' smartphones. Another traditional way to do this is to have an agenda for the day and ask for output at a specific deadline. This way, your travels will be more purposeful and drive positive results.

 Below are some ways you can keep your employees productive during travel:

 Create a list of things to do: You can keep track of travel objectives by making a daily or weekly to-do list. These can be considered as short-term goals for the whole agenda of your travel. Creating a list keeps you away from distractions and reminds you of the small details that you may forget during the course of your trip.

Complete low-effort tasks in public places: There may be some things in your daily to-do list that do not require much physical or mental energy. These can include replying to emails, posting on social media, or making a quick edit of a document. Such tasks can be done in public places which free up your time for other tasks that require more energy.

Always keep track of time: You make a daily schedule along with your to-do list or set an alarm on your device. If you have a meeting that needs to be concise, set a timer to help your team discuss the essential topics.

Stay focused: You can try productivity techniques such as Pomodoro timers, batch work, or going to a remote location to stay focused on the tasks needed to be done for the day. During major events, you can ask your team to turn of their devices unless it is needed for communication.

Be specific with your output: When creating daily goals, be specific on the type of output you want to make. Use the SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time-bound) technique to make daily goals for your team.

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Consider miscellaneous travel charges

Some things that company owners and managers often overlook are the miscellaneous travel expenses that come as a price of convenience. For example, WiFi on the plane, in-flight meals, or hotel buffet breakfasts can be a costly addition in your corporate travel. 

 It is important to consider these 'surprise' travel expenses and ask your staff if they would really need it. Otherwise, it is best to cross it off your budget allocation list.

 Aside from those previously mentioned, some common ‘hidden’ travel charges include the following:

 Checked baggage fees: Some airlines have a free checked baggage promo limited to 1-2 bags. However, these expenses may incur if you go above the limit. Make sure to remind your employees that checked baggage must be only within the free limit to avoid this expense.

Airline seat selection: If you feel like sitting beside your whole team isn’t necessary for the trip, then you can choose to opt out of this feature. Some airlines will charge as much as $80 just to have a customized seat plan. Skip this if you would rather spend on other things such as in-flight WiFi, or a better accommodation.

Taxes: There are some travel deals with all-inclusive fees. However, some offers may seem like a good deal until you discover that tax isn’t included yet. Thus, you need to set an allowance for possible taxes on lodging, food, and transportation.

Resort or environmental fees: In some countries or natural preserve locations, the government imposes fees for visitors to help in the maintenance. These fees are usually charged per person. Although relatively cheap for the most part, it can be a significant amount if you’re traveling as a big group.

Car rental insurance: Public transportation may be out of the picture in your corporate travel, but car rental is something you would consider. Do not forget that there may be car rental insurance charges which are mandatory for some companies. Explore your options on the car rental service that could lower the cost of this insurance.

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Don't forget to plan your trip ahead of time

There's a saying that goes: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail! This is applicable for setting a cost-effective corporate travel itinerary. Planning ahead covers most of the topics mentioned above. It can help you choose the right timing to book flights, get hotel deals, and also save enough money for the trip budget.

 Last-minute bookings are often expensive because hotels and airline companies know that this is an urgent need. They understand that even if they hike up the prices, people would still be booking because of a need.

 What are some things to help in researching for your upcoming corporate travel?

 WikiTravel Articles: WikiTravel articles are comprehensive posts about common travel places. The most crucial information that you can find in these articles are safety tips and local recommendations. You should also confirm with your destination contacts as some information may be outdated.

Posts by travel bloggers: If you’re still on the fence about picking a destination for your corporate travel, travel bloggers can help make a more concrete decision. You can read their blog posts on ideal itineraries, what to expect, and other tips for business travelers.

Watch Youtube videos: It may be difficult to visualize a venue when you haven’t been to it in the first place. Some Youtubers post walkthroughs or travel vlogs that helps viewers have an idea of what to expect on a certain location. Like blogs, they also provide useful tips on travel safety and other things to know.

Reddit: Some articles or videos may be promotional in nature, so you want an honest response. By going to Reddit, you may be able to find a community of people who have been in your target destination. They can provide an objective feedback if what you’re planning for the corporate travel is an ideal choice.

Local news sources: Local news sources can be a great tool for you to find on-the-date events on the area. Often, these events are hard to find in articles online, so being updated with the happenings in your destination can give you an idea of places to go to.

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Provide a general budget for the trip but allow your employees to decide

Another strategy that can be useful for saving in corporate travel is setting a ceiling limit for food, transportation and activities. This is called the general budget for corporate travel. After this, you can let your employees decide how they can use this budget. 

 Many of them would be happy to work around your limit and find budget-friendly options, making you save even more. This is a win-win situation since your employees can get their top choices, while you are comfortable with the limit you have set.

 Below are the key things you need to consider for the corporate travel budget, which you can let your employees decide to work around on:

 Major transportation: This involves the departure and arrival flights, as well as group transportation in various vehicles. Many companies will offer group discounts for companies.

Other transportation: Other types of transportation may be individual taxi rides, Ubers, trains, subways, and other means of transportation which may still need to be accounted for. Set a price range for this item in the budget, and your employees will find ways to go around at cheaper prices.

Accommodation: As previously mentioned, your employees may be more travel-savvy and can find great deals for high-quality hotel and lodging. Set a budget limit and see the kinds of hotel options they can find for your travel plans.

Food: You don’t have to keep on spending for room service or hotel restaurants all the time. Your employees may find budget deals on restaurants that locals love. They can be incredibly cheap, yet a delicious feast for the rest of your team.

Activities: You can spearhead the main activities or business-related agenda for your corporate travel, but your employees can decide ahead what activities they want to do for leisurely purposes. They may just want something simple like visit a park, a national museum, or head to the local attractions. Simply set a budget for this item, divided in two areas--business-related and leisure.

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Find more affordable hotel options

One of the largest chunks of spending on corporate travel are hotels and lodging. As a savvy manager or business owner, it can be wise to include policies for accommodations such as a budget limit or a star rating.

 This way, your staff can work around the budget for the best value of the hotel, or they can find discounts. It is interesting that some hotels have promotions on various websites where the same room can be availed for large discounts. There are also hotel comparison websites that can help you get this sorted out.

 What should you look for in an ideal hotel for corporate travel?

 In-room WiFi: Your employees shouldn’t have to go down in the lobby to have access to the internet. In-room WiFi is a convenient option for them to finish their work while resting in their respective rooms. This will also be convenient for the rest of your traveling group if they decide to communicate with each other through the internet (Skype calls, Viber, Messenger, or email).

Work desk and office chair: This will help your team separate their space for resting, grooming, and working. If you have a long-term corporate travel, this is essential for productivity purposes. You cannot expect your team to work efficiently while staying in bed or if the work areas in the hotel are limited.

Accessible outlets: Along with internet and work space, outlets are also essential for your employees to charge their devices. These outlets must be accessible such as located by the lamp, close to the desk, or by the bed.

Business center amenity: This may also be necessary if your team needs to print documents or other office-related tasks. Having an open business center 24 hours a day and 7 days a week with reliable internet access, computer with office tools, and other business amenities can greatly help in unexpected events.

Location: It may seem commonsensical, but the location is something to consider when picking an ideal hotel for corporate travel. If you have an event in another venue where you need to be early, it is best to book a hotel close to that venue. It can be a challenge to go early as a group so having an allowance time is essential.

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Strategize purchases on airline flights

A frequent traveler tip is to watch out for budget flights. Sure, it can be convenient to have a business class for every travel, but you may need to assess if this is actually a need rather than a luxury. For most corporate travel, the main objective of using flights is to get from point A to point B. This means that you can opt for economy class especially if you're going in large groups.

 If scheduling is not an issue, there are strategies that you can do in booking and timing your flights. Many fare experts claim that it is best to shop on a Tuesday after holidays. You can also choose to use fare comparison websites to help you get the best deal.

 Here are some tips on getting the most affordable flights:

 Book early, but not too early: Flight prices increase within 3 weeks of the departure date. To make sure that you get the best deal for your flights, book from 1-3 months of your corporate travel departure. You can use apps such as Google Flights or Kayak to help in determining the right time to book flights, but be informed that this may not be accurate all the time. Just make sure that you are booking within the right time frame by planning ahead for a couple of months.

Set price alerts: To get the best deals, you can download apps that keeps you informed about the price changes over time. Ticket prices may change daily, depending on supply and demand within that timeline, airline, or specific destination. Having price alerts turned on can help you save a few hundred dollars, which can be a lot when you are booking for a big group.

Book connecting flights: Connecting flights with long layovers are noticeably cheaper than direct ones. If you don’t have an urgent schedule set in the early days of your corporate travel, you may consider having flights that are connected to other airlines. This can also save a few hundred dollars.

Use award miles: If you have a loyalty membership on a specific airline, you can save a lot by using award miles. Award miles are usually given for frequent bookings. These free miles can be redeemed on your next purchase. 

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Have a stringent trip approval process

Some companies end up losing money on corporate travel because of verbal agreements without details about a trip. To avoid this problem, you must have a stringent trip approval process. This can help increase your corporate travel savings. When everything is put on paper and you can see each detail of the trip, every dollar is accounted for which can help you on your budget.

 Here are some things to be clear on when deciding to approve a corporate travel event:

 Purpose of the travel: First and foremost, you must consider the purpose of the travel. It could be either for the company’s growth or the wellness of your employees. When presenting a proposal, the parties involved must make sure that the objectives of the travel event is clearly stated.

Budget: The budget can be presented clearly through the use of a table with itemized expenses and total amount. To also have a clearer picture of the budget, you can also ask how much the budget would cost per person. You company travel policies will serve as a guide to help employees work on an itinerary within your budget range.

Event date: Event dates are also essential to make sure that they don’t stand in conflict with other plans within your schedule. If you must be a participant in the corporate travel, this can help you plan in advance for a schedule.

Venue: The venue is also something crucial for the logistics of your corporate travel. It will affect the budget, means of travel, as well as you and your employee’s overall experience. 

 Additionally, it also helps for employees to sign a waiver on the liabilities in case an accident or any other personal damage happens during this corporate travel. The proposal along with the waiver must be signed by them and by the administration to determine an approval. Although your employees have their health insurance, it can also protect your business from unforeseen circumstances.

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Improve your policies on corporate travel

Every company has their corporate travel policy. Lower management might send proposals and they must work within the guidelines you may have provided about the following areas: transportation, meal allowances, and itinerary expenses. Having a better policy in your corporate travel can save you money.

 One of the ways to do this is setting budget limits in your business' travel expenses. For example, you may set a budget for lodging, meals, and activities done by your employees. Any activity outside the agenda of the corporate travel should be considered an out-of-pocket cost, and all receipts should be reported for reimbursement if this has to do with business affairs.

 Now, how do you create a new company policy? It is important to let this information be disseminated with your key stakeholders first. The next step is to let your employees know that you will be changing the travel policies within your company. 

 Some helpful ways to help in improving your current travel policy:

Have clearly worded content: Make sure to use the correct wording such as “always”, “never”, or “case-to-case” basis. Leave no room for confusion about the policy content to prevent loopholes or unwanted justifications from your employees.

Determine what is guaranteed and what it not: When creating new travel policies, state which items are guaranteed coverage and those which will be shouldered by employees. For example, flight expenses and lodging will clearly be covered, while food only has a certain budget. Anything above that must be considered an out-of-pocket expense by the employee.

Indicate who will be affected by the policies: Another point of confusion in creating a new policy is when employees do not know who are affected by the new rules. Thus, it is important to indicate whom the new rules apply to gain clarity for all your company departments.

Place an effective date: It is good to give a little allowance on when you will be implementing the new policy. This is because you don’t want to avoid conflict when there is an ongoing corporate travel event while tackling this endeavor. An effective date such as the following two weeks up to a month is ideal to help your employees get ready for the changes.

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We all know that history repeats itself, and there are lots of red-flags associated with recessions. The media is always talking about it, but this time it might be a reality. Don’t let that freak you out just yet! Let’s go over the basic patterns that are typical before a recession hits.

 Is A Recession Really Going To Happen? 

No one knows exactly when a recession will occur. Lots of different factors can change, and any economic situation can reverse under the right circumstances. We aren’t claiming to know the future, but we do know the past. Several puzzle pieces need to fall into place before the economy starts to decline. That’s what we are focusing our forecasts on. It’s not a guarantee of a recession. The current situation is looking bleak, and here’s why we think it’s going to get much worse.

   1. The US Treasury 

If you want to know what the last seven economic declines had in common, then you don’t need to look any further than US Treasury Bonds. The whole world is losing their mind over it. It’s almost turning into mass hysteria. That’s because the yield curve has inverted. It shows that the economic future of the US economy is uncertain. Most economists think of this as a foolproof indicator of a recession looming over the country, but that’s a subject of debate among experts. The bottom line is that all recent recessions happened shortly after the US Treasury Bonds yield changed for the worse. It doesn’t prove that a decline is around the corner, but it makes it a realistic possibility. Some experts are completely convinced that the old world of economics is over, and they believe that this increase of uncertainty in the market will have little effect on the value of the dollar. It could be possible that technology has sped up value tracking to the point that the market seems more fluid than it actually is. That might mean our feedback could be more volatile, and it could make trends extremely unpredictable. 

  2. Probability Models 

 The most accepted probability models of an economic recession are by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. If you’re already worked up, then just take a minute to collect yourself before we go into this point. The Federal Reserve has estimated that there is around a 30 percent chance of a recession occurring within the next twelve months. Their estimates have stayed at less than ten percent since January of 2009. This a big deal, and their predictions are continuing to lean towards a coming recession. Economists who rely on the Federal Reserve’s index are assuming that we’re going to feel the results of these statistics midway through 2020. If something doesn’t change fast, then you might only have a little less than a year to prepare yourself. Conclusions are easy to draw from the Federal Reserve’s data, but that doesn’t mean it’s set in stone. We could bounce back within the next few months, and the US economy hasn’t come close to tanking yet. 

  3. Employment Statistics 

 Unemployment rates have been stable for most of the last several decades. Everyone wants to focus on unemployment, but the real insight is found within the employment data. What’s the first thing that businesses cut when they are uncertain about the economy? It’s always going to be the wages of their workers. That doesn’t mean people are getting paid less, but it does mean that employees are working fewer hours. The average number of hours worked per week have slowly been declining since 2017. It’s not enough for us to freak out about, but it’s enough to get our attention. A growing economy should show substantial stability, and that’s the opposite of what we’re seeing this year. The next big issue is the increase in temporary positions among employers. Our jobs are shifting more towards temporary employment than ever before. These type of opportunities are great for companies who are unsure about the stability of their business because they can easily downsize with very few repercussions. That tells us that businesses want to keep their workforce fluid and expendable. A strong market is made up of skilled workers with specialized training. A growing economy is built through high-demand production. The going outlook is more based on convenience than quality. This could be detrimental to the employment rate in the event of a financial collapse. 

  4. Confidence Indexes 

 One of the most important factors in any economic system is the opinion of the people. The United States is the financial trend-setter of the world economy, and the ongoing trade conflicts with China are having a huge impact on businesses. Many companies have been more reluctant to make new investments until the situation is resolved. It’s having clear effects on the confidence of businesses in almost every market. The indexes don’t lie, and that’s why we’re convinced that this is an important indicator in the coming recession. Supply and demand can change overnight based on the opinions of the public. Is this a sign that investors are nervous about what the future holds for North America? It certainly seems that the ongoing trade war might be the tipping point that leads us over the edge financially. Several Consumer Sentiment Indexes have been published over the last few years that show an obvious dissatisfaction across the board. Consumer confidence is higher than in decades past, but we saw the first major hurdle in the begging of 2019. Business indexes have dropped to their lowest point in three years. Opinion matters more in the long-term than it does at the moment. If we continue to see the presence of pessimism from the coming studies, then it could encourage less spending. It becomes a problem when that increased pessimism becomes a trend for a few years in a row.

  5. Personal Debt Increases 

 Spending habits tend to change significantly when a recession is about to happen. People buy fewer cars, but they borrow more money to maintain their current lifestyle. You’ll also see a decrease in the number of new homes that are built, and the number of home renovations will slow down. That’s what we’ve noticed over the last ten years. The debt of the average American keeps growing, and that might be the only thing that’s giving the economy life. The debt-bubble is bound to pop at some point. Don’t be surprised if it gets a lot tougher to acquire a business loan in the coming years. Banks will have to make up for their loses on unpaid personal loans by cutting back somewhere. 

  Conclusion: Don’t Freak Out 

 We are at a point in time that’s filled with uncertainty, and that’s why you should maintain your certainty. Don’t freak out, and don’t panic! It’s only going to add to the problems we have at hand. The main point we want you to focus on is being prepared if a recession occurs. You don’t have to cut back, but you should shoot to hit a surplus on your budget for the next year. Getting ready isn’t about counting on the worst outcome. We just don’t want you to be taken by surprise! Work on reducing your expendable costs, and you’ll make it out just fine.

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When entrepreneurs want to make more money, one strategy is to find ways to boost revenue. However, reducing expenses is also important. Profit equals revenue minus expenses. To increase profit, the best strategy is to use expense reduction and revenue boosting strategies together. Expense reduction involves pinpointing problems and finding ways to cut costs. It is not just a few simple tasks. It involves every facet of the business and its operations. 

Inefficiencies may exist in multiple departments and on several levels. For example, the production department may not be working efficiently, and there may be multiple contributing factors. There may be supplier issues, outdated technologies, poor lighting, mismatched teams and more. In such a case, an expense reduction analyst may suggest a software to track and rearrange teams. Placing workers in the right positions during optimal shifts may help. Working out supplier issues, improving the lighting and adding new technologies may also help reduce the overall inefficiency of that department.

Expense reduction also facilitates investing and development. When a company owner saves some money and earns an extra profit, that extra money can be invested in special projects. If the projects will help the business grow and will help reduce overall expenses, that is an ideal outcome. 

From HR to supply chain management, there are many facets to consider with expense reduction strategies. While some businesses assign supervision or management tasks to one or more people, they may not have the expertise to consider expense reduction as a holistic concept. To increase the usefulness of this tactic, it is essential to hire a specialist.

What an Expense Reduction Analyst Does

First, an analyst identifies all inefficiencies. The next step is finding ways to save money, and plans are formed to accomplish those tasks. The analyst monitors the savings throughout the process. In comparison with other types of consultants that do not specifically offer ERA, analysts in this applied discipline have an extensive network of special abilities that span more categories. 

They carry out the plans, and the company owner decides how to allocate the savings. One of the consultant's top goals is to be an analyst, a manager and an acquirer. Analysts help clients learn how to save even more money in the future with better business practices. They can introduce companies to new strategies that can support long-term sustainability while increasing profit.

 

 

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As a manager or a business owner, it may be necessary to have out-of-state or international travel expenses to keep your company up and running. Corporate travel is essential to hold meetings with suppliers, to meet clients, and to find new ideas and resources.

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WORKERS COMPENSATION PROCESS

Bottom Line is a leader in workers’ compensation for Retailers, Wholesalers, Restaurants, Hotels, Home Health & Residential Care facilities in New York State. Bottom Line maximizes your productivity and profits by helping to keep your number one asset, your employees, working and safe.

The Problem The costs associated with rehiring, refraining, loss of productivity, poor morale and claims can exceed your premium drastically.

Bottom Line’s Solution As the manager of seven Safety Groups underwritten by the New York Insurance Fund, Bottom Line has saved hundreds of our clients over $100 million in workers’ compensation since 2009. 

What are Safety Groups?

Safety Groups provide a high quality, low cost, fully insured workers’ compensation insurance solution to businesses with a proven track record of safety in the workplace

Our safety groups significantly reduce the cost of workers’ compensation for safety conscious members. Our fully insured safety groups work by pooling members’ annual premiums, and after deducting the costs of claims and administrative charges, the profits are returned to members in the form of a dividend. Only Safety-Conscious employers with a proven track record of safety are invited to join our Safety Groups.

BENEFITS OF WORKING WITH BOTTOM LINE:

• Savings through group advance discounts and dividends 

• Claims Solution services that reduce claims and costs 

• Comprehensive administration and audit services 

• On-site safety engineering


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WORK OPPORTUNITY TAX CREDIT

MAXIMIZE YOUR COMPANY’S TAX CREDIT POTENTIAL:

Every year companies miss out on millions of dollars in tax credits for something they do every day – hiring new employees. The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (“WOTC”) is a Federal tax incentive program to encourage employers to hire and retain employees from specific target groups such as:

• Veterans 

• Qualified Youth 

• Social Assistance Recipients

Although these tax credits range in value depending on the category of employee and length of employment, your company can receive a tax credit of up to $9,600 per new hire. The average credit for the hospitality industry can be as high as $2,000 per employee. Also, many states have companion credits that match or mimic WOTC. The New York Urban Youth Hiring Program can add up to $5,000, over two years, in additional tax credits. Some of the state and local credits are also REFUNDABLE when the entity does not have taxable income.

HOW THE PROGRAM WORKS:

The WOTC program requires the completion of several forms by the employee at the time they are hired. These forms need to be received by the correct state agency within 28 days of the employee start date. Our tax credit experts will work with your company to streamline the documentation process in order to minimize your work, and maximize the credits. We offer flexible options for you to process the necessary documentation in a timely manner, in order to receive approval of your credits. Many state agencies have a back-log of forms to process. Our team will keep your data and information organized, resolve any documentation discrepancies, and follow-up with the government on a regular basis to ensure your credits are approved in a timely manner.

WHO CAN BENEFIT:

Although any company that hires new employees can potentially benefit from the program, there are certain industry such as hospitality, retail and security which see significant benefits. Factors that drive higher returns for these industries include high- turnover rates, urban dwelling employee base, a younger workforce, and unique hiring requirements such as hiring military veterans.


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  • Our Process

    Based on our in-depth analysis of your business, we bring a holistic perspective to the broad range of areas in which significant savings can be realized.

  • Our Promise

    Zero Risk
    Zero Out of Pocket Cost
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  • Our Tools

    We offer a unique approach with a team of experts behind each categorical analysis to deliver the greatest savings.

  • Our Results

    We have worked with 1000+ organizations and have collectively saved them over $400,000,000 since 2009.