Everything from federal tax law changes for nonprofits to cybersecurity trends to the value of crowdfunding to raise supplemental operational funds were among the high-interest topics discussed at this year’s Nonprofit Organizations Seminar at Chaminade University of Honolulu.
The event, in its 18th year at Chaminade, attracted representatives from some 80 Hawaii nonprofits.
They came together Aug. 16 for a day of professional development and collaboration.
Shari Chang, CEO of Girl Scouts of Hawaii, delivered the lunchtime keynote speech. She’s a 35-year veteran of the hospitality marketing industry and is now using her strong business background to help oversee the expansion of her organization’s leadership development programs for girls.
Other speakers at the event included Spencer Lau, a two-time Chaminade University graduate and interim director of finance at the Honolulu Community Action Program, who talked about how more and more nonprofits are using crowdfunding to help cover institutional expenses or existing programs; and Trever Asam, a partner at the Cades Schutte law firm and an expert on tax law, whose presentation focused on important legislation and court rulings that effect tax-exempt organizations.
The nonprofit seminar is put on annually by Chaminade’s School of Business and Communication.
And the impressive slate of experts who made presentations at the event included several from the University’s own faculty and staff roster. Rylan Chong, co-director of Chaminade’s data science program, spoke about the risks of organizational identity theft and how nonprofits can protect themselves while three Chaminade accounting professors offered presentations on tax fraud prevention and auditing.
The day also included an engaging panel discussion, titled “To accept or not to accept, that is the question,” on the importance of gift acceptance policies that reflect the values and overall work of a successful fundraising charity or nonprofit. On the panel: Michael Coppes, senior executive director of estate and gift planning at the UH Foundation, and Hugh Jones, the foundation’s chief legal officer.