After welcoming members from more than 50 charitable organizations, Associate Professor of Accounting with the School of Business and Communication, Richard Kido, noted that this year marked a milestone 20th anniversary of this Non-Profit Financial Seminar, which aims to provide guidance and information on financial and operational issues related to leading and managing nonprofit organizations that serve our communities.
“Don’t forget to register or you won’t get your CPE credit,” Kido reminded attendees. Continuing professional education, or CPE, credit is a term referring to the points professionals receive for participating in specialized training. CPE credits are based on hours of study and count toward certification programs that enable professionals to maintain or update their credentials.
“The last time I was up here, it was just me and a camera,” quipped Trever Asam, a partner at the Cades Schutte law firm, which specializes in tax and nonprofit organizations. “Today, I will provide an update on the new IRS federal tax rates, which have an impact on gift and estate taxes. I’ll also discuss gift bunching and the Secure Act 2.0.”
Effective finance management is essential for the success of any non-profit organization. By understanding the importance of financial administration and the challenges that nonprofits face, organizations can take steps to improve their accounting practices and better serve their communities.
Other speakers at the event included Be-Jay Kodama, a two-time Chaminade University graduate ’86 BA and ’17 MBA, and Vice President of Philanthropy at Catholic Charities Hawaii (CCH), who was a member of a panel that discussed fundraising and grant writing in the world of nonprofits.
“The work we do is important, and you have to be able to think outside of the box,” Kodama told attendees. “Don’t be afraid to ask … and ask again and again.”
Also among the four-member panel was Angie Golis-Yamamoto, a 35-year veteran of the nonprofit sector, who shared her fundraising successes and failures. “The challenge is how to bring awareness and money to your special events,” said Golis-Yamamoto, Director of Development at Sacred Hearts Academy. “And there are a lot of logistics in running an event. For example, if you have an auction, do you have it online or do you it by paper?”
Fellow panelists, Candace Asam-Lopez, Director of Development, Ronald McDonald House Charities Hawaii and Madalyn Kenney, Chief Development Officer, Make-A-Wish Hawaii shared their own approaches to fundraising, which include looking at events through a more critical lens, sponsor partnerships and post-event engagement.
“It requires a lot of committment,” Asam-Lopez said. “Events are expensive and labor intensive. And ever since COVID, the question still remains do you hold an in-person event or do you go virtual? But how would a virtual golf tournament look like?”
Organized annually by Chaminade’s School of Business and Communication, the daylong seminar featured an impressive slate of experts who made presentations that covered such topics as “COVID-19 Related 2023 Non-Profit Recovery Grant Program” by Shane Akagi, Administrator of the Office of Grants Management, City and County of Honolulu; “Recruitment and Retention of Employees” by Sarah Guay, Hawaii Employers Council’s President & Chief Executive Officer; and Strategic Alliances and Partnerships by Lindsay Kido, Beer is for Everyone Founder and Executive.
Other scheduled speakers included Hugh R. Jones, Counsel, Ashford & Wriston LLP; Bernice Parsons, President & Co-Founder, Vertaccount; and Aedward Los Banos, Deputy Director, Department Of Community Services with the Department of Community Services, City and County of Honolulu.
The day concluded with three breakout sessions, with the first focused on the Unrelated Business Income Tax (UBIT) led by Adjunct Professor Wayne M. Tanna, JD, LL.M; and Recruitment and Retention of Employees with Guay. The second session looked at Grant Accounting with Professor Aaron Williamson; and Strategic Alliances and Partnerships with Lindsay Kido. The day’s final session involved Understanding the Audit Process Review with Catha Lee Combs, CPA and Managing Partner with Wikoff Combs & Co., LLC; and Sources of Nonprofit Financial Information with Professor Kido.
“This was the first year since COVID that the seminar was held fully in-person,” said Asoke Datta, EdD, School of Business and Communication’s Assistant Dean and the seminar’s Moderator for Financial Track Sessions. “You could really feel an uptick in energy and excitement. What this seminar achieves is to bring nonprofits together, which doesn’t often happen. So, the seminar allows these nonprofit leaders to meet each other and form new collaborations.”