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Helping the Environment One Bill at a Time: Recycled Products and Paperless Billing Benefits

Aside from the market stocks, the revenue, and the employees, as a company manager, you should also worry about the waste bin units in your workplace. Why? Your company trash reflects your company’s efficiency. How so? Well, it’s not about how the cool rubbish bins look in the office nor is it about where you bought the large bins for sale. The contents of your office’s waste bin dictate your workforce’s expenditures in your office resources. If you see wasted paper, plastic bottles, light bulbs, and other trash inside them, you might be missing out on how you can enhance your company’s efficiency.

This article talks about how recycled products and paperless billing can help you turn your office into an environment-friendly one:

Buying recycled products is a simple thing that all businesses can do to help the environment.

The perception of recycled products in the past has often been that of lower quality products at more expensive prices. Although this may have been true in the past, this is certainly no longer the case. With an increasing demand for environmentally friendly and recycled products, the number of businesses producing such products has increased and so too has the range of recycled products available.

Repurposing for the Environment

As more businesses buy recycled office products, such as paper and ink cartridges, the demand for the raw materials will increase. In turn, this will then increase the value of such materials. This will benefit all businesses wanting to recycle their waste, which is obviously beneficial for the environment. Click here EcoBin

There is treasure in your trash

With an increased value, businesses that generate large quantities of recyclable waste streams such as cardboard, paper, and plastic will be able to negotiate better prices for their waste materials. With increased value, businesses are also likely to be more stringent to ensure that recycling levels are maximized. This means generating more money for the business, and at the same time reducing the amount of recyclable waste going to commercial garbage bins and the landfill.

Help the Environment with Paperless Billing

If you are one of the millions of households that now have access to the internet, there is a great and easy way to help the environment – paperless billing. There are many businesses that are now offering this service. With paperless billing, your bills and statements will be sent electronically via the internet, rather than being printed out and sent by post.

Discounts for your customers

To encourage more people to sign up to paperless billing, many companies that offer this service will provide a discount for switching to paperless billing. They may also offer added environmental benefits. For example, for a limited period, HSBC is donating £5 for each Green account opened, which will be shared equally between WWF, Earthwatch, and The Climate Group. British Gas has also promised to plant a tree in one of three woodland areas for every 100 customers that switch to paperless billing. The three special woodland areas are Northcombe Wood on the Dartmoor-Exmoor border, Potters Meadow in Staffordshire and Donkleywood in Northumberland.

Lessen your office’s carbon footprint

Paperless billing can cut the paper waste going to your waste bin. By signing up to paperless billing you can help the environment by saving paper, and also saving the energy used to produce, transport and dispose of the paper. In the process, this will also help to reduce your customers’ carbon footprint. See more at https://www.ecobin.com.au/

Green Energy: Top 4 Reasons to Switch to Solar Power

Solar power is more than just a thing of the future – now is the best time to make the switch! More homes and businesses have made the switch and have used solar power installations. But the reasons to using systems that generate solar power Brisbane has today is more than just hype; below are some of the compelling reasons to switching to solar power use.

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Reduce or Eliminate Electric Bills

Are you paying lots of money on your monthly electric bill? This alone is enough reason to consider Brisbane solar power system. This applies to homeowners and business owners who see their electricity costs rising each month. In fact, this is where a large chunk of your expenses are attributed to. When you reduce the use of traditional electricity and buy solar power systems, you can tap into the use of free power so you can get electricity for free! Most of the solar power systems on the market today have a life span of up to 25 years. Hence, you can spend nearly the rest of your life harnessing free energy sources.

Return of Investment

This part might be more interesting to business owners but can also benefit homeowners. It is believed that buying solar power in Brisbane or elsewhere in the world is one of the best investments you will ever make – better than stocks or bonds! You can easily pay off your solar power system in less than 7 years but the annual ROI is at least 20%! Hence, the investment you make in this system is basically paying itself off with the added advantage of lowering your utility bills. It is, therefore, a win-win situation wherever you look at it.

Boost Property Value

With the rise in demand for solar power Brisbane has today, it is expected that homes or properties installed with a solar power system are going to rise in market value too. This installation won’t increase your property taxes (in fact, it will help you earn tax credits!) and this will also reduce the cost of operating the property. All of these factors will make the property more attractive to a potential property buyer.

For business owners, opting to go ‘green’ can also boost your company image. It will make your brand more appealing to customers who are proponents of green consciousness. This is simply a bonus for all of the aforementioned benefits that the use of solar power has to offer.

Reduce Carbon Footprint

If you are a green advocate, the discussion on switching to the use of solar power systems is irrelevant. You know that it is a must! You can contribute to reducing carbon footprint by as much as 39% each year when you switch to tapping solar power. Imagine if more homeowners and businesses made that switch?

Want to enjoy the benefits listed above? You can find power systems that offer solar power Brisbane has to offer in the market. To get you started, go to http://hushenergysq.com.au/solar-power-brisbane-systems-panels-brisbane/ to find out where you can buy one and how to use them.

Healthcare Fight Goes To Round 2

The Republican’s replacement bill for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the American Health Care Act (AHCA) is garnering a chorus of groans from the nonprofit healthcare community, with organizations perturbed – in particular – by the plan’s proposed cuts to Medicaid.

Key elements of the bill, which was passed in the House of Representatives by a 217-213 vote on Thursday, include monthly tax credits to middle and low-income Americans that will range from $2,000 to $14,000 annually to help pay for healthcare premiums, with older individuals receiving more support, according to a White House breakdown. Medicaid financing will also be changed to base funding to states on population and those areas that are most vulnerable following the country’s economic downturns. States will also have the option of both block grants and work requirements for certain populations.

The legislation now goes to the U.S. Senate where it is expected to undergo changes. Nonprofit leaders will be paying close attention to what those changes might be.

Specifically, the bill does little to provide help to the 24 million Americans who would lose coverage after the ACA repeal and cuts to Medicaid would adversely impact poor, elderly, and disabled Americans, said Rick Pollack, president and CEO of the American Hospital Association (AHA), via a statement. AHA’s stance is that it is vital to protect Medicaid and members “urge the Senate to restart and reset the discussion in a manner that provides coverage to those who need it and ensures that the most vulnerable are not left behind,” the statement reads.

The Catholic Health Association (CHA), like the AHA, indicated that it was “deeply disappointed” with the House vote, according to a statement by Sister Carol Keehan, president and CEO. Keehan specifically referenced the proposed restructuring and cuts to Medicaid and said that the legislation jeopardizes protections for those with pre-existing conditions. “As this legislation moves now to the Senate, CHA will continue to work with lawmakers to address these issues,” Keehan said. “And on behalf of those we serve in Catholic health care, we will continue to advocate a health care system in which accessible and affordable health coverage is available for everyone.”

In addition to the 24 million individuals currently insured under the ACA, Nicole Lamoureux, CEO of the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics (NAFC), said that she would like to see Senate revisions address how to provide access to healthcare to the 29 million Americans who have not received coverage since the ACA passed. Protection for those with pre-existing conditions and the protection of Medicare expansion programs are other priorities.

“We are disheartened that the House rushed through legislation rather than taking the time to work with members of the safety net and develop a plan that could actually help the American people,” Lamoureux said in an email. “It is clear that many issues still surround the health care landscape in this country, but the current legislation as written promises to do more harm than good.”

NAFC has been committed to educating policy makers, the press, and the public about the needs of uninsured and medically underserved populations in the U.S. While discouraged by the House’s vote, Lamoureux said that all eyes will be on the actions of the Senate.

Even with the ACA, free and charitable clinics have seen steady demand in recent years, with 1.8 million individuals served in 2016, up from 1.7 million in 2015. A total of 190,000 volunteers, including 94,000 medical volunteers, helped provide over 6 million patient visits in 2016, according to Lamoureux. Demand has been persistent in both in states that have expanded Medicaid and those that have not. Lamoureux said that if the Senate signs the bill into law, those that lose Medicaid coverage will no longer be able to afford healthcare and will turn to free and charitable clinics as a result.

Demand Jumps for 75% of N.J. Nonprofits

Rising demand for organizational support and budgetary needs outpacing funding have created challenges for leaders of New Jersey-based organizations. Three-quarters (75 percent) of nonprofit leaders in the state reported greater demand for services during the past year as compared to the previous one. Even more (76 percent) expect additional increases in demand in the year to come.

Though 40 percent of organizations received funding increases of 5 percent or more, the percentage is a four-year low and is met by 51 percent of organizational leaders reporting budgetary increases of at least 5 percent, also a four-year low.

Similarly, 24 percent of organizations saw funding decrease by at least 5 percent while only 8 percent saw budgets decrease by that much. About one-third (34 percent) or organizational leaders reported a surplus in the past fiscal year while 29 percent faced a deficit and 37 percent broke even.

The data comes from “New Jersey Non-Profits 2017,” a report conducted by the Center for Non-Profits. The report is based on responses from 301 organizational representatives who responded to an online survey conducted in mid-March.

Overall, 48 percent of organizations reported being better off in the past year than in the previous one and 53 percent anticipate being in a better position next year, both representing four-year lows. One in 10 respondents (10 percent) expect to be worse off next year, the highest reported since 2011.

Financial uncertainty (59 percent) was the primary concern voiced by the organizational representatives, followed by a need for better branding and communications (50 percent) and a stronger board (44 percent). On the fundraising front, more than two out of five (43 percent) of respondents reported that a previous fundraising source had informed them that they would either cease giving or give less during 2016. Foundations (62 percent), corporations (36 percent), and individual donors (32 percent) were the most likely to express such intentions. Shifting priorities (55 percent) and general cutbacks (30 percent) were cited most often as reason.

In response, increases to programming and staff were being considered by 40 percent and 33 percent of respondents, respectively, while cuts to programming and staff were under consideration in 27 percent and 22 percent of organizations. More than half of respondents (51 percent) reported launching new partnerships and collaborations in 2016, predominantly with other organizations. Examples included partnerships with parks and school-based programs addressing behavior needs and collaborations with arts and health groups.

Those surveyed also provided examples of changes in programming aimed at addressing trends they have seen. Such initiatives include increasing investment in diversity and cultural competence training, expansion of mental-health services, and the launching of mission-based revenue-generating ventures.

U.S. Fundraising Up And Down At Same Time

Three out of five (60 percent) American nonprofits saw an increase in receipts in 2016. While constituting a majority, the figure was down from 2015’s 65 percent and represented the lowest percentage of organizations since 2010.

More than one- quarter (27 percent) of organizational representatives reported decreases to receipts as compared to 23 percent in 2015. About two-thirds (66 percent) of representatives are optimistic about a better 2017, but concerns remain over economic and political change (46 percent), internal leadership, staffing, and marketing (34 percent), and fundraising capacity such as building major-gifts capacity and utilizing online tools (20 percent).

The data comes from the Nonprofit Research Collaborative’s (NRC) Winter 2017 Nonprofit Fundraising Study, based on survey responses from representatives of 941 organizations. The decrease among organizations with improved receipts was a little surprising, according to Aggie Sweeney, CFRE, senior counsel at Campbell & Company and chair of Giving USA Foundation – a NRC partner. Still, she pointed out that a solid majority of organizations still saw increases and that giving to nonprofits continues a slow, steady growth.

Macro-economic factors that correlate with giving, such as stock values, were strong, particularly at the end of 2016, according to Sweeney, but the benefits to charitable organizations often takes a while to manifest.

Sweeney attributed some of the concerns about the future to many organizations looking both at giving and other forms of revenue that might be influenced by political actions. Such concerns include individuals’ capacity to pay fees such as tuition, domestic federal funding, and the distribution of Medicare dollars.

The 2016 campaign season was cited by more than one- third of organizational representatives as being factors in giving. In the lead-up to the election, 39 percent (24 percent with a decrease, 15 percent with an increase) of representatives cited the campaign as attributable to shifts in receipts. In November and December, 37 percent of representatives (20 percent with a decrease and 17 percent with an increase) noted election-related shifts.

Fluctuations near an election are common, Sweeney said. Similar changes were present in the lead-up and aftermath of the 2008 administration change with perceptions that adjustments to the tax code were forthcoming. Sweeney attributed such fluctuation to indecision among donors, particularly those making personally significant gifts, until after an election. Many nonprofits will level off in 2017, according to Sweeney, with exceptions among organizations seen as part of the “liberal resistance” such as Planned Parenthood, which might see even greater changes in 2017.

Perhaps the largest surprise in the report, according to both Sweeney and Melissa Brown, who manages NRC, was the consistency in results across regions, sizes, and subsectors. Fluctuation based on organizations with increased receipts remained relatively consistent across sizes (64 percent of organizations with revenues between $500,000 and $999,999 was the high, 58 percent among organizations with revenues of $50 million or more was the low), region (65 percent among Western organizations was the high, the South, at 60 percent, was the low), and subsectors (67 percent of human services organizations was the high, the low was public society benefit at 29 percent, but the second lowest was higher education at 52 percent).

Sweeney said that there is not enough information to explain public society benefit organization’s bottom-out.

Sweeney was particularly surprised by the regional similarities, as previous years have shown greater geographic differences, creating the perception that east- and west-coast organizations perform better than those in the Heartland based on the fact that wages, housing values, and overall wealth have grown faster in some parts of the country as compared to others. Sweeney found the similarities to be a positive.

Brown, too, noted the consistencies across not only American subsectors, but also with Canada. Just more than half (54) percent of representatives of Canadian organizations reported growth in 2016, but 70 percent reported that they met fundraising goals as compared to 68 percent of American organizations. Canadian organizations tend be slightly less robust in growth in their American counterparts, Brown said, adding that both the U.S. with its election and Canada with its struggling economy had busy years in 2016.

“They wanted to give to charity,” Brown, speaking from personal belief, about Canadian and American donors. “But they were distracted by the things that were going on.” The U.S. and Canada also shared similarities in successes across giving methods, according to Brown, the lone exception being direct mail where 52 percent of U.S. organizations saw an increase as compared to 38 percent of Canadian organizations.

Targeting specific types of donors was a key to success among organizations from both countries. Representatives from one out of six (16 percent) of organizations in the U.S. and Canada reported receipt increases of 15 percent or more. Some 54 percent attributed their organizations’ success to fundraising efforts with specific donor types, including 37 percent of the whole focusing on individuals, including major gifts.

Sweeney said that many organizations, particularly those with newer development programs, tend to start off by building relationships with foundations and corporations before building programs for individuals. At the same time, the average gift received by nonprofits has increased in value during the past decade while the numbers of donors have not – reflective of America’s growing income inequality, Sweeney said.

Successfully built major gifts programs thus often lead to successful development programs, with major gifts programs both being more efficient and, because they are often built on relationships, accompanied by greater donor loyalty than annual programs.

“What I’ve been following, and this doesn’t come through in this particular report, is that other studies have shown that a smaller percentage of Americans are giving on an annual basis,” Sweeney said. “While total giving is increasing, the total percentage of giving is decreasing –which I find as a troubling trend.”

Sweeney said that she hopes increased public confidence in charity will increase the percentage of individuals who give. She added that, while major gifts is a strong indicator of success, a diverse set of fundraising programs tends to bear out the best results.