Information Technology

Gmail flaw picture

A Flaw in Gmail?

By | Information Technology

gmailHave you ever forwarded or replied to a message in Gmail and then can’t find it under the Sent Label?

This is caused when you delete the original message from your Inbox.  When you click in the Trash icon, Gmail deletes all copies found in your account – including those stored under any labels.

So, you might save a cover letter and resume email under a Human Resources label, for example.  If that thread and topic line have any further email exchanges that you delete using the Trash icon,  the original message will be deleted.

There are a few ways to avoid these issues.

First, instead of discarding messages to Trash, send them to the Archive.  Messages treated this way will remain under the Sent and any other Labels you have used.  Of course you may eventually reach Google’s 10 GB maximum, but it’s unlikely to occur soon (this will be the topic of a future blog).

A second method is to pay attention to the little icons at the top of the thread where the Topic is displayed.  You will notice an icon for each Label this thread is stored under.  If you only want to delete the current message from your Inbox, click on the “x” next to the Inbox icon.  That way, your message that was filed under a topical Label will remain under that Label.

Another method is to use the ‘Move To’ feature which will move the email to the designated folder of your choice and label it accordingly.

Unfortunately, this method won’t solve the issue of messages disappearing from your Sent folder – only the Archive method does this.

501Partners Recommends That You Disable Java

By | Information Technology, Nonprofit Tech

JavaLast week the Department of Homeland Security’s Computer Emergency Readiness Team issued an advisory recommending users disable Java on their computers. The advisory cited a flaw that could allow unauthorized attacks on users’ systems.

Yesterday, Oracle released an update designed to close this security hole, however DHS still recommends that you disable Java on all of your browsers.

501Partners advises its clients to follow this advice, and to only enable Java for specific sessions on your browser where the site is trusted and Java is required. Follow this link to learn how to disable Java on your browser.

Keep Your Donors Out of Trouble with the IRS

By | Good Governance, Information Technology

In her terrific book Keep Your Donors, Simone Joyaux sums up the process as “Give, ask, send thank you notes”. Of course raising funds in the nonprofit world is more difficult than that, but the “thank you notes” need to be more than being politely grateful.

The IRS recently won a summary judgment against a couple that disallowed their charitable deduction for gifts made to their church. According to a recent newsletter from Leimberg Services, the tax deduction for the donation was disallowed because the church “lacked a statement regarding whether any goods or services were provided in consideration for the contributions”. Even after the church confirmed that no consideration was involved, the IRS disallowed the deduction because the acknowledgement was not contemporaneous.

So, according to the National Council of Nonprofits, your gracious thank you letters to donors should contain:

  • A statement that the nonprofit is a charity recognized as tax-exempt by the IRS under Section 501(c)(3);
  • Either (a) amount donated (if cash or cash equivalents); or (b) description of the property donated (the nonprofit should not attempt to assign the cash value of the property in your letter – that is the donor’s responsibility);
  • The date the donation was received;
  • Either:
    • (a) statement whether your organization provided any goods or services in return for the donation, such as, “No goods or services were received in return for this gift“; or
    • (b) if the gift was $75 or more and the nonprofit did provide something of more than insubstantial benefit in return for the gift, (such as tickets to a special event or a dinner), then the charity must include a good faith estimate of the value of the goods/services provided (such as the market value of tickets to the event or the actual cost of the dinner – even if it was donated to the charity).