Take the 30-Day Compliance Challenge

Take the 30 Day
Compliance Challenge

We will cover the full range of the basic requirements to keep your organization legal within 4 weeks. Your challenge is to participate in up to 4 workshops and make sure your organization’s paper work is current within 30 days of the end of the series. Contact Valerie at consulting@valeriefleonard.com or 773-571-3886 to share how it goes.

The Problem

Between 2011 and 2014, 14, 922 tax exempt organizations in the State of Illinois lost their exempt status for failure to file Form 990 for three consecutive years.  Most of these organizations have had to pay significant penalties or even dissolve their corporations as a result. Don’t let this happen to your organization.

Why You Should Attend

These workshops will provide an overview of the major players in nonprofit compliance and present useful information about the filing requirements and information needed to prepare Form 990, and other annual reports and filings required by state agencies.

All workshops will be held at B.U.I.L.D., 5100 West Harrison, in Chicago, IL, from 10:00 am until 11:30 a.m. The fee is $25.00 per workshop up to 1 week in advance, and $35.00 at the door.

What You Will Learn

 The roles of the IRS, Attorney General’s Office, Secretary of State’s Office and Department of Revenue in regulating nonprofit organizations and helping them to succeed

  • The roles and responsibilities of board members and key organizational leadership in record keeping, financial reporting and maintaining compliance
  • What to do if you lose tax exemption
  • The consequences and penalties of late filings and registrations
  • Which forms you need to register nonprofits and professional fundraisers
  • Which forms you need to file on an annual basis, including annual reports, form 990’s and AG-990’s and 941’s (payroll taxes)
  • The relationships between good board governance, fundraising, and regulatory compliance
  • How to avoid the most common traps for fundraising activities

Compliance Workshops Brochure by valeriefleonard


Sunshine Enterprises to Host Information Session for its Community Business Academy

I thank Shelby Parchman for sharing the following information.

Sunshine Enterprises has a vision to create 200 businesses on 61st Street and beyond, including Chicago’s West Side. If you are serious about starting a business or taking an existing business to the next level, you should attend the next informational session on Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 7:00 pm, at Sunshine Enterprises, 500 East 61st Street. See the flyer for more information, and share it widely.


Flyer-Information Session 2


Register for the UIC Online Certificate in Nonprofit Management Program!

Chicago  is home to over 6,300 registered nonprofit organizations, most of whom could benefit from strengthening organizational capacity (ability to deliver programs and services more effectively).

I encourage you to commit to organizational excellence by going through the UIC Online Certificate in Nonprofit Management Program. I am a member of the adjunct staff, and I have just finished teaching a course in nonprofit operations.

This is the strongest program of its kind in the country and draws students from around the world. If you are on a nonprofit board, work for a nonprofit organization or are interested in starting a nonprofit, I strongly recommend this certificate program. Visit http://www.uic.edu/cuppa/gci/programs/profed/online/index.html to learn more.

There will be an informational webinar for the program on August 15, 2014, from 12:00 noon until 1:00 pm. The last day to register for Fall Session 1 is August 29, 2014. The first day of class is September 4, 2014. The last day to register for Fall Session 2 is September 15, 2014. The first day of class for Fall Session 2 is September 18, 2012.


Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities to Hold Public Meeting Near Detroit, Michigan

I got this from Mary Wren of ACF.

The Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities (CECANF), a federal advisory committee established by the Protect Our Kids Act of 2012 (P. L. 112-275), will hold an open meeting on Thursday, August 28, 2014, in Plymouth, Michigan.

Meeting time: Thursday, August 28, 2014, from 8:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m. EDT.

Location: The Inn at St. John’s, Grande Ballroom, 44045 Five Mile Road, Plymouth, Michigan 48170.

Attendance: Individuals interested in attending the meeting in person or via teleconference must register in advance due to limited space (see link below). The meeting site is accessible to individuals with disabilities. Members of the public will not have the opportunity to ask questions or otherwise participate in the meeting, either on the phone or in person.

To attend in person or listen to the teleconference, please register by Tuesday, August 26: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6733919742151620354

Meeting agenda: CECANF was established to develop a national strategy and recommendations for reducing fatalities resulting from child abuse and neglect. The purpose of this meeting is for Commission members to gather national and state-specific information to better understand the extent of, and risks associated with, child abuse and neglect fatalities. The Commission will hear from researchers and experts from such disciplines as child welfare, law enforcement, health, and public health regarding:

·         The scope of the problem

·         Strategies for improving national data collection

·         Policy barriers and opportunities to reduce maltreatment fatalities

·         Confidentiality issues

·         Potential solutions

Comments: Members of the public may submit comments identified by “Notice-CECANF-2014-04,” by either of the following methods:

·         Regulations.gov: http://www.regulations.gov

Submit comments via the federal eRulemaking portal by searching for “Notice-CECANF-2014-04.” Select the link “Comment Now” that corresponds with “Notice-CECANF-2014-04.” Follow the instructions provided onscreen. Please include your name, organization name (if any), and “Notice-CECANF-2014-04” on your attached document.

·         Mail: Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities, c/o General Services Administration, Agency Liaison Division, 1800 F St., NW, Room 7003D, Washington DC 20006.


Please submit comments only and cite “Notice-CECANF-2014-04” in all correspondence related to this notice. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal or business confidential information provided.

For further information:

Visit the CECANF website: https://eliminatechildabusefatalities.sites.usa.gov/

Or contact Ms. Patricia Brincefield, Communications Director, 1800 F St., NW, Room 7003D, Washington, DC 20006.

Phone: 202-818-9596

Email: pjbrincefield@comcast.net



INVITATION – - National Black Child Development Institute (NBCDI) Preliminary Conference Brochure October 11-14 2014‏

I got this announcement from Christine Palmer.

The National Black Child Development Institute (NBCDI
) is having its 44th Annual Conference in Detroit, MI, October 11-14 2014, at the Detroit Marriot, Renaissance Center. We are asking that you help support our efforts to increase conference registration by sending the attached Preliminary Brochure to all your contacts under the Administration for Children and Families division.

Since 1970, NBCDI has remained steadfast in its mission “to improve and advance the quality of life for Black children and their families through education and advocacy.” Each year, our conference brings together over 800 experts, practitioners, and leaders in their fields – many of whom are educators working directly on the front lines in early childhood, elementary, secondary, and higher education programs.  Others work in disciplines that are critical to improving child outcomes in education, such as parenting education and family support, health, child welfare, juvenile justice, and civil rights.

Your help and support is greatly appreciated.  Thank you!



Christine Palmer, Conference Assistant

National Black Child Development Institute (NBCDI)

1313 L Street, NW, Suite 110

Washington, DC 20005

Web: www.nbcdi.org

Email: exhibits@nbcdi.org

Tel:  202.833.2220 (x6105) /Fax: 202.833.8222

14-NBCDI Conf Prelim Program for Web


Taking Control of Our Economic Environment

Here is a copy of the presentation I did for the Chicago West Side Branch NAACP Community Concerns Panel. This was a part of their housing resource forum held on June 29, 2014. The presentation shares lessons learned from TIF advocacy in North Lawndale and covered the following: What tifs are, how they work, and their impact; Common TIF programs; Case study-Ogden Pulaski TIF in North Lawndale; Lessons learned.

Taking Control of Our Economic Environment by valeriefleonard


Small Business Center on the Road

I thank Otis Monroe for inviting me to facilitate the Small Business Bootcamp, a series of workshops for emerging business owners on behalf of the Monroe Foundation to be held this fall at Kennedy-King College. I will be one of the representatives present at the African American Small Business Expo to share more information about the workshops.  Find out more about the Small Business Expos below, and  here. Find out more about the Monroe Foundation Small Business Bootcamp here.

Small Business Centeron the Road. The expos, sponsored by Western Union, are free and open to the public and will offer business education, resources on financing, licensing process, tax laws and provide an opportunity to network with important stakeholders in the community.

African American Small Business Expo

The City of Chicago has partnered with local chambers of commerce to invite small business owners and entrepreneurs to its first free African-American Small Business Expo on Saturday, July 19, 2014, at the South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 S. South Shore Drive, Chicago, with special keynote speaker Desiree Rogers.

The expo will have more than 40 exhibitors offering information and resources on:

  •     How to finance a small business
  •     How to start the licensing process
  •     How to understand and comply with tax laws and other legal requirements
  •     Where to connect with chambers of commerce
  •     Networking opportunities
  •     And much, much more!

The expo will include a workshop, a panel discussion and a free on-site tax clinic.

Panel Discussion: Microlending – A Great Tool for Business Growth and Development
RECIPE FOR SUCCESS:  Start with entrepreneur, add microlending and technology, sprinkle marketing, leverage your W/MBE/DBE etc. certification and let Simmer.

Panelists: Jamie Rhee, Chief Procurement Officer City of Chicago Department of Procurement Services, Melinda Kelly of Chatham Business Association, Teyonda Wertz of South Shore Chamber, Inc., Gus Issacson of Central Lakeview Merchants, and Adrian Soto of Eighteenth Street Development Corp. The discussion will be moderated by Abraham David Lacy of Far South CDC.

Workshop: Making Lemonade Out of the Lemons of Life
Presented by Norma J. Williams, Founder, and Chief Alignment Officer, of NJW Consulting

Free On-Site Tax Clinic
Presented by the Center for Economic Progress. Space is limited to 21 appointments. Call 312.744.5504 to schedule a time.

Confirmed Exhibitors:
Western Union – Corporate Sponsor
City of Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP)
51st Street Business Association
Center for Economic Progress
Chatham Business Association, Small Business Development Inc.
Chicago Commission on Human Relations (CCHR)
Chicago Department of Public Health
Chicago Department of Procurement Services
Chicago Urban League
CMS/Business Enterprise Program
Far South Community Development Corporation
Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Initiative
Greater Englewood Community Development Corporation
Greater Roseland Chamber of Commerce
Healthy Chicago Small Business Initiative
Illinois Attorney General
Illinois Secretary of State – Business Service Division
Illinois State Treasurer’s Office
Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission
IRS (Internal Revenue Service)
The Monroe Foundation
Olive-Harvey College
Quad Communities Development Corporation
SCORE Chicago
SomerCor 504/ City of Chicago Small Business Improvement Fund (SBIF)
Southeast Chicago Chamber of Commerce
South Shore Chamber, Inc.
U.S. Department of Labor – EBSA
U.S. Small Business Administration
Women’s Business Development Center

More to be announced soon!