Muhi Khwaja CFRE shares the spotlight with Julia Patrick as they respond to viewer’s questions. Ranging from the influence of Ramadan on nonprofits, timing of accounting work, worries about bank stability, to how CEO’s are using support staff beyond the administrative roles.
In this episode of the nonprofit show, co-host Julia Patrick welcomes Muhi Khwaja, a co-founder of the American Muslim Community Foundation, who joins them from Jordan during the sacred time of Ramadan. They discuss the connections between Ramadan and the nonprofit sector, highlighting the increased acts of charity and volunteering encouraged during this time. They also mention how international charities that tie in with Ramadan often do well due to the faith-based emphasis on charity and good deeds.
The conversation then shifts to Muhi’s upcoming participation in a fundraising conference in San Diego, emphasizing the importance of professional development in the nonprofit sector. They thank the sponsors who make their show possible and mention the availability of their content on various platforms.
The co-hosts then address questions from viewers. The first question involves handling a receipt for an expense from the previous year after the books have been closed. Muhi suggests that larger organizations have separate reimbursement processes in place for such situations, with executive senior management approval. Julia adds that it’s important to remind staff of upcoming deadlines and ensure timely submission of expenses.
The next question discusses the suggestion of opening multiple bank accounts to keep balances below FDIC thresholds in response to recent banking issues. Muhi recommends looking into whether the organization has specific purposes for different accounts, such as restricted programmatic dollars, and keeping track of their intended uses. Julia mentions that having discussions with banks and financial advisors about insurable amounts and posting FDIC insurance information can help address this concern.
The third question revolves around the distinction between a chief of staff and an executive assistant. Muhi explains that the chief of staff supports the entire C-suite team, whereas an executive assistant typically supports one person. He advises examining the job description and salary range to determine which title is more appropriate.
The final question deals with a development professional giving a three-month notice but expressing concern that the CEO has not begun posting the job for their replacement. Muhi suggests having an open conversation with the CEO about their plans and mentions that if they are not actively looking to replace the position, it is not the responsibility of the departing staff member to train their replacement. Julia emphasizes the importance of leaving on good terms and doing the job to the best of one’s ability within the given notice period.
The episode concludes with Muhi discussing the connection between Ramadan and philanthropy, mentioning the opportunity for nonprofits to engage with Muslim donors and address the underrepresentation of Muslim and minority causes in mainstream philanthropy. Julia expresses interest in dedicating a future episode to this topic. They thank Muhi for joining them from Jordan and end the show by reminding everyone to stay well.
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