CAPLAW Publications

Have questions about your organization’s bylaws? Confused by Head Start regulations or preparing for an agency audit? CAPLAW has publications for all your organization’s needs – order now and keep up-to-date on the issues that affect all Community Action Agencies!

 

New Resource CSBG Organizational Standards Resources Guide

Check out CAPLAW's newly launched online guide, where resources developed by CAPLAW and the national Community Action Partnership are linked to specific CSBG Organizational Standards to help Community Action Agencies in their compliance efforts.

> Visit the Resources Guide

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New Resource Pace CAA Social Enterprises: A Case Study

Free Publication!

How did a nonprofit Community Action Agency come to operate for-profit businesses? This case study examines how a nonprofit CAA leveraged its experience to establish social enterprises focused on helping individuals reach self-sufficiency, offering lessons in the common legal, governance, and financial issues that federally-funded organizations should consider before starting these businesses.

> Learn more and read

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New Resource Public CAA Case Study: The Power of a Tripartite Board

Free Publication!

This case study focuses on how the tripartite board of Montgomery County Community Action Agency, a public CAA, fulfills its responsibilities with respect to the CSBG Organizational Standards. Ongoing efforts by the tripartite board to achieve 100% compliance are inspiring and, we hope, informative, especially for public CAA tripartite boards struggling with challenges related to meeting the Standards.

> Learn more and read

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New Resource Do the Right Thing: How CAAs Can Cultivate a Culture of Compliance and High Ethical Standards

Free Publication; Updated for 2016!

In the face of increased scrutiny, it’s more important than ever for Community Action Agencies to establish and maintain a strong ethical culture within their organizations. CAAs are also being held to higher standards of accountability in terms of their ability to exercise effective financial oversight and stewardship to comply systematically with the many rules that apply to their operations, including the requirements of the CSBG Organizational Standards. CAPLAW’s updated version of its publication, Do the Right Thing: How CAAs Can Cultivate a Culture of Compliance and High Ethical Standards, helps CAAs adopt policies and procedures that implement an effective compliance and ethics system as well as discusses ways that CAAs can manage risk and ensure programmatic, fiscal, and governance compliance with the CSBG Organizational Standards. Through interviews with CAAs, links to resources from compliance and ethics experts, and sample documents, this publication offers practical steps CAA boards and management can take to ensure that their organizations operate effectively and in compliance with the requirements that apply to them.

> Learn more and read

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New Resource Working With Attorneys

Free Publication; Updated for 2016!

An attorney plays a key role in helping a CAA maintain accountability and avoid liability. By proactively working with an attorney to ensure that its organizational infrastructure is legally compliant and enforceable, a CAA may avoid costly litigation and the negative press and low employee morale that goes along with it. The Working with Attorneys Guidebook examines the ins and outs of developing and maintaining an effective attorney-client relationship and answers questions including: Why work with an attorney? How do you find an attorney? How do you hire an attorney? How do you pay for an attorney? and What is the role of the attorney on the board?

> Learn more and read

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CAA Leaders' Legal Guide

Free Publication!

The legal framework that governs both public and nonprofit Community Action Agencies (CAAs) as recipients of federal grant funds is vast. This Guide attempts to give leaders of CAAs – the board and the executive management – an overview of some of the legal requirements that they will work with on a regular basis. The guide covers topics such as the federal grant life cycle; the legal authority underlying federal grants; the federal Community Service Block Grant Act; federal financial management requirements; and tax rules specific to nonprofit CAAs operating as 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations.

> Learn more and read

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Bylaws Toolkit
CAPLAW’s recently updated Bylaws Toolkit is just what you need to make your organization’s bylaws clear, effective, and up-to-date. The toolkit outlines key concepts for your agency’s bylaws, such as the authority of the Board of Directors, petitions for board representation, replacement of directors due to vacancies, quorum and voting policies, officers, conflicts of interest, and more. Updated information includes new sample language reflecting: the requirements of the 2007 Head Start Reauthorization, evolving governance best practices, and CAPLAW’s experience reviewing CAA bylaws over the last several years. The toolkit is available in handy electronic form. To purchase this publication, please remit this invoice with a check payable to CAPLAW and the email address to which you would like the document to be sent.

Electronic Copy: $35.00 member, $55.00 non-member

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Dynamic Duo: A Guide to Enhancing the Board & Executive Director Partnership

Free Publication!

This guide, created in collaboration with the National Community Action Partnership, analyzes the board and executive director relationship including roles and responsibilities; board recruitment and development; internal and external communications; the executive director and board chair relationship; executive director transition; executive director compensation; and executive director supervision and evaluation.  Throughout the Guide, we suggest actions each party can take to strengthen their working relationship and further the shared goal of creating a compliant and sustainable organization.

> Learn more and read

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Raising the Low-Income Voice: Case Studies in Democratic Selection Procedures

Free Publication!

CAPLAW has published case studies for a new series that addresses the various ways that CAAs are meeting the CSBG Act’s requirement that the low-income sector of the tripartite board be selected in accordance with “democratic selection procedures."

> Learn more and read

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Working Better Together: CAPLAW's Guide to Shared Services and Mergers

Free Online Resource!

Increasingly, Community Action Agencies (CAAs) are exploring shared services and mergers as strategies to improve their sustainability and enhance their efficiency and effectiveness. CAPLAW has prepared this guide to help CAAs and other Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) organizations better understand these arrangements.  The guide includes questions and answers on shared services and mergers, as well as additional resources – including case studies prepared by CAPLAW on CAAs that have shared services or merged (or both) with another organization, as well as information on books and online publications on these topics, and more.  


New Resource Check out questions addressing UBIT issues and procurement rules under the Shared Services tab of this online resource.

> Learn more and read

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CSBG Training Tools for Nonprofit and Public CAA Boards

Free Publication!

One way to empower a CAA board is to give it the tools it needs to educate itself. With this in mind, CAPLAW has created a self-training tool to provide a CAA board with the guidance and information it needs to teach itself about the Community Service Block Grant Act (CSBG) tripartite board requirements.  The tool consists of questions, quizzes, exercises and resources that the board is instructed to work through with the help of a board member facilitator. 

> Learn more and Download Nonprofit Training Tool

> Learn more and Download Public CAA Training Tool

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Analysis on Some Frequently Asked CSBG Questions

Free Publications!

If your CAA has questions or concerns about the Community Service Block Grant Act (CSBG) eligibility requirements; the prohibition against using CSBG funds to acquire, construct or permanently improve facilities; child support referral requirements; or carryover requirementscheck out CAPLAW’s recent analysis of these CSBG Act provisions. With this analysis, CAPLAW proposes practical ways to approach and think about these sections of the Act. It is important to note that the analysis does not represent the opinions of the federal Office of Community Services (OCS).

> Learn more and Download Q&A on Carryover

> Learn more and Download Q&A on Child Support Referral

> Learn more and Download Q&A on Eligibility

> Learn more and Download Q&A on Property Issues

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Personnel Activity Reports (PARs): The Do's and the Don'ts

Free Publication!

This toolkit, created in collaboration with the National Community Action Partnership, outlines the key concepts behind Personnel Activity Reports (PARs), spotlights potential trouble spots for Community Action Agencies, and provides best practice samples to help CAAs better meet this requirement.

> Learn more and download

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Cost Allocation: Red Flags and Remedies

Free Publication!

This toolkit, created in collaboration with the National Community Action Partnership, is designed to help your Community Action Agency meet the requirements for cost allocation contained in Office of Management and Budget A-122 (OMB Circular A-122, now incorporated into the Code of Federal Regulations as 2 CFR Part 230).

> Learn more and download

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Tools for Top-Notch CAAs: A Practical Approach to Governance and Financial Excellence

Free Publication!

This six-section toolkit is intended to assist boards and management in their collaborative efforts to build well-governed and effective Community Action Agencies (CAAs). The toolkit includes case scenarios and examples to help you understand and apply the principles discussed. And, many of the sections provide sample documents that CAAs can use as a starting point for developing their own policies.

> Learn more and download

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Monitoring Map for CAAs: A Guide for Navigating the Monitoring Review Process

Free Publication!

This new toolkit represents a collaborative effort between the Community Action Partnership (Partnership) and CAPLAW to provide timely training and technical assistance (T/TA) material about the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) monitoring process. The toolkit outlines key aspects of the monitoring process as defined by the CSBG act and more specifically IM 116.

> Learn more and download

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CAPLAW Governance Case Studies

Free Publication!

The CAPLAW Governance Case Studies are designed to educate board members and nonprofit managers about the challenges involved in creating an effective, well-managed board. Each case study includes discussion questions and suggested solutions to the issue in question.

> Learn more and download

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CAPLAW Update Newsletter Archives
View issues of the CAPLAW Update Newsletter that contains timely information on the legal and financial topics important to the Community Action network.

 

CAPLAW Article Archives
View the archive of articles that CAPLAW has written organized by topic.

 

CAPLAW Frequently Asked Questions Archives
View the archive of FAQs that CAPLAW has written organized by topic.

 

CAPLAW Enews Archives
View issues of our enews bulletins and news flashes that contain timely information on the legal and financial topics important to the Community Action network.

  • December 21, 2016
    Topics: New Form 1-9 • ACA Deadline Extended • ACA Marketplace Notices • What the Election Means for CAAs • Congressional Review Act and its Impact • EEOC's New Guidance on Retaliation • CAPLAW's CSBG Annual Report Comments
  • August 24, 2016
    Topics:Election-Year Refresher • DOL Fiduciary Rule Impact on Retirement Plans • Guidance on Leave as an Accomodation • Assessing Organizational Impact • Understanding Nonprofit Dashboards
  • May 18, 2016
    Topic: DOL Issues Final Overtime Rule under the FLSA
  • February 18, 2016
    Topics: ACA Filing Deadlines Approaching • AmeriCorps Members Not Employees for ACA Purposes • Employers Cautioned Against Discipline Over Social Media Use • Tax Law Updates • DAB Decisions
  • October 13, 2015
    Topics: Uniform Guidance Update • New ACA Forms and Guidance • New Head Start Guidance • Using CSBG Funds for ACA Referrals
  • September 17, 2015
    Topics: Proposed Faith-Based Partnership Regulations • Overview of Guidance for Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships • EEOC Pilots System to Notify Employers by Email • Ways to Assess Organizational Impact
  • August 4, 2015
    Topics: HHS Proposes Comprehensive Revision and Reorganization of Head Start Program Performance Standards • Proposed FLSA Regs Expand Eligibility for Overtime Pay • On the Horizon: Sexual Orientation as a Basis for Discrimination • Avoiding Liability for Website Content Posted by Third Parties
  • June 30, 2015
    Topics: HHS Proposes Revised Head Start Program Performance Standards • Highlights of the Head Start Eligibility Determination Final Rule • OCS Guidance on Using CSBG Funds as a Match for AmeriCorps • Full Recognition for Same-Sex Spouses • Practical NLRB Guidance Regarding Personnel Policies • The U.S. Supreme Court Sends a Cautionary Message About Dress Codes • When a Picture is Worth More than 1,000 Words... More Like $1,000, Yikes!
  • March 23, 2015
    Topics: Comments Due on CSBG Modified Model State Plan • New Real Property Reporting Form for Head Start Grantees • Take Note: Further Protections for Employee Email Use • Additional Guidance for CAAs on Serving Diverse Populations
  • October 23, 2014
    Topics: Super Circular FAQ • Head Start Monitoring • Manage Ebola at Work • DAB Upholds Major Disallowance • Head Start Audit Compliance Guidance
  • September 4, 2014
    Topics: Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination • Head Start Bus Transportation and Safety Guidance • Accessible and User-Friendly Financial Resources • IRS Draft Instructions for ACA Employer Mandate Forms
  • July 2, 2014
    Topics: CSBG Funds as a Match • New Tax-Exempt Application • Raise in Minimum Wage? • Head Start Enrollment Guidance • Head Start Recognition of Same-Sex Marriage
  • February 25, 2014
    Topics: ACA Final Regulations • Head Start Funding Increase • Third Round of Head Start Competition • New IRS Form
  • December 19, 2013, OMB Breaking News
    Topic: OMB Releases Super Circular
  • December 18, 2013
    Topics: New FSA "Use It or Lose It" Option and Cafeteria Plan Clarification • Revised Head Start 5-year Grant Requirements and Guidance • Preventing Fraud and Embezzlement
  • September 30, 2013, Special on Government Shutdown
    Topic: Further Clarification on Likely U.S. Government Shutdown
  • September 27, 2013
    Topics: Government Shutdown • Health Insurance Deadline • CSBG FAQ's
  • July 12, 2013
    Topics: Health Care Reform Delayed • Employers Prevail on Important Title VII Cases • Federal Award Identification Numbers Assigned
  • June 13, 2013
    Topics: CAPLAW's Comments on OMB Proposed Revisions to Circulas • Ease the Woes of FMLA Intermittent Leave • Protecting Your Retirement Plan • Head Start Lawsuit Ends
  • May 23, 2013
    Topics: Comment on Proposed OMB Super Circular • Revised Form I-9 • New EEOC Guidance • IRS Tax Credit for Hiring Veterans • Implications of Belt Tightening Measures
  • February 7, 2013
    Topics: OMB Proposed Revisions • Head Start Recompetition • FMLA Updates • Hatch Act Restrictions • Whistleblower Protections