Insight News

Wednesday
Sep 17th

Business

MN charities in jeopardy of losing tax-exempt status

As many as 5,500 small community-based nonprofits in Minnesota are in jeopardy of losing their tax-exempt status. The Internal Revenue Service is concerned because the loss of this status could greatly affect the organizations' charitable work and their donors' potential tax deductions.

Among the organizations that could lose their tax-exempt status are local sports associations and community support groups, volunteer fire and ambulance associations and their auxiliaries, social clubs, educational societies, veterans groups, church-affiliated groups, groups designed to assist those with special needs and a variety of others.
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Serious Job Offer or Serious Scam? Be wary of unusual hiring practices

Serious Job Offer or Serious Scam?  Be wary of unusual hiring practicesKendra’s job search was frustratingly slow until she received an offer that seemed impossible to refuse.  The company wanted to interview her the following week, was extremely encouraging based on her resume alone and assured her this was an incredible opportunity.  The catch:  the interview had to be in-person and in Boston (she was in MN) and she would have to appear at her own expense.  She came to me because she was having trouble finding information about the company.

Another candidate, Cyndi, approached me recently with similar concerns about a company in Michigan.  She said the company wanted to run a credit check on her prior to the job interview, that she was required to use their credit bureau to run the check and that if she refused, they would move on to another candidate.  Like Kendra, the position was for an administrative assistant and the company was hard to discover online.
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Better Business Bureau Tips for using Craigslist Consumers urged to be cautious

In the wake of another tragic death in the Twin Cities area involving a transaction initiated through Craigslist, the Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota (BBB) is advising the public to practice caution when using the online service and others like it.

“There are certainly deals to be found online, but it’s good for both buyers and sellers to remember they’re usually dealing with people unfamiliar to them,” said Dana Badgerow, president and CEO of the BBB. “There are risks involved and we feel it’s very important that people take the time to pause and consider both their personal and financial security.” 
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When elderly parents need financial guidance

A friend of mine recently realized his mother needed help managing her finances when he found her closets filled with oddball purchases like jalapeno jelly beans and Betty Boop bobblehead dolls. "It was pretty clear that telemarketers were taking advantage of her friendly nature to sell her junk she didn't want or need," he said.

Fortunately, his mom welcomed assistance; but not all families are so lucky. Some parents are fiercely independent and fear relinquishing control over any aspect of their lives; others may be in over their heads and too embarrassed to ask for help.
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Good teams at work

Good teams at work“As an engineer, people always told me who I had to work with,” says high school teacher and successful engineer, Jon Hickman.  He was explaining that choosing your work partners can be a blessing… and a curse.  “Sometimes you find out your best friend isn’t your best partner on the job.”

Recently, I visited the recruiting offices of CH Robinson in Eden Prairie, MN.  This company is one of the world’s largest third party logistics providers, meaning they partner with companies to get products where they need to end up.  At its core, this is trucking.  Not exactly a sexy industry.  And yet, the people I met had been with the company through acquisitions, recessions and the rest for eight, 10, 14 years and more.  Collectively, that’s a lot of corporate brain power staying in one place for a long time.
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Slash your phone bills


Sometimes I miss the days before cell phones, email and voicemail. Sure, they've simplified our lives in many ways – remember how frustrating it was trying to reach people before answering machines? On the downside, though, not only do we often feel compelled to be accessible 24-7, but it's expensive. After factoring in Internet service and cable or satellite TV, you might be paying thousands of dollars a year to keep your family wired and wireless.
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Anger management: Keep your job by keeping control

Anger management: Keep your job by keeping controlThe minute his fist went through the wall, Jeff was sorry. He knew it would cost him his job, but he just couldn’t stop himself. Or could he? Everyone gets irritated at work sometimes, but people who shout, slam doors, punch walls or threaten co-workers are out of control. Nobody wants to work with a madman (or madwoman, either).

If Jeff went online or picked up a couple of books to learn how to manage his temper, he would learn he is supposed to take a deep breath, count to ten, or just walk away. Yeah, right. The last time Jeff lost it at work, it felt to him like a balloon that suddenly popped. He didn’t plan ahead to punch a hole in the wall; it just happened. No way was he going to start deep breathing or counting to ten. Rage is more complicated than that. Trouble is if Jeff wants to keep picking up a paycheck, he has to figure out how to keep the balloon from bursting; he has to keep his anger under control.
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