Donor Seeks Return of $22.9 Million

The Nonprofit Quarterly’s Ruth McCambridge aptly sums up the most recent, high-profile, “donor wants money back” story: This is an ironic story about a $100 million charitable donation to fund … an institute for conflict-resolution research that is aimed at promoting peace…. Two years later, the parties themselves are in conflict. Twin brothers Thomas L. and Timothy R. Pearson made a gift in 2015 of $100-million to Read More

New Guidance for Nonprofits Making Corporate Changes

Many nonprofit organizations thrive year after year in the same location with the same mission, structure, activities, and operations. For others, though, large or small changes may be necessary or desirable; they and their advisors need to know if - and how - they must report these new developments to the Internal Revenue Service. For many decades, the Treasury Department and the IRS had issued confusing - and Read More

Gifts in Kind: What Nonprofits Should Know

Charitable donations come in different forms; while cash is king, other types of contributions are useful, too.  Among them are “gifts in kind,” sometimes also called “in-kind gifts” or “in-kind donations.”    Different Types of Charitable Gifts A cash contribution is, for many reasons, the preferred type of gift. It’s simple and straightforward and provides the organization with the means to buy any goods or Read More

Religious Nonprofits in the Trinity Lutheran Era

On June 26, 2017, the United States Supreme Court issued what has been described as "one of the most important rulings on religious rights in decades." In Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer, Chief Justice John Roberts explains that the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment "...protects religious observers against unequal treatment.” The government “may not deny a church an otherwise available public Read More

Collaborative Philanthropy Trending in 2018

Back in January 2017, Jamie Serino, the Director of Marketing for Blackbaud’s Corporations & Foundations division, made predictions for the coming year. In The Year Ahead in Philanthropy: 2017 Trends to Watch, his picks for charitable-sector trends to watch were: 1) donor-advised funds; (2) “community foundations expanding beyond local community”; and (3) “measurement” (data-driven decision-making). Regarding Read More

Lawsuit Against GuideStar Gets Tossed

In GuideStar, ‘Hate Groups,’ Death Threats & A Lawsuit, we told you about that prominent organization’s long hot summer of 2017. GuideStar is a 501(c)(3) whose purpose is “to encourage philanthropy by providing information about nonprofits that members of the public can use to make educated and informed decisions about their relationships with and donations to these nonprofits.” Concerned about the Read More

Bitcoin and More: The New World of Donations

“There’s no denying 2017 was the year for cryptocurrencies,” writes a company that trades in one such product called “Stellar”: So many of these innovative assets,  which were previously completely unknown, have now been written about and debated everywhere. While much of the attention directed at cryptocurrencies was due to their meteoric rise over the past year, it was also due to the fact that they present Read More

Nonprofits: Adopt a Board Confidentiality Policy

There are certain types of formal written corporate policies that nonprofit organizations are well-advised to adopt and follow rigorously. Examples include a Conflict of Interest Policy and a Whistleblower Policy - two of the items that IRS revenue agents will ask to see during an audit. There are other categories that are useful and recommended if they apply in the particular circumstances; for instance, an Read More

Denials of 501(c)(3) Tax Exemption: A New Study

For nonprofit law and policy geeks interested in the decision process of the IRS for 501(c)(3) tax exemptions, there's an important recent study available online through the Social Science Research Network (SSRN). Professor Terri Lynn Helge of Texas A&M University School of Law has written a first-of-its-kind analysis of IRS denials of Form 1023 (and 1023-EZ) exemption applications for the period 2004 through Read More

To Give or Not to Give – Anonymously, That Is…

An age-old question in philanthropy is whether to give publicly - with thanks and, perhaps, fanfare,  - or to make an anonymous donation. For the wealthy person with millions to give or for an average person who can spare only small amounts, it’s a dilemma with no right or wrong answer. Recalling the wisdom of that famous 19th-century Jewish philosopher, Tevye (Fiddler on the Roof): “On the one hand, there’s …, but Read More