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

Patient Assistance Charity Sanctioned

Last May, in Patient Advocacy Nonprofits’ Dark Ties to Industry, we highlighted the unfolding concerns by regulators about the unsavory ties between charities that advocate for disease sufferers and the pharmaceutical industry. Many of these 501(c)(3) organizations take substantial money from for-profit health care interests, and the industry has seats on the boards of these groups. These conflicts of interest Read More

Are Charities Teetering on the Financial Brink?

“The sky is falling!” - Chicken Little                                                                        Thursday (1/31/18): According to a new report, the “nonprofit sector as a whole is fragile and profoundly undercapitalized.”  Chicken Little is spotted running for cover. Friday (2/1/18): “The Nonprofit Financial Sky is Not Falling.”   Report on Financial Condition of Nonprofits  In late January 2018, Read More

Government Contracts with Nonprofits: Update

Back in March 2015, we alerted nonprofits with government contracts about a development that should interest them. It was a story with snooze-inducing buzzwords: “overhead,” “reasonable indirect costs,” and “cost allocation rules.”  In New Year, New Accounting Rule: But Don’t Sleep Through This One, we explained that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) had issued new rules called OMB Uniform Guidance for much Read More

Accounting Controls for Nonprofits’ Cash

“According to a recent study by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners,” we wrote in Charity Fraud: Embezzlement, But Much More, “the typical nonprofit organization loses an estimated 5 percent of its annual revenue to fraud.” There is a false notion in the philanthropic world that theft is rare or, at least, less prevalent than in the for-profit sector. But “...charitable organizations - for a variety of Read More

Trademarks & Nonprofits: Assets Often Overlooked

Nonprofit founders, leaders and board members typically become involved with a nonprofit organization because of their passion for the cause and purpose. Because of this focus, they are busy doing great things, and they sometimes forget that their nonprofit should be run, in many ways, like a business with attention paid to profits, losses and assets. As the nonprofit grows and becomes better recognized in their Read More

Endowments and Offshore Tax Havens

In recent years, Congress has made no secret that it has concerns about the billion-dollar endowments of certain tax-exempt colleges and universities. A particularly troubling aspect, in the view of lawmakers and many in the general public, is the rapid jump in tuition costs at American schools at a time when the wealthiest institutions appear to have comfortable cushions of cash. Lawmakers asked pointed questions Read More

MacArthur Announces $100-Million Contest Winner

Photo Attribution and Source: The MacArthur Foundation, What if $100-million suddenly fell out of the sky to tackle a “critical problem affecting people, a place, or the entire planet?” The folks at the International Rescue Committee and the Sesame Workshop (of  “Sesame Street” fame) will now have the chance to find out. Their joint proposal to help traumatized Read More

Johnson Amendment Stays … For Now

In mid-December 2017, when the GOP Congressional leadership was scrambling to get a tax-overhaul bill in final form - one that would meld the quite different House and Senate versions - an issue that could have gone either way, in or out, was the thorny matter of 501(c)(3)s dabbling or plunging headlong into the political arena.    History of Johnson Amendment Under the 1954 Johnson Amendment to an earlier Read More