Some Good News: Funders are Stepping Up

Read the post (hosted on our COVID-19 microsite) by clicking here: Some Good News: Funders are Stepping Up.   Read More

Nonprofit Board Meetings in an Emergency

Read the post (hosted on our COVID-19 microsite) by clicking here: Nonprofit Board Meetings in an Emergency.   Read More

Funders Must Step Up – Right Now!

“Funders,” writes nonprofit blogger Vu Le, “this is the rainy day you have been saving up for.”  Recently, we wrote about Mr. Le’s earlier plea for America’s foundations to step up their payouts beyond the “five percent rule” in the federal tax code. In an article last summer, he characterized it as a moral imperative: The ethical argument for foundations to increase their annual payout rate beyond 5% (August 4, Read More

Coronavirus and Nonprofits: Challenges & Resources

What a difference a week makes.  Last week, the news media focused on the minutiae of the primary-election horse race. This week, Americans have been forced to confront the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. For the nonprofit sector, the emergency becomes a double-barreled crisis: we are both victims and saviors. This is not an unfamiliar conundrum; there are frequent natural disasters that devastate one area or Read More

PayPal Giving Fund Settles Big Case

In 2013, internet giant PayPal, Inc. created a “new platform … to make it easier for customers to donate money to their favorite tax-exempt charities.” At the same time, the firm established a 501(c)(3) called PayPal Giving Fund (PPGF) “to process and distribute those donations.” Donors were supposed to be able to make contributions online and select a charity” that would “ultimately receive the benefit of their Read More

Huge EO Scandals: Elusive Federal Oversight

In recent years, there’s been an almost perfect storm of conditions for people - famous, infamous, and otherwise - to commit wrongdoing through exempt organizations (EOs) but escape scrutiny or consequences.  As the details of each high-profile scandal are splashed across the headlines, we collectively wonder whether any agency or official will take action about what seem to be brazen violations of the laws and Read More

The Political Ban: A Timely Recap for 501(c)(3)s, Part Two

The “Johnson Amendment” - the 501(c)(3) political ban - has been discussed and debated ad nauseum for decades.  This is it: “... which does not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office.” That’s all. The whole enchilada.  This snippet of prohibition, this dollop of don't even Read More

The Political Ban: A Timely Recap for 501(c)(3)s, Part One

“It’s almost always election season in the United States.” The polls close on one contest but, by dawn the next morning, “the chatter begins about re-election bids and new opponents.” By the time that primary-election votes are being counted, that chatter turns into a frenzy of 24/7 media coverage and analysis as well as a blizzard of candidate advertisements on TV, radio, the internet, and social media. “We in Read More

The Importance of Executive Sessions for Nonprofit Boards

BoardSource is a leader in inspiring and supporting “excellence in nonprofit governance and board and staff leadership.” Among its "best practices" advice for 501(c)(3) boards is holding “regularly scheduled executive sessions.” See Executive Sessions: Why, Who, What, & How.        What, Exactly, Are Executive Sessions? “Executive sessions are a special meeting-within-a-meeting.”  Attendees are Read More

Funding Pie: Rural CA Groups Want Bigger Bite

Across the United States, the need for philanthropic help is broad and deep. Sadly, though, funding for 501(c)(3)s serving those needs has been - and remains - deeply unequal. For instance, according to a recent survey by the National Committee on Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) on funding for immigrants’ rights, just 14 cents on the dollar goes to front line state and local organizations. Instead, national Read More