Advancing Advocacy by Philanthropies

Recently, the Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP), noticed a shift in the focus of many foundations away from a historical reluctance “to embrace advocacy.” Governments have become less willing or able to tackle societal problems because of gridlock and dysfunction, coupled with a policy of budget cuts, so “funders are increasingly turning to policy advocacy as a lever for change.” CEP’s mission is to develop Read More

Overseas Grants: Avoid Sanctions

There are desperate, continuing, needs for International humanitarian assistance; the range and scope of causes and priorities is daunting - and growing. Americans are eager to help, directly and indirectly, through existing U.S. charitable organizations or in response to crowdfunding and other emergency appeals. Many 501(c)(3)s already include international operations or reach; others may be considering Read More

Recent Nonprofit Issues: Developments

There are important updates to certain stories we’ve covered in the last several months or so.  Issue: 2020 Census In the weeks leading up to the June 28th end of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2018-2019 term, the controversy over the Administration’s proposed citizenship question on the 2020 Census form was “shaping up to be a mess of historic proportions.”  On June 27, 2019, the high court issued a Read More

Have Any TCJA ’17 Problems for Nonprofits Been Fixed?

Members of Congress are taking their customary six-week summer break, leaving behind a mountain of unfinished business. Among these important matters are fixes for parts of the controversial Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA ‘17) directly or indirectly affecting nonprofit organizations. Since the effective date of January 1, 2018, there’s been little more than hot air and hand-wringing from our distinguished Read More

Philanthropy Pros: Priorities & Pain Points

“Is my organization normal?”  That’s one of the most common questions the philanthropy experts at BDO hear from organizational leaders. And because of the diversity in the sector - mission, scope, size - the matter of evaluating “performance to ensure sustainability” is a “perennial challenge" for these people in the trenches. For the last three years, BDO's Institute for Nonprofit Excellence has conducted Read More

Blockchains & Nonprofits: A Primer

According to BDO’s most recent Nonprofit Standards benchmarking survey, almost 75% of CEO respondents expect to invest in more technology in the coming year. A corollary finding is that many of them find the vast scope and array of these new products “bewildering.”  In this sphere, some of the loudest chatter has been about cryptocurrency - and a particular form of it: Bitcoin. It has been around for a Read More

Make Succession Planning a Priority

When BoardSource  recently announced its newest “Leading with Intent Survey Questionnaire” to collect data for a 2020 National Index of Nonprofit Board Practices, it touted the critical information collected and analyzed last time for the 2017 Index. Among the most important - but discouraging - data reviewed was “alarming data about CEO turnover and retirement coupled with a lack of planning for a Read More

Who “Owns” Tipitina’s Foundation?

In August 2018, The Nonprofit Quarterly ran a story titled Who ‘Owns’ Your Nonprofit? It’s not a new article. Written 15 years earlier, it “remains” so much “a classic” that the editors know it’s a good idea to keep posting it from time to time because too many nonprofit boards keep getting the answer wrong. To be clear right out of the gate, the ownership issue for a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization is Read More

More Thoughts from Philanthropy Thinkers

In June, we posted Philanthropy Thought Leaders: Hot Topics to highlight just a few examples of the useful and provocative commentary popping up regularly from expert observers and leaders of our sector.  Continuing on this month - and it may turn into a regular series - we present introductory tidbits and links to a few more worthwhile articles with a “philosophical ‘big-ideas’ Read More

Move Over, GDPR: Here Comes CA’s New Data Privacy Law

Until recently, if you asked random Americans if they recognize the acronym “GDPR,” you’d get blank stares and glazed eyes in response. It’s short for “General Data Protection Regulation.” Enacted by the European Union in 2016, it went into effect right away, but the drafters included a long transition period: no active enforcement until May 25, 2018.  Beginning in the first half of 2018, people on this Read More