Donor-Advised Funds: New Reform Proposal

Donor-advised funds (DAFs) have enjoyed spectacular success in recent years, and the most current data show this trend not only continuing but accelerating.  But along with this popularity has come considerable criticism from many quarters as well as attempts by federal and state lawmakers to regulate them.  Recently, two of the philanthropy sector’s leading scholars, Professors Roger Colinvaux (Catholic Read More

Gifts in Kind: CA Bill Vetoed

During the whirlwind 2019 legislative session in California, lawmakers considered hundreds of bills including one that, if approved, would change the law on how charitable gifts-in-kind (GIFs) are valued for accounting purposes.  Assembly Bill 1181, backed by Democratic Attorney General Xavier Becerra, “easily passed the Assembly in the spring….” In late summer, the Senate also gave its approval by a wide margin. The Read More

How to Implement the New Overtime Rule

On January 1, 2020, the new federal overtime regulations that affect employers around the nation - including nonprofits - go into effect. We’ve followed the tumultuous progress of these significant changes in federal labor from the time they were first proposed during the Obama Administration through to the official adoption and publication on September 24, 2019. See Overtime Rules - Final … At Last! (October 8, Read More

Your Dot ORG Domain May Soon Cost More

As if there isn’t enough already for nonprofit organizations to juggle and worry over this holiday season as the biggest fundraising period draws to a close. Now, there’s word that the annual cost of your all-important internet “dot ORG domain” name may soon skyrocket - perhaps dramatically.  Why? There’s a drama currently unfolding involving three nonprofits that are part of the “Internet ecosystem” created by Read More

Is Your Nonprofit Ready for Hospice Care?

Some time ago, Andy Robinson, an experienced nonprofit consultant and author, attended a 501(c)(3) event that gave him a perspective different from his usual expert perch. He trained for a day as a volunteer for a local hospice.   In that setting, there are standardized guidelines and checklists to evaluate when it’s the right time for a patient’s family to help him or her make an orderly exit from life.   It Read More

Charitable Hospitals Behaving Badly

Over the summer of 2019, there were important showdowns around the United States against certain charitable healthcare systems acting in decidedly uncharitable (and unlawful) ways. The hospital behemoths with overflowing coffers relentlessly hounded patients for every last nickel and dime. The victims included those least able to afford it; people earning just at or above the minimum wage - some of them the Read More

Should a Hate Group Have a Tax Exemption?

Every few days or so, there’s another hate-group-fueled shooting rampage in the United States. In a long-overdue move, the FBI recently designated the white-supremacy movement as the greatest domestic-terrorism threat of our era.  Along with growing public concern about the rising death toll is a sense of outrage against the extremist organizations that promote and encourage these violent acts. And many of these Read More

Tainted Donors in a Scandal-Prone Era

“Finding funders has never been easy work,” writes The Nonprofit Quarterly’s Martin Levine in How Nonprofits Consider Donations Differently as Donor Challenges Proliferated (September 4, 2019). But it’s much harder now “... in this time of public accountability for societal malefactors and philanthropic money launderers….”      Tainted-Donor Predicament Mr. Levine describes the current tainted-donor dilemma facing Read More

The Charitable Deduction: Then and Now

There are two intriguing and important recent articles about the history of the U.S. charitable deduction and how it can - and should - evolve in the future.  The first paper is by Dr. Nicolas J. Duquette: Founders’ Fortunes and Philanthropy: A History of the U.S. Charitable-Contribution Deduction (August 27, 2019), Cambridge University Press.  Professor Duquette argues that, despite significant changes in the Read More

Impeachment and 501(c)(3)s: What are the Rules?

It’s almost always election season in the United States. As soon as the votes are tallied in a just-completed cycle, the chatter begins about re-election bids and new opponents.  America’s charities - expressly prohibited from engaging in any partisan political campaign activity - walk a continual tightrope trying to avoid running afoul of this section 501(c)(3) restriction, the so-called "Johnson Amendment." The Read More