Another Pfishing Tale

Headquartered in suburban Baltimore, the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation is one of the nation’s largest private charitable foundations with annual grants topping $100 million each year. The primary recipients are nonprofit service providers to low-income and vulnerable people in the United States and Israel. A side project is the Israel Mission program, in which community and government leaders, mainly from Read More

Newest CA Sexual Harassment Laws

The annual schedule of the California Legislature is packed into a tight 8-9 months of activity with a frenzied rush in the final month. Now in his final year as governor, Democrat Jerry Brown doesn’t necessarily sign into law each and every measure passed by the overwhelming blue Senate and Assembly.   Recently, in New CA Legislature Action Affecting Nonprofits, we highlighted two of the new laws: (1) AB 2252, Read More

California Probate Explained

After a person passes away, their assets must go through a legal process called probate. This can be time-consuming and costly, depending on the size of the person’s estate and the types of estate planning documents they prepared during their life. To simplify things, let’s go through some common questions about the California probate process. What is probate? The probate process involves dividing up a deceased Read More

Ready to Start a Nonprofit Exempt Organization? 5 Steps to Legal Success

You have a purpose, a vision, and a plan to make it all happen — and now it’s time to legally establish your nonprofit organization. Generally speaking, as long as your organization exists for religious, charitable, scientific, literary, or educational purposes, it qualifies as a nonprofit that is eligible for state and federal tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3). Other exemptions exist, too, for social welfare Read More

501(c)(3) Riches and Migrant Kids

The 2016 presidential election was a transformative event in the nation. There were unexpected and unprecedented repercussions around the nation touching people and entities generally far removed from the political fray. There was the phenomenon of “rage giving”: “a visceral reaction in the general public that unleashes a deluge of contributions to political causes as well as to nonprofit organizations. “American Read More

What’s New in Latest TE/GE Program Letter

Each year, the Tax Exempt and Government Entities (TE/GE) Division of the Internal Revenue Service publishes a “Program Letter” for the fiscal year. This gives nonprofit organizations, professional advisers, academics, consultants, and all other interested parties a snapshot look at what these IRS officials believe are the most important developments and pressing needs to address. The agency published its TE/GE Read More

Sting Against Charity Fraudsters Allegedly Helping Veterans

Back in 2015, the Federal Trade Commission and all 50 state attorneys general joined in a coordinated lawsuit to take down a group of four sham charities and the people running them. These scam artists collected some $187 million over a four-year-period from unsuspecting donors around the U.S. who thought they were giving money to help cancer patients.  Instead, the “overwhelming majority of” the money was spent Read More

Surprise Tax Hits Churches, Other Nonprofits

In the final months of 2017, the GOP majorities in the House and Senate rushed to throw together and pass tax legislation before the end of the year.  What became the Tax Cuts and Jobs Acts of 2017 (“TCJA”) was a hodge-podge of items that had been on various Republican taxation wish lists for some time. The legislation was written, rewritten, revised, and amended at break-neck speed with no Democratic input and Read More

Goodwill Omaha: AG Issues Scathing Report

Back in 2016, the Omaha World-Herald ran a devastating series of articles about Goodwill Omaha, the well-known 501(c)(3) that is one of Nebraska’s biggest charities. Perhaps the most damaging element in this expose was the compensation level of the group’s top executives: They were the highest paid of Goodwill organizations in the United States at the same time that the workers of the thrift shop giant were paid Read More

Donor Secrecy at Public Universities

George Mason University (GMU) is a “young university that, in just a short time” [since 1972] “has made impressive strides in size, stature and influence.” Now, “Virginia’s largest public research university” serves some 34,000 students; its main, “beautiful wooded” campus is in Fairfax, Virginia, only 15 miles from the nation’s capital. But in late April 2018, a simmering controversy erupted. It shattered the Read More