New Study: A Dark Side of Corporate Philanthropy

The Washington Post in mid-January 2019 reported on a surprising new study about corporate philanthropy released a month earlier by the National Bureau of Economic Research. Five researchers examined certain ramifications of the relationship of the corporate-donor and nonprofit-donee relationship. What were they looking for? In Hall of Mirrors: Corporate Philanthropy and Strategic Advocacy, the examiners Read More

Accounting Irregularities: Regulators Zooming In

The editors of The Nonprofit Times recently published a warning to charities around the nation: More than ever, state regulators are taking aim at certain accounting practices they assert are misleading and improper. In particular, they are focusing on two issues: (1) allocation of joint costs and (2) valuations of gifts in kind (GIK); that is, non-cash donations. While - so far - the regulators’ positions on Read More

Form 990: Newest Update

The federal Form 990 is the “information return” that most tax-exempt organizations -  including, but not limited, to 501(c)(3)s - must file each year. From time to time, the government updates and revises this document. The most comprehensive overhaul occurred in 2008, when Treasury and IRS officials worked with state charity regulators to beef up the Form 990, making it more useful as a source of Read More

Tips to Protect Your Nonprofit from Credit Card Fraud

More than a few nonprofit organizations operate on the assumption that they are relatively safe from fraud or theft not just by outsiders but from trusted insiders as well. As statistics show each year, this belief is incorrect and dangerous. In more than a handful of previous blog posts, we’ve highlighted this persistent danger. See for example: Charity Embezzlement: Thwart It With Good Controls; Nonprofits Beware: Read More

Ford Foundation Chief: Transform Philanthropy Now

“Philanthropy, honey, it’s time for an intervention.” - E. Villanueva When one of the philanthropic community’s most influential leaders, Darren Walker, head of the Ford Foundation, makes an impassioned call for change, it is newsworthy. And when Ruth McCambridge, the editor-in-chief of one of the sector’s leading publications, The Nonprofit Quarterly, writes that he “hits it out of the park,” that, too, is Read More

Exempt Organizations, the IRS, and YouTube

From time to time, we pass along tips about educational resources - online and free of charge - that help folks in the exempt organizations field be aware of, and better understand, the mind-boggling maze of laws that apply. A few months ago, for instance, we posted Foundation Law: Free Online Learning about a great training site created by the legal staff at four major American foundations. It includes a Read More

More Troubles for the March of Dimes

During the presidency of Franklin Roosevelt, it was not widely known that, as a younger man, he had been stricken with polio, then called infantile paralysis. Unlike the current practice of the news media poking its collective nose into the deepest crevices of public figures’ private lives and concerns, there was an understanding that Roosevelt’s deep desire to keep his medical condition private would be honored. Read More

Public Student Loan Forgiveness Program: Problems & Update

Back in 2007, when the Public Service Student Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program was established, it seemed like an excellent way to help both struggling college grads as well as the nation’s government agencies and nonprofit organizations to lure needed talent away from the private sector which - generally - pays better than public service jobs. To qualify for PSLF, an applicant must (1) work for a government Read More

The “Big Bet” Social Change Movement

One of the most hopeful developments in the past few years has been the philanthropy community’s increasing openness to reexamining the roles of donors as well as organizations and to addressing entrenched problems in society including wealth inequality and social justice. The Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR) is a treasure of thought leadership for social change. In its Winter 2016 issue, the editors Read More

Time for Nonprofits to Engage on Overtime Proposals

For several years, we’ve followed and reported on the saga of significant changes in federal labor-law rules that were put in place in the last year of the Obama Administration only to be tied up following the presidential election that year. The Obama rules were designed to give a huge “raise” to many workers around the United States by changing the mathematical formula that employers - for-profit and nonprofit Read More