Donor-Advised Funds: IRS Asks for Public Comment

Donor-advised funds (DAFs) have been available for decades, but it’s only in recent years that DAFs have surged in popularity in the United States to become the “fastest-growing charitable giving vehicle.” With that growth has come scrutiny. For wealthy people, a donor-advised fund is certainly an attractive alternative to creating a private family foundation. DAFs involve less time and money; they offer more Read More

Year-End Fundraising: Two Key Points

For a tax-exempt public charity, December can be a nerve-wracking time. The stopwatch is ticking, and the race to the fundraising finish line is in sight: the chance to persuade prospects to make that December 31st deductibility deadline. So we remind you of two simple truths we’ve written about before but bear repeating now to help you through this festive but frantic season. First: A 501(c)(3) doesn’t have to Read More

Think You’ve Heard Everything?:  The Faux Donor

In the nonprofit world, donors are the VIPs. As a nonprofit leader, you’re thrilled whenever a major prospect appears: It can mean great news for the success of your mission.  There have been a “few recent incidents,” though, where it’s “just too good to be true.” A major gift arrives out of the blue from an unknown source. The donor isn’t in your database or your paper files, and no one on staff has heard of them. Read More

Net Neutrality and Nonprofits

It’s like we’re watching a master magician deftly keeping us laser-focused on what he’s doing with his right hand; that is, a lightning-speed, massive overhaul of the federal tax code.   His left hand, behind his back, is pulling a fast one on an issue as significant to all of us as the proposed tax changes. He’s hoping we won’t notice.   What is Net Neutrality? In a sense, this post’s title is a bit misleading. Read More

Nonprofits and the Tax Bills: Third-Quarter Action

Late last month, in Nonprofits and the Tax Bills: Half-Time Update, we reported on the action in the political football game called “tax reform.” By November 21st, the full House of Representatives had passed its version of the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” (H.R.1). In the Senate, moving at “lightning speed,” GOP legislators only reached the point of a party-line vote of the Senate Finance Committee advancing its version Read More

Business Fundamentals: What is a Limited Liability Company (LLC)?

A Limited Liability Company (or "LLC") is the easiest and most straightforward separate business entity to establish, and is also often times the next "step" in the business start-up progression after the "sole proprietorship." Contrary to a sole proprietorship, the formation of an LLC does create a legal entity separate from owner or owners, typically termed "members" in the business' operating agreement. Because Read More

What Should a Nonprofit Know About a Forensic Audit?

In Conflicts of Interest Can Lead to Big Problems, we discussed the significant troubles that have plagued the University of Louisville Foundation for several years. “It’s not uncommon,” we explained, “for a major nonprofit institution like a university health care center to form a foundation to help raise funds and support the important work of the main organization. Many of these relationships proceed for decades Read More

Centuries-Old Religious Dispute: A New Twist  

Myer Myers (1723-1795) was an acclaimed New York City silversmith. Some 380 of his magnificent works “survive in museums and private collections.” He is an important figure, too, in the history of American Jews of the Colonial period. Of Sephardic origin, Myers was a member of Congregation Shearith Israel, the oldest Jewish congregation in the United States. This master crafter created many silver works for his Read More

Public Disclosure of 990s: What You Need to Know

When you file your personal income tax return each April 15th, you're entitled to secrecy about it unless you choose to show it to another person, submit it to a bank, or send it out to the general public with a flashy press release. For a 501(c)(3) organization, the rules are different: A tax-exempt group must make its Form 990 information return available upon request to the general public. These disclosure Read More

Starting a Business? We're With You Every Step of the Way

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