Mandatory e-Filing for 990s on the Way

Pending legislation in Congress will, if passed, affect tax-exempt organizations in two ways: (1) it will make e-filing the mandatory method for all exempt organizations for filing any required information returns, including the Form 990 Series, and (2) it will require the Internal Revenue Service to send a notice to organizations which have missed filing two consecutive information returns before it’s too late to Read More

Nonprofit Thought Leaders: 10 Useful TED Talks

From time to time, we engage in random policy wonkery, recommending to readers provocative tidbits from policy experts, observers, and other thought leaders. For example, in Nonprofit Sector Featured in New Slate Series, (August 28, 2018), we highlighted a series that Slate magazine launched in May 2018, featuring noted philanthropy commentator, Felix Salmon.  Titled Introducing the Slate 90: A dive into the Read More

Thanks for Your Generosity, But … (Part 2)

The devastating fire at the Cathedral of Notre Dame sparked a massive outpouring of financial support that reached $1 billion in a matter of days after the event on April 15, 2019. The fundraising drive was given a boost by immediate pledges from four French billionaires. So much money was raised in the first week or so that officials in Paris faced the unusual dilemma of having received a larger sum than French Read More

Thanks for Your Generosity, But … (Part 1)

“Everything for Notre Dame, nothing for Les Misérables”— protest sign The visual and emotional horror of watching The Cathedral of Notre Dame engulfed in flames on April 15, 2019, grabbed the attention of the world that day and for some time afterward. Media here and abroad stopped in their tracks, providing massive coverage led by the top news anchors.   The result was an immediate outpouring of philanthropic Read More

CA Lawmakers React to College Admission Scandal

The news reports on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 were shocking and sensational: The FBI had busted the largest college-admission scam in U.S. history. Lots of lives and careers were ruined that day and it became the trending topic of conversation around the nation. Four of the elite universities peripherally involved in this mess are in California. It was only a matter of time before lawmakers in the Golden State Read More

To Charge or Not to Charge: Admission Fees, That Is

Recent announcements from several cultural institutions highlight what may be a new trend around the nation to increase attendance by lowering - or eliminating - admission fees. This is a significant shift from the thinking just a year ago or so  when museums - including New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art (MOMA) - chose to deal with budget problems by raising those rates. In early January 2018, the MOMA Read More

What is Liberatory Philanthropy?

Recently, in the charitable sector, deep theoretical discussions have moved from the quiet dark corners of academia into the light.   According to Rodney Foxworth, executive director of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economy (BALLE) in Oakland, California: “The past year ushered in a new level of poignant and popular critique of the business of philanthropy, catalyzing widespread discussion and debate Read More

Nonprofit Comes Clean: Our Program Doesn’t Work

In the face of a problem or failure, too many charitable organizations duck and cover: hiding serious dysfunction, glossing over a disappointing result, ignoring deplorable behavior. But in November 2018 “a major development charity did something remarkable: It admitted” that a pilot program “didn’t seem to work.”  Kelsey Piper at writes that this nonprofit's admission about its program "should be a Read More

Charity Bankruptcy: What are the Moral Considerations?

The remedy of bankruptcy is not an easy choice for any entity and -especially for a nonprofit corporation - the decision is gut-wrenching. But in some cases, it may be the only way to salvage some of the organization so that it can regroup and go on or to let it close down with as little pain as possible (to everyone concerned) under the sad circumstances. Recently, the word “bankruptcy” has become associated with Read More

Bold Move in SF on Housing Crisis

All around the nation, there are twin crises in housing: availability and affordability.  In the largest, most popular, metropolitan areas, the issue is the most dire; even high-salary professionals have trouble finding living spaces to rent. It’s no secret that San Francisco is a nightmare of shockingly high rents and limited housing supply for the many people who flock there for job opportunities or pleasant Read More