The Political Ban: A Timely Recap for 501(c)(3)s, Part One

“It’s almost always election season in the United States.” The polls close on one contest but, by dawn the next morning, “the chatter begins about re-election bids and new opponents.” By the time that primary-election votes are being counted, that chatter turns into a frenzy of 24/7 media coverage and analysis as well as a blizzard of candidate advertisements on TV, radio, the internet, and social media. “We in Read More

The Importance of Executive Sessions for Nonprofit Boards

BoardSource is a leader in inspiring and supporting “excellence in nonprofit governance and board and staff leadership.” Among its "best practices" advice for 501(c)(3) boards is holding “regularly scheduled executive sessions.” See Executive Sessions: Why, Who, What, & How.        What, Exactly, Are Executive Sessions? “Executive sessions are a special meeting-within-a-meeting.”  Attendees are Read More

Funding Pie: Rural CA Groups Want Bigger Bite

Across the United States, the need for philanthropic help is broad and deep. Sadly, though, funding for 501(c)(3)s serving those needs has been - and remains - deeply unequal. For instance, according to a recent survey by the National Committee on Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) on funding for immigrants’ rights, just 14 cents on the dollar goes to front line state and local organizations. Instead, national Read More

PILOT Pressures for Major Nonprofits

In recent years around the nation, local governments have faced critical budget shortfalls. At the same time, the need for public services and assistance has skyrocketed due, at least in part, to growing economic inequality.   Legislators and officials have tried to squeeze every possible nickel and dime out of the taxpaying base of individuals and entities. But in many localities, the biggest players and property Read More

Ignoring Intent: Study Confirms Donors Feel Betrayed

“Respecting a donor’s intent is an ethical issue and also a legal matter,” according to the National Council of Nonprofits on its website section on “ethical fundraising.”  And a recent study confirms what is certainly a matter of common sense: A donor whose intent about a charitable contribution is not carefully followed feels “betrayed” and is unlikely to continue supporting that donee financially or in any Read More

Mission Creep Faced by Detroit Nonprofit

“Detroit was still smoldering from the 1967 riots” when civil-rights activists Father William T. Cunningham and Eleanor M. Josaltis took the first steps toward creating what has become Focus: Hope.   Now, fifty years later, the 501(c)(3) organization has an annual budget of over $30 million and a staff of about 200 people. The group has fought against racism and poverty over the span of its five-decade history Read More

Feds Propose Improving Grant Rules on Indirect Costs

In A New Accounting Rule: But Don’t Sleep Through This One (March 10, 2015), we first told you about a bold step by the federal government to more fully reimburse government grantees and contractors for both direct and indirect costs.  These important changes to the Uniform Guidance Rules of the federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) apply to all contracts signed after December 26, 2014, that include Read More

Diversity in Nonprofits: Provocative Reading

The prestigious Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR) is written “by and for social change leaders from around the world and from all sectors of society—nonprofits, foundations, business, government, and engaged citizens.”  We’re big fans of this award-winning publication of Stanford (University’s) Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society. Last year, for instance, in The “Big Bet” Social Change Movement (April Read More

IRS Nonprofit Updates: UBIT Refunds & More

There’s news from (and about) the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on several matters of interest to the nonprofit sector. The most notable development is a reimbursement process for those 501(c)(3)s that paid unrelated business income taxes on the universally reviled “parking tax” that was just repealed in December 2019.    IRS Gives Relief - Or Does It? Two years ago, the nonprofit world was surprised and dismayed Read More

Funders Urged to Step Up Support for Nonprofit Staffing

Our readers know that Vu Le (@NonprofitAF) is one of our favorite bloggers. In November 2019, he wrote an important piece reflecting on the imminent completion of his executive directorship of Seattle-based RVC , which “promotes social justice by cultivating leaders of color, strengthening organizations led by communities of color, and fostering collaboration between diverse communities.” The title of the post, Read More