Conflicts Scandals at Major Medical Centers

Major scandals at two prominent nonprofit medical institutions erupted in the fall of 2018, capping an already tough year that had seen “an endless stream of improprieties” rocking “U.S. healthcare." In the nonprofit world, the matter of avoiding actual or potential conflicts of interest is high on the list of key governance issues. It’s tawdry and unethical; sometimes illegal. But, in the healthcare field, it Read More

New Medicaid Work/Volunteer Court Ruling

There’s so much governmental action - (or inaction, when action is necessary)  directly or indirectly affecting the nonprofit sector and charitable beneficiaries, it’s hard to keep up with it all. One issue that’s been flying somewhat under the radar is the assault against Medicaid expansion and eligibility promoted by many “red” states and aided by actions of the current administration in Washington. Short Read More

The Fringe Benefits Tax: Hope for Repeal

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) made sweeping changes in the federal tax code affecting almost all entities and individuals after a whirlwind frenzy of activity beginning just weeks before the end of that year.  Many lawmakers privately acknowledged they had not read the entire bill before they voted to pass it; they were surprised and dismayed at many parts of this hasty legislation. Among the least Read More

A Different Kind of Donor-Advised Fund Story

The proliferation of the donor-advised fund (DAF) model of charitable donation has been one of the biggest recent trends in philanthropy. In both news and commentary articles, experts have weighed in on the pros and cons of DAFs including the possible need for more regulation and oversight. In late November 2018, a U.S. Magistrate Judge from the Northern District of California issued a ruling that Fidelity Read More

More Groups Want 501(c)(4) Status

There is a discernible trend in the current political climate by liberal organizations away from the traditionally favored 501(c)(3) public-charity, tax-exempt status. More than a few academics and observers have noticed an anecdotal shift to the less beneficial - but also less restrictive - 501(c)(4) social-welfare category. Indeed, in January 2018, FPLG pal Gene Takagi, Esq, predicted that 2018 will be the year Read More

Rethinking Nonprofits’ Disaster Planning

Recently, Bryan McQueenly raised a provocative issue to his neighbors in an op-ed in the Ventura County Star. In The Real Costs of Disasters for Nonprofits, this Southern California-based CEO of a 501(c)(3) asserts that the reality of recurring - and, indeed escalating - natural disasters poses a serious threat to the short- and long-term viability of most Golden State nonprofits. Like other residents of Ventura Read More

Hot Issues for Nonprofits in 2019

In the philanthropy sector - as in every other - the start of a new year marks an avalanche of fortune-telling: which issues that were big in the past year will continue to dominate news and commentary and which sleeper topics will erupt onto center stage. As part of our dedication to the sector, we've dug into them all. Some of the prognotiscating appears in published articles and blog posts. Some of it also Read More

Cause-Related Marketing: New Aggressive Enforcement

In the 1980’s, the American Express company tried out an advertising technique that had not been done before. The financial services giant joined with the nonprofit organization that was leading the fundraising campaign to pay for restoring the Statue of Liberty.  This experiment was a huge success for both sides. Here’s how it worked: American Express launched an advertising campaign to sign up new Read More

New Bills in CA Legislature on Crowdfunding, Other Hot Issues

In order to meet a deadline in the California legislature for introducing new bills to be considered in the current session, lawmakers hurried to file three items in late February 2019 of significant interest to nonprofit organizations. They cover three of the hottest topics in the philanthropy sector: crowdfunding, donor-advised funds, and community foundations. The bills on donor-advised funds (AB 1712) and Read More

Top-Heavy Philanthropy Creates Risks for Democracy

An important report released in November 2018 by the Washington-D.C.-based Institute for Policy Studies raises the alarm about a troubling trend in philanthropy and charitable giving in the United States. Traditionally, American charities have been broadly supported by “low-dollar and mid-level donors.” In recent years, though - and particularly as the nation emerged from the 2008 economic crisis - there has been Read More