Attorney General of CA Targets Troop-Support Charity

The Attorney General of California issued a July 24th press release announcing the lawsuit against Sacramento-based Move America Forward, Inc. beginning in a remarkably understated manner. Xavier Becerra has moved against this nonprofit, formed in 2004, that “sends care packages to combat troops” and describes itself on its website as the “nation’s largest grassroots pro-troop organization dedicated to support Read More

Museums Accept Grant to Increase Diversity

About every two years, BoardSource conducts its “signature study” of the board practices and policies of U.S. charitable organizations. The most recent one, Leading with Intent: 2017 National Index of Nonprofit Board Practices, includes participation by the nation’s museums in cooperation with the American Alliance of Museums (AAM). Leading with Intent prides itself with being the “only survey to gather information Read More

New Resource for “Keeping It Ethical”

We’re continually impressed by the scope and quality of online, free-of-charge, resources available to the philanthropic community on topics ranging from governance to fundraising rules.  As we periodically discover these gems of knowledge, we like to pass them on to you. For instance, last month we highlighted the Internal Revenue Service’s own web-based Exempt Organizations, The IRS, and YouTube (April 19, 2019) Read More

Nonprofits & Risk Management: Attitude Adjustment Advice

In  What’s Next After the Tax Exemption Letter? we noted that there’s lots of information available about how to start a nonprofit and get the all-important “determination letter” from the IRS awarding federal tax exemption. But what happens then? There is much less advice and direction about how to get from Point A, the formation stage, to Point B, the time when the group can and should start its program Read More

New Chapter in U. of Louisville Foundation Saga

Last year, we wrote about the deep - self-inflicted - troubles plaguing the University of Louisville (Kentucky) Foundation.  At that time, in July 2017, The Nonprofit Quarterly wrote: “The last shoe may have dropped.” The University of Kentucky had commissioned a costly independent forensic audit covering the years 2014-2016 as well as certain earlier events. The 269-page audit report was released to the board Read More

Nonprofit Insurance Needs: Common Risks

The board of directors of a 501(c)(3), tax-exempt organization plays a critical role in guiding it along the path to achieving its mission. Good governance, including sound fiscal planning and oversight, is a key to success, as is prudent risk management - with adequate insurance coverage custom tailored to the organization’s circumstances. For many boards, the first mistake is neglecting the matter entirely. The Read More

Secrets and Lies at Silicon Valley Community Foundation

“A scandal at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF) has roiled the world of philanthropy," wrote philanthropy expert and consultant Alan Cantor on May 7, 2018. Just two weeks earlier, a drama unfolded in the Northern California enclave of tech billionaires; “[a] blockbuster story with dramatic elements worthy of an HBO mini-series…. There were “[a]n imperious and (until now) impervious CEO, secretive Read More

Governance: Invitation for Sector-Wide Discussion

The Nonprofit Quarterly, led by editor Ruth McCambridge, regularly takes the lead in sparking innovative thought and reflection in the nonprofit sector. On April 16, 201, NPQ launched the newest topic for sector-wide discussion and consideration: Nonprofit Boards and Their Relevance in Governance: An Invitation to Engage.  "One of the most rapidly advancing topics in the sector right now centers on the shape and Read More

Nonprofits: Adopt a Board Confidentiality Policy

There are certain types of formal written corporate policies that nonprofit organizations are well-advised to adopt and follow rigorously. Examples include a Conflict of Interest Policy and a Whistleblower Policy - two of the items that IRS revenue agents will ask to see during an audit. There are other categories that are useful and recommended if they apply in the particular circumstances; for instance, an Read More

When Mission and Personal Philosophy Diverge

An intriguing story bubbled up in the third week of January 2018 to grab some space in the New York Times and other important news outlets. “Trouble [had] been brewing for over a year at New York’s venerable American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) and [finally erupted] in a bizarre dilemma that perhaps could only arise in today’s contentious political atmosphere.” AMNH “is one of the world’s preeminent scientific Read More