PayPal Giving Fund Settles Big Case

In 2013, internet giant PayPal, Inc. created a “new platform … to make it easier for customers to donate money to their favorite tax-exempt charities.” At the same time, the firm established a 501(c)(3) called PayPal Giving Fund (PPGF) “to process and distribute those donations.” Donors were supposed to be able to make contributions online and select a charity” that would “ultimately receive the benefit of their 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

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

American Philanthropy: Biggest Myths

The year 2019 has been one of intense soul-searching for philanthropy. There are enormous problems that society as a whole must address. But that has led to legitimate questions on how to tackle them along with concerns about whether this nation’s philanthropic organizations, as historically and currently organized, should - or even can - take a leading role in the solutions.  As Deborah Elizabeth Finn Read More

Enlightened Self-Interest in the Nonprofit Sector

There’s an important conversation these days in the nonprofit community on a somewhat unexpected topic: Exploring the Problems and Benefits of Self-Interest in Nonprofits.  That’s how the editors of The Nonprofit Quarterly launched its new series on Halloween 2019. In separate articles published over the next week or so, distinguished experts - Professor David O. Renz, Vernetta Walker, and Ruth McCambridge - Read More

Tainted Donors in a Scandal-Prone Era

“Finding funders has never been easy work,” writes The Nonprofit Quarterly’s Martin Levine in How Nonprofits Consider Donations Differently as Donor Challenges Proliferated (September 4, 2019). But it’s much harder now “... in this time of public accountability for societal malefactors and philanthropic money launderers….”      Tainted-Donor Predicament Mr. Levine describes the current tainted-donor dilemma facing Read More

A New eDonor Bill of Rights

More than a quarter-century ago, the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) spearheaded an effort to create a list of “rights” to define and govern the important interactions between charitable donors and the organizations they choose to support financially.  Now, there's a new version for eDonors.  In 1993, AFP joined with the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), the Giving Institute: Read More

Online Charitable Giving: Cal AG’s New Guide

In the past decade or so, charitable giving and fundraising have been turned upside by the swift and dramatic rise of the internet.  As quickly as new means of asking for and giving money to charity have developed, legislators and government officials have responded as swiftly as possible to keep up with developments in this brave new electronic world.  The individual states - rather than the Internal Revenue Read More

Another University Gift Hits Donor-Intent Wall

One Sherlock Hibbs, a 1929 graduate of the University of Missouri (MU) was a successful financier and a lifelong fan of the Ludwig von Mises Austrian School of Economics. “Austrians emphasize private property, entrepreneurship, free markets, and sound money as the key drivers of economic performance.”  He wanted future students at his alma mater to become fans and followers of this philosophy as well. Read More

Giving USA Report Has Troubling News

On June 18, 2019, the Giving USA Foundation issued Giving USA 2019: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2018, its once-a-year publication that is the “longest-running and most comprehensive report of its kind in America.”  In 2017, charitable giving was at a record rate. But in the landmark Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA), effective January 1, 2018, Congress hurriedly jammed through dramatic Read More