History of Anonymous Giving: A Forum

A year ago, we posted To Give or Not To Give - Anonymously, That Is (March 27, 2018). With a light-hearted touch, we discussed the reasons why current-day donors choose either to give to charity with great fanfare or to conceal their identities as benefactors of certain institutions or causes. Of the two paths, the more intriguing is that of anonymity.  Why do philanthropists make this choice? The two most Read More

Rage Giving: The RAICES Example

In  Rage Giving: What’s the Formula For Success?, we described an example of this phenomenon following the tumultuous 2016 presidential election that resulted in windfalls to certain nonprofit organizations. “Americans turned in droves to well-known groups including the American Civil Liberties Union, Planned Parenthood, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the Environmental Defense Fund.”   We asked: “So Read More

Second Thoughts About Cryptocurrency Donations?

In early April 2018, we posted Bitcoin and More: The New World of Donations. Cryptocurrency was Introduced just a decade ago, but by 2017, it was taking the world by storm. Cryptocurrency has applications and implications across the economic spectrum. The nonprofit world has begun to sit up and take notice: This new technology offers an added type of payment option for charitable donations; it has some notable Read More

The Charity Raffle in CA: An Update

Around the United States, raffles are among the most popular fundraising methods for charitable organizations. Many groups, though, are unaware that raffles are governed by strict rules on a state-by-state basis. A few years ago, in June 2015, we tackled the key misconception; that is, the payout to the winner can be whatever the organization wants it to be. It's Just a Little Raffle: What's the Big Deal? Read More

Crowdfunding Regulation in CA: What’s Next?

Crowdfunding for charitable purposes and beneficiaries has exploded in popularity in recent years. “It seems like a perfect marriage: the internet and charitable fundraising.” A lightning-speed way to pitch alerts about causes - often in times of emergency - for which generous people in your own backyard as well as around the globe can help with the click of a mouse. See, for instance, our earlier posts on Read More

Are Funders Ready to Throw the Overhead Myth Overboard?

Once upon a time - not so long ago - nonprofit organizations lived in an enchanted land where on the stroke of midnight a fairy godmother swooshed in, waved her magic wand, and - poof! - gone were all of the general operating expenses incurred that day.   Bright and early the next morning, the grateful trustees, executive directors, and fundraisers were free to - truthfully - tell all and sundry that their Read More

Troubled Waters at Several United Ways

“A … woman, a priest, two ministers and a rabbi got together….” “It sounds like the beginning of a bad joke,” according to the United Way on its website, “but they didn’t walk into a bar; what they did do was recognize the need to work together in new ways [in 1887] to make Denver a better place.” More than 130 years later, in 2018, the organization is the largest privately funded nonprofit in the world with Read More

Sting Against Charity Fraudsters Allegedly Helping Veterans

Back in 2015, the Federal Trade Commission and all 50 state attorneys general joined in a coordinated lawsuit to take down a group of four sham charities and the people running them. These scam artists collected some $187 million over a four-year-period from unsuspecting donors around the U.S. who thought they were giving money to help cancer patients.  Instead, the “overwhelming majority of” the money was spent Read More

Donor Secrecy at Public Universities

George Mason University (GMU) is a “young university that, in just a short time” [since 1972] “has made impressive strides in size, stature and influence.” Now, “Virginia’s largest public research university” serves some 34,000 students; its main, “beautiful wooded” campus is in Fairfax, Virginia, only 15 miles from the nation’s capital. But in late April 2018, a simmering controversy erupted. It shattered the Read More

Possible Rate Hike for Some Nonprofits’ Mail

It’s a perk for nonprofits that doesn’t get as much attention or fanfare as the tax deduction for charitable contributions, but reduced postal charges are an important aid to the success of the mission of many organizations. 501(c)(3)s use the established “preferred postal rate” schedules to make important budgetary decisions for current and upcoming fiscal periods. From time to time, the United States Postal Read More