Charitable Deduction Fixes Proposed

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) enacted last December was unlike other major overhauls of the federal tax code. Gone were the traditional months-long hearings, large number of amendments, and old-fashioned horse-trading. Instead, it was a mad dash for the finish line, with no bipartisan participation at all, and with relatively little thought and planning about what is good tax policy. Unsurprisingly, 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

Naming Rights Uprising in Suburbia

When Steve Schwarzman was growing up, his parents moved from downtown Philadelphia to Abington Township, a lovely, upper-middle-class suburb. The township’s sole secondary school had - like those in surrounding bedroom communities - an excellent academic reputation. Steve played track and field there and was elected president of the student body. He graduated in 1965, going on to Yale University and then to Harvard Read More

CA Considers a Charity Crowdfunding Bill

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last two or three years, you know there’s an entirely new way to raise money: online crowdfunding. It’s being used to promote and financially support a broad range of for-profit and nonprofit projects and causes. Two years ago, we posted Crowdfunding: What California Charities Should Know, noting that the internet and charitable fundraising are a natural fit. It’s a Read More

Donor Seeks Return of $22.9 Million

The Nonprofit Quarterly’s Ruth McCambridge aptly sums up the most recent, high-profile, “donor wants money back” story: This is an ironic story about a $100 million charitable donation to fund … an institute for conflict-resolution research that is aimed at promoting peace…. Two years later, the parties themselves are in conflict. Twin brothers Thomas L. and Timothy R. Pearson made a gift in 2015 of $100-million to Read More

Gifts in Kind: What Nonprofits Should Know

Charitable donations come in different forms; while cash is king, other types of contributions are useful, too.  Among them are “gifts in kind,” sometimes also called “in-kind gifts” or “in-kind donations.”    Different Types of Charitable Gifts A cash contribution is, for many reasons, the preferred type of gift. It’s simple and straightforward and provides the organization with the means to buy any goods or Read More

To Give or Not to Give – Anonymously, That Is…

An age-old question in philanthropy is whether to give publicly - with thanks and, perhaps, fanfare,  - or to make an anonymous donation. For the wealthy person with millions to give or for an average person who can spare only small amounts, it’s a dilemma with no right or wrong answer. Recalling the wisdom of that famous 19th-century Jewish philosopher, Tevye (Fiddler on the Roof): “On the one hand, there’s …, but Read More

Behested Payments: Critics Take Aim

Behest:  (first known use: 12th century England) 1. An authoritative order, command   2. An urgent prompting One imagines Sir Guy of Gisborne galloping through the Nottinghamshire countryside announcing the Sheriff's latest behest that lord and serf alike hand over their valuables forthwith; a behested payment, so to speak. Alas, this is not a relic of the distant past. Behested payments are alive, well, and Read More

Donor Privacy Policy: Every Nonprofit Should Have One

Which documents should your organization have in that expensive, "gold-embossed," three-ring binder you ordered back in the day when you first got started? There are dividers for your articles of incorporation, your bylaws, and the minutes of the first meeting. Of course, you should keep it up to date with the minutes of each board meeting, along with formal resolutions adopted, and any amendments to the bylaws. What Read More

MacArthur Announces $100-Million Contest Winner

Photo Attribution and Source: The MacArthur Foundation, What if $100-million suddenly fell out of the sky to tackle a “critical problem affecting people, a place, or the entire planet?” The folks at the International Rescue Committee and the Sesame Workshop (of  “Sesame Street” fame) will now have the chance to find out. Their joint proposal to help traumatized Read More