Year-End Fundraising: Two Key Points

For a tax-exempt public charity, December can be a nerve-wracking time. The stopwatch is ticking, and the race to the fundraising finish line is in sight: the chance to persuade prospects to make that December 31st deductibility deadline. So we remind you of two simple truths we’ve written about before but bear repeating now to help you through this festive but frantic season. First: A 501(c)(3) doesn’t have to Read More

Think You’ve Heard Everything?:  The Faux Donor

In the nonprofit world, donors are the VIPs. As a nonprofit leader, you’re thrilled whenever a major prospect appears: It can mean great news for the success of your mission.  There have been a “few recent incidents,” though, where it’s “just too good to be true.” A major gift arrives out of the blue from an unknown source. The donor isn’t in your database or your paper files, and no one on staff has heard of them. Read More

Charity Issues of Concern to CA Attorney General

Around the nation, state attorneys general have the key oversight responsibility for charitable organizations and property held in charitable trust in their jurisdictions. Historically, the most high-profile ones are from the biggest states. California’s Javier Becerra and New York’s Eric Schneiderman are carrying on this tradition of aggressive investigation and enforcement. This, of course, is in addition to Read More

Charities in the Courtroom15: NY Goes After “Bottomfeeders”

The New York State Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, has emerged as a key leader of state officials committed to going after fraud and abuse in charities. Doing so has been a big favor to New York’s nonprofits, as it draws a high-profile distinction for the public between legitimate and illegitimate activity in the sector.... He has named his office’s attempt to pursue scam artists that make use of 'shell' Read More

MacArthur $100-Million Grant Finalists Announced

In the summer of 2016, we reported on the launch of an exciting $100-Million Grant Contest by the respected MacArthur Foundation. “Big problems require bold solutions” is the theme of this search for a “single proposal that will make measurable progress toward solving a significant problem.” The pitch was for “proposals from any sector” with  no preferred “single field or problem,” the sole parameter being that the Read More

Charity Fraud: State AGs Crack Down

Attorneys general around the nation are - now more than ever - high profile and newsworthy as they take on matters ranging from defying presidential executive orders to cracking down on criminal business conspiracies. They continue to work together as well to root out charity fraud and malfeasance, particularly if these activities cross state lines. Last year, all 50 state attorneys general cooperated in halting a Read More

Surge Donations for the Charitable Community

The events of November 8, 2016, were - not to put too fine a point on it - unexpected. The sudden reality of a GOP-controlled Congress and White House caused jitters around the nation including in the philanthropy community. Many nonprofits rely financially on a generous federal budget and their charitable beneficiaries face catastrophic consequences if services and benefits are slashed. Amidst this doom-and-gloom Read More

Issues in Online Giving

When government regulators meet, they make lists of the most pressing topics that keep them up at night. These lists aren’t static, especially given the fast pace of technological change that is having an impact on many aspects of the philanthropic sector including - of course - fundraising. One of the hottest topics right now is online fundraising and technology. With technology driving so much of today’s social Read More

What, Exactly, is a “Suggested Donation”?

When charity board members or staff sit around a conference table planning their next fundraising special event, the discussion inevitably turns to how much to charge. When a price is determined, it’s not uncommon, especially in smaller organizations, for someone to recommend that the amount be described in publicity materials or on tickets as a “suggested donation” amount of $X. In another conference room somewhere Read More

Free Conference With Charity Regulators

The Federal Trade Commission and the National Association of State Charities Officials have just announced they are holding a free conference later this month that should be of interest to many in the philanthropy community.   Americans are among the most generous people in the world, contributing more than $373 billion to charity in 2015…, but evolving marketing practices and new technologies have introduced Read More