Machine-Readable Form 990 Launched!

On June 16, 2016, the Internal Revenue Service made it happen: the long-awaited introduction of the machine-readable Form 990 (Modernized E-file, “MeF”):   …[T]he publicly available data on electronically filed Forms 990 will now be available for the first time in a machine-readable format through Amazon Web Services (AWS). Of course, IRS was pushed into this new age of sunshine and transparency, but the agency came Read More

Private Foundations: New Program-Related Investments Guidance

Recently, the directors and managers of private foundations read some good news in the Federal Register.  On April 25, 2016, The U.S. Treasury Department issued its long-awaited, final regulations on program-related investments, commonly known as “PRIs.” What are program-related investments? They are an important, useful, and socially beneficial exception to the general rules that foundations must follow in managing Read More

The Political Ban in 501(c)(3): Its Odd History

We in the philanthropic community are - along with the rest of the nation - deep in the muck of perhaps the most bizarre election season in recent memory. There’s an added dimension to our bewilderment; namely, how to skirt the quicksand of the absolute ban in Section 501(c)(3) on political activities; that is, - participat[ing] in, or interven[ing] in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any Read More

When the Revenue Agent Comes Calling: Nonprofit Executive Compensation

In “When the Revenue Agent Comes Calling,” we explained that the Enron and Worldcom scandals in the early 2000’s had a profound effect on charity regulators at all levels of government. They have doubled-down on the scrutiny of 501(c)(3) organizations (and public charities, specifically) on issues of governance, organizational control, and conflict of interest as well as on compensation and financial Read More