Hot Issues for Nonprofits in 2019

In the philanthropy sector - as in every other - the start of a new year marks an avalanche of fortune-telling: which issues that were big in the past year will continue to dominate news and commentary and which sleeper topics will erupt onto center stage. As part of our dedication to the sector, we've dug into them all. Some of the prognotiscating appears in published articles and blog posts. Some of it also Read More

Donor Data: The New Hostage?

In the immortal words of Saturday Night Live’s Roseane Roseannadanna aka Gilda Radner:     “It’s always something. If it’s not one thing, it’s another….” Now you may have to worry about paying a ransom for your nonprofit’s data. The New Data Scam Imagine an organization that has worked hard - for months and even years - to attract and retain donors. It’s signed up 20,000 people who have Read More

Too Many Nonprofits?: A New Analysis

How are the nation’s nonprofits like a herd of animals in a forest? That’s the analogy used by a team of five university experts in nonprofit policymaking in connection with their recently published analysis of the “perennial question” of whether there are too many such organizations in the United States - or room for more. They published the full study, titled A Field Too Crowded? How Measures of Market Structure Read More

Church Feud in Bay Area Erupts

Ask any lawyer about the types of disputes that turn ugliest fast: it’s when family members turn on each other. Divorces are notorious for level of hostility; will contests are often worse. There’s another example: when members of a faith family have a falling out. Sadly, it’s not unusual these days for a national church denomination to be at odds with one or more of its constituent congregations. Often, it boils Read More

More Federal Aid to Religious Institutions

The latest chapter in the chipping away of the wall between church and state was announced in early May 2018 by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. She set the stage to “loosen federal regulations on religious universities” in connection with federally administered funding. It’s the most recent example of the potentially far-reaching impact of last year’s Supreme Court ruling in Trinity Lutheran Church of Read More

Nonprofits and Disaster Preparedness

Each year at the start of hurricane season in the U.S., we’re reminded of the enormous potential for damage and disruption. Of course, natural disasters can (and do) strike anywhere - often without any warning. Disaster planning and preparedness are not the same in 2018 as they were even a decade or so ago. In addition to more advanced weather-prediction tools to give us more advance warning for certain types of Read More

Nonprofit Sector Featured in New Slate Series    

Slate Magazine has been a “daily magazine on the web” for over two decades. The publication describes itself as a “general-interest publication offering analysis and commentary about politics, news, business, technology, and culture” featuring a “strong editorial voice and witty take on current events.” One of Slate’s earliest projects was the Slate 60 series which featured the top-giving philanthropists in the Read More

Public University Foundations: More Problems

In Another Public University Foundation Under Fire, we wrote: Sometimes called “slush funds” and “shadow corporations,” the foundations that support the nation’s public universities have been grabbing headlines recently: ones they would rather avoid. We highlighted some developments in “Foundations of Public Universities: Too Secretive?” There must be something in the coffee served in the offices of foundations Read More

New Accounting Rules for Nonprofits

In August 2016, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) announced new rules for nonprofits: “Accounting Standards Update 2016-14 “Not-for-Profit Entities (Topic 958), Presentation of Financial Statements of Not-for-Profit Entities.”  It’s the first significant set of changes since 1993 to the presentation standards for nonprofit financial statements. Ahead of the effective date - that is, fiscal years 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