Goodwill Omaha: AG Issues Scathing Report

Back in 2016, the Omaha World-Herald ran a devastating series of articles about Goodwill Omaha, the well-known 501(c)(3) that is one of Nebraska’s biggest charities. Perhaps the most damaging element in this expose was the compensation level of the group’s top executives: They were the highest paid of Goodwill organizations in the United States at the same time that the workers of the thrift shop giant were paid Read More

CA Issues Cease-and-Desist Orders to Out-of-State Charities

On March 12, 2018, Javier Becerra, the Attorney General of California, announced cease-and-desist actions against four charities from other states that had fraudulently - according to the government - solicited funds from California residents. The jurisdiction of this state’s top law-enforcement officer extends not only to California charities but also to 501(c)(3)s anywhere in the nation who ask for 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

How To Get Investigated by State Charity Regulators: Update

There’s lots of advice on the internet about how to avoid unpleasant run-ins with government charity regulators. We’ve posted on that topic a few times including a recent "top 5" list. It’s especially helpful when the officials, themselves, tell you exactly what types of bad behaviors they are looking to root out. In October 2016, the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) and the National Association of Read More

California Administrative Dissolutions

In early January of last year, the California Franchise Tax Board and the California Secretary of State launched something brand new designed to clear a lot of nonprofit organizations that are no longer operating off their rolls. California nonprofit public benefit, mutual benefit, religious, and registered foreign nonprofit corporations are now subject to administrative dissolution (California nonprofit Read More

Do We Need to Have a CPA Audit Our Books?

Many small- to mid-sized 501(c)(3) organizations are often confused about their accounting and reporting duties. They may hear or read about an “independent audit” and wonder what that means and if it necessarily applies to them. The simple answer is: The IRS rules for charities do not include a requirement for an “independent audit”; Some states require them in certain circumstances; and Some grantors may Read More

A Third Way to Get Noticed by the CA Attorney General

Hint about this blog post title: It’s ironic. It’s never a good thing to get noticed by an attorney general from anywhere, like it’s never a good thing if a “60 Minutes” reporter shoves a microphone in your face. Just so we’re clear about this, check out two earlier posts: “A Recipe for How To Get Noticed by the California Attorney General,” and “A Second Way to Get Noticed by the California Attorney General.” They Read More

New Select Committee on Nonprofits in CA Assembly

“The IRS is not the only sheriff in town.” That’s a key point made in last summer’s edition of the Nonprofit Quarterly magazine on the “New Nonprofit Regulatory Environment: What You Should Know.” One of the most dramatic developments of the past 15 years or so for charitable organizations in the United States has been the rise of the states as vigorous regulators of the nonprofit sector. Especially for charities, Read More

Smooth Transition for California’s New Attorney General

Elections have consequences. Because California’s then-Attorney General Kamala Harris was elected on November 8, 2016, to become the Golden State’s new junior Senator, a vacancy was created in her former job, which includes being this state's top charity regulator. Under California law, the governor nominates a replacement who must then be confirmed by the legislature.     What Does an Attorney General Do? The Read More

Let's Start the New Year with Good News: Progress on the Multistate Charitable Solicitation Registration

Perhaps the most unexpected aspect of the recent, bizarre, presidential campaign was that charity law - yes, charity law! - was thrust into the daily news cycle. Among the meaty issues - alleged or real - that legal analysts, anchors, and pundits tossed about is the often-overlooked requirement in about ¾ of U.S. jurisdictions that 501(c)(3) charities file state charitable solicitation registration documents.   While Read More