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

CA Sexual Harassment Training Mandates

The explosion of sexual harassment allegations and verified charges in recent weeks and months has brought this urgent topic to public attention in a way that makes us all eager for action to combat it. It’s a problem that must be attacked in a variety of ways: prevention, education, transparency efforts, exposure, and punishment.  But probably few people outside law firms and human resources departments of large Read More

New Unrelated Business Income Rules

In last December’s overhaul of the federal tax code, lawmakers included four provisions directly affecting certain nonprofits. One of the new laws makes dramatic changes to Internal Revenue Code section 512(a), the unrelated business income tax (UBIT) rules.    Multiple Unrelated Businesses The key change affects those groups that have more than one unrelated trade or business. Before the Tax Cut and Jobs Act Read More

California Employers in a Post Dynamex World

A recent California Supreme Court ruling has the potential to significantly impact all California employers, including nonprofit organizations. Appropriately classifying workers as either employees or as independent contractors has never been easy.  We've written about it in the past. Nonprofits and start up businesses are often tempted to simply pay those who provide services for the organization as independent Read More

CA Hospitals Want OK to Provide Less Charitable Care

Nonprofit hospitals are a large and influential part of the charitable sector as well as the overall U.S. economy.  Despite efforts, over many decades, by for-profit healthcare chains to corner the market share, nonprofit institutions still predominate. A debate has raged for years about the purpose and effect of the 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status for the nonprofit hospitals and their communities. Their operations Read More

Nonprofits & The Spending Act

If you’re confused by the seemingly endless stream of budget battles in Congress, including the most recent spending act, you're not alone.  The Congressional budget and appropriations processes are tough nuts to crack for everyone except the most seasoned legislative and political operatives. To some extent, it is an ongoing issue because funds must be authorized and appropriated for each fiscal year, but it’s Read More

The End of the Berkshire Museum Saga: Everyone Loses

Last summer, the directors of the Berkshire Museum in lovely Pittsfield, Massachusetts, abruptly announced a momentous - previously secret - decision to sell off artwork worth over $50 million. These paintings include “Shuffleton’s Barbershop” (1950), “[a]n undisputed masterpiece by Norman Rockwell [which] was donated to the museum by the artist himself in 1958.” The sell-off, according to the board, was to fix what Read More

Congress & Nonprofits: What’s Happening Now

Late last year, Congress undertook an overhaul of the federal tax code that led to the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA). It included provisions, directly and indirectly, affecting nonprofits. Some items on the GOP leadership’s wish list had to be omitted because of Senate rules pertaining to the budget reconciliation path chosen by them to take advantage of a 51-vote margin of victory in the upper Read More