Why the Census is a Big Deal for Nonprofits

Article I, Section 2 mandates that there be a census taken every ten years to count everyone in each state. This is generally a low-drama process, but it's important because this count determines how the 435 districts of the House of Representatives are proportioned and how hundreds of billions of dollars of federal funds are allocated. The 2020 Census, though, is taking a high-drama turn and “shaping up to be a Read More

Nonprofits and the College Admissions Scandal

Few Americans would have guessed when they woke up on Tuesday, March 12, 2019, that the lead news story that day would be the FBI hauling Aunt Becky off in handcuffs. What next? Are we soon to learn that police have discovered a dead body in the backyard of the home once owned by Mr. Rogers? Information on the biggest college admissions scam in history unfolded rapidly that day. For the philanthropy community, a Read More

Accounting Irregularities: Regulators Zooming In

The editors of The Nonprofit Times recently published a warning to charities around the nation: More than ever, state regulators are taking aim at certain accounting practices they assert are misleading and improper. In particular, they are focusing on two issues: (1) allocation of joint costs and (2) valuations of gifts in kind (GIK); that is, non-cash donations. While - so far - the regulators’ positions on Read More

Tips to Protect Your Nonprofit from Credit Card Fraud

More than a few nonprofit organizations operate on the assumption that they are relatively safe from fraud or theft not just by outsiders but from trusted insiders as well. As statistics show each year, this belief is incorrect and dangerous. In more than a handful of previous blog posts, we’ve highlighted this persistent danger. See for example: Charity Embezzlement: Thwart It With Good Controls; Nonprofits Beware: Read More

Ford Foundation Chief: Transform Philanthropy Now

“Philanthropy, honey, it’s time for an intervention.” - E. Villanueva When one of the philanthropic community’s most influential leaders, Darren Walker, head of the Ford Foundation, makes an impassioned call for change, it is newsworthy. And when Ruth McCambridge, the editor-in-chief of one of the sector’s leading publications, The Nonprofit Quarterly, writes that he “hits it out of the park,” that, too, is Read More

More Troubles for the March of Dimes

During the presidency of Franklin Roosevelt, it was not widely known that, as a younger man, he had been stricken with polio, then called infantile paralysis. Unlike the current practice of the news media poking its collective nose into the deepest crevices of public figures’ private lives and concerns, there was an understanding that Roosevelt’s deep desire to keep his medical condition private would be honored. Read More

Public Student Loan Forgiveness Program: Problems & Update

Back in 2007, when the Public Service Student Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program was established, it seemed like an excellent way to help both struggling college grads as well as the nation’s government agencies and nonprofit organizations to lure needed talent away from the private sector which - generally - pays better than public service jobs. To qualify for PSLF, an applicant must (1) work for a government Read More

The “Big Bet” Social Change Movement

One of the most hopeful developments in the past few years has been the philanthropy community’s increasing openness to reexamining the roles of donors as well as organizations and to addressing entrenched problems in society including wealth inequality and social justice. The Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR) is a treasure of thought leadership for social change. In its Winter 2016 issue, the editors Read More

New Medicaid Work/Volunteer Court Ruling

There’s so much governmental action - (or inaction, when action is necessary)  directly or indirectly affecting the nonprofit sector and charitable beneficiaries, it’s hard to keep up with it all. One issue that’s been flying somewhat under the radar is the assault against Medicaid expansion and eligibility promoted by many “red” states and aided by actions of the current administration in Washington. Short Read More

A Different Kind of Donor-Advised Fund Story

The proliferation of the donor-advised fund (DAF) model of charitable donation has been one of the biggest recent trends in philanthropy. In both news and commentary articles, experts have weighed in on the pros and cons of DAFs including the possible need for more regulation and oversight. In late November 2018, a U.S. Magistrate Judge from the Northern District of California issued a ruling that Fidelity Read More