Insurance for Nonprofits: A Primer

Insurance is an essential component of a nonprofit organization’s comprehensive risk management plan; that is, the strategic review of the potential exposure “to unexpected losses, and then develop[ment][of] strategies either to prevent losses from happening, or to reduce damage and expense when they do.” It protects the “the people and assets that help the nonprofit fulfill its mission.”    Basic Recommended Read More

We Wish You a Happy Thanksgiving!

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IRS Announces Guidance Priorities for Exempt Organizations

Each year, the Internal Revenue Service issues a “Priority Guidance Plan” to announce the "tax issues that should be addressed through regulations, revenue rulings, revenue procedures, notices, and other published administrative guidance.”   The purpose of this document is to focus “resources on guidance items that are most important to taxpayers and tax administration. Published guidance plays an important role in Read More

Charity Embezzlement: Thwart It With Good Controls

In “Charities and Embezzlement,” we discussed what to do as soon as embezzlement or fraud is discovered; namely, report it to the authorities and charity regulators. Of course, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. As part of a comprehensive risk management plan, an organization should have certain internal controls in place to prevent employee theft. “Nonprofits are not defenseless against charitable Read More

November 4th is International #LoveYourLawyer Day

Negative lawyer jokes have been around since (at least!) the time of Shakespeare. Remember this old chestnut? ''The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers...'' - Dick the Butcher, Shakespeare's ''Henry VI'' It’s part of our culture, and sometimes it is unfortunately justified. The attorneys at For Purpose Law Group, however, strive to serve by providing guidance to the purpose-driven organizations and Read More

Another Public University Foundation Under Fire

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?” “Public officials are raising questions about the spending practice of the nonprofit fundraising arms of public universities,” because “they Read More

Public Charities and Ballot Initiatives

This election season includes important candidate races at all levels of government. But, also on the ballot in California, are numerous ballot propositions.  It’s easy to assume that the political ban in section 501(c)(3) on campaign activities would apply to all of the items on which voters have a choice when they enter the voting booth. Ballot initiatives, however, are not treated the same as candidate races. Read More

More N.J. Nonprofit Hospitals With Property Tax Troubles

In “Local Governments Eager to Snag Revenue from Nonprofits,” we quoted the warning from the late Rick Cohen back in 2010: If Congress tried to take away the tax exemption from nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations, our sector would be united and up in arms. But instead we are besieged with hundreds of local attacks on the tax exemption from cities, counties, and states. While some measures by these government entities Read More

Refugees Relief Agencies Win Standoff Against Texas

There is “...ongoing tension between government regulation of the financial and political activities of U.S. organizations and their First Amendment rights of speech and association,” according to the Jon Pratt, author of “Battlefield History and Status: First Amendment Tensions between Nonprofits and Governments,” an excellent new article appearing in the Nonprofit Quarterly magazine, summer 2016 edition. “Struggles Read More

More Nonprofit Woes from State Budget Troubles

We’ve reported before on nonprofits being caught in the financial crossfire from state (and local) budget impasses and cutbacks. In “Local Governments Eager to Snag Revenue from Nonprofits,” we alerted you to the alarming trend of local governments trying to scoop up any revenue possible from the nonprofits in their communities. A favorite method, we reported, is the PILOT; that is, “payments in lieu of taxes.” Read More