Top 10 Events in 2012

Here are our top 10 events of 2012 affecting the nonprofit sector (listed in chronological order): Hull House Closure Komen for the Cure-Planned Parenthood Controversy Facebook Goes Public Reinstatement of University of Virginia’s President Affordable Care Act Degrees in Philanthropic Studies Lance Armstrong Stripped of Cycling Medals U.S. Presidential Election Shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary […]

‘Tis the Season to Be Compliant: Tips for Organizations on IRS Requirements for Deducting Charitable Contributions

The holiday season is a time of giving. Along with the presents exchanged at gatherings with friends and families, many gifts are made to nonprofits in the closing month of the year at holiday charity galas and auctions, through end-of-the year email and direct mail appeals, and through other fundraising events. For charities, the deductibility […]

Starting a Nonprofit: Articles of Incorporation and Specific Purpose Statements

It is generally required that a nonprofit’s Articles of Incorporation or other organizing document state the general purpose(s) of the corporation. For example, the Articles of a California nonprofit public benefit corporation must include the following statements verbatim: “This corporation is a nonprofit public benefit corporation and is not organized for the private gain of […]

Transitional Relief for Small Organizations – End of Year Deadline

When the Internal Revenue Service announced in June 2011 that approximately 275,000 exempt organizations had lost their exempt status under a provision of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 for a failure to file three consecutive annual information returns, it also provided guidance for organizations seeking to obtain reinstatement and retroactive reinstatement of its tax-exempt […]

Private Benefit Rules – Part I: Private Benefit Doctrine

The conferment of private benefits by 501(c)(3) organizations is governed by a set of federal tax laws that are commonly not well understood.Most nonprofit leaders know to be wary of any organizational transaction, arrangement, practice, or policy that may potentially or actually serve private rather than public interests. However, they often struggle in understanding what […]

There is no “I” in Team: Common Private Benefit Problems for Booster Clubs

Booster clubs are commonly used by parents and students to help offset the costs of school or extracurricular activities such as participation in an athletic team, marching band, or academic decathlon team. Booster clubs are often parent controlled and formed; may conduct fundraising through a variety of efforts such as car washes, general solicitations, and corporate sponsorships; and may involve […]

Executive Session Tips

Executive sessions are generally closed discussions of a board of directors that may include invited attendees such as an executive director or certain staff members. These sessions can occur at the end of a board meeting or separate from a board meeting if no formal actions are to be taken. Executive sessions can be a […]

The University of Virginia Debacle – A lesson in being responsible about your responsibilities

One of the most important responsibilities of a board of directors is to oversee and, when circumstances dictate, terminate the chief executive officer. Boards should recognize that proper procedures, tact and management of potential interpersonal conflicts will be critical in managing any termination of an organizational leader. However, according to The New York Times, the […]