Nonprofit Finance & Accounting Symposium


Omni Shoreham


I was honored to speak on nonprofit and for-profit social enterprises at the Nonprofit Finance & Accounting Symposium that took place on December 15-17 in Washington DC. 

Among the notable presentations:

Welcome Session: The State of the IRS Tax Exempt Organizations Division (Marcus Owens). See The 1969 Private Foundation Law: Historical Perspective on its Origins and Underpinnings (Caplin & Drysdale).

An Unfair Fight: IRS Enforcement of Intermediate Sanctions and the Lessons Learned from Recent Tax Controversies (Matt Journy and Andrew Lewis). See a PowerPoint on a similarly titled session presented by Journy/Venable LLP for the New York City Bar earlier this year.

"What Do You Mean It's Not Covered?" (10 Things you were sure the Association was covered for, but isn't) (Lou Novick). See a PowerPoint on a similarly titled session presented by Novick for ASAE University. Awesome!

The Federal Tax Landscape: View from the Hill (Tiffany Smith, Senate Committee on Finance). See Tax-Exempt Organizations and Charitable Giving - ninth in a series of papers prepared by the staffs of the Senate Finance Committee compiling tax reform options that Finance Committee members may wish to consider as they work towards reforming our nation’s tax system.

The Complexities of Parent-Subsidiary Relationships: Family Dynamics in the Not-for-Profit Environment (Ellen Harrison, Diane C.  Mullis, and Suzanne Ross McDowell). The panelists walked us through two interesting examples. The first where a nonprofit created a for-profit subsidiary. The second where a 501(c)(3) nonprofit created an affiliated 501(c)(6) nonprofit and (indirectly) a PAC. Among the valuable observations and tips for a nonprofit with a for-profit subsidiary: nonprofits form for-profit subs to address: (1) too much unrelated business activity and/or (2) too much risk; a for-profit subsidiary's board should consist of a majority of directors independent of its nonprofit parent; the nonprofit and for-profit should engage in arm's-length transactions and formal written contracts; the organizations must take care in ensuring they hire the right professionals who understand the legal and regulatory distinction between the nonprofit and for-profit.

The Future of Nonprofit America (Dr. Lester M. Salamon). See The Resilient Sector: The State of Nonprofit America and The State of Nonprofit America. Salamon discussed the four impulses shaping nonprofit America: voluntarism, professionalism, civic activism, and commercialism. Some of the risks of commercialization: identity crisis, demands on nonprofit managers, mission creep, and potential loss of public trust. He also discussed three major challenges for nonprofits: fiscal (including tepid giving growth), competition with for-profits, and effectiveness.  Salamon advocated the need for renewing the value proposition of nonprofit America and suggested the PE3R2C standard: Productive, Effective, Empowering, Enriching, Responsive, Reliable, Caring.