Saturday, December 8, 2007

The Six Practices of High Impact Nonprofits

According to, the most effective nonprofit organizations do these six things (including the something that seems to necessarily involve political activity):

1. Advocate and serve. High-impact organizations don't just focus on doing one thing well. They may start out providing great programs, but eventually they realize that they cannot achieve systemic change through service delivery alone. So they add policy advocacy to access government resources or to change legislation, thus expanding their impact. Other nonprofits start out doing advocacy and later add grassroots programs to supercharge their strategy. Ultimately, all of them bridge the divide between service and advocacy, and become good at doing both.

2. Make markets work. Tapping into the power of self-interest and the laws of economics is far more effective than appealing to pure altruism. No longer content to rely on traditional notions of charity or to see the private sector as the enemy, great nonprofits find ways to work with markets and help business "do well while doing good." They influence business practices, build corporate partnerships, and develop earned-income ventures -- all ways of leveraging market forces to achieve social change on a grander scale.

3. Inspire evangelists. Great nonprofits see volunteers as much more than a source of free labor or membership dues. They create meaningful ways to engage individuals in emotional experiences that help them connect to the group's mission and core values. They see volunteers, donors, and advisers not only for what they can contribute to the organization in terms of time, money, and guidance but also for what they can do as evangelists for their cause. They build and sustain strong communities to help them achieve their larger goals.

4. Nurture nonprofit networks. Although most groups pay lip service to collaboration, many of them really see other nonprofits as competition for scarce resources. But high-impact organizations help the competition succeed, building networks of nonprofit allies and devoting remarkable time and energy to advancing their larger field. They freely share wealth, expertise, talent, and power with their peers, not because they are saints, but because it's in their self-interest to do so.

5. Master the art of adaptation. All the organizations in this book are exceptionally adaptive, modifying their tactics as needed to increase their success. They have responded to changing circumstances with one innovation after another. Along the way, they've made mistakes, and have even produced some flops. But unlike many nonprofits, they have also mastered the ability to listen, learn, and modify their approach based on external cues -- allowing them to sustain their impact and stay relevant.

6. Share leadership. We witnessed much charisma among the leaders in this book, but that doesn't mean they have oversize egos. These CEOs are exceptionally strategic and gifted entrepreneurs, but they also know they must share power in order to be a stronger force for good. They distribute leadership throughout their organization and their nonprofit network -- empowering others to lead. And they cultivate a strong second-in-command, build enduring executive teams with long tenure, and develop highly engaged boards in order to have more impact.


December 8, 2007 in Publications – Articles | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Church of Scientology Gets South African Tax Exemption

After a decades long battle, according to the Independent Online, The Church of Scientology has finally been granted tax exempt status by the South African government.  For background information regarding the standards to obtain tax exemption in South Africa, see Karen Nelson, The Taxation of NPO's in South Africa:  Rapid Change After Decades of Lobbying, on the excellent and informative online International Journal of Not-For-Profit Law.


December 8, 2007 in Church and State, In the News, International | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Mitt Romney's Speech on Faith and Politics

My co-editor, DAB, has been reporting recently on Senator Grassley's inquiries into the financials of "mega-churches."  That isssue, of course, is not unique to houses of worship as all 501(c)(3)'s (not just houses of worship) must avoid private inurement and excess benefit transactions.  Mitt Romney's recent speech regarding his religious faith and the role it ought to play in his quest for the presidency raises a more specific issued related to houses of worship:  whether and how to draw an impermeable line between tax exempt religion and politics.  These are among the great imponderables of tax exemption law and many scholars have tried, in vain I think, to resolve the issue.  A search of "churches and politics" will produce 100's of articles.  A very recent one by Mark Totten, The Politics of Faith: Rethinking the Prohibition on Political Campaign Intervention, 18 Stan. L. & Pol'y Rev 298 (2007) contains the following introduction:


Recent attention to the role of religion in electoral politics has kindled new interest in what a church  can say and do during an election season. Under federal tax law, churches and other charitable organizations receiving favorable tax treatment under section 501(c)(3)  cannot "participate in, or intervene in ... any political campaign."  The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the courts have interpreted this ban as both broad and absolute.  It reaches not only the use of funds - an important means of regulating campaign finance - but also what a religious leader might say from the pulpit. Interpreting the general rule, the IRS draws a distinction between acceptable issue advocacy and unacceptable campaign intervention judged by a "facts and circumstances"  test that encourages silence on the most pressing issues of the day. Moreover, for the first time ever, the IRS has launched an organized effort to enforce this prohibition, especially against churches.  In February 2006 the IRS issued its  [*299]  final report  on a pilot enforcement program, the Political Activities Compliance Initiative (PACI). Of the 110 organizations investigated, 43% were churches.  The IRS expanded the program for the 2006 mid-term elections, toward the end of providing a rapid, targeted response to alleged violations.  In practice, this broad and absolute prohibition, together with the government's new effort to enforce it, places an unacceptable restraint on faith.

I wonder what implications for tax exemption and politics are contained or provoked by Romney's speech.  I'll have to think about it and revisit the issue later this week.  In the meantime, comments and ideas would be appreciated.


December 8, 2007 in Church and State, In the News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, December 7, 2007

Some Ministers Snub Grassley's Request for Tax-Exempt Information

On December 7, 2007, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that at least two of the six mega-church leaders who received letters from Senator Grassley requesting information about tax-exemption and finances have refused to respond to the letters.  The article states that "Rev. Creflo Dollar, of World Changers Church International in College Park, and Bishop Eddie Long, of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, say Grassley is crossing the line of separation between church and state." One of the attorneys for the ministers said that "the minister believes deeply that God has blessed him financially, and that those beliefs are none of the senator's or the government's business [and] invited Grassley to subpoena the documents or ask the Internal Revenue Service to conduct a probe."

To see the full story, "Local Ministers Refuse to Give Documents to Senator" go to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.  To see previous blog posting on this topic, go to "Grassley Inquiry of Mega-Churches on Compliance with Tax-Exemption Laws"


December 7, 2007 in Church and State, Federal – Legislative, In the News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Americans United Seeks IRS Investigation of Falwell's Liberty University For Violating Political Activities Ban

On December 4, 2007, a self-described "religious liberty watchdog group'" Americans United for Separation of Church and State, issued statement on its website calling on the IRS to investigate Liberty University Chancellor, Jerry Falwell Jr., for violation of federal tax-exempt laws by "using school resources to endorse Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee."

To see the full statement, "Americans United Asks IRS to Investigate Falwell's Liberty University for Endorsement of Mike Huckabee," go to the Americans United for Separation of Church and State website.


December 7, 2007 in Church and State, Federal – Executive, In the News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Grassley Inquiry of Mega-Churches on Compliance with Tax-Exemption Laws

On December 6, 2007, the Christian Science Monitor reports about Senator Grassley's letter of inquiry to six mega-church leaders to secure information about the churches' compliance with federal tax-exemption laws.  The targets of the senate inquiry are asked to respond by this Friday "to questions on issues ranging from compensation and housing allowances to personal use of assets and unreported income."

For the full story, "Are Big-Spending Clergy Abusing the Tax Code: Tax exemptions for Wealthy Media-Based Ministries Lead a Senator to Ask Hard Questions", go to the Christian Science Monitor website.


December 7, 2007 in Church and State, Federal – Legislative, In the News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

National Civil Rights Nonprofit Organization Appoints New Leader

On December 6, 2007, the board directors of the nonprofit NAACP Legal Defense Fund announced the appointment of a new leader, John Payton, who will succeed Ted Shaw as Director-Counsel and President.  Shaw announced last May that he would be stepping down in February 2008 and John Payton will take over on  March 1, 2008.  LDF's website describes John Payton as "an attorney known for his successful record in some of the most important and visible civil rights cases in the United States...[who] brings a wealth of experience, including cases brought before the U.S. Supreme Court, in leading LDF in its fight for racial and social justice."  See the complete announcement, "LDF Appoints Leading Civil Rights Attorney John Payton as Director-Counsel and President," on the LDF website.


December 7, 2007 in In the News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Patterns of Giving Among the Wealthy

On December 6, 2007, the Washington Post reported on a recent study, written by the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University and sponsored by Bank of America, on patterns of charitable giving among the wealthy (those with household income above $200,000 and net worths of more than $1 million).

To see the full article on the results of the study titled "Portraits of Donors", which is believed to be the first quantitative study of the very wealthy, go to "How Groups of the Rich Diverge in Philanthropy: Study Uncovers Patterns in 12 Profiles", available at the Washington Post website.


December 7, 2007 in In the News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

More on Nonprofits Helping to Resolve the Mortgage Crisis

The New York Daily News reported on December 6, 2007, about the role of a New York City nonprofit in assisting people suffering from the mortgage crisis.  The nonprofit organization, Center for NYC Neighborhoods, is reportedly helping homeowners in renegotiating loans that are in jeopardy of future foreclosure.   Because Mayor Bloomberg of New York has "ruled out a city bailout program for homeowners trapped in loans they can't afford," the Center for NYC Neighborhoods and similar nonprofits organizations may be the last resort for some struggling homeowners if state and federal officials do not step in.

To see the full story, "Nonprofit NYC Neighborhoods to Help 14,000 Local Families with Mortgages," go to The New York Daily News website.  To see the previous blog posting on nonprofits helping with the mortgage crisis, go to "The Role Nonprofits Are Likely to Play in Resolving the U.S. Mortgage Crises."


December 6, 2007 in In the News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Toy Recalls Are Troublesome for Charities

The Dallas Morning News reported on December 6, 2007, about the problems the huge number of recent toy recalls are causing charities that accept toy donations.  Even though the shelves at many of these charities are filling quickly with donated toys, sorting these toys is a real problem for the charity recipient.  Here is an excerpt:

A series of toy recalls have made holiday toy drives more complicated as organizers work to avoid distributing dangerous gifts. Millions of toys, many of them made in China, have been recalled in recent months because of lead paint, magnets or other hazards.

"We're having to check everything that comes through the door," said Bobbi Klein, the Richardson charity's development director.

To see the full story, go to "Toy Recalls Making Holiday Tougher for Area Charities," in the The Dallas Morning News.


December 6, 2007 in In the News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

IRS Settles Dispute Over $31 Million Tax-Exempt Bond Issuance

The IRS announced on December 6, 2007, in IR-2007-197, that it has agreed to settle a dispute involving a $31 million tax-exempt municipal bond issuance in Spokane, Washington in 1998.  As a result of the bond issuance, the IRS's Office of Professional Responsibility alleged problems with "the scope of due diligence, under Treasury Department Circular 230 sections 10.22, 10.29, 10.34, and 10.51(j), with respect to the tax aspects of the bond opinion rendered in the matter." The Respondents denied the allegations, but agreed to settle without admitting the charges.  As a result of the settlement, the attorneys agreed to, among other things, "comply fully with practices and procedures implemented by their current firm in its public finance group, including but not limited to (i) submitting new matters to a review and approval process, (ii) completing questionnaires and checklists to document the due diligence activities undertaken in the matter, and (iii) following practices and procedures established by the firm's opinion committee for municipal bond opinions."

To see the full announcement, "IRS Announces Groundbreaking OPR Settlement with Attorneys," go to the IRS website.


December 6, 2007 in Federal – Executive, In the News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The Tax-exempt Boy Scouts May Have a First Amendment Right to Discriminate Against Gays, But They Can't Do So on Philadelphia Taxpayers' Dime

On December 4, 2007, the New York Times reported that Philadelphia officials have refused to renew the $1 a year lease to a Boy Scout group of a municipal building where the Scout group has resided since 1928.  The dispute between the Philadelphia Council of the Boy Scouts and the City has been going on for a number of years, but has only now recently reached a point of apparent impasse.  The Boy Scout group must either agree to pay the $200,000 per year fair market value rent or vacate the City's premises.  The Boy Scout group refuses to pay the higher rent or change its policy that discriminates against gays.  In 2000, the United States Supreme Court held in a 5-to-4 decision in Boy Scouts of America v. Dale, 530 U.S. 640 (2000), a case "involving an openly gay scout from New Jersey who was barred from serving as troop leader," that, "as a private organization, the group had a First Amendment right" to discriminate.

To see the full story, "Boy Scouts Lose Philadelphia Lease in Gay-Rights Fight," go to the New York Times website.


December 6, 2007 in In the News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Role of Nonprofit 501(c)(4)'s in Presidential Campaign is on the Rise

On December 5, 2007, The Washington Post pubished an article about the rising influence of nonprofit 501(c)(4)'s on the current campaign for U.S. President.  The article explains the differences between 501(c)(4)'s and other campaign-affecting organizations like 527's.  Here is an excerpt from the article:

The nonprofit groups, known by the designation 501(c)(4) because of the tax code section that applies to them, have been around for decades. They have long been a force influencing Congress and state legislatures. Conservatives have extensively used them over the past decade to help gain support during debates over legislation.

This year, these nonprofits have already started to encroach on turf that has been dominated by political parties, political action committees and, in the past few elections, by independent political groups created under section 527 of the IRS code. The latter groups spent $685 million in 2004 trying to influence voters with everything from antiwar messages against President Bush to ads sponsored by a group of Swift Boat veterans that questioned the heroism of Democratic presidential nominee John F. Kerry.

The 501(c)(4) groups pay no taxes on the donations they collect, but -- unlike charities -- their donors do not get a tax deduction. They are allowed to make political endorsements and engage in other political activities as long as political action is not their primary purpose.

For the full story, see "Nonprofits Become a Force in Primaries: Use For Donations Is Under Scrutiny" in the December 5, 2007, edition of The Washington Post.


December 6, 2007 in In the News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thomas P. Gallanis Publishes "The Trustee's Duty to Inform"

Professor Thomas P. Gallanis posted an abstract of his North Carolina Law Review article on the duties of a trustee to inform the trusts' beneficiaries about the trust and its administration on SSRN's Nonprofit and Philanthropy Law Abstracting Journal.  The article is entitled "The Trustee's Duty to Inform"  Here is the abstract:

This Article examines an aspect of trust fiduciary law historically ignored in the law reviews: the trustee's duty to provide information to the trust's beneficiaries about the trust and its administration. The time is ripe for analysis, because the scope of the duty to inform provoked contentious debate during the drafting of the recently promulgated Uniform Trust Code (UTC), and all twenty of the enacting jurisdictions, including North Carolina, have substantially modified the UTC's provisions. Part I lays the descriptive foundation, explaining the requirements of the duty to inform under the UTC, under North Carolina's version of the UTC, and in the other nineteen enacting jurisdictions. Part II contains the normative analysis, addressing the central questions about the duty to inform: should trust law contain a duty to inform and, if so, should the duty be mandatory or should it be a mere default? To answer the first question, the Article draws on two interdisciplinary perspectives: legal history and law-and-economics. These perspectives reveal that the duty to inform has a distinguished pedigree within the history of Anglo-American law reaching back nearly two centuries, and that the duty performs a vital function today. Establishing the duty's normative basis, the Article then considers whether the duty should be mandatory at least in part, as in the UTC, or wholly default law, as in North Carolina. To answer this question, the Article enters into and extends the ongoing debate over whether trusts are primarily contracts or property arrangements. Rejecting the strong contractarian approach as inconsistent with the direction of the modern law of fiduciary administration and drawing attention to the beneficiaries' unique position and incentives to supervise and enforce the trustee's fiduciary obligations, the Article concludes that the beneficiaries must have the information needed to exercise their supervisory and enforcement powers, irrespective of the wishes of the settlor. The duty to inform can be default law at the margins but must maintain a mandatory core.


December 6, 2007 in Publications – Articles | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

David A. Brennen Publishes "Introducing the Law of Nonprofit Organizations and Philanthropy"

Professor David A. Brennen (Georgia) posted an abstract of his draft Georgia Law Review article about the emerging academic field of nonprofit and philanthropy law on SSRN's Nonprofit and Philanthropy Law Abstracting Journal.  The article is entitled "Introducing the Law of Nonprofit Organizations and Philanthropy."  Here is the abstract:

This symposium issue of the Georgia Law Review provides an excellent opportunity to showcase both the subject matter of the January 2007 AALS section program and the growing field of legal study on matters concerning nonprofit and philanthropy law. Professor Garry Jenkins' article, included in this symposium, will provide foundational information concerning the section program. The panelists from the section program, including Professors Evelyn Brody, Susan Gary and Lizabeth Moody, have contributed to this symposium by submitting articles that address the general program topic of state-level reform of nonprofit law. Each panelist represents a different private entity in the United States that is attempting, to some degree, to take a serious look at state law and its affect on nonprofit institutions. These reform entities include the American Law Institute (ALI), the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) and the American Bar Association. But first, this short introduction to the symposium will outline other aspects of this growing field of law. It will describe the creation, development and purpose of the new AALS section, highlight the new Social Science Research Network (SSRN) abstracting journal on nonprofit law, and identify one of the major educational institutes that focuses on nonprofit and philanthropy studies.


December 6, 2007 in Publications – Articles | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The Role Nonprofits Are Likely to Play in Resolving the U.S. Mortgage Crises

Government can't do it alone, at least not very effectively.  That seems to be the conclusion in the December 4, 2007, Washington Post article entitled "Nonprofit Groups Take Center Stage."  The article reflects on the important role of nonprofit counseling centers in assisting mortgage lenders, borrowers and even government in finding its way through the current U.S. mortgage crisis.  Here is an excerpt from the article:

In the middle of his speech yesterday on the administration's efforts to fix the mortgage crisis, Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. paused to carefully spell out a toll-free telephone number that troubled homeowners can call for help.

The hotline is not staffed by government officials or mortgage lenders. Rather, the calls are answered by consumer counselors from nonprofit groups, which are taking an increasingly high-profile role in helping borrowers with mortgage problems.

The groups are acting in some cases as a buffer between lenders and homeowners. Legislation is pending before Congress that would tap NeighborWorks America, a national nonprofit group, to distribute $200 million to local counseling centers. In October, the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America, often a vocal critic of mortgage lenders, signed a deal with Countrywide Financial, the nation's biggest mortgage lender, to help restructure loans for struggling Countrywide clients.

However the administration addresses the mortgage crisis, "they are going to need the nonprofit community," said Kenneth D. Wade, chief executive of NeighborWorks.

To view the full article, go to "Nonprofit Groups Take Center Stage" in the December 4, 2007 issue of The Washington Post.

December 5, 2007 in In the News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Robert Blitt Publishes "Babushka Said Two Things - It Will Either Rain or Snow; It Either Will or Will Not: An Analysis of the Provisions and Human Rights Implications of Russia's New Law on Nongovernmental Organizations . . ."

Professor Robert Blitt (Tennessee) posted an abstract of his draft George Washington International Law Review article consisting of a comprehensive analysis of the provisions of Russia's newly amended NGO law on SSRN's Nonprofit and Philanthropy Law Abstracting Journal.  The article is entitled "Babushka Said Two Things - It Will Either Rain or Snow; It Either Will or Will Not: An Analysis of the Provisions and Human Rights Implications of Russia's New Law on Nongovernmental Organizations as Told Through Eleven Russian Proverbs "  Here is the abstract:

Longtime observers of Russia increasingly have called attention to and expressed profound concern for the direction the Russian Federation has taken in recent years. In advancing President Putin's vision of “dictatorship of law” and “managed democracy,” the Russian government has retreated from key democratic reforms, undermining the transition away from Soviet rule and imperiling significant gains in fundamental human rights.

It is against this backdrop that, in January 2006, President Putin ratified major amendments to the 1996 Law on Nonprofit Organizations, which regulates the creation, reorganization, activity, and liquidation of NGOs in Russia. Putin has claimed that the amendments to the NGO law are “aimed at preventing the intrusion of foreign states into Russia's internal political life and at creating favorable and transparent conditions for the financing of [NGOs].” He also has stated that the law is needed to “combat terrorism and stop foreign spies using NGOs as cover.”

This essay provides a comprehensive analysis of the provisions of the amended NGO law, with an eye to exposing the human rights implications of a law that is both menacingly overbroad and blatantly discriminatory in its form and content. The analysis is strengthened by interviews with key decision-makers, as well as by contextualizing the NGO law against the backdrop of Russia's historical experience and current policies.

The paper concludes that the NGO law represents one more effort on the part of President Putin's administration to assert control over Russian society, and further argues that it should be viewed as part of the overarching effort to minimize political opposition, eliminate independent media, and silence Russia's oligarchs. The paper recommends a number of measures that may be taken to confront these developments in a manner that strengthens Russian civil society and protects international human rights principles. The end result is a timely warning to legal scholars, international lawyers, policy makers, and NGO activists both in Russia and elsewhere to challenge the creeping, obfuscatory, and mostly bureaucratic nature by which a government is seeking to stifle and assert control over a vital sector of civil society.


December 5, 2007 in International, Publications – Articles | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

SSRN Nonprofit and Philanthropy Law Top 5 Paper Downloads

Here is a list of the top 5 paper downloads from SSRN's Nonprofit Law and Philanthropy Abstracting Journal for the past 60 days and "all time."  To see titles and authors of the top 10 papers and links to abstracts, go to SSRN's Top 10 Results for Nonprofit and Philanthropy Law.

RECENT HITS (for all papers announced in the last 60 days)
TOP 5 Papers for Journal of Nonprofit & Philanthropy Law

October 5, 2007 to December 4, 2007

Rank Downloads Paper Title
1 83 The Trustee's Duty to Inform
Thomas P. Gallanis,
University of Minnesota Law School,
Date posted to database: October 10, 2007
Last Revised: October 17, 2007
2 72 Introducing the Law of Nonprofit Organizations and Philanthropy
David A. Brennen,
University of Georgia School of Law,
Date posted to database: October 3, 2007
Last Revised: November 27, 2007
3 48 The UBIT: Leveling an Uneven Playing Field or Tilting a Level One?
Michael S. Knoll,
University of Pennsylvania Law School,
Date posted to database: November 7, 2007
Last Revised: November 12, 2007
4 41 Babushka Said Two Things - It Will Either Rain or Snow; It Either Will or Will Not: An Analysis of the Provisions and Human Rights Implications of Russia's New Law on Nongovernmental Organizations as Told Through Eleven Russian Proverbs
Robert C. Blitt,
University of Tennessee College of Law ,
Date posted to database: August 27, 2007
Last Revised: November 11, 2007
5 36 Director Independence in the Independent Sector
Dana Brakman Reiser,
Brooklyn Law School,
Date posted to database: October 3, 2007
Last Revised: October 3, 2007

ALL TIME HITS (for all papers in SSRN eLibrary)
TOP 5 Papers for Journal of Nonprofit & Philanthropy Law

January 2, 1997 to December 4, 2007

Rank Downloads Paper Title
1 706 The Case for For-Profit Charities
Eric A. Posner, Anup Malani,
University of Chicago Law School, University of Chicago - Law School,
Date posted to database: September 8, 2006
Last Revised: September 18, 2006
2 669 The MasterCard IPO: Protecting the Priceless Brand
Victor Fleischer,
University of Illinois College of Law,
Date posted to database: March 8, 2006
Last Revised: December 3, 2006
3 390 Remapping the Charitable Deduction
David Pozen,
Yale Law School,
Date posted to database: May 8, 2006
Last Revised: January 24, 2007
4 302 Efficiency and Tax Incentives: The Case for Refundable Tax Credits
Lily L. Batchelder, Fred T. Goldberg, Peter R. Orszag,
New York University School of Law, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP - General, Brookings Institution,
Date posted to database: November 8, 2006
Last Revised: June 13, 2007
5 295 Taxing Privilege More Effectively: Replacing the Estate Tax with an Inheritance Tax
Lily L. Batchelder,
New York University School of Law,
Date posted to database: June 18, 2007
Last Revised: July 30, 2007

December 4, 2007 in Publications – Articles | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

IRS Suspends Tax-Exempt Status of Charity with Suspected Ties to Terrorism

On November 27, 2007, the IRS announced the suspension, pursuant to its powers under 26 U.S.C. 501(p), of  the tax-exempt status of Tamils Rehabilitation Organization, Inc. of Maryland for suspected ties to terrorism or terrorist activity.  According to IRS Announcement 2007-113:

The federal government has designated a number of organizations [, including Tamils Rehabilitation Organization, Inc.,] as supporting or engaging in terrorist activity or supporting terrorism under the Immigration and Nationality Act, the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, and the United Nations Participation Act of 1945. Federal law prohibits most contributions to organizations that have been so designated.

Tamil was designated on November 15, 2007, under Executive Order 13224 as supporting or engaging in terrorist activity or supporting terrorism. This Executive Order authorizes the government to block assets of persons or groups that support, service or assist terrorists and terrorist organizations (or related entities) designated under the order.  Thus, charitable contributions made to Tamils while it is suspended are not tax deductible.


December 4, 2007 in Federal – Executive | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

AALS Annual Meeting Programs Related to Nonprofit and Philanthropy Law

The Association of American Law Schools will host its 2008 Annual Meeting on January 2 - 6, 2008, in New York, NY.  Three AALS sections (Nonprofit and Philanthropy Law; Taxation; and Donative Transfers, Fiduciaries and Estate Planning) and one outside organization (New York University's National Center on Philanthropy and the Law) are sponsoring programs at the annual meeting that address matters related to nonprofit and philanthropy law. Here is a complete list of the programs with dates, times, locations and descriptions:

Friday, January 4, 2008

8:30 - 10:15 a.m.
Section on Taxation
Nassau A, Second Floor, Hilton New York
Interdisciplinary Reasons to Recalibrate the Equity/Efficiency Balance in Tax Analysis

Moderator: Neil H. Buchanan, Rutgers, The State University of N.J. Center for Law and Justice
Speakers: David Alexander Brennen, University of Georgia School of Law
Karen B. Brown, The George Washington University Law School
Mary Louise Fellows, University of Minnesota Law School
Sagit Leviner, Office of Chief Counsel, National Headquarters Office of Research, Internal Revenue Service, Washington, D.C.
James Charles Smith, University of Georgia School of Law

This panel will explore tax law through a lens that extends beyond traditional law and economics. It is the belief of many tax law scholars that tax law, like many other fields of law, is about much more than attaining efficiency in the tax system. There are elements of justice, fairness and equality that economic concepts like efficiency just do not capture at times. Given this view of tax law, this panel tries to highlight some of the various approaches to tax law analysis that look beyond the traditional efficiency paradigm. The panelists will discuss various aspects of tax law including wealth taxation at death, tax policymaking, tax exemption, international tax and state property tax. The panelists will discuss these aspects of tax law using various methodologies, including law and literature, various political theories, law and market economy theory and critical race theory.

Business Meeting at Program Conclusion.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

10:30 a.m.- 12:15 p.m.
Section on Nonprofit and Philanthropy Law, Co-Sponsored by Section on Legislation and Law of the Political Process
Morgan Suite, Second Floor, Hilton New York
The Participation of Nonprofits in Democracy

Moderator: Miriam Galston, The George Washington University Law School
Speakers: Richard Briffault, Columbia University School of Law
Miranda Perry Fleischer, University of Illinois College of Law
Lloyd Hitoshi Mayer, Notre Dame Law School
Dana Brakman Reiser, Brooklyn Law School

The relationship between nonprofits and democracy is multi-faceted. From an institutional perspective, there is an inherent tension between maximizing individual liberty by spreading out decision-making and power through non-profits with the need to respect our democratic process. The proper balance of power between these two sectors has been the subject of ongoing debate. This tension is exacerbated when the nonprofit sector seeks to influence the governmental sector directly, and the role that nonprofit organizations should play in political campaigns and lobbying has received increasing attention in recent years. Congress has considered proposals ranging from permitting pastors to endorse candidates from the pulpit to treating all “527” organizations as PACs. Advocacy groups, unions and businesses are creating growing constellations of nonprofit organizations to influence the public and lawmakers about pressing public policy issues, to shape legislation and ballot initiatives, and to affect who is elected to public office. Lastly, the extent to which nonprofit organizations themselves should be subject to democratic processes in choosing leaders and setting their agendas is a growing area of debate within many organizations.

Business Meeting at Program Conclusion.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

1:30 - 3:15 p.m.
Section on Donative Transfers, Fiduciaries and Estate Planning
Madison Suite, Second Floor, Hilton New York
New Research in Trusts and Estates

Moderator: Ray D. Madoff, Boston College Law School
Speakers: Ira Mark Bloom, Albany Law School
Patricia A. Cain, University of Iowa College of Law
Mary Louise Fellows, University of Minnesota Law School
Kristine S. Knaplund, Pepperdine University School of Law
E. Gary Spitko, Santa Clara University School of Law

This program focuses on research in progress. Professor Bloom will be speaking on the harmonization (or lack of harmonization) of rules governing wills and revocable trusts. Professor Spitko and Professor Fellows will be presenting results from their current empirical research on using insights from beneficiary designations in will substitutes as a mode of determining donor intent for intestacy statutes. Professor Knaplund will be presenting her research on the relationship between the charitable bequests and the estate tax and Professor Cain will be presenting her work on the current status of wills, trusts and planning issues for same sex couples. We have also reserved time for questions and lively commentary to follow.

Business Meeting at Program Conclusion.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

9:00 - 10:45 a.m.
Section on Nonprofit and Philanthropy Law
Nassau B, Second Floor, Hilton New York
Roundtable on Nonprofit and Philanthropy Law Scholarship

Moderator: Darryll Keith Jones, University of Pittsburgh School of Law
Speakers: Robert E. Atkinson, Jr., Florida State University College of Law
Harvey P. Dale, New York University School of Law
James J. Fishman, Pace University School of Law
Marion R. Fremont-Smith, Senior Research Fellow, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Susan N. Gary, University of Oregon School of Law

In this roundtable, pioneering and leading scholars of nonprofit and philanthropy law will discuss this field’s development as a discrete discipline, assess the current state of scholarship in this field, and consider fruitful areas for future research. Panelists will discuss aspects of nonprofit and philanthropy law from the perspective of general notions of corporate law, tax law and trust law.

Other Organization Events

Sunday, January 6, 2008

7:00 - 8:30 a.m.
National Center for Philanthropy and the Law Philanthropy Professors Breakfast
Lincoln Suite, Fourth Floor, Hilton New York


December 4, 2007 in Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)