January 3, 2013
Florida Nonprofit Under Fire for Top Executive PayToday's Chronicle of Philanthropy is reporting that Florida's Department of Juvenile Justice is calling on a largely taxpayer-funded nonprofit agency that serves young offenders to rein in pay for its top executive, who earned more than $1.2-million in 2010.
Department head, Wansley Walters, detailed the state’s complaints in a letter last month to William Schossler, president of the Tallahassee-based Henry & Rilla White Foundation, after a routine audit showed the organization paid Mr. Schossler $397,940 in salary and $862,837 in other compensation.
The foundation, which provides residential treatment, counseling, and other services for troubled juveniles, has 23 state contracts worth $10.2-million. The controversy comes amid calls by Florida lawmakers for closer scrutiny of contracts with private providers.
For his part, Mr. Schossler said his pay reflected a boost to his retirement package approved by the foundation’s board. “You work your butt off for 25 years, and then you get ready to retire, and somebody decides to pay you some retirement money and somebody doesn’t like that,” he said.
January 2, 2013
Doug Donovan: Fiscal Cliff Deal Could Hurt Charitable Giving
With Congress having passed legislation to avert the fiscal cliff, Doug Donovan writes in today's Chronicle of Philanthropy that the deal could hurt charitable giving. According to Donovan, the legislation Congress passed yesterday "limits how much wealthy people can claim in deductions for charitable contributions and other spending when they itemize their tax returns." He also reveals that "throughout December nonprofits have been lobbying Congress and President Obama not to impose limits on tax savings really wealthy donors get when they make charitable contributions."
The Senate-crafted plan enacts limits that charities have opposed. It reinstates a provision eliminated in 2010 that reduces itemized deductions by 3 percent of the amount that household income exceeds $300,000. Write-offs grow more limited the more taxable income a person has and could reduce the value of deductions by up to 80 percent for the highest-income taxpayers, according to the Tax Policy Center.
The 2010 limits have long been opposed by charities. Independent Sector noted that the limit could reduce giving in its February analysis of the idea, which was included in President Obama’s 2013 budget proposal.
The organization, which represents about 600 nonprofits, also signed a letter this summer from the Charitable Giving Coalition to Sen. Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, stating its opposition to the deduction limits.
The letter, signed by nearly 30 of the nation’s largest nonprofit organizations, said the limits would “result in fewer contributions flowing to America’s charities, which are now being asked to provide even more services to the most vulnerable among us.”
I am unsympatheitc to the cries of the Charitable Giving Coalition. I cannot understand why the organization's members believe that the only reason people give to nonprofits is to get a tax deduction! Also, whoever said that wealthy individuals give more per capita than their poorer fellow citizens?
December 30, 2012
New York Times Report: Trouble in New Jersey Halfway-House System
New Jersey law mandates that only nonprofit groups can obtain contracts to run the Correction Department's halfway houses. Private companies are barred from the system. Experts praise the halfway-house model as a potentially important tool to help inmates make the return to society. The system in New Jersey once included many mom-and-pop outfits that ran neighborhood-based facilities. In recent years, however, the state has winnowed the number of operators, and two nonprofit groups -- The Kintock Group and Education and Health Centers of America -- now receive about 85 percent of the halfway-house budget.
However, the system in New Jersey is troubled. Earlier this year, The New York Times ran a series of articles in which it described escapes, violence, gang activity, drug use and other problems at New Jersey halfway houses. Today's Times is alleging that all is not well with the system. According to The Times, federal disclosure records reveal that Kintockpaid its founder, David D. Fawkner, about $7 million in salary and benefits over the past decade. The agency also paid Mr. Fawkner's daughter, brother-in-law and son-in-law more than $2.5 million during that period. The Times also alleges that:
The nonprofit agency hired the brother-in-law as a consultant even though he has no corrections experience and lives in California. And it employed the son-in-law to run a subsidiary unrelated to its mission: duplicating DVDs and other electronic media.
Meanwhile, the other nonprofit operator, Education and Health Centers of America, is reportedly a nonprofit arm of a for-profit entity, Community Education Centers, to which it funnels money.
The nonprofits are denying any wrong doing. The report is well-worth reading. After you have read it, come to your own conclusion on the state of the halfway-house system in the Garden State.