Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Clinton Global Initiative Ends Today -- Millions of Dollars Pledged

The Clinton Global Initiative, former President Bill Clinton's annual philanthrophy summit held in New York ends today.  The summit opened on Sunday and has thus far heard from speakers include  actor Matt Damon, representing the charity he co-founded, Water.org; Laurent Lamothe, Prime Minister of Haiti; and Judith Rodin, president of the Rockefeller Foundation.

Ever since it was established in 2005, the Clinton Global Initiative has drawn more than  180 world leaders and more than 2,900 commitments worth an estimated $103-billion.  This year's announced pledges include:

  • $280-million from BRAC International to help more than 2.7 million girls across eight countries to finish school and go on to careers;
  • $100-million from Camfed to help girls in Sub-Saharan Africa complete secondary school;
  • $50-million from Grameen America to support 7,000 female entrepreneurs in Harlem;
  • $19-million from Discovery Communications and the United Kingdom’s Department for Internaitonal Development  to improve learning for girls in Ghana, Kenya, and Nigeria;
  • $16-million from Plan International to prevent and respond to gender-based violence at schools in Asia;
  • $12-million from Room to Read to help an additional 15,000 girls in nine countries to finish secondary school and go on to college and careers;
  • $6-million noncash support from Direct Relief, Last Mile Health, Wellbody Alliance, and Africare to airlift 100 tons of medical supplies to West Africa to combat the Ebola outbreak;
  • $4-million from the FHI Foundation and FHI 360 to study how to improve international-development projects across different fields;
  • $3.2-million from the Lumina Foundation and $3-million challenge grant from Cisco to the National Service Alliance for its Service Year program, which encourages young adults ages 18 to 28 to embark on community service for a year;
  • $3-million from Comcast and NBCUniversal, Airbnb, Jonathan and Jeanne Lavine, and Josh and Anita Bekenstein to Be the Change for its ServiceNation campaign to encourage people to volunteer for a year.

VEJ

September 24, 2014 in Conferences, Current Affairs, In the News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

AALS Section on Nonprofit & Philanthropy Law - Call for Papers

As previously blogged, Professor Lloyd Mayer asked to remind all readers of this call for papers at the 2015 AALS Conference:

 

AALS Section on Nonprofit and Philanthropy Law

&

AALS Section on Taxation (Co-Sponsor)

 

Call for Paper Proposals

2015 Annual Meeting Section Panel

Saturday, January 3, 2015, 10:30 a.m.–12:15 p.m.

IRS Oversight of Charitable and Other Exempt Organizations – Broken? Fixable?

 

The Section on Nonprofit and Philanthropy Law is issuing a call for paper proposals for its session on IRS oversight of charitable and other tax-exempt nonprofit organizations. The panel, co-sponsored by the Section on Taxation, will be held on Saturday, January 3, 2015, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., at the 2015 Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. Proposed papers might address: the role of the IRS in overseeing specific aspects of tax-exempt nonprofit organizations, such as political activity or governance; the relative strengths and weaknesses of IRS oversight compared to oversight by other actors, including state attorneys general and private, self-regulating bodies; the effect of the late-1990s reorganization of the IRS on its ability to oversee tax-exempt nonprofit organizations; or the overlapping jurisdictions of the IRS with other federal agencies that oversee aspects of nonprofit organizations, such as the Federal Election Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Department of Education.

Panelists will be a mix of presenters chosen through this call for paper proposals and solicited panelists with relevant expertise. Presenters will have the opportunity to publish their papers in the faculty-edited Pittsburgh Tax Review. To facilitate such publication, panelists will be expected to have a completed draft by the January 3, 2015 panel presentation and a final draft by February 28, 2015.

To submit your proposal, please email a short description (no more than 750 words) of your paper to Lloyd Hitoshi Mayer, Chair of the Section on Nonprofit and Philanthropy Law, at lmayer@nd.edu, and Miranda Fleischer, Chair of the Section on Taxation, at mirandafleischer@sandiego.edu. The deadline for proposals is Friday, August 15, 2014. The Executive Committees of the sponsoring sections will select the papers to be presented by mid-September. Please be aware that pursuant to AALS rules, only full-time faculty members of AALS members law schools are eligible to submit a paper proposal in response to a section’s call for papers. However, fellows from AALS member law schools are also eligible to submit a paper proposal if they include a CV with their proposal. Faculty at fee-paid law schools, international, visiting, and adjunct faculty members, graduate students, and non-law school faculty are not eligible to submit.

If you have any questions, please contact Lloyd Hitoshi Mayer at lmayer@nd.edu.

 

Nicholas Mirkay

August 6, 2014 in Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Nonprofits and Taxation at Law & Society Meeting


6a00d8341c4eab53ef01a3fd133f86970b-800wiToday's Law & Society Association Annual Meeting had a panel on Nonprofits and Taxation.  Here are the papers presented:

Harry Ordower (St. Louis), Chair & Discussant))

  • Samuel Brunson (Loyola-Chicago), Just Passing Through: Eliminating the Mutual Fund Distribution Requirement
  • Ray Madoff (Boston College), Loophole or Lifeline: Closing the Gap Between the Rhetoric and the Reality of the Charitable Deduction: "The charitable deduction has long been criticized by tax scholars for providing disproportionate advantage to wealthy donors. However, current debates over the charitable deduction have produced push-back over this framing of the issue. Under the banner: -"it isn't a loophole, it's a lifeline" proponents of the charitable deduction have argued that the real beneficiaries of the charitable deduction are not donors, but instead are the poor who receive the ultimate benefits of the charitable dollars. Nonetheless, the current operation of the rule belies this characterization. This paper explores what the charitable deduction should look like if it's true focus is on recipients. "
  • Leonel Pessôa (Universidade Nove de Julho), Taxation of Nonprofits: The Main Problems in Brazil: "The aim of this paper is to analyze the main problems in the taxation of the nonprofit organizations in Brazil and the impact of these problems on their activities. "

(Hat tip:  TaxProfBlog)

Nicholas Mirkay

May 29, 2014 in Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

AALS Sections Call for Paper Proposals

I received the following call for paper proposals from our colleague and fellow blogger, Professor Lloyd Mayer, which I pass along:

 

AALS Section on Nonprofit and Philanthropy Law

&

AALS Section on Taxation (Co-Sponsor)

 

Call for Paper Proposals

2015 Annual Meeting Section Panel

Saturday, January 3, 2015, 10:30 a.m.–12:15 p.m.

IRS Oversight of Charitable and Other Exempt Organizations – Broken? Fixable?

 

The Section on Nonprofit and Philanthropy Law is issuing a call for paper proposals for its session on IRS oversight of charitable and other tax-exempt nonprofit organizations. The panel, co-sponsored by the Section on Taxation, will be held on Saturday, January 3, 2015, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., at the 2015 Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. Proposed papers might address: the role of the IRS in overseeing specific aspects of tax-exempt nonprofit organizations, such as political activity or governance; the relative strengths and weaknesses of IRS oversight compared to oversight by other actors, including state attorneys general and private, self-regulating bodies; the effect of the late-1990s reorganization of the IRS on its ability to oversee tax-exempt nonprofit organizations; or the overlapping jurisdictions of the IRS with other federal agencies that oversee aspects of nonprofit organizations, such as the Federal Election Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Department of Education.

Panelists will be a mix of presenters chosen through this call for paper proposals and solicited panelists with relevant expertise. Presenters will have the opportunity to publish their papers in the faculty-edited Pittsburgh Tax Review. To facilitate such publication, panelists will be expected to have a completed draft by the January 3, 2015 panel presentation and a final draft by February 28, 2015.

To submit your proposal, please email a short description (no more than 750 words) of your paper to Lloyd Hitoshi Mayer, Chair of the Section on Nonprofit and Philanthropy Law, at lmayer@nd.edu, and Miranda Fleischer, Chair of the Section on Taxation, at mirandafleischer@sandiego.edu. The deadline for proposals is Friday, August 15, 2014. The Executive Committees of the sponsoring sections will select the papers to be presented by mid-September. Please be aware that pursuant to AALS rules, only full-time faculty members of AALS members law schools are eligible to submit a paper proposal in response to a section’s call for papers. However, fellows from AALS member law schools are also eligible to submit a paper proposal if they include a CV with their proposal. Faculty at fee-paid law schools, international, visiting, and adjunct faculty members, graduate students, and non-law school faculty are not eligible to submit.

If you have any questions, please contact Lloyd Hitoshi Mayer at lmayer@nd.edu.

JRB

May 20, 2014 in Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, November 22, 2013

Mark Your Calendars: The Role of Nonprofits Under the Affordable Care Act (at AALS)

At the upcoming meeting of the Association of American Law Schools, the Section on Nonprofit and Philanthropy Law and the Section on Law, Medicine and Health Care are co-sponsoring a program, The Role of Nonprofits Under the Affordable Care Act.  Here are the most recent details that I have received:

Date and Time: Friday, January 3rd, 10:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

 

Moderator and CommentatorCatherine E. Livingston, Partner, Jones Day, Washington, DC

 

Speakers:

 

Kathleen M. Boozang, Seton Hall University School of Law

Mary A. Crossley, University of Pittsburgh School of Law, Speaker from Call for Papers

Erin C. Fuse Brown, Georgie State University College of Law, Speaker from Call for Papers

Thomas L. Greaney, Saint Louis University School of Law

Robert A. Katz, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Mark A. Hall, Wake Forest University School of Law

Jean Wright Veilleux, Charlotte School of Law, Speaker from Call for Papers

 

Program Description: The program will examine the role of nonprofit and other tax-exempt organizations under the Affordable Care Act of 2010. Topics include the Act’s impact on nonprofits, including the ACA’s new requirements for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt hospitals, the participation of nonprofit hospitals in Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), and the creation of nonprofit Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans (CO-OPs).

 

Business Meeting: At Program Conclusion

 

JRB

November 22, 2013 in Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Ninth Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting Ends on High Note

The Ninth Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting ended in New York City on Thursday with an emphasis on optimism and mobilizing for action to address the most pressing global challenges.  Over the three days of the meeting, Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) members made over 160 new Commitments to Action, expected to impact nearly 22.2 million lives and valued at more than $10.8 billion when fully funded and implemented.

According to a press release issued shortly after the meeting ended,

Through the CGI commitments announced this year, nearly 27 million metric tons of CO2 will not be released into the atmosphere, more than 2 million girls will be reached by efforts specifically targeting female enrollment in schools, more than 11.6 million children will have a better education, nearly 4 million people will have increased access to health services, and more than $7 billion will be invested in or loaned to small- and medium-sized enterprises.

Former President Clinton noted that "this year’s commitments highlight the enthusiasm, creativity, and general characteristic of CGI members.  They also reinforced our theme of ‘mobilizing for impact.’  So many partners have come together, to increase their impact by drawing upon each other’s strengths and creating new partnerships to truly put ideas into action: this is what CGI is all about.  I am so grateful to everyone who joined us this year, whether in person or online, and who continue to work with us to create a better world.”

The CGI announced two major Commitments to Action focusing on health and on animal preservation.  First, Former President Clinton, joined by Don Thompson, President and CEO of McDonald's, and Dr. Howell Wechsler, CEO, Alliance for a Healthier Generation, founded by the Clinton Foundation and American Heart Association, announced a partnership to increase customers' access to fruit and vegetables and help families and children to make informed choices in keeping with balanced lifestyles.

Second,

Former Secretary [Hillary] Clinton, Chelsea Clinton, and African government leaders including the Presidents of Burkina Faso, Cote D'Ivoire, Gabon, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, and Ministers from Botswana and Zambia made an announcement with leaders of the Wildlife Conservation Society, the African Wildlife Foundation, the World Wildlife Fund, Conservation International, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, Save the Elephants, the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, and the Jane Goodall Institute regarding Partnership to Save Africa's Elephants, a new Commitment to Action aiming to end poaching by addressing poaching, trafficking, and international demand.

These are good plans.  I wish the CGI all the success possible.

VEJ

September 28, 2013 in Conferences, Current Affairs, In the News, International | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Nancy Young: 18 Red Flags of Fraud

Speaking at the AICPA Not-for-Profit Industry Conference earlier this year, Nancy Young, who is part of the Business Assurance Services Group of Moss Adams, outlined the behavioral red flags of fraud perpetrators' lifestyles, as listed by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE).  The Nonprofit Times today reproduced the list:

  • Living beyond their means: 43.0 percent
  • Financial difficulties: 36.4 percent
  • Control issues: 22.6 percent
  • Unusually close with vendors/customers: 22.1 percent
  • Wheeler-dealer attitude: 19.2 percent
  • Divorce or family problems: 17.6 percent
  • Irritability, suspiciousness/defensiveness: 14.1 percent
  • Addiction problems: 11.9 percent
  • Refusal to take vacations: 10.2 percent

According to the Times, Young also said that white-collar criminals share certain characteristics, some of which I find pretty interesting:

  • Likely to be married.
  • Member of a church.
  • Educated beyond high school.
  • No arrest record.
  • Age range from teens to older than 60 (although 31-50 is the largest group).
  • Socially conforming.
  • Employment tenure from one to 20 years.
  • Acts alone 70 percent of the time.
  • Males tend to steal larger amounts than females.

This leads me to wonder: in dealing with nonprofits, whom can we trust?

VEJ

 

September 23, 2013 in Conferences, Current Affairs, In the News | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Recession, Renewal, Revolution? (ARNOVA Annual Conference, Hartford, 11/21-23)

The Future of NGO Studies Conference (Chicago, 11/19-20)

For those of you not attending ARNOVA's annual conference this year, DePaul and Northern Illinois are sponsoring The Future of NGO Studies Conference in Chicago on November 19-20.  While the full list of presenters is too long to reproduce here (see the Sessions list), for the Tuesday evening plenary discussion the panelists will be:

  • Erica Bornstein, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (Anthropology)
  • Inderpal Grewal, Yale University (Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies)
  • David Lewis, London School of Economics (Social Policy)
  • Steven Sampson, Lund University (Anthropology)
  • Aradhana Sharma, Wesleyan University (Antrhopology)

Lloyd Mayer

September 17, 2013 in Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

IRS + 501(c)(4) = SOS? (Hudson Institute, 9/18/13)

For those wanting some expert views on the IRS 501(c)(4) application mess, the Hudson Institute presents IRS + 501(c)(4) = SOS? tomorrow in Washington, DC.  The presenters will be

Given their public comments to date, I expect the presenters will not have identical views regarding either what happened or what should be done.  The Institute's William Schambra will moderate.

Lloyd Mayer

September 17, 2013 in Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Hudson Institute: "The Charitable Deduction in American Political Thought"

Hudson Institute

The Hudson Institute's Bradley Center for Philanthropy and Civic Renewal presents in Washington, DC on Tuesday, April 16th a lunchtime discussion on the charitable contribution deduction.  Registration and further details available online.  Here is the agenda:

Program and Panel

11:30 a.m.
Registration, lunch buffet

12:00 p.m.
Introduction by Bradley Center Director William Schambra

12:10
Panel discussion
Stanley Katz, Professor of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University
Rob Reich, Associate Professor at Stanford University
Alex Reid, Counsel in Morgan Lewis’s Tax Practice

1:10
Question-and-answer session

1:30
Adjournment

LHM

April 4, 2013 in Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Urban Institute Hosts "Charity and Government: Tax Reform and Beyond"

Urban instituteThe Urban Institute will be hosting in Washington, DC on Monday, April 15th a conference titled Charity and Government: Tax Reform and Beyond.  Registration is required.  The conference is co-sponsored by the Urban Institute's Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy and the Alliance for Charitable Reform.

Here is the agenda and the presenters:

9:30am-10:40am
Session One: As an Independent Sector, Is Charity a Substitute, Complement, Adversary, or Something Else for Government?

Moderator: Eugene Tempel, Indiana University
Speakers: Adam Parachin, University of Western Ontario, Eugene Steuerle, Urban Institute, Joseph Thorndike, Tax Analysts, University of Virginia

10:40am-11:50am
Session Two: What Is the Definition of Charity, and Who Decides How to Define It?

Moderator: John Tyler, Kauffman Foundation
Speakers: Bradford Gray, Urban Institute, Daniel Halperin, Harvard Law School, Alex Reid, of counsel, Morgan Lewis, Marion Fremont-Smith, Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations, Harvard University

11:50am-12:20pm: Lunch

12:20pm-1:30pm
Session Three: Philanthropy’s Relationship to Current Policy Debate

Moderator: Elizabeth Boris, Urban Institute
Speakers: Arthur Brooks, American Enterprise Institute, Joanne Florino, Philanthropy Roundtable, William Galston, Brookings Institution, Pat Read, consultant

LHM

April 3, 2013 in Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, February 15, 2013

Columbia Law School Hosts Conference on The Future of State Charities Regulation

Columbia Law SchoolI was fortunate enough to be invited to present at a conference hosted by Columbia Law School's Charities Law Project last week.  Featuring presentations and draft papers (available on the conference website) from a who's who list of charity law experts from the academy, state AG offices and other agencies, and private practice, the conference provided an incredible opportunity to consider and discuss emerging issues in the regulation of charities.  Topics covered included:

  • Jurisdictional Boundaries: State/Federal, State/State Relationships
  • The Fundamental Role Of States In Governance Issues
  • Emerging Issue: Political Activity/Advocacy By The Sector & The States' Role
  • Transparency, Media And Technology: New Expectations, New Opportunities
  • Emerging Issue: Challenges & Interests Of States In Social Mission/Hybrid Organizations
  • Mapping The Trajectory: The Changing Role Of The State Regulators
  • Emerging Issue: State Jurisdiction Over Religious Organizations
  • Emerging Issue: Changing Landscape Of Charitable Solicitation
  • Emerging Issue: The Dynamic Role Of States In Nonprofit Healthcare
  • Federal Partners
  • Envisioning The Future: New Structures

The conference organizers also gathered an extensive set of additional resources that will be helpful to anyone interested in the conference topics.

LHM

February 15, 2013 in Conferences, Paper Presentations and Seminars | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, December 28, 2012

Critical Tax Conference (Hastings) Call for Papers

UC Hastings has issued a call for papers for the 16th Critical Tax Theory Conference, which will be held in April 2013.  For more information, see the TaxProf blog post about the call.

LHM

December 28, 2012 in Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, September 28, 2012

Emerging Issues in Social Enterprise Conference (Regent University Law Review)

Symposium2012 (1)

Regent University Law Review is hosting a symposium on Emerging Issues in Social Enterprise on Saturday, October 6th, in Virginia Beach, Virginia.  Panelists include Dana Brakman Reiser (Brooklyn), Cassady V. Brewer (Georgia State), Lyman P.Q. Johnson (Washington & Lee/University of St. Thomas), and Marcia Narine (Missouri-Kansas).  Here is the full description of the event:

For private profit and for the public good. Social enterprise attempts to harness the power of the for-profit market to achieve social and environmental ends. In the wake of the recent financial crisis, interest in social enterprise has increased exponentially. Over the last four years, 18 states (including Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia) have passed statutes allowing the formation of benefit corporations, benefit limited liability companies, low-profit limited liability companies (L3Cs), social purpose corporations, and flexible purpose corporations. While the population of these entities is growing, the mere existence of these business formations is hotly-debated within the corporate law community

Practitioners, professors, students, and business owners are encouraged to attend this exciting event that promises to be an informative and helpful exploration of the developing issues related to social enterprise entities.

Our Symposium will include two morning panels featuring four distinguished academics who will present papers on the benefits, disadvantages, and implications of social enterprise entities. After their presentations, these panelists will engage in a moderated discussion, followed by a question and answer time with the audience.

In the afternoon workshop, several legal practitioners and business owners will share their experience working in the field of social enterprise and will offer practical advice on working with these new corporate entities. Additionally, this workshop will provide an overview of the various forms of social enterprise entities, and will address the Virginia-specific start-up procedures and liability implications.

LHM

 

September 28, 2012 in Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Churches, Money and Tax Exemption

An article posted in today's Chicago Tribune digital edition (free subscription required), which appears to have originally come from the Economist, is a very interesting look at the finances and financial management of the Catholic Church in America.   Using data from bankruptcy filings by dioceses that faced large damage awards over sexual abuse, the article paints a picture of financial mismanagement, if not skulduggery.  One paragraph sort of sums it up:

The picture that emerges is not flattering. The church’s finances look poorly co-ordinated considering (or perhaps because of) their complexity. The management of money is often sloppy. And some parts of the church have indulged in ungainly financial contortions in some cases--it is alleged--both to divert funds away from uses intended by donors and to frustrate creditors with legitimate claims, including its own nuns and priests. The dioceses that have filed for bankruptcy may not be typical of the church as a whole. But given the overall lack of openness there is no way of knowing to what extent they are outliers. 

The last sentence is, I think, particularly important.  Churches do not have to file a Form 990 or an application for exemption on Form 1023.  We know virtually nothing about how they manage their money, yet we grant tax exemption virtually automatically to any entity calling itself a church.  

Others have questioned whether churches should receive tax exemption at all (I happen to be in the camp that says "no," provided they get an unlimited deduction for what I would classify as charitable expenditures, which would not include building expenses/maintenance/pastor and staff salaries, etc. - but I realize this is an issue on which reasonable people can and should disagree).   But I view this story as less about the merits of exemption than the merits of financial disclosure by exempt charities.   Churches need to file a 990 like everyone else.  We need disinfecting sunlight on their financial operations, particularly when folks starting hiding behind God as the rationale for their actions, many of which end up being very un-god-like.  And for those of you who might claim that subjecting churches to information filing on a 990 is a violation of the free exercise clause . . . well, I'd like to see that case litigated.

JDC

 

August 20, 2012 in Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Columbia Law School Charities Project Releases Two New Webinars for Public Viewing

The Columbia Law School Charities Project has released two new webinars for public viewing: “The IRS and Charities Regulation: A Primer,” and “Social Enterprise and Hybrid Corporate Forms: Emerging State Regulatory Perspectives and Responses.”  According to the Charities Project, the webinars are designed to help inform the nonprofit sector, regulators, practitioners and academics about topical issues at the intersection of state regulation and the charitable sector.

VEJ 
 

August 2, 2012 in Church and State, Conferences, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Law, Society & Taxation Nonprofit Panel & Papers

The Law and Society Association's 2012 International Meeting in Honolulu earlier this month featured the following panel and additional papers relating to nonprofits:

  • Charities and Public Policy Panel
    • Nina J. Crimm (St John's) & Laurence H. Winer (Arizona State), 
    • Terri Lynne Helge (Texas Wesleyan), Reforming the Private Benefit Doctrine
    • Grace S. Lee (Alabama), Toward a More Dynamic Theory Regarding the Charitable Deduction
    • Henry Ordower (Saint Lewis), Charitable Contributions of Services
    • Miranda L. Stewart (Melborne), Doing Business to Do Good: Should We Tax the Business Profits of Not for Profits

LHM

June 18, 2012 in Conferences, Paper Presentations and Seminars | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Call for Papers from Columbia Law School Charities Law Project

The Charities Regulation and Oversight Project, which is part of the National State Attorneys General Program at Columbia Law School, has issued a call for papers for its February 2013 conference "The Future of State Charities Regulation".  Here are the details:

The Charities Regulation and Oversight Project of the National State Attorneys General Program at Columbia Law School will host the 2013 Charities Regulation Policy Conference: “The Future of State Charities Regulation and Enforcement”, to be held on February 7th & 8th, 2013, at Columbia Law School in New York City. The 2013 conference will be the third major policy conference at Columbia Law School devoted to issues regarding state regulation, oversight and enforcement of the charitable and nonprofit sector. Developed in partnership with the National Attorneys General Training and Research Institute, the conference will address the complex issues surrounding the current status, and the future trajectory of, state regulation of the charitable sector.
 
The 2013 conference is intended to promote dialogue among regulators, leaders from the sector, practitioners and academics regarding challenges confronting state regulation of the sector and to develop proposals for improvement.
 
Anticipated topics include the state/federal relationship; structure and funding of state charities officials; the fundamental role of states in governance issues; challenges and interest of the states in social mission/hybrid corporate organizations; the role of states in nonprofit healthcare; changing landscape of state-based charitable solicitation; jurisdiction over religious organizations; interstate and international jurisdiction; emerging issues surrounding advocacy and political activity by the sector. The Charities Project seeks a diverse range of perspectives for the conference; paper submissions are encouraged from practitioners, regulators, leaders from the sector itself and academics. Proposal abstracts, no more than one page in length, should be sent to charities@law.columbia.edu by July 13, 2012. Drafts for final papers for the conference should be approximately 5000 words.
 
Please contact Frances Laviscount Program Coordinator, at flavis@law.columbia.edu or 212-851-1061 with any questions regarding the conference or paper submissions.
LHM

June 18, 2012 in Conferences, Paper Presentations and Seminars | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Correlation Between Nonprofit Governance and Tax-Exempt Compliance

In her remarks to the Georgetown University Law Center program on Representing and Managing Tax-Exempt Organizations, IRS Exempt Organizations Director Lois Lerner discussed the findings of an IRS study of its governance checksheet, which is comprised of a list of questions used by IRS agents to determine the governance practices of an exempt organization. In October 2009, IRS agents began completing the checksheet at the completion of every public charity examination.  The result is over 1300 checksheets that were examined as part of the study. 

The study's analysis found "a statistically significant correlation between questions related to some governance practices and tax compliance."  The correlative questions are, in Lerner's words: 

1.    Organizations with a written mission statement are more likely to be compliant;

2.    Organizations that always use comparability data when making compensation decisions are more likely to be compliant;

3.    Organizations with procedures in place for the proper use of charitable assets are more likely to be compliant; and

4.    Organizations where the 990 was reviewed by the entire board of directors are more likely to be compliant.  This is an important point and one I'd like to highlight.  It indicates that having your entire board engaged in what is being reported on the 990 is not only helpful, but it correlates to better compliance.

Lerner also stated that "[o]n the flip side, among the organizations we examined, we saw that those that said control was concentrated in one individual, or in a small, select group of individuals, were less likely to be tax compliant."

Diversion of Assets Initiative:  Lerner also announced a new audit initiative focusing on tax-exempts that divert their assets for their own use or for uses not in furtherance of their charitable purposes.  Lerner reported that approximately $170 million in assets were diverted in instances involving theft, embezzlement, or Ponzi schemes.  With respect to 82 organizations, civil or criminal charges were brought against the responsible party. The charges were typically pursued by the organizations themselves or local authorities, not the IRS. The IRS compiled this information from Forms 990 as well as the internet and other publicly-available information.

(For additional discussion:  Daily Tax Report)

NAM

April 19, 2012 in Conferences, Federal – Executive | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)