Wednesday, April 14, 2010
The Chronicle of Philanthropy reports that Catholic University in Washington, DC is hosting a symposium today, April 14, entitled "Philanthropy in the 21st Century: Should All Charities Be Equal?" The primary focus of the symposium is consideration of whether tax law should distinguish between different types of charities. This issue raises questions of line drawing and what to emphasize in distinguishing charities from other companies and from each other. Many charities engage in activities that closely resemble for-profit companies but enjoy more favorable tax treatment.
One of the most recent and high profile examples of the issues in this area is the Provena case recently decided by the Illinois Supreme Court. That case upheld denial of a charitable hospital's property tax exemption because the hospital had failed to provide sufficient charitable services. Another question regarding the charitable exemption is whether charities directly aiding the poor deserve greater tax benefits.
include Diana Aviv, head of Independent Sector; Richard L. Schmalbeck, a
professor of law at Duke University; Eugene Steuerle, a fellow at the
Urban Institute, a Washington think tank; and Russ Sullivan, chief of staff of
the Senate Finance Committee and an aide to its chairman, Sen. Max Baucus, Democrat
of Montana. The moderator is Professor
Roger Colinvaux, professor of?,
Friday, April 9, 2010
Richard Schmalbeck (Duke) presented his draft paper 501(say)(what?): Considering New Exempt Category for Churches yesterday as part of UCLA's Colloquium on Tax Policy & Public Finance. I was fortunate enough to see an earlier draft of this paper, and it raises important (and undoubtedly controversial) issues relating to the current tax status of churches. While Richard and I disagree on some key points relating to that tax status, this looks to be an important and interesting paper.
(Hat tip: TaxProf Blog)
Thursday, August 13, 2009
A Symposium on the Law of Philanthropy in the 21st Century will be held at Chicago-Kent College of Law, in Chicago, Illinois, on October 23, 2009. This full-day symposium features academic papers presented on panels organized around governance, tax and donor intent. Marian Fremont-Smith will be the keynote speaker and will speak following lunch. The symposium concludes with a reception at the end of the day. Chicago-Kent is hosting the symposium and its law review will publish the papers in a symposium issue. The ACTEC Foundation has provided funding for the symposium which makes it possible for the symposium to offered free of charge - registration, materials, lunch and the reception are all free!
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
The International Society for Third Sector Research (ISTR) has issued a call for contributions. Here is the text of the CFC.
Call for Contributions
ISTR 9th International Conference
"Facing Crises:Challenges and Opportunities Confronting the Third Sector and Civil Society"
The International Society for Third-Sector Research (ISTR) is pleased to announce that the Call for Contributions for the 9th International Conference is published on our website (www.istr.org/conferences/istanbul/). The conference will be held at Kadir Has University in Istanbul, Turkey, on July 7-10, 2010.
The Call is currently available in English and Spanish; Arabic, Chinese, German and French languages will be added in the very near future.
The deadline for submissions is October 19, 2009.
For more information, see the ISTRwebsite at: www.istr.org/conferences/istanbul/
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
The Alliance Defense Fund, which brought you Pulpit Freedom Sunday 2008, and the Federalist Society recently teamed up to host a panel discussion at the National Press Club on the constitutionality and wisdom of the Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3) prohibition as applied to pastors speaking from their pulpits. The speakers included Professors Doug Laycock (Michigan) and Donald Tobin (The Ohio State University), as well as Rev. Barry Lynn from Americans United for Separation of Church and State and Benjamin Bull of ADF. I finally had a chance to listen to the debate, and regardless of your views on this issue it is very informative about the various positions.
One interesting additional note. The Alliance Defense Fund is apparently already gearing up for Pulpit Freedom Sunday 2009, for which it will recruit churches both to comment on current government officials and to comment on candidates for office.
Friday, May 8, 2009
CHANGES, CHALLENGES, AND NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE THIRD SECTOR
6TH ISTR Asia/Pacific Regional Confence
2-4 November 2009
THE DEADLINE FOR SUBMITTING ABSTRACTS
HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO
MAY 15, 2009
OFFICIAL CONFERENCE WEBSITE:
Call for Papers:
Hosted by: Center for the Third Sector, National Chen
University (NCCU), Taiwan
Address: No. 64, Sec. 2, ZhiNan Road, WenShan District,
Taipei City, TAIWAN
Call for Papers
CHANGES, CHALLENGES, AND NEW OPPORTUNITIES
FOR THE THIRD SECTOR
THE 6th ISTR ASIA AND PACIFIC REGIONAL CONFERENCE ON THE THIRD SECTOR, NOVEMBER 2-4,
The world is under great transformation. Globalization has become a trend that
is very difficult to resist. The result of it could be some countries or a few special
locations receive great benefits, and living standards in those areas are greatly lifted.
On the other hand, globalization has also brought many seriously social problems for
the world, especially in those underdeveloped and developing countries. For
example, the problems include poverty, inequalities, social exclusiveness, community
dissolution, unsustainable environment, ethnic conflict, cultural tensions, among
others. Accompanying with recent economic crisis around the world, it shows that
globalization does not keep its promise to bring a better life for the entire world.
Arguments for free market in the era of globalization do also escort with a new
neoliberal governance structure, and it probably can be named as privatization. The
market mechanism and value of efficiency have become the major driving forces for
the society. In order to increase capital accumulation and economic efficiency of the
entire country many governments transform their roles and have partially abandoned
their former obligations. Many powerless people located in some special places are
left behind. On the same time, the political process is restrained to a limited elites;
large numbers of people are turned off from participation. Problem of political
legitimacy therefore has become a serious one in many countries.
This new world stage contains an imbalance and contradictory structure, and it
has generated special concerns among diverse civil society actors on the kinds of
social change that are occurring. Although civil society researchers and actors have
shown significant advance in attaining more just and inclusive societies, there remain
enormous challenges that demand multi-disciplinary approaches and new strategic
alliances among the Third Sector and with the market and state sectors. The
transforming world not only brings serious changes and challenges, but it probably
also carries new opportunities for us. It invites scholars and practitioners to imagine
a progressive and alternative future and to exchange their experiences and findings.
The main theme of the 6th ISTR Asia and Pacific Regional Conference on the
third sector therefore addresses the issue of changes, challenges, and opportunities for
the third sector, specifically in the globalization era. Under this theme, we can tackle
the following topics.
Environmental Crises and the Third Sector
Economic Recession and the Third Sector
Globalization, Privatization, Neo-liberal Policies, and the Third Sector
Poverty and the Third Sector
Gender and the Third Sector
Terrorism and the Third Sector
Immigration, Foreign Workers and the Third Sector
Indigenous People and the Third Sector
Transparency and Accountability of the Third Sector
Fund-Raising of the Third Sector
Professionalism of the Third Sector
Innovation and the Third Sector
Management and Governance of the Third Sector
Philanthropy and the Third Sector
Social Entrepreneurship and the Third Sector
Corporate Social Responsibility and the Third Sector
Advocacy and the Third Sector
Empowerment and the Third Sector
Social Capital and the Third Sector
Civil Society, Community and the Third Sector
The above list is just for illustration; it is not meant as a limitation to creativity. We
strongly encourage participants to mobilize your imagination beyond them. It is our
hope that this conference will inspire stimulating debate and discussion, and create
Monday, February 23, 2009
I will be speaking today at the Hamline Health Law institute in St. Paul, Minnesota, on the topic: Diverging Perspectives of "Charitable": Federal Income Tax Versus State Property Tax Exemptions for Hospitals and Homes for the Elderly. Here is the description:
Many states are challenging property tax exemptions for charitable hospitals and elderly housing under the guise of preventing superfluous flows of tax benefits to the rich or middle class. State tax officials resort to "quid pro quo" or similar notions to justify claims that the financially well-off are not entitled to this government largess. Federal law recognizes, though, that "charitable" includes benefits to the poor, in addition to hospital care to all and elderly housing. Using these examples (hospitals and elderly housing), this presentation will explore the impact on state exemption law of two perspectives of "charitable" - the narrow alms giving view of many states versus the broader societal view of federal law.
One of the points I intend to bring out is that the diverging views of what is "charitable" from the federal law perspective and from the state law perspective is at odds with the goal of charity to create contextual diversity. For example, in the Provena case in Illinois, the court states explicitly: "In this respect, the Illinois standard for exemption from property taxes is different from the more diffuse "community benefit" standard for exemption from the federal income tax." Astonishingly, the court interprets the law in Illinois in a way that completely ignores the benefits to society of the many non-charity care activities of a hospital - medical education, crisis nursery services, behavioral health benefits, and Medicaid and Medicare subsidies, for example. True, many of these non-charity care community benefits are not directly linked to notions of "free care" or "gifts" to the poor, but they are valuable in their own right. The real likelihood is that the many states that have this narrow view of charity will, inevitably, adversely affect the ability of nonprofits in general to use creativity, innovation and a myriad of other ideas as a way to advance the marketplace and make society all the better.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Georgia State University Nonprofit Program Brown Bag series: "Orientations and Due Diligence Evaluation"
The Nonprofit Program of the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University presents its Brown Bag Seminar Series in Nonprofit Research.
WHEN: Tuesday, January 27, 2009
WHERE: Room #750 AYSPS BUILDING from 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
WHO: Calvin Edwards, CEO of the Calvin Edwards Company
"Orientations to Due Diligence and Evaluation"
The purpose of these seminars is to discuss research-in-progress by faculty associated with the nonprofit program.
We invite students, faculty and interested members of the community to join us!
For questions, please email
Thursday, January 8, 2009
I am blogging from the American Association of Law Schools Annual Meeting in San Diego. Panels with topics of particular nonprofit interest include:
A panel on (shameless self-promotion, as I am moderating this panel) Pulpit Freedom?: On Taxes, Elections, and Religious Freedom is scheduled for this morning at 8:30 a.m. The starting point for this panel is the challenge by the Alliance Defense Fund to the federal tax law prohibition on churches and other houses of worship supporting or opposing candidates, even during in-service sermons. The panelists are Vaughn James (Texas Tech), Douglas Laycock (Michigan), Donald Tobin (Ohio State), and Robert Tuttle (George Washington) (two other panelists who were scheduled to attend could not make it to the conference at the last minute).
The Section on Nonprofit and Philanthropy Law is presenting New Research in Nonprofit Law on Saturday at 9 a.m. The panelists are Johnny Buckles (Houston), Richard Schmalbeck (Duke), Stephen Schwarz (Hastings), and Norman Silber (Hofstra), and James Fishman (Pace is moderating).
Finally, another panel that caught my eye is Community and Subsidiary in Domestic Relations on Friday at 1:30 p.m. It will explore among other topics, the extent to which government should seek to support, rather than supplant, institutions of civil society. Its panelists are Paolo Carozza (Notre Dame), Robert Cochran (Pepperdine), Amitai Etzioni (George Washington), Ronald Garet (USC), Ira Lupu (George Washington), and Robert Tuttle (George Washington), and the moderator is Linda McClain (Boston University).
Monday, December 8, 2008
Philanthropy Law in the 21st Century - October 23, 2009
The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel's Legal Education Committee is organizing the third in a series of academic symposia financially supported by the ACTEC Foundation. The next symposium, Philanthropy Law in the 21st Century, will be held at Chicago Kent Law School on October 23, 2009.
The symposium will be organized around three panels, and the preliminary plan is to have one panel on donor issues, one on management issues, and one on tax issues. Because the three topics overlap somewhat, the Legal Education Committee will organize papers into panels after it reviews the proposals.
If you would like to be considered for one of the panels, please submit an abstract of your paper to Anne-Marie Rhodes by email (her address is email@example.com) by February 2, 2009. The Committee will notify individuals chosen to participate in the symposium by email by March 1, 2009. If you are chosen to present a paper, you will be asked to submit a draft by September 1, 2009. Drafts will be circulated to the panelists prior to the date of the symposium and abstracts will be provided to all symposium attendees. You will also be asked to agree to publish your final paper in a special symposium edition of the Chicago-Kent Law Review.
All symposium speakers will be reimbursed for their travel expenses (airfare and the cost of ground transportation and hotel) courtesy of an ACTEC Foundation grant. Speakers will also be invited to a Speakers' Dinner on Thursday night, and breakfast and lunch will be provided to both speakers and attendees on Friday.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Georgia State University's Andrew Young School of Policy Studies Holds a Brown Bag Series in Nonprofit Research
The Nonprofit Program of the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University presents its Brown Bag Seminar Series in Nonprofit Research.
WHEN: Wednesday, November 5, 2008
WHERE: Room #749 AYSPS BUILDING from 11:30 PM - 1:00 PM
WHO: Kristina Jaskyte, from the University of Georgia presents:
"Creativity and Innovation In Nonprofit Organizations"
WHY: The purpose of these seminars is to discuss research-in-progress by faculty associated with the nonprofit program.
INVITED: We invite students, faculty and interested members of the community to join us!
Sunday, October 12, 2008
The St. John's Journal of Legal Commentary has accepted for publication an article by Prof. Bernadette A. Meyler of Cornell Law School. The article, The Limits of Group Rights: Religious Institutions and Religious Minorities in International Law, has already been posted on SSRN. Following is the abstract:
Scholars and advocates of religious liberty within the United States are beginning to suggest that our constitutional discourse has focused too intently on individual rights and that our attention should now turn to the interests of religious institutions and the notion of church autonomy. The reoriented jurisprudence encouraged by such proposals is not without parallel in other national contexts, including those of Europe. Heeding calls to attend to church autonomy could thus bring the United States into closer harmony with its European counterparts. Placing priority on church autonomy might, however, generate unforeseen obstacles to the exercise of religious liberty. In particular, emphasizing religious institutions may lead to the unequal treatment of individuals and entities of minority religious persuasions. As this Symposium Article's analysis of pertinent cases from the jurisprudence of international tribunals demonstrates, the monolithic conception of religious associations that has emerged from an institutionally oriented approach to religious liberty has resulted in the neglect of the equality of free exercise on the individual level and, concomitantly, disregard for the freedom of religious dissent and sub-group formation. The piece concludes with a suggestion about how to avoid the pitfalls of both the individually and institutionally based approaches.
Friday, September 26, 2008
Today, at the University of Iowa College of Law's Faculty Speaker's Forum, yours truly will discuss whether the private benefit doctrine precludes tax exemption for nonprofit contract model HMOs that arrange for health care services for their members. Earlier this year, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the membership structure utilized by most, if not all HMO's prevents nonprofit HMOs from attaining or retaining tax exempt status. The gist of my argument (set forth in my petition in support of VSP's cert petition (Download jones_amicus_brief_5.DOC) (Download vsp_cert.Petition.pdf ) is this:
This case involves a matter of extreme importance to the entire nonprofit health maintenance organization (HMO) industry. The court below held, based upon an unexplained and misunderstood application of the private benefit doctrine, that an HMO operating under a membership structure primarily served the private benefit of its subscribers and, therefore, is not entitled to tax exemption under section 501(c)(4) of the Code. It is true that the private benefit doctrine is implicated when a nonprofit organization confers private benefit on non-charitable recipients, such as the members of the HMO. The private benefit doctrine, however, does not preclude an organization from economic dealings with a non-charitable class of persons when doing so is necessary to accomplish its charitable or social-welfare purpose. For example, nonprofit hospitals routinely provide “profits” in the form of compensation to physicians and other service providers that they employ to achieve their charitable healthcare goals. Likewise, nonprofit HMOs cannot possibly achieve their charitable purpose without a membership form of organization.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Brennen, Moran and Havard to Speak at Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Issues Forum on "Living in the Black: Barriers to Wealth Creation in the African American Community"
Congressman John Lewis has invited law professors David A. Brennen (AALS and University of Georgia), Beverly I. Moran (Vanderbilt University), and Cassandra Jones Havard (University of Baltimore) and university professor Jessica Gordon Nembhard (Howard University) to hold an issues forum this Friday, on September 26, 2008, on the topic "Living in the Black: Barriers to Wealth Creation in the African American Community." The forum will be a part of the annual legislative conference of the CBC Foundation.
Professor Brennen will address the topic of racial inequality in the tax exemption context. Professor Moran will discuss the topic of tax policy and its impact on wealth inequality among racial populations. Professor Havard will talk about the impact on effective wealth transfer mechanisms of the failure to properly regulate U.S. financial markets. And, finally, Professor Nembhard will discuss the topic "Alternative Asset Building in African American Communities: Wealth Accumulation through Cooperative Ownership."
For other CBC Foundation legislative conference events, go to http://www.alc2008.org/ and view the complete schedule of issues forums and brain trusts.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Third Annual UPS Lecture on Nonprofit Leadership, Governance and Economic Stewardship - "Repeat After Me: 'It's the Board of Directors, Stupid'"
The Nonprofit Studies Program at the Andrew Young School at Georgia State is pleased to announce the Third Annual UPS Lecture on Nonprofit Leadership, Governance and Economic Stewardship on October 16, 2008, 3:00-4:30 PM on the 7th floor of the AYSPS Building, 14 Marietta Street.
Our distinguished speaker will be Reynold Levy, president of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Dr. Levy has titled his talk, Repeat After Me: "It's the Board of Directors, Stupid", and will be sharing his expertise and insights regarding leadership and governance of nonprofit boards. The event is an open forum especially targeted for nonprofit community leaders.
Reynold Levy's visit is co-hosted by the Woodruff Arts Center and the United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta. His lecture is sponsored and underwritten with the generosity of The UPS Foundation, and is co-sponsored by The Foundation Center.
Dr. Levy's latest book, Yours for the Asking: An Indispensable Guide to Fundraising and Management, has just been published. Following the lecture, the Nonprofit Studies Program will hold a reception and book signing for Dr. Levy from 4:30-6 PM.
For more information about the lecture and our speaker, please visit our website at http://aysps.gsu.edu/nsp/UPS_lectures.html
We look forward to seeing you there.
Dennis R. Young
Bernard B. and Eugenia A. Ramsey Professor of Private Enterprise
Andrew Young School of Policy Studies
Georgia State University
Atlanta, Georgia 30302-3992
404 413 0126
404 413 0104 (fax)
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
The American Council on Education recently formulated a 501(c)(3) "Due Diligence" checklist that should prove helpful for nonprofits preventive law programs. Here is the introduction:
The Internal Revenue Service recently redesigned the Form 990. As a result, non-profit organizations will be required to disclose, under penalty of perjury, whether they have in place various polices and procedures, some of which are mandatory under the Internal Revenue Tax Code or Sarbanes-Oxley. Other policies and procedures are voluntary but may become mandatory over time or may expose a non-profit to adverse publicity if absent. Below is a checklist of these rules, based primarily on the reporting requirements in the new Form 990. The rules become effective for returns filed for the applicable deadline in 2009 for organizations with tax years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2008.
The comprehensive checklist was prepared by the law firm Arent Fox and contains lists of (1) suggested or required policies, (2) suggested procedures, and (3) suggested committees geared towards schools and hospitals. It is designed for use in complying with the revised form 990.
Friday, April 25, 2008
The University of North Carolina is organizing its twelfth annual symposium designed to bring together leading tax scholars from economics, accounting, finance, law, political science, and related fields. The symposium will be held in Chapel Hill on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, January 23 & 24, 2009, and will be sponsored by the KPMG Foundation and the UNC Tax Center. The goal is to bring together scholars from different areas who share a common interest in current tax research. Previous conferences have been very successful, and we anticipate the same this year.
Papers should be well developed, but at a stage where they can still benefit from the group's discussion. The symposium will include no more than six papers. Travel and lodging expenses for presenters will be reimbursed up to $500.
PAPER SUBMISSION PROCEDURE:
Please submit an electronic version of the paper no later than November 13, 2008 to:
CONTACT: Professor Douglas Shackelford
Postal: Kenan-Flagler Business School
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Campus Box 3490, McColl Building
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3490
Paper selection will be finalized by December 1, 2008.
Saturday, April 5, 2008
At the Critical Tax Conference at Florida State being held yesterday and today, Sarah Lawsky of George Washington presented a paper entitled, Money for Nothing: Charitable Deductions for Microfinance Lenders. The discussant was Rob Atkinson of Florida State. The schedule is posted on the FSU website.
The Section on Agency, Partnerships and Limited Liability Companies is calling for papers for the 2009 AALS Annual Meeting in San Diego. We are interested in presentations on the application of modern theories and empirical methods of business associations to agency and unincorporated firms. The program has two goals: First to show how these theories can be enriched by taking them outside the "box" of corporate law; and second to show the relevance of agency and unincorporated firms to the mainstream of corporate theory and empirics. A non-exhaustive list of possible topics includes the nature and function of fiduciary duties, agency theory, the role and enforcement of contracts, jurisdictional competition and choice of form, the relationship of federal and state law, jurisprudence, international and institutional comparisons, and legal and economic history.
Please email either a draft paper, if available, or if not an abstract and outline, to Larry E. Ribstein, University of Illinois College of Law, firstname.lastname@example.org by no later than September 1, 2008.
Thursday, April 3, 2008
Robert Katz posts "`PAGING DR. SHYLOCK!' Jewish Hospitals and the Prudent Re-Investment of Jewish Philanthropy"
Professor Robert Katz has posted a paper entitled "`PAGING DR. SHYLOCK!' Jewish Hospitals and the Prudent Re-Investment of Jewish Philanthropy" on SSRN's Nonprofit and Philanthropy Law Abstracting Journal. It is slated for publication in a book on religious philanthropy to be published in 2009 by Indiana University Press entitled Giving: For the Love of God, edited by religious scholar and ethicist David H. Smith. Its abstract reads:
This paper explores the history of Jewish hospitals in the United States as a case study in how Jewish philanthropy (defined as charitable giving from a Jewish perspective) reflects both Judaic concepts such as tzedakah (righteousness, imperfectly translated as charity) and the experience of Jews as a discrete and insular minority living in a determinedly hostile environment. For most of American history, Jews used their philanthropy -- and above all Jewish hospitals -- to take care of fellow Jews, improve relations with non-Jews, counteract anti-Jewish stereotypes and prejudice, and provide enclaves from anti-Jewish discrimination.
The decline of anti-Semitism in the U.S. since World War II obviated most of the problems that Jewish hospitals were founded to address. Jewish philanthropy would be more robust today if more Jewish hospitals had sold their institutions and became grantmakers. Most Jewish communities can find more innovative and urgent ways to perform tzedakah and engage in tikkun olam (world repair) than by operating nonprofit hospitals. Additionally, the future of American Jewry would be more secure if foundations financed by hospital sales would devote more resources to Jewish education, religion, culture, and communal life. This grantmaking agenda advances what I see as the fondest and most fundamental hope of many founders of Jewish hospitals: to help American Jewry survive and thrive as a distinct community.
The denouement of Jewish hospitals and the opportunities it afforded for fresh and responsive Jewish philanthropy -- some pursued, others squandered -- offer a lesson for other communities of faith and fate. When designing philanthropic enterprises to help ensure their collective survival, they should consider how, should an enterprise's value to that future fall, its resources might be recouped and re-invested in ways they deem more conducive to that end.