Thursday, February 28, 2013

IRS Expands Voluntary Worker Classification Settlement Program

Here's something else about the IRS...

Earlier this week, the Internal Revenue Service announced that it has expanded its Voluntary Classification Settlement Program (VCSP), paving the way for more taxpayers to take advantage of this low-cost option for achieving certainty under the law by reclassifying their workers as employees for future tax periods.

According to the IRS, the agency is modifying several eligibility requirements, thus making it possible for many more interested employers, especially larger ones, to apply for this program.  Thus far, nearly 1,000 employers have applied for the VCSP, which provides partial relief from federal payroll taxes for eligible employers who are treating their workers or a class or group of workers as independent contractors or other nonemployees and now want to treat them as employees. Businesses, tax-exempt organizations and government entities may qualify.

Under the revamped program, employers under IRS audit, other than an employment tax audit, can qualify for the VCSP.  Furthermore, employers accepted into the program will no longer be subject to a special six-year statute of limitations rather than the usual three years that normally applies to payroll taxes.


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

IRS to Post Updated List of Organizations That Lost Tax-Exempt Status

Today's Chronicle of Philanthropy is reporting that beginning in March, the Internal Revenue Service plans to start posting a more up-to-date list of organizations that have had their tax-exempt status automatically revoked for not filing proper paperwork.

In the past, the IRS has waited for six months after taking action to release the names of nonprofits that no longer hold charity status because they failed to file legally required documents for three consecutive years.  Going forward, however, the tax agency will release names a month after a group has lost its exemption.

In announcing the change, the IRS said: “Because of this change, the number of organizations added to the list in March 2013 will appear higher than in other months because it includes a catch-up period of about seven months.”

The Chronicle reports tax experts as saying that the change is good for potential donors who need to know if a group remains tax-exempt.  Donors cannot claim a charitable deduction for any gifts made to an organization after the date the IRS announces the revocation of its tax-exempt status.


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

Target to Offer Education Grants

National retailer, Target, has announced a charitable initiative designed to bring arts and cultural experiences directly to K-12 children.  The company will be awarding grants of $2,000 for programs that enhance the classroom curricula by bringing the arts and cultural experiences to schools via in-school performances, artist-in-residency programs and workshops, among others. Programs must take place between September 2013 and August 2014.

Grants will be restricted to K-12 educational institutions and organizations with tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Applications are accepted between March 1 and April 30 each year, with grant awards announced in September.


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

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

$15 Million in Grants Aimed at Improving School Performance

Americorps has announced the availability of $15 million in grants for the nation’s most underperforming schools, this through a new program called Turnaround AmeriCorps.

According to Samantha Jo Warfield, acting press secretary of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the $15 million -- from both CNCS and the U.S. Department of Education -- will fund nonprofits, civic organizations and local government entities working directly in the schools and utilizing AmeriCorps members.  Grant applications are due on April 23; funding announcements are expected in July.

The NonProfitTimes reports Warfield as saying: “What’s really great about this program is AmeriCorps members will be providing direct services within schools.  It’s an innovative way of tackling some of the pressing challenges facing our communities.”

The Times continues:

Warfield said the number and dollar amount of the grants depend on the number of applicants. There are no target start dates for programs yet. Likely programs include helping students with reading and math, helping them navigate college entry and financial aid applications, raising the graduation rate of the schools and working to improve non-academic success factors such as discipline, attendance rates and school safety.

“The list (of projects) runs the gamut of services and a lot of that will speak to the organizations that seek to apply,” said Warfield.

School Turnaround AmeriCorps will be a new program to which AmeriCorps members can apply, much like FEMA Corps, formed last year. Warfield said her CNCS’s focus at the moment is on ensuring a robust pool of AmeriCorps applicants. “A successful AmeriCorps member is going to be someone really passionate about education at any end of the spectrum, whether ensuring our youngest students are prepared with solid reading skills or helping to build pathways to college for first generation college goers,” said Warfield. “Because it’s a broader scope, there’s going to be something for everyone.”

The program is set up for 650 AmeriCorps members per year for three years. The project’s goal will depend upon the grant applications, but will fit “in line with some of the larger education goals,” said Warfield. “It will seek to increase educational achievement and high school graduation rates and increase college readiness,” she said. “We’ll be looking at all of those factors. Impact and success is demonstrated through grantee-specific performance outcomes.”


February 26, 2013 in Current Affairs, In the News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, February 22, 2013

When does Improper Political Activity Become a Crime?

When does improper campaign intervention become a crime?  At the least, there has to be an instance of campaign intervention.  But is that all?  According to a federal information to which the defendent is set to plead guilty, the answer is "yes" surprisingly.  A short but interesting story in yesterday's Wapo describes a federal information in which the crime is hard to find.  The crime, acccording to the indictment, is that a nonprofit insider in DC used nonprofit money to fund an inauguration party and, in doing so, "interfered with the proper administration of the tax laws."  The indictment states that the insider knowingly prepared fraudulent documents to obtain $110,000 to support a "political group" that was not an eligible recipient of the nonprofit's funds and, in doing so, criminally interfered with the operation of the Internal Revenue Laws.  The criminal interference, according to the brief information stems from the allegation that the insider (1) requested her chief of staff to prepare a grant request for the money, but to list the recipient as someone other than the Young Democrats, the organization hosting the Inauguration party, out of fear that a political organization was an ineligible recipient, (2) knew at the time of the grant application that the nonprofit's accountants would prepare a 990, and (3) knew, at the time of the grant application, that the 990 would be incorrect because the actual [political] use of the funds would not have been disclosed.  According to the report, the insider intends to plead guilty.  I am just not so sure about the wisdom of doing so, unless there is a deal for some sort of diversion.  It sounds like the U.S. Attorney is  really stretching to find a criminal allegation in this case.  First, the money was not going to be used to intervene in a campaign -- it was to be used for an inauguration party, the campaign having already been won.  Second, the allegation is built on too many suppositions -- the insider filed the grant application knowing that a 990 would later be filed, the acountants or auditors would prepare a 990 presumably asking no questions about ambiguous expenditures, and then eventually the 990 would in fact be filed incorrectly.  This seems a house of cards as far as criminal liability goes -- at least under the charge of interfering with the proper administration of the internal revenue laws.  If it were to stand, it seems to me, nearly all improper campaign interventions ought to constitute a crime as opposed to a violation of the condition of tax exemption.  The bottom cards are the least stable, by the way, since an inauguration party might not be a good use of charitable funds but hardly constitutes improper campaign intervention.  Another rickety card in this house is the assumption that the Young Democrats are necessarily an improper recipient, of a charitable grant (even if the insider was concerned that they might be).  What if they were conducting a voter registration drive or just . . . having a party to celebrate another successful violence-free political process?  I just wonder if the poor defendant in this case has received decent tax advice or, instead just simply hired some top flight but no less tax exemption-insensitive litigators.  There should be a motion to dismiss and, failing that, perhaps a trial, nevermind a guilty plea!  But then again, nobody asked me. 


February 22, 2013 in Federal – Executive | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

California Bill Would Strip Boy Scouts and Other Youth Organizations of Tax Preferences On Account of Membership Policies Excluding Homosexuals

California State Senator Ricardo Lara has introduced a bill entitled the Youth Equality Act.  The Senator’s web page describes the bill (SB 323) as follows:

On the heels of the controversy surrounding the Boys Scouts of America’s policy to exclude members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community as scouts or adult leaders, today State Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Long Beach) and Equality California announced the introduction of new legislation that would remove a state tax exemption for any youth group, including the Boy Scouts, that discriminate against members and leaders on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Currently, organizations that discriminate on these grounds may still receive sales and corporate tax exemptions, a provision that is intended to encourage acting in the public interest.

Additional coverage of the bill and the uncertainties surrounding its enactment is available from CBS (San Francisco Bay area) and the San Diego Union-Tribune.  


February 22, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Former Treasurer of Foundation Supporting UH Athletics Guilty of Fraud

Here's a sad tale of events all too close to my home.  In Ex-UH Booster Fund Treasurer Pleads Guilty to Fraud, the Houston Chronicle reports that Brian Bjork, once an investment counselor and associate of the late David Salinas of Ponzi scheme fame, has entered a plea of guilty in a federal wire fraud case in which he was alleged to have misappropriated $550,000 from the Houston Athletics Foundation.  The charity is described as “an independently administered booster fund for UH athletics.”  The Chronicle reports the details of the scam as follows:

Bjork, according to the plea agreement, opened a bank account in which he siphoned off money from current and former family members - in one case, a recent widow - allegedly for investment in Salinas' corporate bonds or pawn shops that Salinas owned, but actually for his own use. He also wrote fictitious account statements, prosecutors said.

Also, using his position as treasurer of the Houston Athletics Foundation ... Bjork deposited about $550,000 of HAF funds into the account, according to the prosecutors.

The story explains that evidence of the fraud was uncovered during the government’s investigation of Salinas – an investigation “which has resulted in claims of more than $50 million by creditors who purchased nonexistent corporate bonds from Salinas and his companies Select Asset Management and the J. David Group of Companies.”

For additional coverage of the story in the Boston Herald, see here.


February 22, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Additional Supporting Organization Regulations on Horizon

Yesterday, the District of Columbia Bar Taxation Section's Exempt Organizations Committee sponsored a program entitled “It's Pay Out Time for Supporting Organizations.”  (The event summary is available here; click on the program title and a pop-up appears.)  Tax Notes Today summarizes the remarks made at the program by officials with the Department of Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service. (See 2013 TNT 35-5.)  Reportedly, the government will be offering guidance to address issues not fully resolved in the recently issued regulations governing Type III supporting organizations (SOs).  It is anticipated that such future guidance will include clarification of the scope of the responsiveness test, which (among other things) requires a supported organization to “have a significant voice in the investment policies of the [SO], the timing of grants, the manner of making grants, and the selection of grant recipients by such [SO], and in otherwise directing the use of the income or assets of the [SO].”  Government officials also reportedly indicated that future guidance will address the types of distributions that non-functionally integrated Type III SOs can make in satisfying their payout requirements, as well as the definition of “control” for purposes of the rule of Internal Revenue Code section 509(f)(2) prohibiting Type I and Type III SOs from accepting contributions from donors who control their supported organizations.



February 21, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Challenge to Regulations under Code Section 501(c)(4) under Way

Tax Notes Today reports an intriguing development in the battle over the use – or abuse – of section 501(c)(4) organizations to support candidates for political office.  According to the story, available electronically at 2013 TNT 34-8, an unsuccessful Illinois candidate for a congressional seat and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) ) are suing the IRS over regulations interpreting section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code to grant federal income tax exemption to entities "primarily engaged in promoting in some way the common good and general welfare of the people of the community."   The complaint alleges that the regulations are inconsistent with the language of Code section 501(c)(4), which exempts organizations “operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare.”

This could become a noteworthy case – if a court concludes that the plaintiffs have standing.  The Tax Notes Today story cites fellow blogger (and University of Illinois Law Professor) John D. Colombo for his appropriately cautious words on the difficulty of establishing standing in tax cases like this one.  But if the plaintiffs jump the procedural hurdles, it will be interesting to see how much deference the regulation receives from the judiciary. Readers who follow the electioneering of tax-exempt entities are aware of the considerable latitude the current regulations are thought to provide social welfare organizations in participating in the political process.  It should be noted, however, that a court could interpret the language of the regulations to be more restrictive of pursuing non-exempt purposes – and therefore closer to the literal meaning of the statute – than is commonly assumed.

For additional coverage, see this story from The Hill and the CREW webpage discussing the suit and supplying a link to its complaint filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.     


February 20, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Catalina Island Conservancy Executive Reportedly under AG Scrutiny

In Allegations Made Against Catalina Conservancy Exec, the Los Angeles Times reports that the California state attorney general's office is investigating whether Ann Muscat, the executive director of the Santa Catalina Island Conservancy, has misappropriated the organization’s funds.  The story claims that the AG has received complaints about the operations of the Conservancy from “former officers of the nonprofit that manages nine-tenths of Santa Catalina Island.”  According to the Times, one complainant is Roy Rose, a major donor and former secretary of the board of directors who resigned “out of unhappiness with Muscat's stewardship” and now claims that

Muscat told him she "silenced" Mel Dinkel, the conservancy's treasurer and chief operating officer who resigned in May, with "hush money" in the form of a $100,000 "consulting agreement."

"She went on to say that she was working on securing such agreements for use in the future, acknowledging that there were other Judases in the organization…."

The press secretary for Attorney General Kamala D. Harris reportedly “would neither confirm nor deny that an investigation was underway.”


February 20, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

House Bill Includes Religious Organizations as Recipients of Federal Assistance for Disaster Relief

In House Approves Storm Aid for Religious Institutions, the New York Times reports that the United States House of Representatives, by a vote of 354 to 72, has passed a bill approving “the use of federal money to rebuild churches and synagogues damaged by Hurricane Sandy, despite concern that such aid could violate the doctrine of separation of church and state.”  The bill now awaits consideration in the Senate.  According to the story, Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand, Democrat of New York, has expressed support for the bill and “was working to secure its passage in the Senate.”  Observing that FEMA has generally refused to grant federal relief for rebuilding the physical facilities of houses of worship following natural disasters, the Times reports that FEMA lawyers raised numerous objections to the bill as a significant departure from current law.

But is the bill constitutional?  Opinions vary (imagine that!), says the story:

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, an advocacy group, said the bill was constitutional under Supreme Court precedents that allow houses of worship to receive “generally available benefits” like police and fire protection and sewer connections.

But Representative Jerrold Nadler of Manhattan, the senior Democrat on the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, said: “This bill would direct federal taxpayer dollars to the reconstruction of houses of worship. The idea that taxpayer money can be used to build a religious sanctuary or an altar has consistently been held unconstitutional.”

The American Civil Liberties Union agreed, saying it was a bedrock principle of constitutional law that “taxpayer funds cannot go to construct, rebuild or repair buildings used for religious activities.”

One can ironically frame the constitutional issue raised by the bill in the language of contract law: may the federal government provide financial aid to religious organizations for an act of God?



February 19, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, February 18, 2013

Tax Notes Reports on Hearing on Charitable Contributions Deduction

We previously blogged about the House Ways and Means Committee Hearing on Tax Reform and Charitable Contributions, first here and then here.  This morning’s Tax Notes Today briefly covers testimony from several academics and nonprofit leaders at the hearing.  The piece focuses on testimony supporting the extension of the charitable contributions deduction (“CCD”) to non-itemizers whose charitable contributions exceed a statutory floor, and testimony critical of President Obama’s proposal to reduce the value of the CCD to high-income taxpayers to 28 percent. 

The electronic citation to the Tax Notes Today piece is 2013 TNT 32-5.   


February 18, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Rutgers Law Dean Explains Nonprofit Law Firms’ Place in Addressing Problems in Legal Profession and Law Market

John J. Farmer, Jr., Dean of the Rutgers School of Law—Newark, has written an opinion editorial in the New York Times that suggests one way to help address several problems in the legal profession and market for legal services. The familiar problems that he cites include the weak job market for recent law school graduates, the high cost of legal education, and unmet needs for legal services by the middle class, many of whom are currently priced out of the market. Notes Farmer, “Legal education has not so much failed the profession as mirrored it,” by training students for a profession that offers services that are unaffordable to the masses “and at a cost that perpetuates the problem.” So what should we do, according to Farmer?

Let's scrap this system. We need, at its entry level, the equivalent of a medical residency. Law school graduates would practice for two years or so, under experienced supervision, at reduced hourly rates; repaying their debts could be suspended, as it is for medical residents.

Farmer envisions the hiring of recent law school graduates by law firms at lower compensation rates in the residency period, during which recent graduates gain valuable experience and clients benefit from lower fees. He also suggests a role for law schools through the use of nonprofit law firms/clinics:

Schools are already experimenting: Mine is about to start a postgraduate, nonprofit law clinic/firm staffed by recent graduates, under supervision, to represent lower-middle-class clients.


February 18, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Façade Easement Appraiser Barred From Preparing Appraisal Reports and Ordered to Turn Over List of Clients

DOJ On February 12, 2013, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio issued an Agreed Order of Permanent Injunction that, inter alia,

  • bars MAI-designated real estate appraiser Michael Ehrmann and the company he owns with his wife, Jefferson & Lee Appraisals Inc. (JLA), from preparing any kind of appraisal report or otherwise participating in the appraisal process for any property relating to federal taxes;
  • bars Ehrmann and JLA form providing expert testimony or expert support in any case in which they did not prepare the appraisal report valuing the donated conservation easement, except Ehrmann and JLA my continue their ongoing engagements for expert services in the cases in which they are already retained;
  • orders Ehrmann and JLA to provide a copy of the injunction to the Appraisal Institute’s Senior Manager for Ethics and Standards, the licensing office in any state in which they are licensed to appraise real estate, and all former and current clients who retained them since January 1, 2007, to appraise property for any federal tax purpose; and
  • orders Ehrmann and JLA to provide to counsel for the United States a list of clients for whom they prepared appraisal reports for tax purposes on or since November 1, 2009 (including each client’s address, phone number, e-mail address, and federal tax identification number).

In its complaint (discussed here), the Government alleged that Ehrmann repeatedly and continually made material and substantive errors and omissions, distorted data, and provided misinformation and unsupported personal opinions in his appraisals to significantly inflate the value of façade easements for federal deduction purposes. Ehrmann (who is 70 years old and has now retired) and JLA consented to the injunction without admitting the allegations against them. The injunction mandates that Ehrmann and JLA provide the list of their clients noted above to counsel for the United States within 45 days of February 12, 2013.

The Department of Justice issued a News Release regarding the injunction on February 13, 2012.


February 18, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Plerhoples: Social Innovation Resource Guide

Alicia-Plerhoples3Alicia Plerhoples (Georgetown) has posted on SSRN the Social Innovation Resource Guide.  Here is the abstract:

This Social Innovation Resource Guide is a work-in-progress that attempts to capture various resources that assist, advise, and document social innovation. Social innovation -- defined as "a novel solution to a social problem that is more effective, efficient, sustainable, or just than existing solutions and for which the value created accrues primarily to society as a whole rather than private individuals" -- is drawing widespread academic interest. This Resource Guide began as an instrument for law students enrolled in the Social Enterprise & Nonprofit Law Clinic at Georgetown University Law Center. In it you will find foundations that support social innovation, organizations that are creating metrics to measure social innovation, attorneys who counsel social innovators, centers and incubators that grow social enterprises, and much more. This Resource Guide is meant to be collaborative and dynamic, and useful to all.


February 16, 2013 in Publications – Articles | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

NVSQ Publishes February 2013 Issue

NVSQThe Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly has published its February 2013 issue.  Here is the table of contents:

  • Femida Handy, Jeffrey L. Brudney, and Lucas C.P.M. Meijs, From the Editors’ Desk
  • Ram A. Cnaan and Daniel W. Curtis, Religious Congregations as Voluntary Associations: An Overview
  • Chao Guo, Natalie J. Webb, Rikki Abzug, and Laura R. A. Peck, Religious Affiliation, Religious Attendance, and Participation in Social Change Organizations
  • Sara Kinsbergen, Jochem Tolsma, and Stijn Ruiter, Bringing the Beneficiary Closer: Explanations for Volunteering Time in Dutch Private Development Initiatives
  • Janelle A. Kerlin, Defining Social Enterprise Across Different Contexts: A Conceptual Framework Based on Institutional Factors
  • Vladislav Valentinov and Constantine Iliopoulos, Economic Theories of Nonprofits and Agricultural Cooperatives Compared: New Perspectives for Nonprofit Scholars
  • Hiromi Taniguchi, The Influence of Generalized Trust on Volunteering in Japan
  • Isabella M. Nolte and Silke Boenigk, A Study of Ad Hoc Network Performance in Disaster Response
  • Ellen Quintelier, Socialization or Self-Selection? Membership in Deliberative Associations and Political Attitudes

Research Note

  • Dyana P. Mason, Putting Charity to the Test: A Case for Field Experiments on Giving Time and Money in the Nonprofit Sector

Book Reviews

    Rebecca E. Sager, Book Review: American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us
    Deborah A. Carroll, Book Review: Finance Fundamentals for Nonprofits: Building Capacity and Sustainability
  • Judy Freiwirth, Book Review: Joining a Nonprofit Board: What You Need to Know

February 16, 2013 in Publications – Articles | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, February 15, 2013

Ways & Means Hearing Testimony and Video Available

House Ways and MeansYou can now access the opening statement by Chairman Dave Camp and the uploaded testimony of the 40 or so witnesses on the Committee on Ways and Means Committee website.  Video of the testimony is available on UStream in two, two-hour recordings.  An initial press report from Reuters indicates that the charity leaders who testified were united in their support for preserving the existing tax incentives for charitable giving.  While I have not had the opportunity to review all of the testimony, the witnesses who most supported modifying the deduction in a way that would reduce some tax benefits from charitable giving in the interest of making the deduction a more effective tool for encouraging such giving appear to have been Roger Colinvaux (Catholic University) and Gene Steuerle (Urban Institute).


February 15, 2013 in Federal – Legislative, In the News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

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.


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

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Today's Ways & Means Committee Hearing on Charitable Contributions

House Ways and MeansAs I type this post, the House Ways and Means Committee has begun its hearing on Tax Reform and Charitable Contributions.  Here is the (long) list of scheduled witnesses:



Mr. Eugene Steuerle, Fellow and Richard B. Fisher Chair, The Urban Institute, Washington, DC.

Mr. Kevin Murphy, President, the Council on Foundations, Arlington, VA.

Mr. David Wills, President, National Christian Foundation, Alpharetta, GA.

Mr. Brian Gallagher, President & CEO, United Way Worldwide, Alexandria, VA.

Mr. Roger Colinvaux, Professor, Catholic University DC Law School, Washington, DC.

Mr. Eugene Tempel, Dean of the Indiana University School of Philanthropy, Indianapolis, IN.

Ms. Jan Masaoka, CEO, California Association of Nonprofits, Sacramento, CA.



Mr. Mark Huddleston, President, University of New Hampshire, on behalf of the American Council on Education, Durham, NH.

Mr. Conrad Teitell, Chairman, Charitable Planning Group, on behalf of the American Council of Gift Annuities, Stanford, CT.

Mr. Jake Schrum, President, Southwestern University, on behalf of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, Georgetown, TX.

Ms. Diana Aviv, President & CEO, Independent Sector, Washington, DC.

Mr. Vinsen Faris, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Meals on Wheels, Washington, DC.

Mr. Bill Rieth, President & CEO, United Way of Elkhart County, Elkhart, IN.

Ms. Jill Michal, President & CEO, United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, Philadelphia, PA.


PANEL 3:                                                      

Ms. Pamela King Sams, Executive Vice President for Development, Children’s National Medical Center, Washington, DC.

Ms. Nicole Busby, Executive Director, the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, Alexandria, VA.

Mr. Rand Wentworth, President, Land Trust Alliance, Washington, DC.

Ms. Kim Morgan, CEO, United Way of Western Connecticut, Danbury, CT.

Mr. Terry Mazany, President & CEO, The Chicago Community Trust, Chicago, IL.

Mr. Brent E. Christopher, President & CEO, Communities Foundation of Texas, Dallas, TX.

Ms. Leslie Osche, Executive Director, United Way of Butler County, Butler, PA.


PANEL 4:                                                      

Mr. William Daroff, Vice President for Public Policy, Jewish Federations of North America, Washington, DC.

Ms. Ruth Thomas, Vice President of Finance and Administration, SAT-7, Easton, MD.

Mr. John Ashmen, President, American Gospel Rescue Missions, Colorado Springs, CO.

Mr. John Berry, CEO & Executive Director, Society of St. Vincent de Paul Georgia, Atlanta, GA.

Mr. Larry Minnix, President & CEO, Leading Age, Washington, DC.

Mr. Scott Ferguson, President & CEO, United Way of Chattahoochee Valley, Columbus, GA.

Ms. LaKisha Bryant, CEO, United Way of Southwest Georgia, Albany, GA.


PANEL 5:                                                      

Mr. Mike King, President & CEO, Volunteers of America, Alexandria, VA.

Ms. Jimalita Tillman, Executive Director, Harold Washington Cultural Center, Chicago, IL.

Mr. Tim Delaney, President, National Council of Nonprofits, Washington, DC.

Mr. Bill Kitson, President & CEO, United Way of Greater Cleveland, Cleveland, OH.

Ms. Naomi Adler, President & CEO, United Way of Westchester and Putnam, White Planes, NY.

Ms. Cynthia Gordineer, President & CEO, United Way of Forsyth County, Winston-Salem, NC.

Ms. Karen Rathke, President & CEO, Heartland United Way, Grand Island, NE.


PANEL 6:                                                      

Mr. Earle I. Mack, Retired Ambassador of the United States to the Republic of Finland, Fort Lee, NJ.

Mr. Andrew Watt, President & CEO, Association of Fundraising Professionals, Arlington, VA.

Mr. John Palatiello, President, Business Coalition for Fair Competition, Reston, VA.

Mr. Tony Ross, President, United Way of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, PA.

Mr. William Hanbury, CEO, United Way of the National Capital Area, Vienna, VA.

Ms. Lisa Ireland, Executive Director, United Way of Orleans County, Medina, NY.

Ms. Tory Irgang, Executive Director, United Way of Southern Chautauqua County, Jamestown, NY.



February 14, 2013 in Federal – Legislative | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

UK Charity Commission Battles Religious Organization Over "Charity" Status

Charity CommissionThe Charity Commission for England and Wales has found itself in an ongoing dispute with a Brethren congregation over whether the congregation qualifies as a charity under British law.  As detailed in a recent Parliamentary Briefing, the dispute focus on the status of a Brethren meeting Hall, the Preston Down Trust.  The case involving the Trust is being used as a test case for the status of other, similar meeting halls.  The Commission decided last year that the Trust did not qualify as a charity, which led to highly public criticism from both the Plymouth Brethren church and questions from MPs in Parliament according to a Telegraph article.  The decision is traceable to a statutory change that led a charity Tribunal to conclude that advancing religion is no longer considered to automatically provide a public benefit.  In considering whether the Trust provides a public benefit, the Charity Commission's denial letter indicates that the adherents to this particular faith sharply limit their interactions with those outside the faith and so the Charity Commission concluded that "[t]he evidence is [sic] relation to any beneficial impact on the wider public is perhaps marginal and insufficient to satisfy us as to the benefit to the community."  According to a UK civil society website, the Charity Commission and the Trust are now in negotiations to attempt to resolve the issue short of a full Tribunal hearing, although a recent Charity Commission statement suggests such a resolution may be difficult to reach.




February 14, 2013 in In the News, International | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)