Friday, April 5, 2019
It's not too late for ARNOVA members to submit a proposal for the annual November conference, taking place in San Diego this year. (Member deadline is April 9). The conference theme this year is Nonprofits and Philanthropy in a Polarized World: Speaking Truth to Power and Using Power to Speak Truth. It's always an interesting, interdisciplinary conversation. Hope to see you in San Diego. https://www.arnova.org/page/upcomingconferences
Tuesday, October 23, 2018
The Nonprofit Management Program at Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies is presenting its next Master Class in the program's Professional Development Series on November 15, 2018: "Charities Regulation on the International Front: Emerging Issues in Globalization."
A description of the program:
Regulation and enforcement in the charitable sector are increasingly global in scope. Whether addressing cross-border charitable solicitation, oversight issues within religiously based organizations, terrorism concerns, money laundering, or the burgeoning technological platforms that enable new and expanded reach for these activities internationally, charities regulators are on the front lines of some of the most cutting-edge international legal issues. Join us for a deep-dive discussion with our panel of experts discussing the new globalized context of charities regulation.
James G. Sheehan, Chief, Charities Bureau, New York State Attorney General's Office
Marcus S. Owens Partner, Loeb & Loeb, Former Director, Exempt Organizations Division of the Internal Revenue Service
Moderator: Cindy M. Lott, Esq., Academic Director, Nonprofit Management Programs and Senior Lecturer'
Saturday, September 29, 2018
The long-planned Single Portal for state charity registration just went live for the first two pilot states, Connecticut and Georgia. A second cohort of at least five states is expected to join them by January 2019, according to the website's FAQs. The site is operated by the Multistate Registration and Filing Portal, Inc., which is described as a section 501(c)(3) organization that is also an instrumentality of government formed by state charity officials. I assume not coincidentally, the site went live just before this year's National Association of Attorneys General/National Associate of State Charity Officials conference in Baltimore, scheduled for October 1st thru 3rd. The agenda for Monday, which is open to the public, is available here.
Sunday, February 25, 2018
The Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) has extended to February 28 its call for proposals for its June 2018 ARNOVA-Asia Conference in Hong Kong. From the conference website:
We are calling for papers that advance the theoretical understanding of factors activating and shaping the changing dynamic between government and the third sector, and the implications of the change for public governance and the sector’s development. We encourage diverse theoretical approaches and methodologies including both qualitative and quantitative research; and also studies with a focus at the individual, organizational or sectoral levels. As we strive to bridge the academic and professional communities in the study and practice of nonprofits and philanthropy, we also welcome proposals for professional exchange sessions by practitioners which address the opportunities and challenges they face amid the changing government-third sector relations. For these practitioner-oriented sessions, innovative modes of presentation and discussion are encouraged; they may be short presentations on case studies to provoke thoughts and discussions, panel discussions of best practices, or provocative talks. Roundtable sessions in which academics and practitioners share their views and experiences of seizing the opportunities and meeting the challenges are also welcomed.
Thursday, November 2, 2017
As reported in the October 23rd edition of Tax Notes, IRS is now reviewing tax-exempt hospitals to ensure their compliance with the §501(r) regulations issued in 2015. At the American Health Lawyers Association meeting on October 19th, a tax law specialist in the IRS Tax-Exempt and Government Entities Division Reviews conveyed that the IRS is uncovering compliance issues regarding the financial assistance policy (FAP) and community health needs assessment requirements. Agents also are inquiring as to whether patients eligible under the hospital's FAP are not excessively billed. In addition, the tax law specialist reported non-contact reviews taking place in 2014 to 2016 resulted in several hundred examinations, most from the absence of required documents on the hospital's website. The specialist also revealed that unrelated business income and excess benefit transactions were also sources for examinations.
(Hat tip: Fred Stokeld at Tax Notes)
Friday, August 18, 2017
This year’s NASCO Conference will be held in Washington D.C. at the Westin Washington, D.C. City Center and will run from October 2 – 4. Monday’s session is open to the public and provides an opportunity for representatives of the nonprofit sector and members of the public to meet and participate in discussions with state regulators. Tuesday and Wednesday are for regulators only, providing significant opportunity for state charity regulators to discuss the latest topics and learn from each other.
The theme for this year’s conference is “The Impact of Technology on Charities Regulation.” The agenda for both the public day and the regulator only days will offer a mix of presentations by state regulators and speakers from the non-profit sector addressing this theme and other recent developments affecting state charitable regulation.
The session on Monday will include discussions on crowdfunding and improving communication between charities regulators and the charitable sector. We will conclude Tuesday’s regulator-only session with a networking social hour and dinner, followed by the NASCO business meeting. Finally, the regulator-only portion of the conference will wrap up on Wednesday morning with discussions on developing enforcement actions and multistate priorities for the coming year.
Monday, July 24, 2017
The date for the Joint TE/GE Council Meeting has been announced.
The TE/GE Councils were formed to maintain lines of communication between practitioners and the IRS TE/GE Division (and related areas) to:
- open and maintain lines of communication between the TE/GE Division (the “Division”) of the Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) and the practitioner community within the regional area,
- provide the Division with the thinking of the practitioner community on procedural and systemic matters,
- provide practitioners a forum to share their concerns with the IRS regarding both policies and specific tax issues and procedures, and
- educate the practitioner community.
The Councils work with the IRS TE/GE Division (and related areas) to accomplish these goals. Each of the five regional councils includes two subgroups: exempt organizations and employee plans. Programs are open to the public.
Friday, June 23, 2017
The study of nonprofits goes well beyond the laws governing them, and there are a number of publications and organizations dedicated to that study. Here is a sampling of both recent articles and upcoming conferences from this broader academic space (the logo shown here is from the Indiana University-Purdue University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, which is hosting the first conference listed):
RECENT ARTICLES (click through to see tables of contents for these publications)
Nonprofit Academic Centers Council Biennial Conference, Indianapolis, July 31-August 2
Science of Philanthropy Initiative, Chicago, September 6-7, 2017
Comparing Third Sector Expansions Workshop, New York, October 4-7, 2017
ARNOVA Annual Conference, Grand Rapids, November 16-18, 2017
International Society for Third-Sector Research Conference, Amsterdam, July 10-13, 2018
Friday, March 3, 2017
FTC & NASCO Will be Hosting a Conference to Discuss Consumer Protection and Charitable Giving: March 21
The Federal Trade Commission and the National Association of State Charities Officials will be hosting a conference to bring together various stakeholders to discuss charitable solicitation and consumer protection. It will take place all day on March 21, 2017, at the Constitution Center, 400 7th St., SW, Washington, DC 20024. From the event website:
The event will bring together leading stakeholders -- regulators, researchers, practitioners, charity watchdogs, donor advocates, and members of the nonprofit sector. Discussions will focus on consumer protection concerns in the sector, including available data on donor expectations and perceptions, deceptive fundraising practices, the regulatory and enforcement environment, and new charitable giving options...
The conference is free and the first day is open to the public.
See you there!
Friday, November 18, 2016
The Federal Trade Commission & National Association of State Charities Officials announced earlier this week "Give & Take: Consumers, Contributions, and Charity", a conference exploring consumer protection issues and charitable solicitations will take place in Washington DC on March 21, 2017. Comments, research, original papers and participation are sought with submission deadline of February 17, 2017. Topics sought include: How Are Donor Solicitations Evolving in the Digital Age? What Do Donors Expect When They Contribute? What Information About Charities Do Donors Find Helpful? Discovering and Reporting Possible Deceptive Charitable Solicitations: When do Donors Act? How are Consumer Purchasing Choices Influenced by Promises of Charitable Support or Social Benefit? What are Best Practices in Terms of Charitable Solicitations, Information and Accuracy?
For more information, see https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/events-calendar/2017/03/give-take-consumers-contributions-charity?utm_source=govdelivery.
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
For readers who were not able to attend last month's National Association of Attorneys General/National Association of State Charitable Officials Conference, the conference materials are available here. Here was the conference's agenda:
Non-Traditional Models of Philanthropy
- Richard Feiner, Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations, Weill Cornell Medicine
Donor Advised Funds, Endowments and Donor Restrictions
- David Shevlin, Partner, Simpson Thatcher
Corporate Governance - Top Ten Issues
- Michael Peregrine, Partner, McDermott, Will and Emery LLP
Board Education: Top 10 Ways to Get Investigated and How Board Education Can Help Prevent It
- Vernetta Walker, Vice President for Programs and Chief Governance Officer, BoardSource
- James Joseph, Partner, Arnold & Porter LLP
- Janet Kleinfelter, Deputy Attorney General, Office of the Attorney General of Tennessee
New Tools for the Nonprofit Sector
- James Sheehan, Chief of Charities Bureau, Office of the Attorney General of New York
- Amanda Broun, Vice President of Programs and Practice, Independent Sector
- Meghan Biss, Senior Technical Advisor to the Director, Exempt Organizations, IRS
- Miguel A. Barbosa, Co-Founder & CEO, citizenaudit.org
CyberSecurity/Data Privacy Issues
- Paul Luehr, Managing Director and Chief Policy Officer, Stroz Friedberg
- Abigail Stempsen, Assistant Attorney General, Office of the Attorney General of Nebraska
- Alissa Gardenswartz, Deputy Attorney General, Office of the Attorney General of Colorado
Multistate Litigation: Cancer Fund of America
- Tracy Thorleifson, Attorney, Federal Trade Commission
- Michael Foerster, Senior Deputy Attorney General, Office of the Attorney General of Pennsylvania
NAAG Charities Committee: Meet the Attorneys General
- Cindy Lott, Program Director, Nonprofit Management Program, Columbia University School of Professional Studies
Tuesday, August 9, 2016
For those interested in state oversight of nonprofits, the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) and the National Association of State Charity Officials (NASCO) will be holding their annual meeting focused on such oversight on October 17 thru 19 in Washington, DC. While for two days the conference is only open to state regulators, the first day is open to the public. Here are the topics for the public session agenda:
Welcome and Introductions
Non-Traditional Models of Philanthropy
Donor Advised Funds, Endowments and Donor Restrictions
Board Education: Top 10 Ways to Get Investigated and How Board Education Can Help Prevent It
New Tools for the Nonprofit Setor
CyberSecurity/Data Privacy Issues
Multistate Litigation: Cancer Fund of America
NAAG Charities Committee: Meet the AGs
The full public session agenda, including the names of moderators and panel members, is available here.
Wednesday, June 8, 2016
Eric C. Chaffee, Professor and Associate Dean of Faculty Research & Development at the Univerity of Toledo College of Law, presented his paper entitled "Collaboration Theory: A Theory of the Charitable Tax Exempt Nonprofit Corporation" on June 2 at the most recent Law & Society conference (Program Link here). The current draft of the paper, which is forthcoming 2016 in the U.C. Davis Law Review, is available on SSRN here - the SSRN abstract follows:
Legal scholarship regarding tax exempt nonprofit entities is meager at best. Although some excellent treatises, book chapters, and journal articles have been written, the body of scholarship relating to these entities is not nearly as healthy and robust as the scholarship relating to their for-profit companions. This is especially troubling considering that nonprofit entities help to improve our society in a myriad of different ways.
This Article seeks to fill a void in the existing scholarship by offering an essentialist theory for charitable tax exempt nonprofit corporations that helps to explain the essence of these entities. Beyond the purely academic metaphysical inquiry into what is a corporation, understanding the essential nature of these corporations is important because it helps to determine how they should interact with society, what rights they should have, and how they should be governed by the law. This discussion is especially timely because the recent opinions by the Supreme Court of the United States in Citizens United and Hobby Lobby have reinvigorated the debate over the essence of the corporation.
This Article breaks new ground by offering a new essentialist theory of the corporation, which shall be termed “collaboration theory.” The decades of debate over the essence of for-profit corporations has coalesced into three prevailing theories of the corporation, i.e., the artificial entity theory, the real entity theory, and the aggregate theory. The problem is that none of these prevailing theories fully answers the question of what is a corporation.
Collaboration theory suggests that charitable tax exempt nonprofit corporations are collaborations among the state governments, federal government, and individuals to promote the public good. Unlike the prevailing theories of the corporation, collaboration theory explains both how and why charitable tax exempt nonprofit corporations exist, which provides a fuller and more robust understanding of these corporations. Collaboration theory advances the existing scholarship by finally offering an essentialist theory for nonprofit corporations, and it shows remarkable promise for understanding the essential nature of for-profit corporations as well.
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
We received the following call for papers, which may be of interest to many of you. EWW
Nonprofit and Philanthropy Law
LLCS, NEW CHARITABLE FORMS, AND THE RISE OF PHILANTHROCAPITALISM
2017 AALS Annual Meeting
January 3-7, 2017
San Francisco, CA
In December 2015, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Dr. Priscilla Chan, pledged their personal fortune—then valued at $45 billion—to the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), a philanthropic effort aimed at “advancing human potential and promoting equality.” But instead of organizing CZI using a traditional charitable structure, the couple organized CZI as a for-profit Delaware LLC. CZI is perhaps the most notable example, but not the only example, of Silicon Valley billionaires exploiting the LLC form to advance philanthropic efforts. But are LLCs and other for-profit business structures compatible with philanthropy? What are the tax, governance, and other policy implications of this new tool of philanthrocapitalism? What happens when LLCs, rather than traditional charitable forms, are used for “philanthropic” purposes?
From the heart of Silicon Valley, the AALS Section on Agency, Partnerships LLCs, and Unincorporated Associations and Section on Nonprofit and Philanthropy Law will host a joint program tackling these timely issues. In addition to featuring invited speakers, we seek speakers (and papers) selected from this call.
Any full-time faculty of an AALS member or fee-paid school who has written an unpublished paper, is working on a paper, or who is interested in writing a paper in this area is invited to submit a 1- or 2-page proposal by June 1, 2016. The Executive Committees of the Sections will review all submissions and select two papers by July 1, 2016. If selected, a very polished draft must be submitted by November 30, 2016. All submissions and inquiries should be directed to the Chairs of the Sections at the email addresses below:
University of Oregon School of Law
Garry W. Jenkins
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
John C. Elam/Vorys Sater Professor of Law
Moritz College of Law, Ohio State University
Wednesday, February 3, 2016
As published in the Daily Tax Report, at the ABA Tax Section meeting last week, Andrew Morton, a partner at Handler Thayer LLP, opined that a good number of "high-profile charitable foundations" need substantially more oversight and legal assistance than they are currently receiving. He clarified that the neglect of these organizations is not malicious or deliberate: "Not because they are deliberately trying to manipulate the system, not because they're trying to do anything wrong, they just don't know. They don't get that a nonprofit is a corporation … it's a real thing. You have to take care of it.” He explained that most of the problems that arise with such celebrity-affiliated foundations are due to a lack of written policies, such as conflict-of-interest and whistle-blower situations, and the lack of reporting those policies on the foundations' annual Forms 990. In addition, these foundations are typically not aware of charitable registration requirements, which are governed by the states: “501(c)(3) is an adjective—not a noun. You don't have a 501(c)(3). You have a state nonprofit corporation, which has been conferred tax-exempt status from the federal government,” he explained. “There are 51 jurisdictions that require compliance for nonprofits. The federal government has their requirements, but every state has a different landscape.”
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
The Washington Post is reporting that just as business, political, and philanthropic leaders gathered in Marrakesh, Morocco, for the first Clinton Global Initiative meeting on Africa and the Middle East, Chelsea Clinton, the former President's daughter, said there is a "political dimension" to the controversy over multimillion-dollar gifts from foreign governments and corporations to her family's foundation.
Ms. Clinton, the Clinton Foundation's vice chair, said the scrutiny has intensified with the launch of her mother Hillary Clinton's White House run. She dismissed the idea, raised by some Republicans and campaign watchdog groups, that foundation donors seek to curry favor with her powerful parents.
Saturday, November 29, 2014
Last month I had the opportunity to attend the NYU National Center on Philanthropy and the Law's Annual Conference. The conference was titled Regulation or Repression: Government Policing of Cross-Border Charity and provided an eye-opening overview of restritions imposed by many countries on foreign funding of charities and other NGOs. What made the conference particularly timely was the fact that only a month earlier a prominent member of Congress had publicly attacked foreign donations to think tanks - in the United States. This concern led to a bipartisan legislative proposal to require disclosure of foreign funding from scholars who testify on Capital Hill. The timing was particularly ironic, as at almost the same time the Economist ran two articles raising concerns about autocratic and illiberal governments placing limits on such funding: Donors: Keep Out and Uncivil Society. That said, whatever concerns charities and other nonprofits may have in the United States (including members of Congress criticizing them for accepting foreign donations), they pale in comparison to the concerns that the legal restrictions on both funding and activities raise for NGOs in many other parts of the world.
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
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.
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, and Miranda Fleischer, Chair of the Section on Taxation, at email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday, May 29, 2014
Today'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)