Category Archives: Policy

The Non-Repeal of the Johnson Amendment

Much brouhaha has been made over President Trump’s May 4 Executive Order claiming to “totally destroy” the Johnson Amendment. The Johnson Amendment is a 1954 law that bars 501(c)(3) organizations from supporting or opposing candidates for public office. As with … Continue reading

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Are Nonprofits “Follow the Money” Obsessed?

Have the leaders of nonprofits been overly incentivized to “follow the money,” resulting in a troubling shift in the composition of boards? The answer is yes according to a recent article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review. The trend may … Continue reading

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The NY Salary Cap Saga Continues

In April we told you that that the Nassau County State Supreme Court in New York ruled that Governor Andrew Cuomo had overstepped his authority when he issued an executive order putting a cap on executive salaries at state-supported nonprofits … Continue reading

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House Trying to Force Nonprofits to be “Effective”

Can a new tax plan make nonprofits more “effective”? That’s what the House is hoping. A draft bill recently announced by the House Ways and Means Committee would penalize nonprofits for activities that the Committee has determined are not effective … Continue reading

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Charitable Deduction Under Attack – AGAIN

How much does your nonprofit rely on donations from wealthy individuals? Many nonprofit leaders are asking themselves that very question right now. Once again, calls from both Democrats and Republicans threaten to limit the charitable deduction. In his proposed budget … Continue reading

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GiveWell Focuses on Evidence-Based Giving

Would you buy a car without a thorough vetting? For most the answer is no. So why donate to a charity without a proper investigation? Last month we posted a list of the main questions to ask before you donate. … Continue reading

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Should Social Welfare Organizations Be Treated More Like Charities?

Currently, the IRS requires 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations to be “primarily engaged” in promoting social welfare. This means social welfare organizations can spend a minority of their total expenditures on political campaign activity without losing their exemption. As these organizations … Continue reading

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Government Funding to Require Quantifiable Results?

Here’s a novel idea: When you pay for something, expect something in return. Harriet McDonald, Executive Vice President of the Doe Fund in New York, is challenging governments to do just that. In her Chronicle of Philanthropy article, McDonald argues … Continue reading

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IRS Considers Reevaluating Politically Minded 501(c)(4) Orgs

As we posted here and here, advocates for campaign finance reform have been demanding for the past year that the IRS investigate politically motivated “social welfare” or 501(c)(4) organizations. These calls to action have finally paid off. Lois Lerner, the … Continue reading

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Do You Dislike Charity Ratings?

Since the advent of Charity Navigator and other websites that rate charities, there has been an increasing push for charities to meet their arbitrary standards. Voices critical of charity ratings rarely reach a national audience. But now a prominent critic … Continue reading

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