Stephanie Strom

Stephanie Strom
One-Fourth of Nonprofits Are to Lose Tax Breaks

April 23, 2010, New York Times As many as 400,000 nonprofit organizations are weeks away from a doomsday.

At midnight on May 15, an estimated one-fifth to one-quarter of some 1.6 million charities, trade associations and membership groups will lose their tax exemptions, thanks to a provision buried in a 2006 federal bill aimed at pension reform.

“It’s going to be an unholy mess once these organizations realize what’s happened to them,” said Diana Aviv, president of the Independent Sector, a nonprofit trade group.

The federal legislation passed in 2006 required all nonprofits to file tax forms the following year. Previously, only organizations with revenues of $25,000 or more — or the vast majority of nonprofit groups — had to file.

The new law, embedded in the 393 pages of the Pension Protection Act of 2006, also directed the Internal Revenue Service to revoke the tax exemptions of groups that failed to file for three consecutive years. Three years have passed, and thus the deadline looms.

U.S. Plan Threatens Free-Book Group

April 9, 2010, New York Times Changes in the way the federal government plans to allocate money to increase and improve literacy pose a severe threat to one of the country’s best-known nonprofit groups, Reading Is Fundamental.

Known commonly as RIF, the organization, which provides free books to needy children and has been promoted in memorable public service announcements by celebrities like Carol Burnett and Shaquille O’Neal, stands to lose all of its federal financing, which accounts for roughly 75 percent of its annual revenues.

Ford Foundation Grants Nurture Arts Spaces and Housing

April 5, 2010, New York Times As part of an effort to increase the impact of its giving, the Ford Foundation is to announce a plan on Monday to dedicate $100 million to the development of arts spaces nationwide over the next decade. The plan is by far the largest commitment the foundation has ever made to the construction, maintenance and enhancement of arts facilities.

Nonprofit Groups Foresee Tough Year

March 23, 2010, The New York Times A new survey of nonprofit groups suggests that this year will be as challenging for them as 2009, when many organizations suffered from declines in giving, delays in government payments and increased demand for their services.

States Move to Revoke Charities’ Tax Exemptions

March 2, 2010, The New York Times Faced with steep declines in tax revenue, an increasing number of states and localities are considering eliminating various tax exemptions for nonprofit groups.

Site Diverts Shopping Money to Charities

December 15, 2009, The New York Times - A new Web site lets people donate to charity the money they would have spent on, say, that $44.50 Henley sweater from the Gap — or, better yet, the $250,000 his-and-hers ICON aircraft that Neiman Marcus is selling this year.

Civil Liberties Group Loses $20 Million Donor

December 10, 2009, The New York Times - A longtime anonymous donor to the American Civil Liberties Union has withdrawn his annual gift of more than $20 million, punching a 25 percent hole in its annual operating budget and forcing cutbacks in operations.

College Loans as Development Aid

December 8, 2009, The New York Times - Three months ago, Kushal Chakrabarti likes to say, the organization he co-founded,, amounted to little more than “three guys and a dog.”

Charities Rise, Costing U.S. Billions in Tax Breaks

December 7, 2009, The New York Times - The number of organizations that can offer their donors a tax break in the name of charity has grown more than 60 percent in the United States, to 1.1 million, in just a decade.

New Fame for the Everyday Donor

November 11, 2009, The New York Times — AFTER years in the shadows, the everyday donor is emerging as philanthropy’s newest hero, the driver of a more down-to-earth approach to charity. Sure, Bill and Melinda Gates, Warren Buffett, Bono and other celebrity mega-donors still have their place, but now high-profile charities are homing in on smaller donations, while new charities are being organized around the principle of modest giving.

Confusion on Where Money Lent Via Kiva Goes

November 8, 2009, The New York Times Last month, David Roodman, a research fellow at the Center for Global Development, pressed a button on his laptop as his bus left the Lincoln Tunnel in Manhattan and started a debate that has people re-examining the country’s latest celebrated charity,

New Name for Jewish Organization

October 9, 2009, The New York Times In an effort to establish a clearer identity, the United Jewish Communities renamed itself the Jewish Federations of North America and adopted a new logo that it hopes will be used by the network of more than 500 Jewish organizations under its umbrella.

Even the Smallest Nonprofit Groups Tried Their Hands at High Finance

September 23, 2009, The New York Times Even the smallest of nonprofits ventured into the world of high finance.  A decade ago, Family Service of Greater Boston, a 174-year-old social services agency with an annual budget of about $6 million, sold its nine-story row house on Beacon Hill. Rather than use the $8.1 million in proceeds to buy a new building, Family Service put the money from the sale into its endowment and floated $8 million in variable-rate tax-exempt bonds tied to a swap contract that protected it from interest rate fluctuations.