Changing the Charitable Deduction Could Discourage the Most-Generous Donors
April 29, 2011

With growing political consensus on the need to reduce the deficit, it is no longer a question of “if” the country will overhaul how it approaches taxing and spending; it is only a question of when and how we decide to put our nation’s fiscal house in order.

And that process is now raising a big question for every nonprofit in America—whether donors will be allowed the same tax benefits for charitable gifts in the future as they are today.

Nonprofits Urged to Lobby Against Limits on Charity Tax Breaks
April 28, 2011

Independent Sector, a coalition of charities and foundations, is calling on its members to lobby against a proposal by President Obama that would limit tax breaks for charitable gifts.

Diana Aviv, Independent Sector’s chief executive, in a letter sent Wednesday, strongly encouraged nonprofits to contact federal lawmakers and ask them to protect the charitable deduction.

In the letter, Ms. Aviv urged nonprofits to focus on the lawmakers who sit on the committees that draft tax policies.

New York plans charity law reform to cut red tape
April 28, 2011

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced plans on Tuesday to reform cumbersome laws and regulations burdening the state's charities in a bid to ease what he called a looming funding crisis.

Schneiderman said he would form a working group of nonprofit, government and labor representatives to develop proposals and recommend reforms. He also appealed to New York City's corporate leaders to take a role.

City of Boston sends 'tax' bills to major nonprofits
April 25, 2011

For the first time, Boston’s major tax-exempt institutions — its premier hospitals, universities, and cultural centers — are being asked to make regular voluntary payments to the city based on the value of their property to help offset the rising cost of city services and cuts in state financial aid.

Although many of the city’s nonprofit organizations have been making so-called Payments In Lieu of Taxes for decades, this marks a major change to a system that feels to some organizations uncomfortably close to tax bills.

Charity poker nights draw increased scrutiny
April 21, 2011

Charity poker itself is perfectly legal, but Illinois law prohibits consultants from running charitable games and providing dealers — duties expressly limited to the charity. Money is to be handled only at the bank, not at the tables. Dealers may not be paid or tipped, and side bets are forbidden.

The law aims to draw a firm line between charities and hired gambling consultants, who are limited to providing advice on setting up the games and equipment..

Federal Budget Deal Includes Cuts to a Wide Range of Nonprofits
April 12, 2011

The federal budget cuts lawmakers agreed to last week will shave money from a wide swath of social programs, including community health-care centers, national service, energy assistance, and family planning, according to details of the deal that were released late Monday night.

The legislation, which covers spending through the fiscal year that ends on Sept. 30, is not as radical as a plan that the Republican-led House adopted in February. But few programs were spared cuts in a package that aims to slash almost $40-billion from current spending levels.

Rights groups fear charity crackdown in Cambodia
April 8, 2011

Leading human rights groups urged the Cambodian government on Thursday to drop a controversial draft law they fear is aimed at restricting the activities of campaigners and charity workers. The proposed law, which is in the final stages of review, "should be abandoned because it will undermine rather than promote civil society," Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and six other groups said in a joint statement.

Charities Prepare Anxiously for Possible Government Shutdown
April 7, 2011

With Congress and the White House locked in an impasse over spending and a federal shutdown looming, nonprofit officials nationwide are scrambling to prepare for the worst: The closure of government agencies would halt grants to many nonprofits and stop payments to charities that have contracts to provide emergency food shipments, vaccination clinics, care for the elderly, and home heating aid.