Tax, Legal & Compliance

Fundraising Firm Sued Over Sudden Shutdown
July 7, 2015 at 1:12 pm

A now-defunct fundraising company faces a lawsuit after closing its Oshkosh call center abruptly last week, forcing more than 100 out of work. Minnesota-based Strategic Fundraising, which shuttered Monday, June 29, claimed in filings to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development that it didn't need to give 60 days notice of the layoff as required…

Nonprofit Program Director Faces Deportation on Decades-Old Robbery Charge
July 6, 2015 at 2:13 pm

Daniel Maher, a program director for the Ecology Center, a Berkeley, California-based nonprofit, is being held by U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE) and could be deported, reports the Daily Californian. Maher was born in China and lived there for three years before moving to the U.S. He served seven years in prison for involvement in a robbery when he was 20 years old—more than two decades ago...

Feds Take Action Against Crowdfunding Fraud
July 6, 2015 at 6:00 am

The Federal Trade Commission has landed hard on the Kickstarter crowdfunding platform. It may be just what the doctor ordered to protect people donating to odd and sundry products and companies pitched on Kickstarter, Indiegogo and others. In the world of crowdfunding, the mechanisms of consumer protection are pretty thin. While crowdfunding platforms assert a…

Ruling Could Put Nonprofit Hospitals on Hook for Millions in Property Taxes
June 29, 2015 at 1:22 pm

Nonprofit hospitals across New Jersey could be liable for millions of dollars in annual property taxes, under a ruling by a tax-court judge that highlighted the difficulty in separating the charitable and for-profit activities of hospitals and other organizations. The judge found that Morristown Medical Center had so intermingled its nonprofit and for-profit services and…

Register Your Copyrights
June 29, 2015 at 8:33 am

There appears to be a popular misconception that the only thing that needs to be done to have a copyright is to place the designation © or a notation that “All Rights Are Reserved” on materials for which copyright protection is sought. While that may be true—at least in part—one cannot sue under the federal Copyright Act for infringement unless the copyright is registered with the U.S. Copyright Office.

Nonprofit Fraud: It’s a People Problem, So Combat It With Governance
June 24, 2015 at 1:59 pm

Skimming cash, purchasing schemes and financial statement fraud—three very different types of fraud that nonprofits must prevent, detect and insure against. Still, behind each of them—and every variety of deliberate, deceptive acts against nonprofits—there’s a fundamental and shared dynamic at play. Fraud isn’t just an operational or financial risk. It’s inherently a human risk, meaning it often…

Clintons Charge Big Fees to Small Nonprofits
June 19, 2015 at 2:14 pm

When Condoleezza Rice headlined a 2009 fundraising luncheon for the Boys and Girls Club of Long Beach, she collected a $60,000 speaking fee, then donated almost all of it back to the club, according to multiple sources familiar with the club’s finances. Hillary Clinton was not so generous to the small charity, which provides after-school…

IRS Panel Recommends Mandatory E-Filing of Form 990s
June 19, 2015 at 1:43 pm

The Internal Revenue Service's Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities has called for the agency to require nonprofits to file financial data electronically, the Chronicle of Philanthropy reports. According to the committee, a survey of 468 nonprofits found that less than 2 percent of organizations that file the financial form for tax-exempt organizations…

Groups Allege Walmart Foundation Violated Tax-Exempt Status
June 17, 2015 at 1:06 pm

More than a dozen community groups filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service Monday alleging that the Walmart Foundation violated its tax-exempt status by using charitable funds to advance the retailer’s entrance into urban markets including Washington. The 22-page complaint, addressed to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, details the retailer’s marketing and lobbying activities as…

Yes, We Have a Fundraising Policy for That
June 4, 2015 at 2:50 am

Development or fundraising policies may sound like the boring stuff we prefer to ignore, but they are actually a wonderful tool for fundraisers.