In the News 2017

In its 2015 Parks v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue decision (now on appeal), the United States Tax Court found that a series of radio ads funded by the Parks Foundation between 1997 and 2000 conveyed information and commentary relevant to various Oregon state ballot measures and, accordingly, were subject to excise taxes under Internal Revenue Code prohibitions against foundation expenditures for lobbying activities and expenditures — notwithstanding the fact that several of the ads never mentioned a specific ballot measure.

Philanthropy News Digest | November 15, 2017

The federal tax law is very strict on the issue of political campaigning. A 501(c)(3) organization is absolutely forbidden to directly or indirectly participate in any political campaign on behalf of, or in opposition to, any candidate for elective public office.

The Fayettevill Observer | November 11, 2017

This is not the time to sit back. This is not the time to be shy. And while it may require us to push back against things that are being proposed by our leaders, this is not about partisanship or a particular political view. It’s about an essential understanding of the role of nonprofits in society, what our work means to this country and the people we serve, and how all of that is affected by the decisions that our elected officials make and the policies they enact.

Nonprofit Quarterly | November 3, 2017

The way in which the University of Arizona funds lobbying efforts was the subject of a recent report by the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting, which specifically targeted the UA Foundation.

The Daily Wildcat | November 1, 2017

With President Trump bent on slashing scores of federal programs and billions of dollars from the budget, a new golden era for private philanthropy is about to dawn. In fact, the phenomenon is already apparent; problems created by government shortfalls are now being tackled by wealthy donors and foundations, seeking to promote innovative solutions to societal issues. Although these high-wealth donors cannot (and should not) serve as a replacement for government accountability, they provide critical resources to support organizations seeking to positively impact public policy.

Inside Philanthropy | October 19, 2017

Riled up? That’s just the emotion that can be tapped by nonprofits looking to raise money for a cause, said Larry Kaplan, a speaker at the Gianneschi Summer School for Nonprofits Aug. 14-16 at Mihaylo College of Business and Economics. Kaplan, who runs a consulting firm in Los Angeles for nonprofits, spoke on “Nonprofit Advocacy and Rage Fundraising in a Trump Era” at the conference put on by Cal State Fullerton’s Gianneschi Center for Nonprofit Research.

Orange County Register | September 12, 2017

A nonprofit foundation created by Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb has raised more than $850,000 since it launched to much fanfare in late 2015 and will soon roll out its first major initiatives.
Newly released IRS filings show the E Foundation for Oklahoma, a tax-exempt public charity that is allowed to shield the names of its donors, more than doubled its first-year fundraising total of $237,000 by taking in $622,500 in 2016.

Oklahoma Watch | September 13, 2017

Thinking about launching your own start-up? If you’re going the nonprofit route, it’s just as important to decide which structure best suits your goals. For most groups, the choice is between a 501(c)(3) and a 501(c)(4), and each has its own advantages and disadvantages – especially when it comes to raising money and getting involved in politics (yes, you should think about that).

Equities | August 8, 2017

Nan Aron and Abby Levine, both from the invaluable Alliance for Justice, have an important article in today’s American Prospect making a progressive defense of the use of 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations to oppose the Trump agenda, even though c4s do not disclose their donors (“dark money”). The authors admit “It’s a head-spinning development for some—and comes with no shortage of angst for committed progressives who are strongly allergic to the “dark money” notion and all that it implies.”

Public Policy Legal Institute | August 7, 2017

Protecting donor privacy is crucial to the health and freedom of our society, but not everyone sees it that way.

Philanthropy Roundtable | April 21, 2017

An executive order (EO) signed by President Donald J. Trump this morning could welcome more overt political activity by charities and churches. It also appears to open the door for more litigation against his administration.

The Nonprofit Times | April 4, 2017

This post-election period brings a whirlwind of activity as new administrations and legislatures get ready to take office. It also brings a wealth of opportunities for donor organizations that care deeply about policy issues and want their contributions to make a real difference in legislation and policymaking.
Philanthropy Journal | January 17, 2017