Enjoy Those Million-Dollar Paydays

I love good research and I love The Wall Street Journal.  But the reporting on the results of the recent research it did on salaries of nonprofit CEOs is emblematic of the problems of both much of the research about the sector, and the reporting out of that research.

The Journal’s headline read, “Charity Officials Are Increasingly Receiving Million-Dollar Paydays,”* with the subhead of “About 2,700 people had seven-figure pay packages at nonprofits in 2014, a number that was up a third in three years, newly Read more

Nonprofits Should Remain Switzerland

Time and again, we see a problem of a few being addressed by a response that pulls in the masses.  Such is the idea of repealing the Johnson Amendment.  Religious organizations that are considered to be 501(c)(3) organizations already have a number of exemptions to the rules that govern the rest of the sector; why not do that here?  If it is so important to allow all religious leaders to be able to make political endorsements and preach politics, then Congress and the IRS should Read more

Getting What We Deserve

We are our own worst enemies.  We perpetuate myths, we engage in worst practices instead of best and we straddle ourselves with behavior and attitudes that can do nothing but harm us.  It is time for the nonprofit sector to take control of itself and prove to the rest of the world that we deserve the respect that we so crave.

First, let’s bust the myth that our employees do NOT deserve livable, competitive salaries.  They absolutely do, and you know it.  While many nonprofits have Read more

Free Speech for Nonprofits?

Last week, the United States Supreme Court made a decision that could have huge implications for nonprofits across America, regardless of their missions.

In Citizens United v Federal Election Commission, No. 08-205, the Supreme Court relied on the First Amendment protection of free speech to say, according to Justice Kennedy who wrote the majority opinion, that Congress may not fine or jail “citizens, or associations of citizens (emphasis added), for simply engaging in political speech.”  In other words, with its 5-4 decision, corporations are no longer Read more

January 28th, 2010 2 Comments

A Tough Hybrid to Swallow – the L3C

My intent was to write about L3Cs—low-profit limited liability companies.    Five states already allow them, several more have legislation pending, and many are encouraging the congress to create such legislation.  Ever heard of them?

So I went looking for a simple, yet clear, definition of just what an L3C is.  In the process, I got sidetracked by a table comparing an LLC, an L3C and a nonprofit.

According to the design and intent of an L3C, it is a cross between a for-profit and nonprofit organization:  it Read more

Passing the Smell Test


What makes a nonprofit a nonprofit?  There are so many ways that people answer this question, most of which are incorrect.  There is, however, little argument that for many, it is the IRS 501(c)(3)designation is the determinant. Technically speaking, I’d agree:  IRS approval  is essential in  announcing yourself as a nonprofit.  But does that really make a nonprofit a nonprofit? I’d have to say no.  All it means is that you have passed the paper review by the IRS.  Theoretically, in Read more

Big Profits….No Taxes. The American Way?

According to a new report from the Government Accountability Office, two-thirds of U.S. corporations paid no federal taxes between 1998 and 2005. And a whopping 68% of foreign companies doing business in the United States also paid no federal taxes during that same period. All while doing “trillions of dollars in sales.”

I must say, I am inclined to agree with Senator Byron Dorgan (D.,N.Dakota), who observed in response to the report, “It’s shameful that so many corporations make big Read more

Weight Watcher’s for Nonprofits (Or Does this 501(c)(3) Make Me Look Fat???

Why is it that Americans always associate growth with good? (Except, of course, when it comes to personal weight growth, which most people generally perceive as bad.) The bigger the better, the more the merrier, etc. And the bigger something gets, the “more better” it is.

Well, I beg to differ. In recent years, the rate of growth in the nonprofit sector has outpaced that in the for profit sector. And people hail that as a great sign. Of what, I ask? Does this growth mean Read more