Self-Serving vs. Public Serving

When something is so obvious to you, it can be hard to understand why others don’t “get it.” Add to this the challenges of overcoming well-entrenched myths and dominant models of “how things should be” and you get insight into how difficult it can be to understand some of the ways and idiosyncrasies of the nonprofit sector, including some key relationships. Even those who have been in the sector for a while don’t always get it and, thus, blow opportunities to the detriment of all.

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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

Paying for Pampered Poodles

 Is it true that our tax laws that allow individuals to donate tax free, as much of their assets as they wish to charitable causes is really another gift to the rich paid for on the backs of the rest of us?  Ray Madoff, Boston College Law School Professor, would have us so believe.   And her point is one that should give us all pause.  Noting Leona Helmsley’s bequest of $8 million for the care of dogs, she questions the acts of other similarly wealthy individuals, Read more