Nonprofit Currents
May. 21, 2014

When funds go missing, what can you do? What must you do?
From Nonprofit Quarterly
While there are few precedents for establishing the limits of a board's liability when organizational funds have been embezzled, it is generally clear that if board members have acted within their fiduciary capacity and have not been grossly negligent in their oversight of the nonprofit's funds, they cannot be held liable for the stolen funds. That does not prevent a state's attorney general from laying the blame on a board, however. More

Charity works: Choosing the right partner
From The Washington Post
Here's a familiar dating story: A young person settles for a doomed relationship only to decide that the next prospect will have to meet much higher standards. The nonproft world is no stranger to that experience. As donors encourage nonprofits to form partnerships in hopes of increasing their impact, one local nonprofit has learned the value of taking more care about who it pairs with. More

Online fundraising goes mainstream
From The Chronicle of Philanthropy
Online giving is still growing, but triple-digit annual increases are a thing of the past. Internet fundraising grew by roughly 13 percent last year, according to a survey of 100 of the largest nonprofits conducted by The Chronicle.More

Largest crowdfunding event happened in 24 hours and raised more than $50 million
From The Huffington Post
Did you hear that clattering noise? It was the sound of records shattering across the U.S., thanks to generous Americans and their commitments to community. May 6 marked Give Local America day, a 24-hour campaign pushing for people across the country to pull out their wallets in support of local nonprofits doing good in their own backyards. And boy, did America show up. More

Potential gutting of net neutrality hurts nonprofits
From The NonProfit Times
The Federal Communications Commission has approved by a 3 to 2 vote chairman Tom Wheeler's proposal to allow Internet service providers to charge websites for faster service, a concept known as paid priority or a so-called Internet fast lane. Nonprofits around the net reacted with outrage and dismay.More

How US philanthropy is inspiring foreigners to give
From The Atlantic
The Giving Pledge, the campaign initiated by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett in 2010 to convince their billionaire peers to devote more than half their fortunes to philanthropy, was born out of a closed-door convocation. But there was also a public, performative side to the Giving Pledge. Signatories — at the current moment, there are 127 of them — were asked to produce personal statements regarding their reasons for giving, which are featured on the Giving Pledge website. The intended audience was initially domestic, but within a few years, Pledge organizers directed their efforts to an overseas audience as well. More

San Diego opera raises money to remain open
From The New York Times
The San Diego Opera, which was left for dead in March when its board of directors voted to shut it down after 49 years, citing dwindling ticket sales and philanthropic support, will live to see its 50th-anniversary season after all, the company announced. Bolstered by a successful crowdfunding campaign that raised $2.1 million — with more than $1.6 million given by a broad cross-section of donors, activating a $500,000 matching gift — the opera's board voted to rescind its decision to close.More

When funds go missing, what can you do? What must you do?
From Nonprofit Quarterly
While there are few precedents for establishing the limits of a board's liability when organizational funds have been embezzled, it is generally clear that if board members have acted within their fiduciary capacity and have not been grossly negligent in their oversight of the nonprofit's funds, they cannot be held liable for the stolen funds.More

Yet another symphony (Green Bay) declares intent to close
Nonprofit Quarterly
NPQ has become accustomed to waiting for another shoe to drop whenever a classical music group declares it is going out of business. In this case, the Green Bay Symphony in Wisconsin has declared it will close at the conclusion of the 2014–2015 season.More

IRS simplifies tax-exempt applications for small nonprofits
From Accounting Web
As investigations continue into the "Tea Party scandal" involving applications for tax-exempt status by conservative groups, the IRS is making it easier — and faster — for small nonprofits to apply for a tax exemption. It has created new Form 1023-EZ, a streamlined version of the regular Form 1023 used to apply for tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the tax code.More

Commentary: 12 ways to clean up the mess at IRS
From Government Executive
The Internal Revenue Service's Exempt Organizations Division has received little favorable news coverage lately. If we skip the claims that President Barack Obama directed the IRS to target Tea Party groups, there still are problems with how this controversial division operates. Over the past 10 or 15 years, it has become increasingly dysfunctional. More

NPR names Jarl Mohn as its new CEO and president
From NPR
Media industry veteran Jarl Mohn will be NPR's new CEO, the organization's board of directors has announced. Mohn currently sits on the board of directors at several media organizations, including Scripps Networks Interactive and Web analytics company ComScore. He is also on the boards of KPCC Southern California Public Radio and the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.More

New crowdsourcing site like 'Yelp' for philanthropy
From The Washington Post
The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy has created a new website that posts public feedback about a foundation's giving. Think Yelp for the philanthropy sector. Along with public critiques, the new website, Philamplify.org, uploads a comprehensive assessment of a foundation conducted by researchers at the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy. More