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IRS releases documents on how it treats tax exempt groups
From CPA Practice Advisor
Responding to a Freedom of Information Act request, the IRS has released a series of documents, including training materials used by agents relating to how it recognizes and treats exempt organizations like nonprofits. The FOIA request was made by Tax Analysts, a nonprofit organization that provides research and analysis of federal, state, and international taxes.
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Endowment gains still trailing equities market
From The Nonprofit Times
Endowments of the nation’s colleges and universities rebounded last year from negative returns in 2012 to gain nearly 12 percent but still trailed one-year returns for most major indices. The 10-year returns for smaller endowments — those with less than $1 billion in assets — continued to lag their targets. It’s the fifth year that the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) partnered with Commonfund Institute to compile the NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments (NCSE), released Jan. 28.
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Watchdog pushes back in IRS campaign finance fight
From The Washington Times
A leading campaign watchdog group is pushing back in the roiling debate over how the IRS treats a new class of tax-exempt “social welfare” groups that critics say are exploiting legal loopholes to engage in political activities. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) released a white paper responding to groups arguing against proposed reforms to IRS treatment of nonprofit 501(c)(4) groups. CREW officials contend the proposed reforms are needed to rein in abuses of groups winning tax-exempt status while campaigning and concealing their funding sources.
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Giving donors fewer options spurs gifts at a campaign's end, study finds
From The Chronicle of Philanthropy
As charities seek to wrap up a fundraising drive, they would be wise to offer donors one way to give rather than lots of options that could cause them to pause too long to deliberate, says a Stanford University marketing professor who just published her latest in a series of studies about how to motivate giving. In the beginning of any campaign for money or for goods, it’s best to offer multiple ways to donate, says Szu-chi Huang, assistant professor of marketing at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, who studied donors to a blood drive.
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This organization's demise has lessons for all nonprofits
From Nonprofit Quarterly
The Fairbanks Community Behavioral Health Center may have gone under this past September with $1.2 million of debt, but lessons from a 45-page autopsy report performed by BDO Consulting may help others avoid its fate. The whole picture suggests an organization that was overwhelmed and struggling. Barbara Burch, who was chairwoman for the FCBHC board of directors, commented, “What I really felt in my heard and head was that people were getting into territory they were uncomfortable with and didn’t tell anyone about it.” The board said they knew nothing about the acuteness of the issues until four months before the center closed.
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IRS releases documents on how it treats tax exempt groups
From CPA Practice Advisor
Responding to a Freedom of Information Act request, the IRS has released a series of documents, including training materials used by agents relating to how it recognizes and treats exempt organizations like nonprofits.

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2014 nonprofit trends to watch
From National Council of Nonprofits
One prominent trend that began with the Great Recession will continue its drain in 2014: scarce financial resources. The vast majority of charitable nonprofits will continue to be squeezed for financial resources in 2014.

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Follow-up on Christie's half-owned 'nonprofit': The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
From Nonprofit Quarterly
“When it comes to raising tolls, the Port Authority [of New York and New Jersey] has nearly unchecked power and little obligation to listen to the public.” That’s one of reasons why Governor Chris Christie’s explanations for “Bridgegate" come off as implausible.

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Lawmakers propose 'complete rewrite' of Florida's charity laws
From WGCU-FM
Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and a pair of lawmakers are pushing legislation that would tighten rules on nonprofit organizations. The proposal comes in the wake of an alleged charity scam that helped cost the state's former lieutenant governor her job. The measure is aimed at giving consumers more information about what charities are doing with contributions — especially those that raise large amounts of money.
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Americans think NFL should pay taxes
From Bloomberg
The NFL enjoys vast support among the American public despite recent controversies, but when it comes to taxes, the league is best served by keeping fans in the dark. A survey conducted last month by Fairleigh Dickinson University found that people overwhelmingly oppose tax breaks enjoyed by the league, while the majority had no idea the National Football League has nonprofit status.
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Messages for nonprofits from state of the state addresses
From Nonprofit Quarterly
It may be that the majority of State of the State speeches, delivered by governors turning left and right to see text on teleprompters and embedded with artificial applause and standing ovation moments, are kind of boring and bombastic. Some, however, might reflect not only the plans of individual governors for the coming year, but political patterns emanating from state capitals that have reverberations for the federal government — where a State of the Union address is in the offing.
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