For Purpose Law Group Blog

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“The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the finances of a broad swath of the nonprofit sector,” we wrote last summer in Diverting Restricted Funds During A Crisis. Dependable sources of revenue evaporated overnight or at least slowed to a trickle. Many organizations had to scramble for temporary replacement income including – where possible – virtual instead of in-person fundraisers and programs. For organizations in the enviable position of having endowments, there have been…
In “a year like no other,” there’s a new “commons” platform dedicated to providing nonprofits free information and advice about financial management and planning. This collaboration – Financial Commons – was just launched at the end of November 2020, by three longtime, informal partners with “decades of experience in understanding the frameworks, functions, and patterns of nonprofit finances.”  Their vast expertise in this area is critical at all times but never so much…
“Please, sir,  said young Oliver Twist in the mid-nineteenth century, “I want some more.” In late December 2020, the nonprofit sector – and the millions of Americans that rely on these organizations – were fed scraps, too. The COVID-19 Relief Bill and Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, passed by Congress on December 21, 2020, dangled in limbo until the presidential signature two days after Christmas.         Early Relief Dried Up In the…
In ordinary times, employment law is no walk in the park.  Throw into the mix a sudden global pandemic: fast-moving and serious enough to shut down vast sections of the nation for … who knows how long. Then toss in the erratic course of this highly infectious disease: multiple cycles of flare ups, reopenings, and retrenchments. Employers – businesses and nonprofits alike – now face a crush of new laws, rules, and guidelines from all…
“America’s charities are in a state of crisis” while there are at least 1,120,000,000,000 charitable dollars sitting around untouched.  More precisely, that’s $1 trillion parked in private foundations and $120 billion more stored away in donor-advised funds (DAFs). The tax laws, written decades ago, don’t “sufficiently incentivize these philanthropic vehicles to distribute their funds to charities in a timely fashion, even though donors receive tax benefits upfront.” It’s more than time for a…
The most consequential Election Day of our lifetimes is now in the rear view mirror.  For the nation’s 501(c)(3) organizations as well as the communities and beneficiaries they serve, the stakes have been profound. The two parties and their candidates up and down the tickets offered sharply distinct philosophies and policy prescriptions.  There is always a tension between what the nonprofit sector wants to do and what it’s permitted to do under the law. That…
Those “boorish, disrespectful and just plain dumb” comments? They were “just part of my shtick,” said the prominent philanthropist, “since before I had a penny to my name, and I unequivocally meant them in jest.”  Colleagues, friends, and the organizations who relied on his generosity turned a blind eye. “That’s just how he is,” they said.        Sexual Harassment: Nonprofits  The #MeToo movement has brought long-overdue focus to the pervasiveness of…
The United States government provides federal grants each year of at least $600 billion.  If your organization is – or wants to be – a recipient of any of that vast pile of money, you’ll want to pay attention to significant amended rules just made final by the federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB).  See Guidance for Grants and Agreements: A Rule by the Management and Budget Office published in the Federal Register…
At the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, nonprofit boards scrambled to respond to this enormous crisis. In the first month or so, many embraced emergency accommodations for governance – including virtual meetings – to tackle the extraordinary questions and decisions. By early summer, they felt weighed down by the unrelenting challenges. “Nonprofit leaders need to keep reminding themselves,” advised expert Alan Cantor in mid-June in Nonprofit Leaders, Get Used to the Uncertainty and Focus on
In 1636, a group of fishermen working on an island off the coast of the Massachusetts Bay Colony went on strike. It was reportedly the first collective bargaining action in the New World.  Contrary to what most of us think we know about labor disputes in our nation, that “history …  substantially precedes the revolutionary period.” Of course, the peak of organized labor’s power was in the mid-1950’s, when “unions had successfully organized approximately…