Thursday, March 29, 2012

Tea Party Group Ruled A PAC, Not Nonprofit

A Texas judge ruled that a Tea Party group is not a nonprofit as it claims but an unregistered political action committee (PAC).

Judge John Dietz of the Travis County District Court made his ruling based on a lawsuit the Texas Democratic Party filed against the King Street Patriots in 2010, according The Houston Chronicle. The suit alleged the organization made illegal contributions to the Republican Party and trained poll-watchers in cooperation with GOP candidates.

All of these actions would violate laws governing nonprofit political groups, which is what the King Street Patriots claimed they were. The organization was founded in 2009 with one of its main issues being voter fraud. The group reviewed public information of voter registration during the 2010 elections, and reported those findings to the county registrar. They also trained hundreds of poll watchers to look for potential fraud.

The ruling would force the King Street Patriots to reveal its list of funders. They would, however, be allowed to participate in partisan activities. The Liberty Institute, a nonprofit legal firm based in Plano, Tex. that represents the King Street Patriots, says they plan to appeal the Judge's ruling.

The NonProfit Times recently published a story on how the IRS is monitoring political groups like the King Street Patriots to see if they are adhering to rules governing nonprofits.

You can read the full story in The Houston Chronicle.

Nonprofit Director Sentenced In Child Porn Case

The founder and former director of a San Francisco, Calif.-based nonprofit was sentenced to six years in prison for possession of child porn. He will begin serving his sentence on May 8.

Anthony Josef Morris, who was the head of Kids Serve Youth Murals, was also ordered to pay $6,500 in restitution by U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg, according to Mill Valley Patch. That money will be distributed among the victims identified in Norris's collection. He pleaded guilty in November to one count of possession of child pornography.

U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag said that during his plea, Norris admitted to possessing more than 600 images on his computer of kids engaging in sexual acts with adults. These included horrific images of children being subjected to sexual assault. Norris was arrested in June of last year, in a story that was reported by NPTtv, after FBI agents discovered he had posted some of his images online. Those postings were then traced back to Norris's home computer.

Even more disturbing, San Francisco United School District officials said they found other offensive images hidden in tiles in at least three of the murals his organization created for schools and other sites across the city. Those images were quickly removed by the school district.

You can read the full story in Mill Valley Patch.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Blackbaud Interview With Paul Clolery

Found this video on YouTube. It's an interview with our editor-in-chief, Paul Clolery, at the 2009 Blackbaud Conference on Nonprofits. Enjoy!

Planning For Planned Giving

When Baby Boomers start to age, they start thinking about their legacy. And when Baby Boomers start thinking about their legacy, they start thinking about planned giving.

Planning for planned giving is a very sensitive task for donors. What they leave behind for others is a big decision that shouldn't be taken likely. A nonprofit might be anxious to know if they are receiving a bequest ahead of time but, according to representatives from The Stelter Company, that isn't always the case.

The representatives shared their findings on this subject at a recent Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP) international conference. The results of their study showed that a whopping 53 percent of those polled said they prefer that an organization find out about a bequest when the time comes. Another 5 percent said they intend to notify the organization at some point.

A bequest is a very personal decision and donors don't necessarily want their decisions to be private until the time comes. Stelter urged nonprofits to respect the privacy of donors and to assure them they have a right to change their minds. They also listed the reasons why donors choose not to notify nonprofits ahead of time:
  • It’s the donor’s own business, and no one else needs to know: 80 percent.
  • The donor might have a change of heart, so it’s better not to say anything: 34 percent.
  • Worries about being pestered with mailings and phone calls if the nonprofit knew about the bequest: 26 percent.
  • A sense of the nonprofit looming like a vulture waiting for the money: 26 percent.
  • A fear of getting special treatment, which would make the donor feel uncomfortable: 24 percent.
  • Fear the organization would sell/give the information to other nonprofits that would also approach the donor: 19 percent.
Bequest giving is a big source of revenue for nonprofits, which makes it even more important that nonprofits respect the wishes of these donors. Failing to do so will likely result in the loss of the bequest and bad publicity.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

An Increase In The Need For Nonprofit Services?

The NonProfit Times reported today that, according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the amount of nonprofits in the U.S. decreased by 18 percent last year. As you probably know very well, a lot of people rely on nonprofits for affordable services, especially in this tough economy.

This news made us wonder whether nonprofits have noticed an increase in demand for their services during the past year. We went to Twitter to find out, and were given the following responses from our followers:

What are your thoughts on this issue? Tweet at us @nonprofittimes or respond in the comments section below. We will update this post with new tweets from our followers.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Exempt Magazine: Winter 2012 Issue

One of the perks of the new Exempt web site is the ability to check out past and current editions of the magazine. This includes the Winter 2012 issue, which came out last month.

If you are new to Exempt, you should note that the magazine focuses exclusively on issues related to the financial side of the nonprofit sector. This is different from The NonProfit Times, which writes mostly about management and fundraising issues.

This attention to finance is shown very well in the Winter 2012 issue. Let's take a look at what's inside:

  • Of Pay And PerksA look at some of the salary and benefits practices at some nonprofits, including the United Way of Rock River Valley. This article is based on NPT's 2011 Salary and Benefits Report.
  • Return On InvestmentLooking to invest in public companies that service nonprofits? This article takes a look at some of the organizations that did well in 2011.
  • Prospect WealthWhen the $200 million Reed College Centen­nial Campaign began five years ago, the school turned to donor prospect research to help identify alumni and college friends who might be able to make a major gift.
  • In The CrosshairsThe New York Attorney General (NYAG) recently crossed into what some consider the hallowed ground of charities, by launching an investigation into cause-related marketing of “pink ribbon” charities.
  • Accounting Software: Why is accounting software so important? Find out in this column by Tim Mills-Groninger, a consultant to the federal department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate.

    New Exempt Magazine Web Site Online

    Seven years ago, the first issue of The NonProfit Times' sister issue, Exempt Magazine, was launched. The magazine covered the financial aspects of the nonprofit sector, in comparison to the management and fundraising focus of NPT.

    We're happy to announce the launch of the re-designed Exempt Magazine web site. Just as we overhauled NPT's web site last year, Exempt has now received the same treatment. Users will now be able to easily find past issues of Exempt, as well as exclusive online content from the Exempt eNewsletter.

    Please check out the new site and let us know what you think. We hope that you enjoy it!