Category Archives: News-updates

Calif. Supreme Court Prohibits Judges’ Boy Scouts Ties

The Supreme Court of California voted Friday to bar the state’s judges from belonging to the Boy Scouts of America because of the group’s stand on gays, the Associated Press and the Los Angeles Times report. The seven justices unanimously approved the ban recommended last February by the court’s ethics advisory panel.

The ruling removes an exemption for nonprofit youth groups the court carved out in a 1996 decision that banned judges from membership with groups that discriminate on the basis of …

Maine Plan Stakes New Ground in Debate on Taxing Nonprofits

Maine Gov. Paul LePage’s proposal to add big nonprofits to property-tax rolls reflects the growing national debate over tax breaks for hospitals, colleges, and other major exempt institutions, The Wall Street Journal writes. The issue is particularly acute in northeastern states, which have both a high concentration of academic and medical institutions and a heavy reliance on property taxes to fund government.

As part of a sweeping tax overhaul aimed at lowering bills for families and businesses…

Colleges Mine Social Media for Clues on Likely Donors

A handful of tech start-ups are making tools that harness data and interactions from widely used social networks to help colleges and universities identify alumni with the greatest propensity to donate, writes The New York Times. While some privacy advocates say delving more deeply into graduates’ personal lives raises ethics issues, development officers say colleges that spurn the new tools risk falling behind in the fundraising race.

New firms like EverTrue and Graduway enable institutions to …

Ebola Failings Prompt WHO to Mull Global Volunteer Force

Chastened by criticism of the World Health Organization’s slow response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the United Nations affiliate’s executive board has approved a set of reforms aimed at strengthening its disease-fighting capabilities, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times report. Meeting in a rare special session Sunday, the 34 board members voted unanimously to create an international cadre of emergency health workers and establish a contingency fund for dealing with fast-dev…

Tax Issues Cloud Future of Huguette Clark Arts Charity

The arts foundation established by the 2013 settlement of reclusive mining heiress Huguette Clark’s $300-million estate might have to sell Bellosguardo, her Southern California mansion, if the Internal Revenue Service decides to collect millions of dollars in delinquent taxes, according to the Santa Barbara Independent.

People with knowledge of the situation tell the newspaper the future of the Santa Barbara mansion hinges on whether the IRS is willing to waive $16-million to $18-million in pena…

Top Boston-Area Culture Posts Often Come With Big Perks

Many leaders of major arts and cultural institutions in the Boston region receive housing allowances, mortgage assistance, retention bonuses, reimbursement for their children’s college tuition, and other perks as part of pay packages that range close to $1-million, according to The Boston Globe.

Club dues and free travel for spouses are also among executive benefits the newspaper found in reviewing museum and symphony tax returns. Board members for prominent arts groups said such perks are neces…

Grassley Questions Mo. Hospital on Pursuing Debts From Poor Patients

Senator Charles Grassley has warned a nonprofit Missouri medical center that it could be violating the law by taking aggressive legal action to secure payments from low-income patients who may have qualified for financial assistance, ProPublica and NPR report. Mr. Grassley sent a letter last week to Mosaic Life Care questioning the St. Joseph, Mo., hospital’s collection tactics and treatment of poor patients.

The Iowa Republican, a frequent critic of nonprofit hospitals’ financial and charity-ca…

IRS Audits Are Rare for Politically Active Nonprofits

The Internal Revenue Service almost never audits nonprofit organizations to determine if they are flouting restrictions on electioneering, according to the Center for Public Integrity. Agency data obtained by the news organization show audits of 26 organizations specifically for politicking since 2010, when the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling ushered in a new era of campaign activity by “dark money” groups that are not required to disclose donors.

The investigative drought comes as budget…

U.S. Firm and British Charity Team Up on Contactless Giving

Texas-based advertising company Clear Channel Outdoor and Cancer Research UK are working together to develop shop-window displays that will allow people to make contactless donations using smart cards, the San Antonio Business Journal writes.

The British organization has installed the system at four of its charity shops, enabling customers or passersby to contribute day or night by tapping a contactless debit or credit card on the window. The first-of-its-kind system could curtail “chugging,” ch…

Condoleezza Rice to Head Jeb Bush’s Education Foundation

Jeb Bush has handed the reins of his school-reform nonprofit to one of the key figures in his brother’s presidential administration, tapping former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to chair the Foundation for Excellence in Education, the Associated Press reports.

Mr. Bush gave up leadership of the foundation as well as other corporate and nonprofit board posts late last year as he prepares for a possible 2016 White House bid. Ms. Rice, now a professor at Stanford University, has been a member…