Green Groups Say Campaign-Season Ads Were Not Electioneering

Several 501(c)(3) charities, which are prohibited by Internal Revenue Service rules from political-campaign activity, paid for advertisements that criticized or praised candidates in the 2014 elections, according to the Center for Public Integrity. The organizations, which risk losing their tax exemptions if they are found to have engaged in electioneering, said their ads did not specifically encourage people to vote for or against candidates and thus fall within IRS boundaries.

The article focu…

17 Jewish Charity Heads Earn $500,000+, Gender Gap Persists

A survey of CEO pay at major Jewish nonprofits by The Jewish Daily Forward found that 17 executives received more than $500,000 in 2013 and that top posts remain overwhelmingly in the hands of men. Women led 11 of the 69 reviewed groups and earned on average 81 cents for every dollar paid to their male peers. The best-compensated executives last year were Frederick Lawrence ($878,572) and Richard Joel ($873,337), the presidents of Brandeis and Yeshiva universities, respectively.

[Editor’s note: 

U. of Arizona Gets $20-Million Gift for Telescope Project

A technology entrepreneur in Scottsdale, Ariz., has donated $20-million toward the University of Arizona’s engagement in the Giant Magellan Telescope project, an international effort to construct a higher-powered eye on the universe in the Chilean desert, reports The Arizona Republic. The gift from Richard F. Caris will help the school meet its commitment to raising $60-million for the telescope, for which the university is manufacturing giant mirrors.

Mr. Caris is the founder and chairman of In…

Philly Dance Group to Get Penn Foundation Bridge Funds

The William Penn Foundation has agreed to provide transitional funding to Dance/UP, an umbrella organization for Philadelphia dance companies, after a denial of operational funds last month put the group on the path to closure, The Philadelphia Inquirer writes. Dance/UP will use the $89,000 injection to find new organizations to which to transfer its programs, which include small grants, subsidies for venues, and other services for the city’s dance troupes and choreographers.

Dance/UP, a branch …

Congress Likely to Revive Tax Break for IRA Rollover Gifts

Congress is poised to retroactively extend a tax break on charitable donations from individual retirement accounts that expired at the end of last year, according to The Wall Street Journal. The provision would allow account owners and beneficiaries over the age of 70½ to donate up to $100,000 in IRA assets without reporting the withdrawal as taxable income, in effect getting a deduction for the gift.

Lawmakers approved the tax break for two years in 2006 and have extended it three times for the…

Donor-Intent Conflicts on the Rise, Philanthropy Experts Say

Unhappy donors are increasingly seeking “refunds” of charitable contributions they contend have been misused or spent in a way that departs from their motive for making the gift, The Wall Street Journal writes as part of a package of stories on philanthropy.

Giving experts say the ease of accessing nonprofits’ financial data online and a string of high-profile court fights over donor intent are fueling the change. “Donors are becoming savvier, [and] they are becoming more engaged in how their …

‘Kony 2012′ Charity Invisible Children to Wind Down

Invisible Children, the small San Diego nonprofit that gained worldwide renown overnight in 2012 for its viral video galvanizing attention to the hunt for the central African war lord Joseph Kony, announced Monday that it will close its headquarters next year and transfer its operations to partners in Africa, The Washington Post reports.

Noelle West, the charity’s communications director, said it is “unlikely” that Invisible Children will continue in any form after handing over its programs. She…

Congress Clears Way for Study of Women’s History Museum in D.C.

Sixteen years after a bill was introduced in Congress to establish a National Women’s History Museum, legislation to advance the project is headed to President Obama’s desk, news organizations including the Associated Press and the Bangor, Maine, Daily News report. The Senate voted Friday to create a privately funded commission to study the feasibility of the prospective Washington, D.C., institution, echoing the House’s passage in May.

The bill is part of a group of natural-resources measures i…

Immigration Groups See Spike in Demand for Legal Aid

Last summer’s tide of children flocking into the United States from Central America and President Obama’s impending executive action on immigration are fueling a greater call for nonprofit legal aid, NBC News reports. The president’s 2012 executive order on longtime residents brought to the country illegally as children is also a factor in the rising demand.

Organizations that provide legal help for people negotiating the complex immigration system say court results vary widely depending on whet…

Ex-Head of Calif. Symphony Convicted of Embezzling $272,000

The former executive director of the Peninsula Symphony faces up to 16 years in prison after being found guilty earlier this month of stealing $272,000 from the volunteer Bay Area ensemble, reports the San Jose Mercury News. Stephen Jay Carlton, 46, was convicted of grand theft, embezzlement, forgery, and other offenses.

An investigation by state officials and police in the symphony’s hometown of Los Altos, Calif., found that Mr. Carlton began writing checks to himself to siphon money from the o…