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Latest Reports from the Center on Nonprofits & Philanthropy

 
 
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A Timely Test About Volunteering (Press Release)
Urban Institute

Test your knowledge of a central ingredient of the charitable spirit: volunteering.

Posted to Web: November 12, 2014Publication Date: November 12, 2014

Tax Policy and Volunteer Labor (Research Brief)
Katherine Toran

Volunteers are extremely valuable to the charitable sector: Urban Institute researchers estimated the value of their labor at $163 billion in 2013. Though charitable contributions can be deducted from income taxes, volunteers cannot deduct the value of their labor. By economic consensus, donations of time and money are complements, meaning when people increase monetary donations they also tend to volunteer more hours. This Tax Policy and Charities brief explores how potential ways to create a tax deduction for volunteer labor would affect charitable donations, as well as the supply of volunteer labor.

Posted to Web: November 11, 2014Publication Date: November 11, 2014

The Nonprofit Sector in Brief 2014 (Survey Brief)
Brice McKeever, Sarah L. Pettijohn

The Nonprofit Sector in Brief 2014 highlights trends in the number and finances of 501(c)(3) public charities and key findings on two important resources for the nonprofit sector: private charitable contributions and volunteering. Each year, The Nonprofit Sector in Brief 2014 presents the most recent data available on the nonprofit sector. This particular edition of the brief presents data from 2002 to 2012.

Posted to Web: October 27, 2014Publication Date: October 27, 2014

Summary of and Comments on Exempt Organization Provisions of the Tax Reform Act of 2014 (Presentation)
Roger Colinvaux

The slides summarize the content of and provide detailed commentary on the exempt organization provisions of the Tax Reform Act of 2014, a discussion draft released February 26, 2014 by Dave Camp, Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, including changes to the charitable deduction, unrelated business income tax, penalty and excise tax regimes, and administrative provisions. The slides find that several themes emerge: the charitable deduction is supported by a base-defining theory, unrelated businesses should be discouraged, compliance by exempt organizations is problematic, the law is too complex, and the tax exemption for investment income is too broad.

Posted to Web: September 24, 2014Publication Date: July 21, 2014

The State of Nonprofit Governance (Research Report)
Amy Blackwood, Nathan Dietz, Thomas H. Pollak

This report provides a snapshot of nonprofit governance policies and practices among operating public charities. Using IRS Form 990 data, we find that many public charities have good governance policies and practices in place. In 2010, more than 60 percent of organizations had a conflict of interest policy, an independent audit and a compensation review and approval process for their chief executive. We also find that organizational characteristics such as size, type of organization, government funding, age, board size and board independence all appear related to whether or not a public charity chooses to adopt these recommended practices.

Posted to Web: September 11, 2014Publication Date: September 11, 2014

Preliminary Estimates of the Impact of the Camp Tax Reform Plan on Charitable Giving (Research Report)
Joseph Rosenberg, C. Eugene Steuerle, Ellen Steele, Amanda Eng

This note estimates the effects of four groups of provisions from the Tax Reform Act of 2014 on individual charitable giving. The provisions of the tax reform plan, released earlier this year by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI), are estimated to decrease individual giving by 7 to 14 percent.

Posted to Web: September 10, 2014Publication Date: September 10, 2014

Contracts and Grants between Human Service Nonprofits and Government: Comparative Analysis (Research Report)
Sarah L. Pettijohn, Elizabeth T. Boris

Government's reliance on human service nonprofits to provide services has been increasing, expanding the ability of nonprofits to achieve their missions and the ability of government to serve its constituents. This brief summarizes results from human service nonprofits in the second national study of government contracts and grants. We compare results of human service organizations in the 2013 national survey of nonprofits to the results of the survey conducted in 2010. We examine how human service organizations have managed since the recession ended and how their relationships with governments have changed.

Posted to Web: July 24, 2014Publication Date: July 24, 2014

The Impact of the Great Recession on the Number of Charities by Subsector and Revenue Range (Research Report)
Nathan Dietz, Brice McKeever, Melissa S. Brown, Jeremy Koulish, Thomas H. Pollak

Posted to Web: June 24, 2014Publication Date: June 24, 2014

The Tax Exemption Under Section 501(c)(4) (Research Report)
Dan Halperin

This brief discusses the justification for income tax exemption for organizations qualifying under section 501(c)(4). It explores why these organizations are deemed unworthy of the charitable contribution deduction but nevertheless entitled to be exempt on their entire income. It notes that income tax exemption generally only benefits entities that accumulate funds, suggesting accumulation is desirable. It further points out that the subsidy from income tax exemption for long-term accumulation can exceed the benefit of the charitable deduction. The brief concludes that income tax exemption under section 501(c)(4) cannot be justified either on the grounds that it is relatively unimportant or by analogy to the treatment of mutual organizations, whose exemption has been circumscribed.

Posted to Web: June 11, 2014Publication Date: May 01, 2014

Boards as an Accountability Mechanism (Research Report)
Francie Ostrower

This paper examines board functioning in relation to both legal and broader conceptions of accountability, and empirical evidence from over 5,100 nonprofits in the Urban Institute National Survey of Nonprofit Governance. After discussing areas of board weakness, the paper considers various approaches to improving boards, including regulation, self-regulation, policy — oriented, and management-oriented strategies. The paper argues that as important as legal regulation and oversight may be, broader accountability and performance expectations must be addressed at the level of practice, within boards and organizations, and take nonprofit heterogeneity into account.

Posted to Web: June 09, 2014Publication Date: May 28, 2014

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