Communications & Media Nonprofits

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Teaming Sports Stars, Good Causes Great – But Know the Rules

Many sports figures have created nonprofit organizations to raise funds for a cause close to their hearts. But the reality is that athletes’ foundations aren’t always successful in raising money for charity. This article...more

Hyper-Transparency and Corporate Anti-Corruption [Video]

In part one of a two-part interview, Alison Taylor, Director of advisory services at BSR, a non-profit consultancy and company network focused on sustainability and CSR, and James Cohen, an expert on anti-corruption,...more

IRS makes exempt organizations’ Form 990 data available in machine-readable format

On June 16, 2016, the IRS announced that it will be making Form 990s available in machine-readable format through Amazon Web Services. While this information has always been available to the public, it was previously only...more

Crowdfunding, Online Payments, and Charitable Fundraising

Nonprofits engaged in fundraising from the general public have been “crowdfunding” for centuries! Now, however, there is a profusion of online crowdfunding platforms of different types, each with its own benefits and...more

How To Survive A Conflict of Interest Scandal

What happens when you own a business and hold a political position or serve on a non-profit board and you have to make a decision in one of those positions that could affect your business? Can you remain objective? Can you...more

Will Newspapers Evolve as Nonprofits?

Saying newspapers have struggled over the past decade – even longer, really – will shock no one. Readership and print advertising have declined precipitously in the face of digital competition....more

FCA Dismisses Appeal of Revocation of Charity Status

In Public Television Association of Quebec v. M.N.R. (2015 FCA 170), the Federal Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal by the Public Television Association of Quebec (“PTAQ”) of the CRA’s decision to revoke PTAQ’s registered...more

IRS Ordered to Make Non-Profit Form 990s Available In a Useful Electronic Format

Federal agencies cannot avoid their obligation to disclose public records in modern electronic formats merely by invoking budgetary constraints, a judge has ruled in a rare decision exploring the scope of the Electronic...more

Legal Issues in Cause-Related Marketing

Cause-related marketing is frequently used by businesses to bolster sales, improve brand reputation, and improve public relations. Under the laws of a number of states, when a business advertises that it will make a...more

Move Over Vanna White, Here Comes Marion Barry’s Kidney

In 2008, former Mayor of Washington, D.C., and then council member Marion Barry became ill with a kidney disease. To survive the illness, Mr. Barry required a kidney transplant, and one of his friends, Ms. Kim Dickens, came...more

Read this before you co-sponsor a sweepstakes or contest

Quite often a company will see an opportunity to team with another company to create a sweepstakes or contest that will benefit both of them individually. For example, a manufacturer of insect repellent and the owner of a...more

News from Second and State

Gov. Wolf continued to make headlines this week, this time with his activities in and around the judiciary. On Wednesday, the governor and newly-appointed–then-promptly-removed Open Records Director Eric Arneson had their day...more

The Continuing Far Reach of the False Claims Act

Since 2009, when Congress preserved and expanded the reach of the False Claims Act (“FCA”) through the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act (“FERA”), Government contractors have seen a vast increase in FCA lawsuits and...more

Avoid the Pitfalls of Charity Fundraising

Raffles, bingo, and other games of chance can be great fundraising opportunities for charitable organizations, but they can also land you or your organization in hot water. You may be surprised to learn that there are...more

Californians To Vote On Stripping Common Cause Of Its First Amendment Rights

I recently wrote about SB 1272 (Lieu) which calls a special election for this November 4 at which California voters will be able to cast an advisory vote on whether the U.S. Constitution should be amended to overturn the U.S....more

Last Minute Uncertainty for Registered Charities Under Canada’s Anti-Spam Law

Canadian registered charities seeking to comply with Canada’s new anti-spam law (CASL) recently received some disappointing news. CASL is a very complex law and many important issues remain ambiguous and uncertain. Several...more

Sweet charity: Maine repeals its commercial co-venture licensing law

Maine has repealed its statute that requires registration and licensing of commercial co-ventures. Effective on October 8, 2013, co-venturers will no longer be required to obtain a license to conduct a commercial co-venture...more

Internet Fundraising for Tax-Exempt Organizations

The IRS recently released an Information Letter, written in response to a congressman’s inquiry about an unidentified charity’s unidentified practices, confirming that Section 501(c)(3) organizations may use the internet to...more

EXCLUSIVE: Florida’s top sweepstakes regulator discusses recent changes to Florida’s game promotion statute

Effective April 10, 2013, the state of Florida made changes to its Game Promotion Statute. The changes were made partly in response to the state’s recent ban of so-called Internet sweepstakes cafes....more

Form PC Revisions and Other Areas of Focus on Charities – A Summary of Remarks by Mary Beckman, Non-Profit Organizations/Public...

Forthcoming revisions to Form PC, examining new forms of solicitation using social media, and newly proposed legislation regarding director compensation were topics covered by Mary Beckman, Chief of the Massachusetts Attorney...more

DC Circuit Reversed Van Hollen. Players Changed Tactics to Avoid Disclosure. Did It Matter in 2012? by Claudia A. Hrvatin

On September 18, 2012, in Van Hollen v. Federal Election Commission, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit reversed a March 30th ruling of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia...more

New York Attorney General Issues Best Practices for “Pink Ribbon” and Other Cause Marketing Campaigns

“Cause marketing campaigns,” or “commercial co-ventures” (i.e., advertising campaigns in which a company indicates that the purchase or use of its products will result in a charitable contribution) have long been a popular...more

FCC Proposes to Liberalize Rules Against Noncommercial Stations Fundraising For Third-Party Non-Profit Groups

The FCC has adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking suggesting, with significant limitations, a liberalization of its rules that prohibit noncommercial broadcasters from raising funds for an entity other than the station...more

Watchdog Group files Complaint on Tax-related Comment by Bishop

The watchdog group Americans United for Separation of Church and State filed an official complaint against Roman Catholic Bishop Daniel Jenky of the Peoria, Illinois diocese over remarks he made about how social services for...more

Legal Risks in Nonprofit Social Media Use

Social media has become an invaluable tool for advancing nonprofit causes. But most nonprofits are unaware of the many potential legal traps in the online world. Below are some tips on avoiding legal troubles in social media...more

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