May 15, 2013
This week, the US Internal Revenue Service acknowledged and apologized for behavior that had long been rumored. The IRS improperly targeted for extra scrutiny conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status.
The IRS did not ultimately deny tax-exempt status to a single group receiving extra scrutiny. Some say this proves that the actions of the IRS were baseless.
The scandal has now shaken the nation’s capital:
President Barack Obama directed Jack Lew, Secretary of the Treasury, to request the resignation of Steven Miller, Acting IRS Commissioner.
Miller resigned and Lew accepted the resignation.
The Justice Department has initiated a criminal investigation.
Exercising its oversight responsibility, Congress has begun its own probe of the IRS scandal.
Obama addressed the nation on television saying, “It’s inexcusable and Americans are right to be angry about it and I am angry about it. I will not tolerate this kind of behavior in any agency, but particularly the IRS given the power that it has and the reach that it has in all of our lives.” He promised reforms.
When wrongdoing by the government is uncovered, it is rightfully news. But, this latest government scandal cuts deeper.
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March 28, 2013
Days ago, the US Senate passed the Senate Budget Resolution by a vote of 50-49 with one senator not voting. During the deliberations leading up to the vote, the Senate refused to consider an amendment offered by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Sen. John Thune (R-SD). That amendment would have protected the charitable deduction.
When the House and the Senate come together to reconcile their budget proposals, one of the items they will likely discuss is whether to preserve, restrict, or eliminate the tax deduction for charitable giving.
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March 25, 2013
The Partnership for Philanthropic Planning of Greater Philadelphia has recognized Michael J. Rosen, CFRE for his board service. Allen F. Thomas, JD, CFRE, CAP, President of PPPGP, presented Rosen with a certificate during PPPGP’s March 22, 2013 luncheon program.
Michael Rosen (left) receives recognition certificate from Allen Thomas.
Rosen, the President of ML Innovations, served on the PPPGP board from 2007 through 2012. During that time, he held a variety of positions including Chair of the Programming Committee, Vice President, President, and Immediate Past President.
During his tenure, PPPGP achieved a great deal despite the challenging economic situation. PPPGP’s annual conference saw a 33 percent increase in attendance. The number of members set a new record high. The budget was balanced and the cash reserve was enhanced while PPPGP held the line on costs to its members. Additional programs were initiated including roundtable meetings and a nationally recognized two-day fundamentals of planned giving workshop.
PPPGP also added networking opportunities and a mentoring program. The organization also enhanced its website to include a jobs board and a regular ethics column. PPPGP also created the Legacy Award for Planned Giving Philanthropist of the Year. In addition, the organization changed its name from the Planned Giving Council of Greater Philadelphia to the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning of Greater Philadelphia to be more inclusive and more representative of the philanthropic planning process.
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March 14, 2013
The US Senate Budget Committee has just released its FY 2014 Budget Resolution. On pages 65 and 66, the Democratic-controlled Committee asserts that the wealthy are unfairly benefiting from “tax expenditures.”
The Budget Committee calls on the Senate Finance Committee to reduce the deficit by limiting or reforming “unfair” tax breaks for the wealthy. The Committee specifically mentions itemized deductions with various options listed for limiting them (i.e.: a percentage cap, hard dollar cap, etc.). The charitable deduction is not exempted from these various proposals.
The Obama Administration has previously floated a similar proposal. You can read my analysis of that in my post: “Obama Plan Could Cost Nonprofit Sector $5.6 Billion a Year.” In short, limiting or eliminating the tax deduction for charitable giving is expected to have a significant, negative impact on giving.
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February 19, 2013
Have you ever read a book and wished you could talk directly with the author? Did you ever want to pick the brain of the author to get additional helpful ideas? Have you had questions about the material that you desired to explore more deeply? Were you ever curious about the author’s view of the future? Did you ever wonder what parts of the book the author felt were most important? Did you ever want to let the author know which parts of the book you particularly liked or which parts you disagreed with? Have you ever wanted to know if the author had acquired valuable, new information since writing the book?
If you answered “Yes” to any of the above questions, I have a special opportunity that will interest you.
I (Michael J. Rosen, CFRE) will be interviewed on The Nonprofit Coach Radio Show on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 12:00 PM (EST).
I wrote the bestselling book Donor-Centered Planned Gift Marketing, for which I won the AFP/Skystone Prize for Research in Fundraising and Philanthropy. The book is on the official CFRE International Resource Reading List. I’ll be discussing the book with host Ted Hart, ACFRE. We’ll also look at the challenges and opportunities presented by recent changes in government policy.
During the program, listeners will have the opportunity to call in to ask questions. You can learn more about the broadcast and find the call-in number by clicking here.
I invite you to listen to the show live and to participate by calling in to the program. If you’re unable to listen to the live show, you will be able to stream it after the broadcast.
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January 24, 2013
Lance Armstrong finally got around to confessing that he engaged in illegal doping. He admitted that he would not have won the Tour de France a record seven times if he had not doped. He acknowledged that he has been a bully. He demonstrated to the world that he is a liar.
Armstrong’s confession in his interview with Oprah Winfrey did not surprise everyone. However, many people did stand-by Armstrong up until the interview. Some of those folks ended up feeling foolish.
I received an email from one of my readers yesterday. Months ago, the reader had responded to one of my earlier posts about Armstrong. The reader had expressed support for the cyclist and said he should not resign from the Lance Armstrong Foundation (LIVESTRONG) board. This reader’s view was shared by 49 percent of those who responded to my survey.
In yesterday’s email message, the reader apologized to me for having been “incredibly naïve.” I want this reader, and everyone who was duped by this doper for so long, to know that you are not the one who has anything to apologize for. While I appreciate the gesture, I can find no fault in this reader’s desire to see good in a fellow human being. If Armstrong has made anyone more jaded and less trusting as a result of his lies, it’s just another of the many offenses he’s committed.
Unfortunately, it will take us more time to understand the complete fallout from Armstrong’s actions. Will his past connection to LIVESTRONG hurt the nonprofit moving forward? Will LIVESTRONG’s slow reaction time as events unfolded be held against the organization? Now that the world knows that Armstrong is a liar, will that erode the public’s trust in the charity he created?
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January 10, 2013
When Congress recently adopted the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, it had an immediate impact on the nonprofit sector. The new law provides some opportunities and challenges. Are you ready for both in 2013?
I’ve already written two posts to provide some useful insights:
Now, Viken Mikaelian and Brian Sagrestano, JD, CFRE, of PlannedGiving.Com, are offering a free webinar on Wednesday, January 16, at 2:00 PM (EST). “What to Tell Your Prospects” will explore:
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January 3, 2013
A dysfunctional White House and Congress officially took the United States over the so-called “Fiscal Cliff” at the close of December 31. Fortunately, a deal was reached late on New Year’s Day, hopefully averting what economists say would have been an almost certain return to deep recession.
Since the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 was passed, there’s already been a great deal of confusion and misinformation about what the Act means to the nonprofit sector.
Thankfully, Brian M. Sagrestano, JD, CFRE, a consultant and co-author of Philanthropic Planning Companion: The Fundraiser’s and Professional Advisors’ Guide to Charitable Gift Planning, has written a careful and thorough analysis of the 157-page Act with particular attention to: income taxes, long-term capital gains and qualified dividends, gift and estate taxes, the IRA Charitable Rollover, and other provisions. He also predicts the impact the Act will have on philanthropy and provides some important tips for all nonprofit organizations.
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December 18, 2012
In recent weeks, there has been an increase in the amount of media coverage of the “Fiscal Cliff” negotiations in Washington, DC. I’ve even written a number of posts on the issue including: “Obama Plan Could Cost Nonprofit Sector $5.6 Billion a Year.”
Now, the blog site Nonprofit Community, hosted by publishers John Wiley & Sons and Jossey-Bass, has asked the question:
How Will the Fiscal Cliff Affect Nonprofits?
I, along with nine other Wiley and Jossey-Bass authors from different perspectives, respond. We offer insights and great advice for every nonprofit organization. By visiting Nonprofit Community, you’ll have a chance to hear from:
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