Transparency. It's a good thing.

Transparency. It's a good thing.

It’s time for another Friday Five. We’re more than halfway done with June, people. June. Where did the year go? Why is time passing more quickly? Where are the songs of yesteryear[1]?

We do not have answers to these questions. But we do have five must-read articles covering the not-for-profit sector. Behold:

1) This is big: As of yesterday, June 15, the IRS is publishing all 990 forms and filings from all not-for-profit organizations on its website. This means you won’t have to request a 990 from an organization and wait days, weeks, or months for a response—you can just search the site. Sunlight Foundation has the details:
 http://sunlightfoundation.com/blog/2016/06/16/irs-opens-up-form-990-data-ushering-nonprofit-sector-into-the-age-of-transparency/

2) Sometimes, the good guys win one. Ripmedicaldebt.org has been fighting the good fight on behalf of individuals struggling with overwhelming medical debt since its founding in 2014. Now HBO host John Oliver has given the organization—and several people in debt—a massive boost by buying off their debt so no debtor organizations can further harass the individuals. It’s the single biggest medical debt transaction of its kind in history:
https://nonprofitquarterly.org/2016/06/07/john-oliver-exposes-secondary-medical-debt-collection-practices/

More here: http://www.winknews.com/2016/06/06/john-oliver-buys-and-forgives-15-million-in-debt/

3) This next link isn’t as bad as the headline makes it sound. The Boston Globe’s ‘Spotlight’ investigative reporting team helped catch a foundation operator who embezzled $52 million; NPQ makes the good point that haven’t been any safeguards added or strengthened regarding philanthropic foundations to prevent criminal activity from happening again: 
https://nonprofitquarterly.org/2016/05/25/spotlight-teams-story-foundation-abuses-ends-loss-52m-despite-expose/?utm_content=28912911&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter

4) Friend of the blog Gene Takagi is going to be on a June 28 panel that covers  the ethics and legalities of crowdfunding—a timely topic as Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and Seed & Spark continue their march towards world domination, and an important one given how much the transparency and regulatory requirements for fundraising vary from state to state: http://www.nonprofitlawblog.com/legal-and-ethical-crowdfunding-for-non-profits-an-aba-webinar/

5) A useful Starfish Impact link from April: Nonprofit numbers to pay attention to, and numbers not to worry about as much:
https://starfishimpact.com/2016/04/why-some-of-the-nonprofit-numbers-dont-mean-as-much-as-you-think/

Keep your eyes peeled for more dispatches, and feel free to contact us with any questions you may have about the not-for-profit world!

[1] Probably on Spotify. And yes, we know it’s ‘snows,’ but we don’t get snow in L.A.

 

Comment