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Nonprofit Quarterly


Friday Five: February 17, 2017

Your eyes do not deceive you; that is the color green underneath the snow

Your eyes do not deceive you; that is the color green underneath the snow

Spring is in the air, and that means it’s time for change. The weather has gotten warmer (or colder, if you’re in the Northeast), plants are growing again, and we’ve decided to shake up our formatting for the Friday Five. Henceforth, you can click on the headlines to link to the articles we’ve found for you. So wherever you are, stay warm or cool with these five headlines from the past week in nonprofit news


We all need a friend when times are tough, but we need friends when times are good, too. Mentorship isn’t just good for mentees, it’s a great opportunity for mentors as well - it develops leadership skills and builds networks and communities. Mission Box, a new social media network for nonprofits, helps to connect people in the nonprofit world to their peers.  Need help finding someone with a particular set of skills? No idea what to do? Just generally panicking? Reach out to a friend, old or new. Maybe they’ve been down in this hole before.


Mike Ilitch, founder of Little Caesars, owner of the Detroit Red Wings and the Detroit Tigers, and noted Detroit philanthropist, passed away this past week at 87. While his contributions to the city were wide and varied, perhaps the sweetest story that has emerged in the past week was the report that he had personally paid the rent of Civil Rights legend Rosa Parks  from 1994 until her death in 2005. Learn more about his other projects, including Little Caesars Love Kitchen, at the article.


The Chronicle of Philanthropy released its list of the top 50 charitable donors for 2016. At the top of the Philanthropy 50? Phil and Penny Knight of Nike, giving $900 million to Stanford and the University of Oregon. Frequent Philanthropy 50 member Michael Bloomberg followed in the second spot with $600 million. Still not on the list? Warren Buffet. The Chronicle’s methodology means that his annual donations of Berkshire Hathaway stock only count the year he made the pledge. Given that his donations this year alone were valued at nearly $3 billion, it seems only fair to leave a little room for everyone else. More highlights, including the rise of Silicon Valley, at the article


Paul Clolery of The Nonprofit Times argues that it’s time for nonprofits to start acting on the local level. If these last months have taught us anything, it’s that while working on the national scene might be flashy and glamorous, it’s working on politicians on the ground and in their districts that affects real change. No matter who is in the White House, the House of Representatives and the Senate listen to people in their individual districts, and ultimately, it is they who make the laws. Visit the article to learn more strategies on building change from the ground up.


Writing on the Surly Subgroup, Notre Dame law professor Lloyd Hitoshi Mayer worries about the numerous instances this past year of tax-exempt organizations violating tax laws and seemingly getting away from it. In theory, the IRS is the sheriff that enforces these laws, but recent events have people wondering if maybe the sheriff has high-tailed it out of town. Check the article to learn more about why this could be a growing problem, as well as Mayer’s proposed solutions.


That’s the Friday Five for this week. We’re heading out to take a walk in the bright, warm sun. See you next week!


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Friday Five: February 26, 2016

Friday Five: Five Useful Articles for February 26, 2016

It’s been an eventful February in the nonprofit world—the death of Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia, ongoing laws being proposed and passed in state legislatures, and, of course, the ever-closer April 15 deadline for annual tax filings.

Here are five links to help you through the cold (Okay, cold for those of you in the northern half of the country. We live in L.A. We’re only dimly aware of this thing called “weather”):

• The inimitable Gene Takagi at NEO law group has a set of 5 helpful fundraising tips for nonprofit organizations:

• The conservative blog The Federalist highlights some potential problems with Donald Trump’s veterans charity donations:

• The Nonprofit Quarterly is not impressed with Facebook’s new “Facebook for Nonprofits” site. (ED—One small disagreement w/ Nonprofit Quarterly: based on personal experience, some nonprofit orgs are not up to date with Facebook pages, and will probably find the page useful—G.M.)

• JDSupra Business Advisor illuminates the additional scrutiny that Congress is bringing to colleges’ large endowment funds:

• Finally, the creators of thatswhatshesaid, a new one-woman show which extensively quotes other recent plays, are duking it out with play publisher Samuel French over fair use Arts administrator Howard Sherman has an interesting and balanced look at the case:

Written by Erin Pike and Courtney Meaker, thatswhatshesaid, critiques the female character descriptions in the ten most produced plays of 2015, but it’s constructed entirely from quotations from those ten plays, and used without the playwrights’ permission. * Samuel French sent a cease-and-desist letter; the actress and director are fighting back.

Got non-profit questions? Send them our way at, or call us at (213) -736-5101. And remember to follow us on twitter @bergmanalldlaw for more updates!


*The concept of fair use allows a creator to quote other works for purposes of ‘criticism,’ but there isn’t a whole lot of straightforward precedent to rely on in general, and particularly with this case.