Viewing entries tagged
nonprofit law


Friday Five: May 6, 2016

Happy Friday! We can confirm the old saying that April flowers bring May showers because today, it’s raining. Or is it sprinkling? [1]

1) Our first book recommendation to crack the Friday Five is Adam Grant’s Give and Take, a tremendously heartening read for anyone involved with philanthropy or volunteering. Grant is the youngest tenured professor at Wharton Business School in its history, and one can clearly see why in his insightful, thoughtful prose.

Give and Take identifies three different types of people — givers, matchers, and takers — and makes a firm, evidence-based case that being a giver can be beneficial to your career and life… as long as you’re giving without expectation of a direct benefit and making sure to take care of yourself.

About the only complaint one can make about Give and Take is that it follows the familiar Malcolm Gladwell formula of blending anecdotes (complete with twist endings) data and pop psychology to a T. That being said, there’s bad ersatz Gladwell and good ersatz Gladwell; Give and Take falls firmly into the latter category:                 0026555/1-12

2) ICYMI: Gene Takagi’s rundown on everything wrong with California Assembly Bill 2855, and how to stop it:

Our signal boost for AB2855 opposition is here:

3) Beth was interviewed by Urban Wealth Management, which is hosting a great series of discussions with leaders in the world of philanthropy. Learn exactly why it’s so important for nonprofits to “think private, act public”:

4) Applying for a job? Nonprofits with Balls, a blog worth following has a nonprofit-specific list of things not to do. # 1: Don’t use the font Comic Sans. [Ed: People actually use that font? How? WHY??] A more surprising and counterintuitive tip is that you should take notes during the job interview.

5) Roz Lemieux, the CEO of Attentively and founding partner at Fission Strategy, has a guest post at Beth Kanter’s blog on how nonprofits can best use social media. She talks in detail about the importance of “social listening," i.e., paying attention to what your followers are saying on the various online platforms. Since Beth literally wrote the book(s) on how nonprofits should best use social media, this is a blog entry you don’t want to miss:

That’s all for this week. Join us next week for your updates on what's new in the nonprofit world!

[1] Disclaimer: Accuracy compels us to acknowledge that as of press time, it is not yet raining in LA, but it’s raining somewhere.



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.



The Nonprofit Revitalization Act of 2013

On December 18, 2013, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed the Nonprofit Revitalization Act of 2013 into law.  The Act, which is an overhaul of New York’s antiquated and burdensome nonprofit law, became effective as of July 1, 2014.

The general purposes of the Act are to:
  • eliminate unnecessary administrative and procedural burdens;
  •  modernize the New York nonprofit law; and
  •  strengthen governance through compliance with certain best practices.
Some features of the new law are as follows:
  •  It abandons the four types of nonprofit corporations (Types A, B, C, and D), and replaces them with two types – “charitable” and “non-charitable”.  All Type B, C, and Type D entities formed for a charitable purpose will now be designated “charitable” and all Type A, and all other Type D entities will now be designated “non-charitable”.
  • It allows use of electronic mail to transmit board and membership meeting notices and other communications, and permits board members to attend meetings via Skype and video conference;
  • It provides for a one-step approval process (e.g. Attorney General review) for any charitable corporation seeking to sell, lease, exchange, or dispose of all or substantially all of its assets, merge, consolidate, or change its purpose.  Formerly, approval was a lengthy and costly two-step process which consisted of Attorney General review followed by court approval.
  • Entities with 20 or more employees and annual revenue in excess of $1M must adopt a whistleblower policy, protecting directors, officers, employees and volunteers who report suspected improper conduct from retaliation.
  • Every nonprofit must adopt a conflict of interest policy, ensuring that directors, officers and key employees act in the nonprofit’s best interest.
  •  For nonprofits with fewer than 21 directors, approval of non-substantial real estate transactions requires the vote of a majority of the directors (formerly required vote of two-thirds of the directors), and approval of transactions involving property that constitutes all or substantially all of the nonprofit’s assets will require the vote of two-thirds of the directors.
Read the text of the Nonprofit Revitalization Act of 2013.