July 14, 2014

Policies and Laws

Zuckerberg’s Attempt at Immigration Reform Appears Stalled

ZuckerbergIt appears the efforts of Zuckerberg’s FWD.us to appeal to both Democrats and Republicans on the matter of immigration reform have caused the political group to stall out.

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The “People’s Opera” May Rise Again, But It’s a Waiting Game for Buyers

POThere are potential buyers waiting to be given the chance to buy and resuscitate the New York City Opera, and one of them thinks the board, grinding its way through bankruptcy proceedings, is dragging its collective feet!

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Carmel Tea Party Argues for Municipal Transparency

TeaEven the Tea Party can get something sort of right. In Carmel, Indiana, a local Tea Party group is pushing for enhanced standards of municipal government transparency.

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Community Foundation CEO Steps Down After 20 Years and Leaves Ideas for the Future

LightsBefore Nancy Kieling accepted a job at the Princeton Area Community Foundation twenty years ago, she had never heard of a community foundation. In six months, she will leave behind an organization that has established strong community ties between donors and nonprofits that her successor will be charged with cultivating and expanding beginning January 1st.

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Boards and Magical Thinking

TreeWild ambition to create change and good governance can easily coexist, and NPQ believes that working for the impossible to become possible is what this sector is all about. Perhaps that requires some thinking beyond the most practical of bounds, but we don’t know how many times over this past year we have written the phrase, “But where was the board?” in relation to an enterprise that failed much to the surprise of its governing body. Here, Kathy Ridge discusses what she has found working with organizations on the brink.

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A “Classic Case” Merger: What Tends to Make Them Work

crossing tracksTwo sheltering programs in the Greater Atlanta metropolitan area are merging and their situation provides a “classic case” of the factors that often underlie a successful merger.

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Anti-Abortion Protestors Move In on Clinics after SCOTUS Buffer Zones Decision

BarrierOn Thursday, the Supreme Court unanimously struck down a Massachusetts law that provided for a 35-foot “buffer zone” around clinics providing abortions. The Saturday after, protestors showed up in greater numbers in Boston and Worcester, pushing beyond that previously established line.

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SCOTUS to Rule on Future of Public Sector Unions

UnionIt has been a very consequential run of decisions by the Supreme Court. This week, expect the court to make a momentous statement about the future of public sector unions.

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Illinois Statewide Anti-Violence Initiative a Mess

EurosAn embarrassing state government screw-up in Illinois shows up in troubled nonprofit performance, but the roots of the problem are in the faulty design and inadequate implementation of an important anti-violence initiative.

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Seeking What Makes Us Valid as People and as Organizations

ShellAuthenticity sometimes seems like a rare commodity – yet it is valuable beyond words in the work we do. Here we reprint a moving speech by Paul Hogan to the Buffalo Society of Artists about art, mental health and personal and organizational purpose.

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UN Declares Detroit Water Shutoffs Violate Human Rights

FaucetThe United Nations and Congressman John Conyers believe that the plans of the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department to cut off water to 150,000 customers are inhumane and, according to the UN, a potential violation of human rights. Will we “save” Detroit from its bankruptcy, $5 billion of which is DWSD indebtedness, and ignore a potentially serious violation of the human rights of many of its poorest citizens?

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IRS Pays Nonprofit Group $50,000 Settlement for Leaking Documents

IRSIn a consent decree entered on Tuesday, the IRS has agreed to pay $50,000 in actual damages to the National Organization for Marriage.

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Low-Interest Bond Program for Nonprofits May Continue, Says Maine Gov

NewsThe 20-year-old program has saved charities millions, but that alone did not convince the governor to continue the public-private partnership; now, that’s changed.

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Sexual Assault Victim Not “Privileged Status” at Bob Jones University

BobConservative columnist George Will is at the epicenter of a national debate about sexual assault on college campuses, which his recent column in the Washington Post suggested was overblown and used by progressives as part of some sort of PC campaign. At Bob Jones University, the religious South Carolina school, victims of sexual assault are counseled to blame themselves and repent for the sinful things they did in their lives to have caused themselves to be raped.

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Casey Kasem’s Unintended Legacy: A Reminder of the Scourge of Elder Abuse

KasemSuffering from dementia, Casey Kasem probably wasn’t aware of the controversial family squabble that occurred during his final days, The circumstances of his passing should remind the nonprofit community about the unfortunate frequency of elder abuse—typically perpetrated by family members and all too often inflicted on people with disabilities or dementia.

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Pittsburgh Suburb Tries to Restrict Door-to-Door Solicitors

SolicitorsA lot of people don’t like people who solicit door-to-door, whether they are commercial solicitors or representatives of nonprofits. But to restrict nonprofit, charitable, or religious solicitors, as the Pittsburgh suburb of Baldwin is trying to do through a local ordinance, runs counter to a bigger law—the free speech guarantees of the First Amendment of the Constitution.

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What Can We Learn from New York’s Nonprofit Revitalization Act of 2013?

NYCAs the Nonprofit Revitalization Act of 2013 takes effect in New York, is there anything we can learn from it, or are there any trends we should watch out for?

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Operating Above Its Financial Skill Level Not Good for This Nonprofit

NewsNPQ has a lot of empathy for new organizations that misunderstand the level of skill they need to do decent financial management, but it is important to learn your lesson the first time you realize that you may not have the hands on deck necessary to manage to the requirements of a nonprofit.

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Objection to Social Impact Bonds Raised in Rhode Island

NewsUnions raise objections as legislation for a pilot social impact bond program is considered by a Rhode Island Senate committee.

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Veterinary Association Votes to Try to Restrict Nonprofit Clinics

DogDéjà vu in Idaho—The veterinary association is voting to try to restrict nonprofit animal clinics.

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Vermont’s Food Fight Fund Defends GMO Labeling Law

GMOsVermont has the first GMO labeling law in the nation—that is, the first one whose implementation is not contingent on other factors, such as enactment of similar laws in neighboring states. To fight off corporate interests that want to see the law overturned, the state created the Vermont Food Fight Fund to defend the law—and it has $17,225 so far in its account to stand up against corporate America.

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Trials and Travails of Nonprofit Health Insurance Cooperatives, Year One

NewsIt was hard for nonprofit health insurance cooperatives to plan for their competitive environments given the dead-set mentalities of Republican congressional opposition to the Affordable Care Act. The results of their first crack at the health insurance markets haven’t been ideal, but that might be because of House Republications making the lives and operation of the cooperatives extraordinarily different.

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AG Holder Calls Boy Scout Policy “Relic of an Age of Prejudice”

BSACalling it a “relic of an age of prejudice,” Attorney General Eric Holder has come out against the Boy Scouts’ policy disallowing gays and lesbians from serving as Scout Leaders.

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San Jose Rep Theater Goes Under; Latest Down in Recent Arts Upheavals

SJRAs onlookers, it appears to us to be a very dangerous time for performing arts organizations, and this week the San Jose Repertory Theatre declared itself out of business. Reportedly, the move will immediately precede a bankruptcy filing.

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Eight Sobering Thoughts for Social Impact Bond Supporters

8Among some promoters of social impact bonds, one might find a tendency toward irrational exuberance. They’ll slip into language that suggests the market discipline purportedly inserted into social programming by private capital is much more broadly applicable to a range of social problems than experience so far bears out. We have some enthusiasm-tempering considerations that SIB advocates and critics might reflect upon.

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Occupy Protestors Win Biggest Suit Yet against NYC

OWSA settlement of nearly $600,000 has been made by the City of New York to resolve a lawsuit filed by Occupy Wall Street protestors arrested as they walked on a sidewalk in the East Village on New Year’s Day 2012. The suit claimed that police had acted unreasonably by arresting the protestors after asking them to disperse even while they did not allow them to do so.

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Maine’s Low-Interest Bond Program for State’s Nonprofits Still Suspended and at Great Cost

LePageThe 25-year old program has saved charities millions, but that did not convince the governor to continue the public-private partnership.

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City Bans Charity Carwashes Due to Polluted Runoff

CarwashArlington, Virginia tells the Boy Scouts that fundraising carwashes violate local storm water regulations.

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Hershey’s Copyright Action against Pot Co-op—Plus Maureen Dowd’s Bad Night

ReesesThe Hershey Company has filed a copyright infringement and dilution suit against a Seattle marijuana cooperative for using names like “Reefer’s Peanut Butter Cups.” Is Maureen Dowd working for Hershey’s?

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