July 9, 2018; The Nation

While both glitter in the sunlight, an assayer can easily separate fool’s gold from the real. Distinguishing charitable organizations from political front groups in a sea of 501c3 organizations is not so easy. Whether this is a real concern for the larger nonprofit community is, however, a question.

When the IRS provides examples of the attributes of a charitable organization, it speaks of organizations that provide “relief of the poor, the distressed, or the underprivileged” or advance “religion, education or science.” They build public buildings and monuments, or work to ease neighborhood tensions, reducing prejudice and discrimination. They lessen the burdens of government; they work to defend “human and civil ri