Below are two law articles for Charitable Organizations and Charitable Property Tax Exemptions.
Financial Accountability in Charitable Organizations:
Mandating an Audit Committee Function
Summary: Explores the responsibilities of charity board members and explains how forming an audit committee can help ensure sound internal practices for the charity.
Charitable organizations have long enjoyed special benefits because the public has bestowed a special trust on them. This special trust is in danger of eroding due to abuse by some nonprofit executives and board members. One noted example of such abuse is the United Way scandal, in which the former president of United Way of America, William Aramony, was convicted of stealing over six hundred thousand dollars from the organization. As a result of the United Way scandal and others like it, the nonprofit sector has been under increasing pressure to find a way to hold charitable organizations and their boards accountable to the public.
Resolving the board accountability problem is daunting. Any proposed solutions must weigh possible negative consequences to charities in serving their missions, or in relation to any one of their stakeholders, including donors, board members, corporations.
Does Your Client Qualify for a Charitable Property Tax Exemption?
Summary: Whether you’re counsel to a charity or a board member, you can help the organization determine whether it qualifies for a charitable property tax exemption and, if not, how it might make itself eligible.
Charitable organizations are once again considering capital campaigns as they recover from losses on endowment funds and decreased funding in recent years. Charity boards, which count attorneys among their membership, will make important decisions about capital investments. Attorneys can provide a valuable service to charitable organizations, either as board members or as retained counsel, by educating charity boards about the importance of the property tax exemption in their decision-making. Familiarity with the law’s requirements can also prevent boards from making decisions that could jeopardize an already-granted exemption.