Select an FAQ (26):
|'Excess benefit transactions' and 990s |
Nonprofits are required to report 'excess benefit transactions' on Form 990. Is that enough, or are there other things an organization might do?
|Can a non-profit invest in for profit ventures? |
The simple answer is "yes." But, as is often the case, the practical answer is that it's complicated.
|Can a nonprofit be a business? |
Many nonprofits undertake 'business' activities, and most are 'business-like' in their work. Nonprofits can't pay out profits as dividends to stockholders or as income to 'owners.'
|Can a nonprofit make loans to officers or directors? |
Some state laws forbid it. Avoiding 'intermediate sanctions' will require some care in any case.
|Can a single board member wield too much power? |
They can, and it's delicate to deal with the problem, but not necessarily evidence of corruption.
|Can attorneys serve on boards? |
Of course they can. But there are things to think about that don't apply to board members in other professions.
|Can employees of a nonprofit also volunteer their time? (new version available)|
This is a very tricky problem, subject to complex rules under the Fair Labor Standards Act and many state laws. Great caution is advised.
|Can Fundraisers be Paid a Percent of the Amount Raised? |
This is a highly controversial issue on which the professional associations are unanimously agreed that such arrangements are unethical. Many views are expressed in this item.
|Can I set up a corporate foundation for my company? |
There are lots of things to worry about.
|Can Members Review the Books & Financial Records? |
An organization's by-laws should state the rights of its membership.
|Can there be a separate board dedicated to fund raising? |
In some situations, a group that does nothing but fund raising may be a very useful approach.
|How can we ensure our nonprofit operates ethically? |
While no one can guarantee that every organization will always be highly ethical, there are certain measures to take that guide toward ethical behaviors.
|How should we dispose of outmoded computer equipment? |
You need to keep records and make sure there are no grounds for concluding that insiders took advantage of the situation for personal gain.
|How to comply with the 'Intermediate Sanctions' regulations |
Federal law and IRS regulations impose severe penalties on individuals who profit unduly from nonprofit organizations. This item explains what to do to avoid questions.
|How to Help the Attorney General Handle a Complaint? |
An Assistant Attorney General offers advice on how to seek help when there appear to be abuses of nonprofit status.
|My Board member says to use his/her relative as a vendor. |
It is easy for conflicts of interest to develop in nonprofits. Here are some thoughts on how they should be viewed.
|The Association of Fundraising Professionals Code of Ethics |
Excerpts pertaining to fees for consulting from the Association of Fundraising Professionals' Code of Ethical Principles and Standards of Professional Practice
|What are board policies? |
Board policies are members' guidelines for working together. The Free Management Library offers several on-line samples and links to policy manuals.
|What documents should a new employee receive? |
New employees need a lot of information about the organization and its policies; there are also some requirements of employment laws that need to be observed.
|What goes in a conflict-of-interest policy? |
Here are some examples including one from the IRS.
|What is included in the board manual? |
Each board member gets a manual about how the board operates, including its structure, policies, the nonprofit's charter documents, etc.
|What Is the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and Why Should Nonprofits Care? |
Enacted in the wake of corporate scandals, 'SOX' sets new standards of accountability and board behavior. Strictly speaking, most apply only to publicly-traded corporations, but there's more to it than that.
|What sorts of business deals can nonprofits do? |
As corporations, nonprofits can enter into all sorts of contracts. But the arrangements can be complicated. Here's a book that may help.
|What to do if you suspect damaging activities at a nonprofit |
How to proceed if there are rumors or other signs of mismanagement, improper payments, insider self-dealing, conflict of interest, etc., involving a nonprofit organization.
|Who can benefit from a nonprofit's activities? |
Nonprofits are restricted to public purposes and may not be used as a source of private gain.
|Who should see board minutes? |
Organizations need to consider carefully how and when discussions and decisions of the board should be accessible to others.