Sunday, March 30, 2014

Fundraising is Fun and the Magic of the Nonprofit Sector

In today’s NYTIMES there is a column by Arthur C. Brooks titled,   “Why Fundraising is Fun” that explains why this is so.  So I recommend it to all your fundraisers and donors out there. 

And for all you activists out there, I found that this paragraph toward the end of the piece did a wonderful job of expressing the magical potential and promise of the nonprofit sector:

“Of course, not everyone shares the principles that motivate my institution’s scholars and supporters. But with millions of 501(c)(3)s and houses of worship nationwide, no one needs to wait on the sidelines and hope that politicians will marshal government power in service of their priorities. By investing their own time, talent and treasure, every American can bring his or her core principles to life. That can mean promoting literacy, conserving nature, saving souls or something else entirely.”

Here at Bay Path College's graduate programs in nonprofit management and philanthropy, and nonprofit strategic fundraising and philanthopy, our goal is to help students "bring [their]core principles to life" by excelling in the nonprofit sector.  

Monday, March 24, 2014

The link between Economic Inequality and the rise of 501-c4 "superpacs"

Over the last two weeks, there have been one, two, three, four, five interesting and, by my thinking, disturbing articles in the NYTIMES about the increasing disparity in wealth in the US and the increasing use of 501c-4 nonprofits to hide from the public the massive amounts of “secret” money being spent to influence the outcome of political elections. An explicit link between the two trends isn't made within the articles--but the link is not hard to make. .  

One the one hand, the increasing concentration of wealth is giving a relatively small portion of the electorate the capacity to make outsized campaign contributions and 501c4 organizations are providing this wealthy minority the means to do so in secret.   Nonprofit leaders should not allow the sector to be the instrument of such anti-democratic practices.   They should be demanding that the IRS implement rules that return the nonprofit sector to its traditional role of advocacy and greatly curtail its role in financing political campaigns.  To wit, one of the articles mentions the overwhelming opposition there is to the proposed IRS regulations that would be a first step toward accomplishing that.