On Saturday, February 13, 2016, I presented a session called Selected Pitfalls in the Life Cycle of a Charity at the People’s Law School at Baylor Law School. As I mentioned in my session, I was originally asked to speak on “pitfalls for nonprofits,” which seemed awfully broad. If we are looking at pitfalls for nonprofits, we would need to decide whether we were talking about the nonprofit universe (which includes both taxable and tax-exempt nonprofits) and, if we are talking about the tax-exempt sector, whether we are talking about charitable organizations or all tax-exempt organizations, etc. To narrow the focus, I chose to speak on certain pitfalls for charitable organizations and to organize my talk around the lifecycle of a public charity. Keep in mind that many of the pitfalls for charitable organizations are no different than pitfalls for any other organization. Specifically, employment issues trip up employers whether they are taxable or tax-exempt, as do many liability issues. As a result, I chose to focus on issues that are specific to charitable organizations, including satisfying the organization and operational tests, applying for 501(c)(3) status, proper governance and the attorney general’s oversight in relation to governance, the handling of restricted gifts, and like issues. It is a broad overview, as any of those topics could be presented as a standalone. For those interested, the paper is available here and the PowerPoint is available here.
On January 25, 2014 I had the pleasure of presenting an overview of the planning opportunities with public charities and private foundations to the Southwest Regional Education Conference of the American Association of Attorney-Certified Public Accountants at Texas A&M Law School in Fort Worth. It was an early Saturday morning (after having 16 6th graders from my son’s church youth group spend the night!) but a good discussion. I appreciated the opportunity. The presentation materials can be found at the following links.
A Basic Framework of the Nonprofit Sector (paper), 30th Annual Nonprofit Organizations Institute, Austin, Texas, January 16-17, 2013
This seminar paper and presentation) provides a basic framework for the entire nonprofit sector, explaining the differences between private foundations and public charities and briefly discussing other types of nonprofit entities. In addition, this paper lays out the various types of structures and nonprofit entities and discusses choice of form. Finally, this paper discusses end of life issues of nonprofit organizations as well.