Why the IRA Charitable Rollover is a Big Deal

It’s not often that good news comes out of Congress these days. But the nonprofit sector should give Congress credit for a provision in the federal budget that was passed in December.

First, a disclaimer: I am not making any judgment on the overall $1.1 trillion budget package. Without a doubt, there’s plenty in there to set my blood boiling. But for the purposes of this article, I simply want to address Congress’s decision to authorize what is known as “the permanent IRA charitable rollover provision.”

And here’s a second disclaimer: I’m not an attorney or a CPA, and I urge donors and charitable organizations to consult with their financial advisors to see what works best for them.

Anyway, in the last several weeks I’ve seen dozens of ecstatic notices from philanthropic associations and nonprofits praising this Congressional action, but most of the excited email blasts and blog posts don’t explain why exactly this particular action matters. Continue reading

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Friends Don’t Let Friends Start Nonprofits

I’m often approached by people asking for advice on creating a new nonprofit.

My response, inevitably: Don’t do it!

I say this not because I question the power of nonprofits to change the world for the better. Nor do I doubt the sincerity of the person hoping to create that new charitable institution. But there is an awfully good probability – I’d say, 99% – that there’s no rational justification for creating a whole new entity. Continue reading

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