Women Leaders Still Make Less Than Their Male Counterparts…Even in the Nonprofit Sector

Caucasian middle-aged businessman and Filipino businesswoman holding different sized piggybanks.


GuideStar recently released its 2015 Nonprofit Compensation Report, an annual report compiled using data reported by exempt organizations to the IRS for 2013.  Unfortunately, the Report’s findings regarding women leaders in the sector are not at all encouraging.  According to a list compiled by the author of the Report, the Report resulted in the following Key Findings, among others:

  • The percentage of female chief executive officers at nonprofits overall has decreased over the last decade. Although the percentage of female CEOs at larger nonprofits with annual budgets over $10 million increased slightly, the percentage of female CEOs at nonprofits with annual budgets under $5 million actually decreased.
  • Of the nonprofits with annual budgets over $50 million, a mere 18 percent of them had a female CEO. The percentage of women CEOs in nonprofits in this size category has only increased 4 percent in the last ten years.
  • For nonprofits that do have female CEOs, their male counterparts at other organizations earned between 6 and 23 percent more than they did in 2013. This is an improvement from the 21 to 47 percent discrepancy, depending on organization size, that GuideStar found when it first began reporting on the gender pay gap in nonprofits in 2001, but it still far from parity.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy reported that the compensation gap was most dramatic for women CEOs at nonprofits with annual budgets ranging from $2.5 million to $5 million, whose male counterparts earned a shocking 23 percent more than them.  Even at small nonprofits with annual budgets of less than $250,000, male CEOs still out-earned female CEOs by 6 percent, the lowest discrepancy found in any of the categories of budget size.  Over the last decade, the gender pay gap has slightly narrowed for organizations with budgets of $1 million or less or $50 million or more, but has actually widened for organizations with budgets between $1 million and $50 million.

The disparate treatment of female nonprofit CEOs with respect to compensation was further on display at the recent testimony of Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood, before the House government oversight committee.  In his opening statement, committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz stated that Planned Parenthood wasn’t in need of federal subsidies, as evidenced by Richards’s compensation.  During questioning, he later continued to press her on the specific amounts of her compensation in various years in a condescending and derogatory manner.  Representative Carolyn Maloney responded to his questioning by commenting “In my entire time I’ve been in Congress, I’ve never seen a witness beaten up and questioned about their salary” and accused Mr. Chaffetz of “beating up on a woman, our witness, for making a good salary.”  As Nonprofit Quarterly pointed out, Richards’s compensation is actually low compared to the average CEO compensation for organizations with annual budgets of more than $50 million as reported by the GuideStar Report.

Although organizations recognized as exempt under Section 501(c)(3) must ensure that compensation they pay to executives is fair, reasonable, and not excessive, I think that the dismaying results of the Report raise some questions that all nonprofit Boards of Directors should be asking themselves.  Is their CEO’s compensation in fact fair and reasonable in light of the services the organization is receiving in return?  How does that compensation compare to that paid by similarly sized and similarly situated organizations?  Has the organization offered compensation that will enable it to attract the level of talent that it desires and needs?  Within the boundaries applicable to 501(c)(3) organizations with respect to compensation, does the organization’s compensation generally reflect the values that the nonprofit strives to stand for?  Has the organization inadvertently allowed any form of bias (by a Director, major donor, or other stakeholder) to influence its decisions regarding compensation?

While nonprofit Directors must be cognizant of the federal and, in some cases, state regulations regarding nonprofit compensation, asking these questions, and considering how the answers may reflect on the organization, may also very well be a part of carrying out a Director’s fiduciary duties owed to the nonprofit on whose Board she sits.  I hope that the results of future nonprofit sector compensation reports will tell a very different story!



SOCAP15 p2

Many key players in the social enterprise / impact investing space throughout the world converged in San Francisco this week for SOCAP15 (yup, that’s John Legend). I’ve been writing and tweeting about SOCAP since 2010, and I am thrilled to be attending this year. Also, a quick disclosure that some of the entities represented are our clients who are all doing wonderful work!

SOCAP (Social Capital Markets) is a world-renowned conference series dedicated to increasing the flow of capital toward social good. Our annual flagship event in San Francisco is the leading gathering for impact investors and social entrepreneurs. We take a unique approach that emphasizes cross-sector convening and gathers voices across a broad spectrum to catalyze unexpected yet impactful connections. From the leading edge to established players, SOCAP brings together global innovators, investors, foundations, governments, institutions, and social entrepreneurs to build the world we want to leave to future generations. We actively seek out opportunities to accelerate the market at the intersection of money and meaning and, in pursuit of that goal, have convened more than 10,000 people since our founding in 2008.

Conference Themes

  • Impact Investing – “It’s been a banner year for impact investing and participation across sectors is accelerating the field into the mainstream”
  • Meaning – “At a conference that declares money can be a source of positive social change and not just a measure of success, we know that meaning is the foundation for lasting impact”
  • Divest/Invest – “University endowments and leading foundations have been responding to the call to divest from fossil fuels and invest in sustainable energy alternatives”
  • Financial Inclusion – “The growth of social capital markets requires an inclusive and accessible economy, but 2.5 billion adults globally, and more than 100 million in the United States, do not have access to bank accounts”
  • Neighborhood Economics – “Let’s accelerate the flow of capital into neighborhoods and rural communities, and distribute that capital more equitably in cities”
  • 21st Century Talent – “The growing impact economy needs a strong pipeline of talent, from entry level to top executives”
  • Living in the Future – “’Past performance is not an indicator of future results’ is truer than ever in the face of accelerating globalization, climate change, technology, and demographic shifts”
  • Sustainable Supply Chains – “From Fortune 500 companies to seed-stage startups, businesses are making investments to improve the sustainability of their supply chain, resulting in tremendous positive impact and delivering long-term financial benefit”

Pre-Conference Articles

Impact Investing and Equity Pledges: The New Landscape of Corporate Responsibility (Huffington Post)

SOCAP Conversations: Echoing Green President Cheryl Dorsey and Entrepreneur Michael Wilkerson

Highlights and Resources

Running list of highlights and resources. Follow me on Twitter – @GTak – for live tweeting of #SOCAP15.


  • If you want to change society, then you must tell an alternative story. – Ivan Illich
  • Academy of Country Music song of year winner Chuck Cannon performing Money Don’t Matter
  • Q: How do you mobilize millions of people? A: First you meet one person then another and then another (Cesar Chavez)
  • According to new UBI report, social incubators have created more than 90,000 jobs over the last 5 years.
  • Meet #SOCAP15’s 9 Gratitude Award Finalists in collaboration w/@GratitudeNet who were voted up from 550 #socents,
  • Learning about @thistlefarms from Becca Stevens – “you heal the women, you heal the village”
  • Smartest thing entrepreneurs have come up with – working w/ people with character #CharacterIsScalable – Xavier Helgesen


Opening Plenary

  • The value of @SOCAPmarkets: valuable strangers become unlikely allies when meeting between silos.
  • Leading by example – #SOCAP15 – no panel without women panelists; query why more social investments in Africa than in African Americans
  • When systems are broken, there are opportunities to create better systems. It’s a very American thing to do.
    • 400 wealthiest people in U.S. have more wealth than bottom 180 million combined (worse than in medieval era) – Gar Alperovitz
    • Prisoners in U.S. – 8x more per capita than any other country
  • Nation’s diversity is its greatest strength; we’re not taking advantage of this Trader PlanetAngela Glover Blackwell
    • “We are a nation in which racism has been built in – exclusion has been built in.”
    • “We won’t change the system without power, politics & policy.”
  • 40% of profits go into finance; it’s the most powerful force in the world and we can use it as a tool for impact
    • “Workers are a tool to often to create capital; capital instead can be a tool to empower workers” Brendan Martin
    • “What role do we play in finance to help communities determine their own destiny?” – Aaron Tanaka
  • No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it. – Albert Einstein BALLE’s Michelle Long on systems change
    • “We have a lot of problems to fix but most of all we have to fix ourselves” – Pope Francis
  • Only when we can demonstrate market returns will institutional investors bring $ to the table – Lisa Hall
    • New Wharton research released at #SOCAP15 (download here) shows social-good focused investments can produce market rate returns:
  • More and more of the best solutions are hybrid – the problems is most available funding is either commercial or philanthropic. – Ann Mei Chang USAID
    • Impact investing needs to effectively measure social impact and standardize hybrid instruments to make them easier to access
    • Uncomfortable perspective: perhaps funding isn’t moving fast enough to make this movement the catalyst we need
  • Employees with strong sense of purpose at least 4 times more likely to be engaged with their jobs, 3 times more likely to stay with their company; and their companies outperform peers by 10 times – Cheryl Dorsey
  • Bill Drayton of Ashoka says having one skill is no longer enough in our world of rapid change

Driving Social Innovation to Scale with Global NGOs

  • Innovation is just a path, impact is the destination – Chang

Local Investing is Impact Investing: the New 10x on Your Money

  • New Oregon Community Public Offering law – raise up to $250K from ALL Oregon residents Hatch

Lawyering for Impact

  • Choosing right #socent entity first is very important, incl in seeking out the capital with the right “patience” BUT form always follows function
  • When choosing among corporation, LLC, benefit corp, Certified B Corp, nonprofit corp, etc. – need a knowledgeable lawyer at start (not enough versed on all of these possible forms)
  • Create mission anchors through entity form, governing docs, impact deliverables (contractual), trademark/brand ownership (in tandem structures)

Blended Capital to Support Early Stage Entrepreneurs

  • How does a social funder demand specific impact metrics w/out unduly burdening entrepreneur’s business? Need new tools.
  • Revenue sustainability must anchor the impact – must be up-front and come with viable plan if grant funding part of the long-term plan
  • Entrepreneurs must be prepared to explain to investors why the business isn’t simply a bad one and must understand that the first investor isn’t a sucker.

Community Foundations as Leaders of Place-based Investing

  • Community foundations deploying all resources to build community wealth Mission Investors
  • To Find Real Prosperity, Community Foundations Are Exiting Wall Street HuffPo – M Long


  • Women own nearly half of all investable assets in the US
  • “Community members are not just stakeholders, they are the holders of solutions.”
  • “We don’t need any more new ideas or new money, we need better coordination and use of resources”
  • We think it is our fiduciary duty to track the social and financial performance of everything we are holding – Clara Miller, FB Heron Foundation
  • Tidal transfer of wealth in the next decade to women and millennials who will invest with their values – SSIR


Morning Plenary

  • Overall complexity of #impinv’s language and products is confusing to new entrants, says Christine Looney, Ford Foundation – simplicity needed
  • Next phase of #impinv: ease, suitability, liquidity; it’s got to be easier to do these deals – Debra Schwartz, MacArthur Fdn
  • Q: How do we include more mainstream financial advisors in the conversation, not just foundations talking to foundations?
  • Match-making for the supply & demand for #ImpInv is not enough in this market. We need to work on market making first
  • Fiduciary duty: what type of care, to whom and over what period of time?

LRNG: a New Model for Learning and for Changing Social Systems

  • LRNG will focus on what young students want and need, not what adults want to give them – Julia Stasch
  • The Show Me Campaign | elevating (not just highlighting) practices of great teachers – John Legend [Ed. Did you know John was a management consultant with Boston Consulting Group?]
  • Important demographics: Average American 42 yo; Average Latino 26-27 yo – Maria Teresa Kumar

How to Create a Phenomenal Giving Experience

  • Educating/engaging members/donors/advocates on issues impacting women around the world & best practices in #philanthropy – Jackie Rotman, SparkSF


  • “What’s completely outperformed its bench mark: investing in women and girls.”
  • “Don’t be in love with your solution, be in love with solving the problem.”
  • 49% boomers, 70% gen X, 85% millennials; 40% more women then men – want to invest with social & environmental returns
  • Are we at risk for impact washing with new trad investor entrants? The industry needs to be vigilant at how we measure results
  • Consumer activism and shareholder advocacy should go hand-in-hand – e.g., Amazon – Taren Stinebrickner-KauffmanSumOfUs
  • Strongly consider: nonprofit impact may be bigger than for-profit impact (esp in changes made through advocacy, campaigns)

Nonprofit Tweets of the Week – 10/2/15

Human hands protecting young green plant in eggshell, isolated on white

The past week was highlighted by the Social Good Summit and Clinton Global Initiative. Have a listen to Ben Harper‘s With My Own Two Hands while perusing our curated nonprofit tweets of the week:

  • Philanthropy: Nonprofits must adapt or end up in ‘ash heap,’ Diana Aviv says [Ed. Many thanks to Diana, who led Independent Sector for 12 years.]
  • (RED): 11 quotes from #SocialGood Summit 2015 that will make you want to change the world: #2030NOW
  • Clinton Global Initiative: Take a look at some of the highlights from the first couple days of #CGI2015 –
  • United Nations: Today [9/27], world leaders commit to gender equality. Let’s step it up for women and girls worldwide! #Planet5050
  • Council of Nonprofits: Wondering what policy issues charitable #nonprofits face? Here’s a primer that you can adopt for your nonprofit:
  • AFJ Bolder Advocacy: Must-read: Compelling Case to Make Advocacy a Part of Board Culture via @EnrightGEO #StandForYourMission #AFJPlaybook
  • For Purpose Law: A Nonprofit Bylaws Checkup: Where to Start
  • NGOSource: Final rules on EDs issued by the IRS affirm the unique approach @NGOsource has taken to provide repository services.
  • Rebecca Hamburg Cappy: #SF ballot measure will chill #nonprofits participation in local policymaking. Check out our @sfexaminer oped
  • Emily Chan: #Nonprofit Law Matters Blog: California Passes AB 792, Harmonizing Investment Standards for Nonprofits in California
  • Carrie Garber Siegrist: Should Nonprofits’ Financials be Aligned with For-Profits’ Model or Not? via @BloombergNews
  • Adin Miller: Interesting take on #VW crisis by @forbes arguing that situation also represents a complete #CSR failure
  • White House AAPI: AAPIs are fastest growing racial group yet underinvestment persists #AAPIaction AAPIP
  • Nicholas Kristof: What’s the most important thing going on in the world today? It’s also one of the least covered. My column

Final Regulations: Reliance Standards for Equivalency Determinations

Rubber stamp with word final inside, vector illustration

Last week, the IRS issued final regulations regarding the standards by which a private foundation may make a “good faith determination” of whether a potential foreign grantee is the equivalent to a U.S. public charity– a process known as an equivalency determination. An equivalency determination is required so that grants made to the foreign organization are considered qualifying distributions (as defined in Section 4948 of the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”)) instead of taxable expenditures (as defined in Section 4945 of the Code).

In September of 2012, the IRS issued proposed regulations that allowed private foundations to rely on a broader class of practitioners, not just legal counsel, in making the good faith determination. The final regulations expand the class of advisors providing written advice on which foundations may ordinarily rely to qualified tax practitioners, including CPAs and enrolled agents (as well as attorneys) who are subject to the standards of practice before the IRS set out in Circular 230. The final regulations provide that a determination based on the written advice of such qualified tax practitioners ordinarily will be considered as made “in good faith.” This, however, does not include an opinion of foreign counsel of the grantor or grantee. In order to come within this particular special rule, the opinion of counsel must be made by a qualified tax practitioner, as described above.

Additionally, the IRS clarified that the written advice of the above practitioners must be “current,” or, as of the date of distribution, the relevant law on which the advice is based has not changed and the facts on which the advice is based is from the grantee’s current or prior taxable year (or annual accounting period if the grantee does not have a taxable year for United States federal tax purposes).

The most significant change under the final regulations is that private foundations cannot rely solely on a grantee affidavit as a basis upon which a determination ordinarily will be considered a good faith determination. Such affidavits are meant to extract the necessary information about the foreign grantee including financials for the current and previous years, governing documents (often a translated copy is required), details about the board of directors, and descriptions of program activities. While a grantee’s affidavit remains a good source of information on which qualified practitioners may rely when making the determination, the affidavit alone will not be enough. This does not preclude the use of such grantee affidavits—the final regulations state that a foundation manager with an understanding of U.S. charity tax law may under the general rule make a good faith determination that a foreign grantee is a qualifying public charity based on the information in an affidavit supplied by the grantee. This is especially true if the foundation managers and their in-house counsel are themselves qualified tax practitioners, whose written advice may be reasonably relied upon for determinations to come within the special rule.

Because this change may affect a number of foundations who previously relied on grantee affidavits as a basis for the determination, the regulations allow a 90-day transition period where foundations may continue to distribute grants in accordance with prior regulations. A foundation may make distributions to a foreign organization, in fulfillment of a prior written commitment and pursuant to a good faith determination made in accordance with prior regulations, for up to five years.


Why Are Charities Tax-Exempt?


Charitable organizations are eligible to be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. This is based on a common belief that giving to charities is good for society. However, with ever increasing reports of corruption and fraud, very large amounts of monies tied up in endowment funds of universities and foundations, and cries of unfair competition by taxable for-profits, some people are questioning whether or not all charitable organizations should be tax-exempt?

With over 1.1 million tax-exempt charitable organizations, the first question is whether the requirements for being a 501(c)(3) organization are appropriate and sufficient for tax-exemption and for being a recipient of tax-deductible contributions*. The next question is whether governmental authorities are appropriately enforcing those requirements.

* Ed. Eligibility for receiving deductible charitable contributions is described under Section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code but generally covers the vast majority of domestic 501(c)(3) organizations.

501(c)(3) organizations:

  • must be organized exclusively and operated primarily for a 501(c)(3) exempt purpose – religious, charitable, scientific, testing for public safety, literary, or educational purposes, or to foster national or international amateur sports competition (but only if no part of its activities involve the provision of athletic facilities or equipment), or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals;
  • must not allow net earnings to inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual (including any director);
  • must not engage in substantial lobbying (though a relatively generous amount of lobbying is permissible to most public charities, particularly those making the 501(h) election;
  • must not engage in electioneering.

What does it mean to be charitable?

Treasury Regulations describe “charitable” to include but not be limited to:

  • relief of the poor and distressed or of the underprivileged
  • advancement of religion, education, or science
  • defense of human and civil rights secured by law
  • action to combat community deterioration and juvenile delinquency

See our previous post – Starting a Nonprofit: What is “Charitable” under 501(c)(3)?

What does it mean to be educational?

Treasury Regulations describe “educational” as relating to:

  • the instruction or training of the individual for the purpose of improving or developing his capabilities; or
  • the instruction of the public on subjects useful to the individual and beneficial to the community.

See our previous post – Starting a Nonprofit: What is “Educational” under 501(c)(3)?


Some critics assert that it’s too easy to pass the requirements for furthering a “charitable” or “educational” purpose. See Anything Goes: Approval of Nonprofit Status by the IRS (Stanford University Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society). This has only been made worse by the new Form 1023-EZ made available last year by the Internal Revenue Service for use by applicants for 501(c)(3) status.


With unclear guidance about what it means to be operating for “charitable” and/or “educational” purposes, there are likely thousands of charitable organizations that are operating with purposes that many critics believe are not worthy of tax-exemption. But are we okay with lawmakers determining that a symphony deserves to be tax-exempt but a small animal rescue group does not or vice versa? Or that educating students on the sciences is an exempt activity but educating them on starting a business is not?

What is clear is that the charitable sector provides valuable services to communities and great value to society. Better guidance on what types of organizations qualify and do not qualify as exempt may be helpful, but lawmakers must be careful in making decisions that in the broader scheme harm the general good only to prevent a very small percentage of organizations from operating in a manner that may not have obvious public benefit or that many may believe are undeserving of exemption. What is important is for the IRS and state agencies to consistently and fairly enforce laws to help prevent organizations from operating inconsistent with 501(c)(3).

Ed. This post was written by a new contributor 15-year old Hana Takagi together with her uncle Gene.


Nonprofit Tweets of the Week – 9/25/15

Colorful autumn maple leaves on a tree branch. Yellow autumn leaves background with copy space.


Monday marked the start of autumn and International Peace Day. Have a listen to Green Day’s Wake Me Up When September Ends while perusing our curated nonprofit tweets of the week:



Nonprofit Tweets of the Week – 9/18/15

black fish - diversity concept, racism and isolation

Earlier this week, 14-year old Ahmed Mohamed was arrested for building a clock. Have a listen to Yusuf Islam’s Where do the Children Play? while perusing our curated nonprofit tweets of the week:


Private Foundation: New Rules Recognizing Mission-Related Investments

Fortune Cookie, Fortune Cookies, Cookie, Fortune, Food, Edible, Saying, Quote, Message, Advice, Note, Phrase, Message Inside, Paper, Words, Prophecy, Luck, Lucky, Positive, Inspirational, Crisp, Asian Food, Chinese Food, Dessert, Tasty, Baked, Snack, Invest Wisely, Invest, Reflection, Isolated, Group Of Objects, Close-up, Low Angle, Low Angle View, Selective Focus, Still Life, Studio Shot, Studio Isolated, Nobody, Black Background

On September 15, 2015, the IRS released Notice 2015-62, Investments Made for Charitable Purposes, which may provide comfort to private foundations about making mission-related investments with reasonable business care without violating the jeopardizing investments laws. It is hoped that this guidance will catalyze greater impact investing by foundations using their endowment assets.

Mission-Related Investments

While a mission-related investment or MRI is not currently defined by the Internal Revenue Code or Treasury Regulations, it is generally considered to be an investment for both a financial return and a social impact return (more specifically, one that advances the particular mission of the investor). In some cases, there may be no need to balance those potentially competing concerns. But in many cases, the investor will need to balance at least short-term financial return with the social impact return. Some simple examples of MRIs include a purchase of equity in a company creating jobs in economically disadvantaged communities, a loan to an organization distributing essential resources in developing countries, and an investment in an alternative energy company.

See Mission-Related Investing: Legal and Policy Issues to Consider Before Investing (MacArthur Foundation)

Jeopardizing Investments

According to the IRS: “Jeopardizing investments generally are investments that show a lack of reasonable business care and prudence in providing for the long- and short-term financial needs of the foundation for it to carry out its exempt function.”

Substantial penalty taxes may be imposed on private foundations that make jeopardizing investments pursuant to Section 4944 of the Internal Revenue Code. The foundation may be subject to a first-tier tax of 10% of the relevant amount so invested for each year in the taxable period. A 25% second-tier tax may be imposed if the violation is not corrected within the taxable period. Foundation managers (including directors) who knowingly participated in making that investment may also be subject to a first-tier tax of 10% and a second-tier tax of 5% of the relevant amount.

The general approach to avoiding the tax on jeopardizing investments is to invest in a reasonably diversified portfolio of assets rather than in a small number of speculative investments. The IRS provides: “In deciding whether the investment of an amount jeopardizes carrying out the exempt purposes, a determination must be made on an investment-by-investment basis taking into account the foundation’s portfolio as a whole.”

There is a specific exclusion from the jeopardizing investment prohibition for program-related investments (PRIs). Generally, a PRI is an investment in which (1) the primary purpose is to accomplish one or more charitable purposes; (2) the production of income or the appreciation of property is not a significant purpose; and (3) lobbying or electioneering is not a purpose. A PRI might take the form of a loan to a charity or a loan to, or equity investment in, a business entity for a charitable purpose, such as, to develop or distribute a lifesaving drug for use in developing countries that would not otherwise be commercially viable.

See Private Foundation – “Jeopardizing investments” defined (IRS)

The New Guidance

According to the IRS, Notice 2015-62 “confirms that under section 4944 of the Internal Revenue Code, private foundation managers may consider the relationship between a particular investment and the foundation’s charitable purpose when exercising ordinary business care and prudence in deciding whether to make the investment.”

In other words, it’s not a lack of reasonable business care and prudence (and therefore not a jeopardizing investment) merely because the private foundation managers consider the social impact return related to the foundation’s mission as well as the financial return the investment may produce in selecting an investment.

Prior to this guidance, it was uncertain whether private foundation manager could select an investment whose primary purpose was to accomplish one or more charitable purposes where the production of income or the appreciation of property was also a significant purpose, making the investment fall outside of the definition of a PRI. The Notice specifically states:

Foundation managers are not required to select only investments that offer the highest rates of return, the lowest risks, or the greatest liquidity so long as the foundation managers exercise the requisite ordinary business care and prudence under the facts and circumstances prevailing at the time of the investment in making investment decisions that support, and do not jeopardize, the furtherance of the private foundation’s charitable purposes.

Notably, this conforms the standard under federal tax laws with the state prudent investment laws under the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act (UPMIFA), “which generally provide for the consideration of the charitable purposes of an organization or certain factors, including an asset’s special relationship or special value, if any, to the charitable purposes of the organization, in properly managing and investing the organization’s investment assets.”


Michele Berger: On a webinar hosted by Mission Investors Exchange and the Council on Foundations titled “Impact Investing and Private Foundations: New Guidance from the IRS and Its Implications for the Field“, the following tips were discussed.

While foundations may now enjoy more comfort and less ambiguity when making impact investments, foundation managers must still exercise the same ordinary business care and prudence when making such investments. Some suggestions for implementing a process for MRIs include:

  • having a separate portfolio for impact investments;
  • creating a policy statement within the organization that addresses how to make MRIs;
  • looking at what the foundation sees as its purposes (examining Articles of Incorporation, the mission statement, programs) and measuring how the investment is tied to those purposes;
  • documenting the decision and rationale for the investment in meeting minutes or a summary of the investment;
  • making sure the board and senior management is apprised of such decisions and processes; and
  • consulting counsel.

See New IRS Rule Likely to Make Impact Investing Easier, The Chronicle of Philanthropy


Nonprofit Tweets of the Week – 9/11/15

the Jefferson Memorial during the Cherry Blossom Festival. Washington, DC

I’m in Washington DC today, September 11th, for a meeting of the Public Policy Committee of Independent Sector. Have a listen to Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris sing If This is Goodbye while perusing our curated nonprofit tweets of the week:

  • The First Lady: Remembering and praying for all those we lost and their loved ones. May we honor their memory today and every day -mo
  • Ellis Carter: DIY Nonprofit Law – Top Five Mistakes
  • Venable Nonprofit Law: 5 marketplace risks #nonprofits face via @NonProfitTimes
  • Council of Nonprofits: What does it really cost to run a #Nonprofit? #OwnYourOwnCosts
  • Philantopic: Why Don’t Foundations Build Capacity in #Fundraising? @ncrp #philanthropy
  • Gene: Regulating Human Rights Away: The Effects of Highly Professionalized Advocacy Nonprofit Quarterly
  • Philanthropy: Exclusive: Sen. Chuck Grassley worries payout rule for donor-advised funds would backfire
  • Phil Buchanan: My 6th post in series on foundation staff — just up — may be short but it’s perhaps the most important point:
  • La Piana Consulting: Mythbusting nonprofit mergers #collaboration @JoDeBolt
  • Nell Edgington: Effective Altruism: A Primer A new series from @washingtonpost #philanthropy #nonprofit
  • Kevin Doyle Jones: Putting the 10 common claims about Impact Bonds to the test