Promoting the Nonprofit Mission, Not Doling Out Business Favors

When may a nonprofit promote a donor's or board member’s business through its website or other communications? If the nonprofit allows the promotion as a sponsorship, through a fundraising program in which the business is donating money to the nonprofit, the promotion is likely permissible. If the business is paying fair market value for advertising, provided the amount of the organization’s overall advertising is within appropriate limits and subject to possible tax liabilities, the promotion should be fine too. But serious legal problems can arise when and if the business does not pay the nonprofit (or pays less than it should) for marketing benefits. Here’s why, as well as how to guard against such problems.

Diocese of Brooklyn v. Cuomo and Its Rippling Effect: The Supreme Court Stands Up For Religious Expression

On Thanksgiving Eve 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court gave the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn and its co-Plaintiff, Agudath Israel of America, something for which to be thankful. The Court granted temporary injunctive relief to these religious organizations, refusing to uphold a New York State Executive Order that imposed attendance restrictions on religious services. In Diocese of Brooklyn v. Cuomo, the Court rejected the constitutionality of New York’s Order limiting attendance at religious services in COVID-related “red zones” within the State to no more than ten persons and, in “orange zones,” to no more than twenty-five people. A full evidentiary hearing is scheduled for later this month. Additionally, the Supreme Court just recently issued an Order casting doubt on California’s current wholesale ban on in-person religious gatherings. These significant religious liberty victories illustrate a possible Court shift as well as the judiciary’s ongoing struggle with the principles of religious freedom, against the backdrop of pandemic-related executive orders.

Looking Ahead: Year-End Nonprofit Governance

This pandemic year has brought incredible challenges for nonprofits, regardless of size, location, or type. With January around the corner and holiday parties missing from calendars, now is an ideal season to do the next best thing – plan well for nonprofit corporate governance! Here are some top legal compliance tips for directors of nonprofit boards. Now, that’s a gift worth giving!