Collaborative nonprofit projects are on the rise, such as through new joint venture opportunities, partnering with social enterprises, and even strategically engaging with business to further mutual interests. But Section 501(c)(3) organizations may not simply give their money or other assets without restrictions. After all, their resources are charitable: they held in trust for the “public” benefit and subject to high levels of legal accountability. So, what questions should these nonprofits ask themselves before engaging in these ventures?
Insurance can be expensive, but not having insurance is sometimes even more costly! One solution within many industries is risk pooling – that is, to join with others and effectively self-insure together, thereby spreading out risk and bringing down overall costs for protecting property and against liability. The insurance industry itself, however, is highly regulated and therefore requires state authorization for such programs. State-authorized self-insurance risk pools seem to be gaining traction in the nonprofit sector, with Florida, California and Washington State leading the way.
“Pummeled,” “raked over the coals,” and “almost laughed out of court” – these are news descriptions of the recent judicial thrashing of the IRS during oral argument inZ Street v. Koskinen. It is rare for judges to speak so harshly to government officials, but, then again, the IRS’s argument that it should be allowed to engage in viewpoint discrimination hardly seems worthy of respect.