Regulatory feedback

Groups representing the nonprofit sector are providing their own recommendations and input to the Senate’s process of investigating and regulating the charitable sector.

The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, an industry watchdog group, released a statement criticizing recommendations provided to the Senate Finance committee by a panel of nonprofit leaders, saying the proposals will bring about no significant change.

The Panel on the Nonprofit Sector, established by Independent Sector at the urging of the finance committee, avoids confronting some of the most critical issues, the watchdog group says, including self-dealing, trustee compensation, foundation payouts and lack of transparency.

Nonprofit Quarterly, a journal serving the sector, will publish a special issue later this month devoted to the current regulatory climate, the publication says, and will say that much of the Senate’s work is driven by recent high-profile scandals in the sector, rather than a “wide-open policy dialogue.”

It will also provide its own recommendations regarding regulation in the special issue, it says, including calls for using the proceeds of an excise tax paid by private foundations to pay for oversight of the nonprofit sector.

And the Association of Fundraising Professionals submitted comments to the chair of the finance committee requesting that no changes be made in rules governing in-kind contributions.

The national group says changing or eliminating such contributions would adversely affect nonprofits’ ability to raise funds to pursue their missions, and suggested the IRS do more policing of donor-reported values of in-kind contributions.

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