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UK — Technical Issues in Charity Law

March 31, 2015 Comments off

Technical Issues in Charity Law
Source: Law Commission of England

This project originated from our Eleventh Programme of Law Reform. Part of the project is a review of the procedures by which charities governed by Royal Charter and by Act of Parliament amend their governing documents. The remainder of the project comprises certain issues arising out of the review of the Charities Act 2006 conducted by Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts regarding:

  • the procedures by which charities change their purposes and the administrative provisions of their governing documents;
  • the application of property cy-près, including the application cy-près of the proceeds of fundraising appeals;
  • the regulation of the acquisition, disposal and mortgage of land by charities;
  • the remuneration of a trustee of a charity for the supply of goods to the charity;
  • the power to award an equitable allowance to a trustee who has obtained an unauthorised profit;
  • the power for trustees to make ex gratia payments out of the funds of the charity;
  • the transfer of assets and liabilities on incorporation and merger, and gifts made by will to charities that have merged;
  • the availability of property held on charitable trust in the insolvency of a trustee;
  • the power of the Charity Commission to require a charity to change its name, and to refuse to register a charity unless it changes its name;
  • the power for the Charity Commission to determine the identity of the trustees of a charity; and
  • certain powers of the Charity Tribunal.

Measuring Research and Development Expenditures in the U.S. Nonprofit Sector: Conceptual and Design Issues: Summary of a Workshop (2015)

March 24, 2015 Comments off

Measuring Research and Development Expenditures in the U.S. Nonprofit Sector: Conceptual and Design Issues: Summary of a Workshop (2015)
Source: National Research Council

National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) of the National Science Foundation is responsible for national reporting of the research and development (R&D) activities that occur in all sectors of the United States economy. For most sectors, including the business and higher education sectors, NCSES collects data on these activities on a regular basis. However, data on R&D within the nonprofit sector have not been collected in 18 years, a time period which has seen dynamic and rapid growth of the sector. NCSES decided to design and implement a new survey of nonprofits, and commissioned this workshop to provide a forum to discuss conceptual and design issues and methods.

Measuring Research and Development Expenditures in the U.S. Nonprofit Sector: Conceptual and Design Issues summarizes the presentations and discussion of the workshop. This report identifies concepts and issues for the design of a survey of R&D expenditures made by nonprofit organizations, considering the goals, content, statistical methodology, data quality, and data products associated with this data collection. The report also considers the broader usefulness of the data for understanding the nature of the nonprofit sector and their R&D activities. Measuring Research and Development Expenditures in the U. S. Nonprofit Sector will help readers understand the role of nonprofit sector given its enormous size and scope as well as its contribution to identifying new forms of R&D beyond production processes and new technology.

NGOs and money laundering: Adapting EU rules to engage NGOs better

March 17, 2015 Comments off

NGOs and money laundering: Adapting EU rules to engage NGOs better
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

Money laundering (ML) is a major global concern. The minimum identifiable direct costs of organised crime in the European Union (EU) are estimated at around €166 billion a year. Europol, the EU’s law enforcement agency and Eurojust, the EU’s Judicial Cooperation Unit, estimate the minimum costs of fighting organised crime at EU level amount to €210 million a year.

To efficiently tackle ML the EU has stepped up cooperation with civil society, including non-governmental organisations (NGOs). NGOs are engaged as collectors of relevant information on illicit activities, and in developing standards and implementing anti-ML rules. At the same time, however, NGOs are considered ‘subjects at risk’ in the ML framework, either as fronts for terrorist organisations that raise and transfer funds, or as legitimate enterprises that indirectly support the aims of terrorist organisations.

This double-sided position for NGOs may impact on the efficacy of the measures currently in place at EU and international level to certify their transparency and accountability. NGOs, in turn, see such attempts to regulate their activities as a threat to their independence, and thus occasionally resist them.

Heartland Poll — Americans’ Local Experiences

March 12, 2015 Comments off

Americans’ Local Experiences
Source: Heartland Poll (Allstate)

Since 2009, the Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor poll has focused on issues that are most important to Americans, including the national economy, personal finances, volunteerism and civic engagement and innovation at the local level. Polls continue to show significant frustration with national institutions during an uneven economic recovery. However, they also revealed Americans’ steadfast self-reliance and desire to see positive change at a local level that improves quality of life for themselves and their communities.

This twenty-second installment of the Heartland Monitor Poll explores Americans’ experiences in their local area, including views on the local economy and their perceptions of local institutions like government, business, and non-profit organizations. What we find here is a clear preference for institutions to take chances with new ideas and solutions rather than relying on tried and tested, but unremarkable approaches. We also see a strong belief that local businesses are the best vehicle to provide job opportunities.

Americans are proud of their local area and they rate it considerably higher than the country in terms of the overall direction and their approval of political leadership. They also rate their local area highly in terms of overall quality of life, a place to start a business, and a place to raise a family. This positive community spirit extends throughout America’s big cities, suburbs, small cities, and rural areas, and also across demographic and socioeconomic subgroups.

Charitable giving on the decline in Canada, Ontario experiences steep drop in generosity

March 11, 2015 Comments off

Charitable giving on the decline in Canada, Ontario experiences steep drop in generosity
Source: Fraser Institute

During the holidays, many Canadians think about giving, yet fewer are donating to registered charities—and those who give are giving less, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

The study, Generosity in Canada and the United States: The 2014 Generosity Index, measures donations to registered charities claimed on personal income tax returns in Canada’s 10 provinces and three territories, the 50 U.S. states and Washington, D.C.

In 2012 (the latest year of available data), 22.3 per cent of Canadian tax filers donated to charity, down from the recent peak of 25.1 per cent in 2005.

Canadians are also donating a smaller percentage of their income to registered charities. In 2012, Canadians gave 0.61 per cent of their total income to registered charities, down from 0.81 per cent in 2006.

Volunteering in the United States – 2014

March 3, 2015 Comments off

Volunteering in the United States – 2014
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

The volunteer rate was little changed at 25.3 percent for the year ending in September 2014, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. About 62.8 million people volunteered through or for an organization at least once between September 2013 and September 2014. The volunteer rate in 2013 was 25.4 percent.

Supporting Grantee Capacity: Strengthening Effectiveness Together

March 1, 2015 Comments off

Supporting Grantee Capacity: Strengthening Effectiveness Together
Source: Foundation Center

In Supporting Grantee Capacity: Strengthening Effectiveness Together, we look at how funders approach building capacity with grantees. Through examples from foundations ranging in size, mission, and geography, we explore various strategies for capacity building and the types of awareness that funders can choose to incorporate in decision making to facilitate informed, thoughtful judgments about strengthening organizations.

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