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Let's Consider Taxing Elite Colleges' Huge Endowments

Harvard, Yale, et al. are getting richer while state schools scramble: Slate writer

(Newser) - As the student-loan struggle continues and presidential candidates try to come up with ways to help middle-class and disadvantaged students attend college, there are stockpiles of money that are benefiting the most affluent, unfettered by government taxation: the endowments of elite colleges, Jordan Weissmann writes for Slate . And that's... More »

MacArthur Genius Spends Her $500K on Others

Heather McHugh creates nonprofit for people who need a break

(Newser) - What would you do with $500,000? For Seattle poet Heather McHugh, it took some figuring out. "Nobody deserves that kind of money, and I think something in me was chastened by being awarded such a big amount of money," McHugh tells KPLU . After receiving the money with... More »

NFL Defends Its Nonprofit Status

Yes, the NFL is a nonprofit—kinda

(Newser) - Sen. Tom Coburn has introduced a new bill that would see the NFL's nonprofit status revoked. Wait, the NFL is a nonproft? Well, kind of, explains NBC News . Its $9 billion in annual revenue, from things like ticket sales, merchandise, and TV contracts—that's all subject to taxation.... More »

Gov't: Religious Schools, Hospitals Still Have to Cover Birth Control

Rules for nonprofit, religiously affiliated institutions finalized; for-profit businesses hit back

(Newser) - Religious leaders may not like it , but the Obama administration is going ahead with its plan to require religiously-affiliated nonprofits like schools and hospitals to provide employees with insurance coverage for birth control, the New York Times reports. The Washington Post breaks down the final, slightly convoluted regulations on how... More »

Supreme Court Rejects Anti-Prostitution Pledge

Ruling strikes down restrictions on AIDS funding

(Newser) - The government can't make opposition to prostitution a prerequisite for federal funding for non-profits, the Supreme Court ruled today. In doing so, it struck down a 2003 law that required any group getting federal funding for HIV-prevention programs overseas to have a blanket policy against sex trafficking and prostitution.... More »

IRS: Hey, We Targeted Lefty Groups, Too

Three of them; says groups 'of all political views' were scrutinized

(Newser) - The IRS is defending itself against the Inspector General's report on its targeting of Tea Party groups, saying they made up only a "minority" of the 471 political nonprofit groups scrutinized. And, hey, three—three!—of those 471 were Democrat-leaning groups, including one, Emerge America, that was... More »

IRS' Dumb Move May Keep Problem From Getting Fixed

Ezra Klein: Agency must clamp down on all political groups exploiting nonprofit status

(Newser) - The IRS made an incredibly stupid mistake in singling out Tea Party groups for scrutiny last year, but the real travesty is that the agency didn't investigate more groups—Democrat and Republican alike—in similar circumstances, writes Ezra Klein at the Washington Post . The problem here is that political... More »

9/11 Families Fume Over Visitor Fees at NYC Memorial

'Money is the bottom line here,' says victim's mother

(Newser) - Anyone planning a trip to the 9/11 Memorial in New York City will have to pay $2 per advance ticket—and victims' families are none too happy about it, the New York Post reports. "I don’t want the American public to have to pay a dime to pay... More »

Obama Turns Campaign Into Nonprofit

501(c)(4) will fight for Obama policies like gun control and immigration

(Newser) - Barack Obama is forging new ground in the ever-expanding world of political money groups, by transforming his 2012 campaign apparatus into a non-profit that will advocate for his positions on issues like gun control and immigration. As a 501(c)(4), "Organizing for Action" will be able to take in unlimited... More »

Nonprofit May Have Misled IRS on Big Donor

'Grabbed my name out of a hat,' he tells ProPublica

(Newser) - When a controversial nonprofit asked the IRS for tax-exempt status, it said it needed a speedy answer or its biggest donor would yank a promised $300,000 donation. The IRS complied with quick approval, and the Western Tradition Partnership went on to wage a successful fight against campaign-finance regulations, especially... More »

Gingrich's Charity Funneled Money to His Businesses

It paid $220,000 to Gingrich Communications, bought cases of books

(Newser) - A nonprofit charity founded by Newt Gingrich has been advancing his political causes and making payments to his for-profit businesses that it didn’t disclose on its tax forms, according to an ABC News investigation. The charity, dubbed Renewing American Leadership, paid $220,000 over the past two years to... More »

Panera Scores With Pay-What- You-Want Branch

Experiment shows 'people are fundamentally good': founder

(Newser) - Last May, Panera Bread turned a St. Louis-area cafe into a nonprofit branch , where customers pay what they choose. A year later, the experiment is working out fine, the AP reports: Some 60% of customers pay the suggested price, while 20% pay more and 20% pay less. It’s the... More »

Google Beefs Up Services for Nonprofits

US nonprofits offered free ads, services

(Newser) - Google has launched a new and improved version of its one-stop shop for US-based nonprofit organizations. The search colossus is offering approved nonprofits free or discounted use of Google Apps, access to premium services, and grants of up to $10,000 a month in free advertising on Google AdWords, reports... More »

Big Biz Can Only Donate So Much to Bobby Jindal...

... but is throwing a lot at his wife's nonprofit

(Newser) - If a corporation needs to get on Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's good side, there's a limit to how much it can donate to his campaign in order to do so. But there's no limit to how much it can donate to his wife's nonprofit. The Supriya Jindal Foundation for Louisiana's... More »

Do You Know Where Your Donations Are Going?

It's the season of giving, but do your research first, writes Nicholas Kristof

(Newser) - Nicholas Kristof thinks it’s great that many people “will dig into their pockets for good causes” this holiday season—he just wants to make sure you know which causes are actually good. It’s dangerous to assume that all charities share your values and are using your money... More »

Supreme Court Refuses to Hear 'Citizens United' for Nonprofits

Won't consider looser donation rules on PACs

(Newser) - The Supreme Court today declined without comment a case that sought to extend Citizens United's lax spending rules to nonprofits, the Christian Science Monitor reports., a conservative advocacy group, had sued the Federal Election Commission in an attempt to loosen restrictions on political action committees, which it likens... More »

Nonprofits' Political Ads May Bend Rules

Watchdogs question content backed by secret donors

(Newser) - Since the Supreme Court’s January ruling on campaign finance, nonprofit groups have been allowed to run ads openly attacking specific candidates, so long as less than 50% of all spending is dedicated to these political activities. But several organizations have lately pushed that limit, the New York Times reports,... More »

US Nonprofits Fund Israeli Settlements in West Bank

Obama administration simultaneously fights construction

(Newser) - When President Obama meets with Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House today, he’ll probably pressure the Israeli PM to stop illegal construction in the West Bank. But even as the administration fights those settlements, the US government is giving millions in tax breaks to groups that help build them,... More »

Nonprofit Gym Helps Low-Income Residents Get Fit

Boston facility sells low-cost memberships in poor neighborhood

(Newser) - One Boston fitness center believes that wealth shouldn't keep people from experiencing the benefits of exercise: Healthworks operates a nonprofit women-only gym in a low-income neighborhood. Residents are excited to be able to afford gym memberships, which are based on income and max out at $30 month. Some, like Tamica... More »

At This Bakery, Customers Pay What They Want

Panera turns location in St. Louis into non-profit for charity

(Newser) - Panera Bread has switched one of its St. Louis stores to a non-profit business model. Customers pay what they want, menus have only suggested prices, and money goes into donation jars instead of cash registers. The store will donate any profits to community organizations, St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Those unable... More »

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