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Nonprofit Risk Management Center A source for tools, advice and training to control risks ... so you can focus on your nonprofit's mission

August 1, 2007

Corporate Governance Emphasized in the Redesigned IRS Form 990

Despite the dog days of summer, Congress and the IRS are turning up the heat on how charities govern themselves.

The IRS recently issued a redesigned draft of the IRS Form 990 and is seeking public comments on the draft through September 14, 2007. Be sure to take a look. The proposed form contains several new questions about governance (See the sidebar.) that signal both an increased focus by the IRS and charity regulators on nonprofit governance and also reflect the increased expectations of the donating public for nonprofit accountability.

To submit comments on the proposed Form 990 redesign: E-mail your questions and comments directly to the IRS at Form990Revision@irs.gov or send via USPS to:

Form 990 Redesign, SE:T:EO
1111 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20224

Last week the Oversight Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee held hearings on “Tax-Exempt Charitable Organizations” during which representatives from the nonprofit sector, the IRS and the Government Accounting Office testified about continuing concerns with the lack of attention by boards to such governance matters as conflicts of interest, resulting in unreasonably high payments to insiders (including board members who are providing services to the charity), and to policies on the valuation of donations, continuing control by donors of gifts to nonprofits, commercial activities of nonprofits and more.

What is the Center doing about all this heat? We’re getting fired up!

The Nonprofit Risk Management Center wants to help you respond to your board members’ and stakeholders’ concerns about charity governance, and be ready to address the requirements of the new IRS Form 990. With this in mind the Center is designing new products and services such as workshops, Webinars and publications addressing charity governance issues. The Center is also pleased to introduce our newest staff member, Jennifer Chandler Hauge, whose over 15 years’ of legal experience lies in providing guidance to nonprofit boards on corporate governance and employment law issues.

Don’t forget that our publication, Pillars of Accountability: A Risk Management Guide for Nonprofit Boards contains helpful information on corporate governance. The book is a perfect “refresher course” on board roles and responsibilities for that first board meeting in the fall.

To view information on the book, visit: http://nonprofitrisk.org/store/pillars.shtml.

PLUS our online Risk Management Resource Center provides you with sample policies that, as highlighted in the proposed new IRS Form 990, nonprofits are expected to have in place, such as a whistleblower policy and document retention/destruction policy. The Center will be adding to our online library of sample policies in the coming months, so if there is a sample policy you’d like to see, please contact us.

Best wishes from all of us at the Nonprofit Risk Management Center for a cool August. Remember—we’re here to help you beat the heat!

October 3, 2007 Webinar

Outdated or Poorly Written Governing Documents
What Are the Risks and What Can You Do?

2–3 pm EDT

Bylaws, board minutes, codes of conduct, and other governance policies need to be clearly written and reflect how your nonprofit operates or they are of little value in protecting the organization. Their purpose is to provide commonality of behavior, which gives direction to the leadership and protection by intent in the event of a dispute, insurance claim or lawsuit.

Register your CEO, board chair, and senior staff to:

  • Give them a common platform from which to evaluate the adequacy and effectiveness of current governing documents.
  • Provide a framework for addressing updates and other improvements to the documents.
  • Divide the task into manageable steps and create a schedule for review and revision.

October 23–25 — 2007 Summit for the Nonprofit Sector

This 2.5-day event offers a unique training, educational and networking opportunity for leadership of the nonprofit sector. Here’s a sample of what’s in store for you.

Oct. 25 — Working with a Broker or Agent and Putting Your Insurance Program Out to Bid

This session is ideal for nonprofit leaders who want to improve or maximize the services they receive from an insurance professional, typically an agent or broker who places coverage for the nonprofit. Attend this session to find out how you can take your relationship with an insurance advisor (agent or broker) to the next level. The presenters will also discuss possible strategies you might pursue when you realize that putting your program out to bid is in order. What factors support the decision to put your program out to bid, and what methods are most effective in selecting the best qualified providers?

READ about more Risk Management Sessions.

REGISTER for the conference online.

RESERVE your choice of rooms at the Marriott Winston-Salem for the 2007 Summit for the Nonprofit Sector, being held Oct. 24-26 in collaboration with the North Carolina Center for Nonprofits, a state association and one of the Center’s 10 satellite offices, and ncgives.

© 2007 Nonprofit Risk Management Center

(c) 2007 Nonprofit Risk Management Center