Table of Contents

Redefining the Measure of Success: A Historical and Comparative Look at Charity Regulation

Oonagh B. Breen, Sutherland School of Law, University College Dublin

Nonprofit Governance: The Basics

Lawrence J. Trautman, Western Carolina University
Janet Ford, Western Carolina University


"Redefining the Measure of Success: A Historical and Comparative Look at Charity Regulation" Free Download
Forthcoming in Matthew Harding (ed.), The Research Handbook on Not-for-Profit Law (Edward Elgar, 2018)
UCD Working Papers in Law, Criminology & Socio-Legal Studies Research Paper No. 0118

OONAGH B. BREEN, Sutherland School of Law, University College Dublin

This chapter focuses on three questions in its quest to better understand the historical and comparative perspectives of charity regulation. Accepting the traditional rationales for such regulation, it first explores the question of ‘how we regulate’ followed by the interrelated question of the associated cost of such regulation. Finally, the chapter examines the important issues concerning how we currently (or could better) measure the success of charity regulatory efforts. The paper draws upon the experiences of charity regulators in a range of common law countries across the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.

"Nonprofit Governance: The Basics" Free Download

LAWRENCE J. TRAUTMAN, Western Carolina University
JANET FORD, Western Carolina University

Many nonprofit organizations are governed by boards of directors comprised of individuals who often have been invited to join the board based on their contributions of time and money. For many, this is either their first board membership or yet another conducted within an environment lacking the experience and structure of board governance typically found in a publicly-traded corporation. Accordingly, governance of many nonprofit enterprises presents both similarities and differences from the governance of a for-profit entity.

How is nonprofit governance different from that conducted in for-profit organizations? How do you build the best board for your nonprofit? What attributes and skills are required by law and what mix of experiences and talents will give you the best result? What are the commonly required director attributes that are a must for each board and how do you customize and fine-tune your efforts to achieve a high-performance board? Optimal board composition; achieving the best mix of director skills and experience, will depend on many enterprise-specific variables. Some of the most important of these for nonprofits include, but are not limited to: (1) enterprise lifecycle stage, (2) extent to which certain experiences and skills are mission critical (detailed understanding of target culture, mission, stakeholder composition, and risk; (3) unique technology dependence (social media); and (4) the need for capacity expansion (fundraising). Our goal in writing this paper is to provide: answers to these basic questions; a roadmap for the nonprofit enterprise faced with recruiting a board; a matrix methodology that every nominating committee and board can employ to systematically inventory their people assets, strengths and weaknesses, define their needs, explore their options; and provoke radical thinking about how any enterprise-specific system of governance may be improved by questioning existing fundamental assumptions.

Our article proceeds in six parts. First, we offer a few thoughts about nonprofits, their various missions and common challenges. Second, we discuss why good governance is important in a nonprofit setting and highlight examples of frauds that have been reported due to the absence of good governance. Third, we present a look at Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requirements imposed on nonprofits. Fourth, we explore the law of nonprofit corporate governance applicable to all directors serving on the board of a nonprofit. Fifth, we discuss board composition and committee structure. Sixth, we present a process that involves an inventory of current board strengths and weaknesses and then offer some thoughts about use of a matrix template to assist in discovering necessary board skills and experiences of board candidates. And last, we conclude.


About this eJournal

This eJournal distributes working and accepted paper abstracts in the fields of nonprofit law and policy, philanthropy law and policy and related areas of scholarship. Thus, drafts and articles that concern nonprofit corporations, charities, charitable corporations, charitable organizations, charitable donations, charitable foundations, charitable fundraising, charitable solicitation, charitable trusts, philanthropy, private foundations, nongovernmental organizations, tax-exempt organizations, tax-exempt corporations, private clubs, membership clubs and similar topics are appropriate for this journal.

Editor: David A. Brennen, University of Kentucky


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Advisory Board

Nonprofit & Philanthropy Law eJournal

John E. Anderson Professor of Tax Law, Associate Dean for Academic Programs, Loyola Law School Los Angeles

Professor of Law, Chicago-Kent College of Law

Albert E. Jenner, Jr. Professor of Law, University of Illinois College of Law

University Professor of Philanthropy and the Law, Director - National Center on Philanthropy and the Law, New York University School of Law

Professor of Law, Stetson University College of Law

Professor of Law and Sociology, Vanderbilt University - Law School

Professor of Law Emeritus, University of California, Hastings College of the Law

Professor of Law, University of Florida - Levin College of Law