Community Platform

The Nonprofit FAQ: Policy Issues

Select an FAQ   (21):

Are donations always tax deductible?
Not always. Even when the recipient is an organization recognized by the IRS under section 501(c)(3), the donor may not be able to deduct the gift from personal income taxes.
Books That Give Background on Nonprofits for Donors
The 'Library' at this site has a short list at
Can an organization that helps people with a specific disease qualify as a public charity?
The answer is, 'it depends'. Gifts earmarked for specific individuals can't be tax-deductible.
How Can I Track Postal Issues Affecting Nonprofits?
The Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers is an information and advocacy group that focuses on postal rates and related issues.
How do I ensure computers and networks are used properly?
Computer and network policies guide employees to use these resources appropriately
How is Unrelated Business Income Tax (UBIT) Calculated?
UBIT is based on the corporate income tax rates. The IRS and NPOs have struggled with figuring out what is 'related' and what is not.
National Support and Advocacy Organizations: A through M
A list with brief program summaries of some of the organizations that support and assist nonprofits in the US.
National Support and Advocacy Organizations: N through Z
A list with brief program summaries of some of the organizations that support and assist nonprofits in the US.
Online Advocacy for Nonprofit Associations
There are informative websites that support nonprofit policy initiatives at the national and state levels plus online information on the subject of doing advocacy work online.
Published summary information on US nonprofits
Readily available overviews of the field (out of date).
Resources for employee policies, records and handbooks
Personnel policies guide toward legal, ethical and other desired behaviors in the workplace.
Should an executive director be a member of the board?
Consider the drawbacks as well as the advantages.
Should the executive director be a consultant?
There are organizational and regulatory reasons to be cautious about such arrangements.
Should we keep volunteer and staff roles clearly different?
The Fair Labor Standards Act makes doing so very important.
Starting Up an Advocacy Organization
Advice about the requirements when setting up an organization that is focused on advocacy.
Stereotypes of Philanthropy in Popular (?) Culture
Suggestions of books, etc., that portray nonprofit work for better or worse.
What are board policies?
Board policies are members' guidelines for working together. The Free Management Library offers several on-line samples and links to policy manuals.
What is included in the board manual?
Each board member gets a manual about how the board operates, including its structure, policies, the nonprofit's charter documents, etc.
What Is the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and Why Should Nonprofits Care?
Enacted in the wake of corporate scandals, 'SOX' sets new standards of accountability and board behavior. Strictly speaking, most apply only to publicly-traded corporations, but there's more to it than that.
Where Can I Find Background on Policy Issues?
The Public Agenda ( and Handsnet ( track issues of interest to many nonprofits.
Where can I find detailed information on IRS treatment of nonprofits?
The IRS itself has a detailed website.