Whither Regulation?

August 2008

This is an interesting time to be addressing the issue of optimal regulation for the nonprofit tax-exempt sector. It is another period of scrutiny of tax-exempts, brought on by the various scandals covered in the media in the last few years, as well as Senator Grassley's very public investigation and chastisement of certain organizations. None of this is new, however. The history of the charitable sector in this country has been a history of moving forward by fits and starts, often jump-started by public outrage at the behavior, perceived or real, of charitable entities. What perhaps may be new is an increasing focus on the resources devoted to regulation. In addition, there is a renewed sense of the need for selfregulation by the nonprofits themselves, and for increased cooperation between certaincharitable groups and their regulatory and Congressional overseers.

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