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Takeaways from the 2022 NAAG/NASCO Conference

This year’s National Association of Attorneys General/ National Association of State Charity Officials (NAAG/NASCO) Conference, held in person on October 12, was lively and informative. Topics under discussion included recent enforcement actions, the state of charitable giving, nonprofit board management, and current trends and issues for the sector.

Current Trends and Issues in Charitable Regulation

Regulators
Conference panels presented by various state regulators covered ongoing trends and issues. Public trust of the charitable sector was a topic of general concern, based on surveys indicating a decrease in the trust in the nonprofit sector.  The regulators noted that they play an important role in enhancing trust by providing meaningful oversight of the sector.

Noteworthy topics included the importance of Board governance and oversight, particularly in monitoring the organization’s finances. The panelists noted a rise in for-profit entities soliciting in-kind disaster relief, particularly those that do not have a nonprofit partner. This trend has been largely observed in connection with the rise of natural disasters and the war in Ukraine.   Regulators are also troubled by the balloon and bust of opioid-crisis relief organizations. This is threatening given the importance these organizations play in their local communities. Such failures have been attributed to their overly rapid growth.

Several state regulators noted an increase in mergers and acquisitions filings of hospitals. Approval of these transactions generally turns on the question of whether the transaction is in the best interest of the community. As for charity care, regulators noted that nonprofit hospitals have a duty to provide subsidized care to patients in need, something they say they have seen too little of.

A notable increase of fraud, committed in the name of charities or directed at charities, is also of concern. It is reported that there has been a rise of bad actors using the name and information of known and respected charities to commit fraud.  One typical scheme is the impersonation of regulators claiming that registration fees are past due. Charities that receive such calls are admonished to use best efforts to confirm the identity of caller.

NASCO puts out an annual report detailing trends on state regulation and enforcement.

Nonprofit Sector and Practitioner Panelists
In the afternoon, other stakeholders in the charitable sector spoke on the trends they have observed during the past year. Jan Masaoka, CEO of the California Association of Nonprofits, discussed the Association’s concerns with donor-advised funds (DAFs) arising from the delay in time between donor benefit (i.e., the donor’s tax-deduction) and the donation reaching its target community. Erin Bradrick, Principal of NEO Law Group, spoke on the growth of fiscal sponsorships and the lack of sector education and oversight that exists. She observed that Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) have the theoretical ability to seek 501(c)(3) status without having a governing body (the core distinguishing characteristic of DAOs).  Ms. Bradrick also noted an upward trend in the politicization of issues directly tied to key nonprofit areas, which have created a tension between state and federal law., naming the recent cannabis and abortion access laws as prime examples.

NFT and Cryptocurrency
Sara Hall, Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel of ALSAC, Andrea Kramer, Partner of McDermott, Will & Emory, Ruth Madrigal, Principal of the Exempt Organizations Group at KPMG, and Beth Short, Director of Outreach and Education, Charitable Law Section of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, discussed cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and other emerging forms of donation.  The panel noted that these forms are not suitable for all organizations, as there is significant risk and several complex issues to consider in accepting donations of cryptocurrency.

It was noted that organizations that decide to accept NFT or cryptocurrency donations should ensure they have a detailed donation acceptance policy and procedure in place.  The policy should include how the organization will protect the security of the crypto wallets through which they accept the donation, how to appraise the cryptocurrency or NFT, and whether to use an intermediary service like a Donor Advised Fund (DAF). Including the development department on any decision on acceptance of these donations is critical.

Now and Next in Charitable Giving
In her keynote address, Dr. Una Osili, Associate Dean for Research and International Programs at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, made a deep dive into the data to identify donor trends. Among those Dr. Osili highlighted are that giving is at an all-time high, that individuals remain the largest group of donors, and that fewer households are donating. She also pointed to a downturn in religious donations, historically the largest generator of donations, and an upturn in donations to racial identity and environmental groups. Donors are moving from a trend of making passive donations to getting more involved in the causes they support through active engagement and education.

Dr. Osili ended by sharing some of her key findings, notably that giving is the great equalizer. Adjusted for gross income, charitable giving is the same across all groups. Technology, specifically crowdfunding websites and social media, has become one of the strongest vehicles for attracting donations, making up 40% of all giving. Finally, charities should start thinking of the value of donating one’s testimonial and network of connection, not just time and gifts. For more information, visit the Indiana University website at Generosity for Life.

Establishing a Healthy Board
Dr. Gerri King, President of Human Dynamics Associates, taught board mediation and communication techniques. Her talk centered on the five states of group development: Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing and Adjourning. Dr. King explained that at each stage, there are unique challenges affecting Board dynamics, and that any change to the make-up of the Board can be a setback.

Dr. King emphasized the importance of creating a no blame, no gossip environment among the team and the organization, noting that although it sounds simple, it can be intensely difficult to achieve. The benefits, as she noted, are indispensable., creating higher accountability, cohesion, trust and efficiency.

Update on the California Charitable Fundraising Platform Law
Brian Armstrong, Deputy Attorney General of the California Attorney General’s Office, discussed Assembly Bill 488, which is set to take effect on January 1, 2023. This is the first law in the U.S. specifically designed to regulate online charitable fundraising platforms, including through a new registration and reporting requirement, specific required public disclosures, and other provisions designed to safeguard charitable donations received through these platforms.

The proposed regulation is currently in the “review of public comments” stage. Armstrong indicated that a second, 15-day period for public comments will open up again once the review is complete, but did not specify when that would be.  During the follow-up Q&A, our team learned that the registration portion of the law is not likely to go into effect on January 1, 2023. Still pending would be final regulations and the development of the new registration forms. However, the AG’s office intends to begin enforcement of those portions of the law which are not dependent upon the passage of final regulations (e.g., the disclosure requirements).

Charitable fundraising platforms and platform charities should take time to carefully review their current platform disclosures (including disclosures made throughout the user/donor flow, as well as the platform Terms of Use) and ensure they are in compliance with these new requirements.  For more details on the legislation, please read California Enacts New Law to Regulate Charitable Fundraising Platforms by firm partner Karen Wu.

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who we work with

Our clients are diverse nonprofit organizations with a broad range of missions, as well as for-profit companies in evolving areas such as social enterprise, corporate philanthropy, joint ventures, technology-driven fundraising, and impact investing.

A.B. Data
AB InBev Foundation
Absolut Company
American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science
American Diabetes Association
American Friends of the Hebrew University
American Parkinson Disease Association
Association of Fundraising Professionals
Avalon Consulting
Baton Rouge Area Foundation
Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation
Bleeding Blue for Good Fund
Bradley Cooper’s One Family Foundation
BrightFocus Foundation
Brooks Brothers
Chadwick Boseman Foundation for the Arts
Changing Our World
Charity Defense Council
Christian Appalachian Project
Doctors of the World/ Medecins du Monde
Doctors Without Borders/ Medecins San Frontieres
Drug Policy Alliance
Duke University
Emory University
Estee Lauder Companies, Inc.
Feed The Children
Food For The Poor
Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation
Grameen Foundation USA
Hope for New York
International Campaign for Tibet
International Crisis Group
International Justice Mission
J. Crew Group
Johns Hopkins University
Lautman Maska Neill & Company
Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
LSU Foundation

Marts & Lundy
Meyer Partners, LLC
Milken Institute
NAACP Foundation
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
National Marrow Donor Program
National Park Foundation
Natural Resources Defense Council
North Carolina State University
North Shore Animal League
Operation Smile
PBS Foundation
Pernod Ricard USA
PetSmart Charities
PopSockets
Population Action International
Project ORBIS International
Public Interest Communication
Rails to Trails
Redeemer Presbyterian Church
Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors
Save the Children Federation
Sesame Workshop
Simon Wiesenthal
SOS Children’s Villages – USA
Subaru of America
The Little Market
Touro University
United States Equestrian Team Foundation
United Way Worldwide
University of Connecticut
University of Virginia
Vote.org
Whitney Museum of American Art
World ORT
World Wildlife Fund
YWCA USA

A.B. Data
Absolut Company
American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science
American Diabetes Association
American Friends of the Hebrew University
American Parkinson Disease Association
American Rivers
Association of Fundraising Professionals
Baton Rouge Area Foundation
BrightFocus Foundation
Burger King McLamore Foundation
Cancer Care
Carnegie East House and James Lenox House Association
Center for Car Donations
Changing Our World
Charity Defense Council
Christian Appalachian Project
Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation
Convoy of Hope
Cornell University
Doctors Without Borders/ Medecins San Frontieres
Drug Policy Alliance
Duke University
Emory University
Feed The Children
Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation
Grameen Foundation USA
Helen Keller Services
Hope for New York
Human Rights Watch
Humane Society of US
Indiegogo
International Campaign for Tibet
International Crisis Group
International Justice Mission
Japanese American National Museum
Johns Hopkins University
Lane Bryant Charities
Lautman Maska Neill & Company
Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
LSU Foundation
Mattel
Meyer Partners, LLC
Milken Institute
National Breast Cancer Coalition
National Marrow Donor Program
Natural Resources Defense Council
North Carolina State University
North Shore Animal League
Obama Foundation
Operation Smile
PBS Foundation
Pernod Ricard USA
PetSmart Charities
Population Action International
Project ORBIS International
Public Interest Communication
Rails to Trails
Redeemer Presbyterian Church
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum
Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors
Sesame Workshop
Simon Wiesenthal
SOS Children’s Villages – USA
Steinhardt Foundation
Subaru of America
United States Equestrian Team Foundation
University of Montana Foundation
University of Nevada, Las Vegas Foundation
Whitney Museum of American Art
World ORT
World Wildlife Fund
YMCA USA
YWCA of New York City
YWCA USA

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news & events

Our attorneys’ recent contributions to the media and nonprofit sector publications.

news & events

Check out our attorneys’ recent contributions to the media and industry publications.

Secure Your Data – Seriously, AFP New York Chapter News
As Jon Dartley, a data privacy and security attorney at Perlman and Perlman says, “It is vital to have the appropriate legal terms in the contract to protect your interests.”  Find out what your liability limit is.  Have it in writing who bears the responsibility and cost of a data breach.  And, have the vendor agree on a specific timeframe within which they need to advise you of a data breach.

Warning: Don’t Cut Legal Corners When Mixing Social And Business Impact,  Forbes
Particularly striking is that (Karen) Wu believes this is the “first multi-state regulatory activity involving cause marketing in almost two decades.”

Going green: Law firms see business benefits of B Corp certification
Allen Bromberger and Karen Wu on why Perlman & Perlman is a certified B Corp.

Is stealing, then giving back, OK?
Cliff Perlman lends his advice on theft within a nonprofit.

Buyer Beware: Negotiating Terms in Technology Agreements
Jon Dartley provides tips on negotiating contracts with technology vendors.

Four Ways Charitable Giving Could Change with a Tax Overhaul
Cliff Perlman remarks on the possible threat of a change to charitable deduction.

How To Deal With Residual Data, Nonprofit Times
Jon Dartley’s advice on addressing “data exhaust”.

Paul Newman’s Foundation Fights Looming 200 Percent Tax, Bloomberg News
Allen Bromberger weighs in our socially responsible businesses.

Secure Your Data – Seriously, AFP New York Chapter News
As Jon Dartley, a data privacy and security attorney at Perlman and Perlman says, “It is vital to have the appropriate legal terms in the contract to protect your interests.”  Find out what your liability limit is.  Have it in writing who bears the responsibility and cost of a data breach.  And, have the vendor agree on a specific timeframe within which they need to advise you of a data breach.

Warning: Don’t Cut Legal Corners When Mixing Social And Business Impact,  Forbes
Particularly striking is that (Karen) Wu believes this is the “first multi-state regulatory activity involving cause marketing in almost two decades.”

Going green: Law firms see business benefits of B Corp certification
Allen Bromberger and Karen Wu on why Perlman & Perlman is a certified B Corp.

Is stealing, then giving back, OK?
Cliff Perlman lends his advice on theft within a nonprofit.

Buyer Beware: Negotiating Terms in Technology Agreements
Jon Dartley provides tips on negotiating contracts with technology vendors.

Four Ways Charitable Giving Could Change with a Tax Overhaul
Cliff Perlman remarks on the possible threat of a change to charitable deduction.

How To Deal With Residual Data, Nonprofit Times
Jon Dartley’s advice on addressing “data exhaust”.

Paul Newman’s Foundation Fights Looming 200 Percent Tax, Bloomberg News
Allen Bromberger weighs in our socially responsible businesses.

perlman & perlman philanthropic sector law firm blue and green logo

click to exit page

perlman & perlman philanthropic sector law firm blue and green logo

click to exit page

silk lanterns

who we work with

Our clients are diverse nonprofit organizations with a broad range of missions, as well as for-profit companies in evolving areas such as social enterprise, corporate philanthropy, joint ventures, technology-driven fundraising, and impact investing.

who we work with

Our clients are diverse nonprofit organizations with a broad range of missions, as well as for-profit companies in evolving areas such as social enterprise, corporate philanthropy, joint ventures, technology-driven fundraising, and impact investing.

A.B. Data
AB InBev Foundation
Absolut Company
American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science
American Diabetes Association
American Friends of the Hebrew University
American Parkinson Disease Association
Association of Fundraising Professionals
Avalon Consulting
Baton Rouge Area Foundation
Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation
Bleeding Blue for Good Fund
Bradley Cooper’s One Family Foundation
BrightFocus Foundation
Brooks Brothers
Chadwick Boseman Foundation for the Arts
Changing Our World
Charity Defense Council
Christian Appalachian Project
Doctors of the World/ Medecins du Monde
Doctors Without Borders/ Medecins San Frontieres
Drug Policy Alliance
Duke University
Emory University
Estee Lauder Companies, Inc.
Feed The Children
Food For The Poor
Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation
Grameen Foundation USA
Hope for New York
International Campaign for Tibet
International Crisis Group
International Justice Mission
J. Crew Group
Johns Hopkins University
Lautman Maska Neill & Company
Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
LSU Foundation

Marts & Lundy
Meyer Partners, LLC
Milken Institute
NAACP Foundation
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
National Marrow Donor Program
National Park Foundation
Natural Resources Defense Council
North Carolina State University
North Shore Animal League
Operation Smile
PBS Foundation
Pernod Ricard USA
PetSmart Charities
PopSockets
Population Action International
Project ORBIS International
Public Interest Communication
Rails to Trails
Redeemer Presbyterian Church
Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors
Save the Children Federation
Sesame Workshop
Simon Wiesenthal
SOS Children’s Villages – USA
Subaru of America
The Little Market
Touro University
United States Equestrian Team Foundation
United Way Worldwide
University of Connecticut
University of Virginia
Vote.org
Whitney Museum of American Art
World ORT
World Wildlife Fund
YWCA USA

A.B. Data
Absolut Company
American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science
American Diabetes Association
American Friends of the Hebrew University
American Parkinson Disease Association
American Rivers
Association of Fundraising Professionals
Baton Rouge Area Foundation
BrightFocus Foundation
Burger King McLamore Foundation
Cancer Care
Carnegie East House and James Lenox House Association
Center for Car Donations
Changing Our World
Charity Defense Council
Christian Appalachian Project
Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation
Convoy of Hope
Cornell University
Doctors Without Borders/ Medecins San Frontieres
Drug Policy Alliance
Duke University
Emory University
Feed The Children
Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation
Grameen Foundation USA
Helen Keller Services
Hope for New York
Human Rights Watch
Humane Society of US
Indiegogo
International Campaign for Tibet
International Crisis Group
International Justice Mission
Japanese American National Museum
Johns Hopkins University
Lane Bryant Charities
LSU Foundation
Mattel
Meyer Partners, LLC
Milken Institute
National Breast Cancer Coalition
National Marrow Donor Program
Natural Resources Defense Council
North Carolina State University
North Shore Animal League
Obama Foundation
Operation Smile
PBS Foundation
Pernod Ricard USA
PetSmart Charities
Population Action International
Project ORBIS International
Public Interest Communication
Rails to Trails
Redeemer Presbyterian Church
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum
Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors
Sesame Workshop
Simon Wiesenthal
SOS Children’s Villages – USA
Steinhardt Foundation
Subaru of America
United States Equestrian Team Foundation
University of Montana Foundation
University of Nevada, Las Vegas Foundation
Whitney Museum of American Art
World ORT
World Wildlife Fund
YMCA USA
YWCA of New York City
YWCA USA
Lautman Maska Neill & Company
Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

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Culture & Values

Vision

We view our clients as partners that share our commitment to bring about change in the world. Our goal is to provide them the peace of mind of knowing that they are in compliance with their legal obligations and to further empower them to achieve positive social impact and financial success.

Our Mission

Our mission is to provide the highest quality, integrity-driven legal services to our clients, using a practical, consultative, client-focused approach to identify and respond to problems and challenges.

We strive to maintain a culture characterized by respect, opportunity, diligence, mutual empowerment, entrepreneurship, and fair reward for efforts made on behalf of clients and the firm.

Perlman & Perlman is a Certified B Corporation

Certified B Corporations use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. B Corps are unlike traditional businesses because they

  • Meet comprehensive and transparent social and environmental performance standards
  • Meet higher legal accountability standards
  • Build business constituency for good business