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(searched for: doi:10.1177/0899764017728371)
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Ashley Newton
Published: 9 July 2021
Accounting Horizons, Volume 36, pp 171-196; https://doi.org/10.2308/horizons-2020-155

Abstract:
SYNOPSIS: This study investigates how public charities respond to the public support test—an IRS requirement that at least one-third of a public charity's financial support is derived from public sources. Using a large sample of 836,920 charity-year observations during 2009–2018, I find that a disproportionately large number of charities exceed the 33-1/3 percent public support threshold by a small margin. This result holds only for public charities actually subject to the test (six years of age or older) and not young charities that automatically retain public charity status. Further, I find that charities that unexpectedly just meet public support test are more likely to understate fundraising expenses. This evidence implies that the public support levels of charities that just surpass the 33-1/3 percent threshold are likely misrepresented. Overall, my findings provide new insights into a vitally important regulatory threshold that has been largely neglected in existing research. Data Availability: Data are available from the public sources cited in the text. JEL Classifications: L31; L38; M41.
Aaron Turpin, , Femida Handy
Published: 3 June 2021
Nonprofit Policy Forum, Volume 12, pp 505-533; https://doi.org/10.1515/npf-2020-0003

Abstract:
Charitable nonprofits are engaging at increasing rates in market-based activities. This study examined Canadian public perception of nonprofits’ market-based activities. Latent variables for trust, financial accountability, transparency, direct and general familiarity, understanding of nonprofit roles in service delivery and advocacy, and orientation towards market-based activities were created using a secondary dataset of nationally representative Canadians (n = 3853). Results show that positive perceptions of market-based activities of nonprofits are influenced by familiarity of nonprofits, accepting their advocacy role, and perceiving them as being accountable. Those with stronger views of nonprofits as providers of direct service had unfavorable perceptions of the nonprofit’s market-based activities. The findings have implications for nonprofit managers who engage in market-based activities and want to promote a positive orientation to these endeavors to engage consumers and investors.
, Steven Rathgeb Smith
Published: 2 December 2020
Nonprofit Policy Forum, Volume 11; https://doi.org/10.1515/npf-2020-0006

Abstract:
Tax-exempt organizations in the United States are, in general, required to file regular reports on their operations with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). These filings represent a significant burden for the filing organizations, are a critical source of information for many observers, and are relied upon by regulators and donors as indicators of the organizations’ commitment to achieving the wide variety of purposes for which the exemptions are granted. This paper recommends that the resources of the IRS be refocused so that greater attention can be paid to complex organizations, while the burden of preparing annual filings by simpler organization is also reduced. More generally, this paper also recommends that new attention be paid to the information collected and to its publication. It argues that the needs of the public and other regulatory agencies are not well-served by the current information and that the limitations on currently available information contribute to misunderstanding of and cynicism about the role of charitable nonprofits in American life.
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