For my white paper I plan to focus on the necessity of transparency and accountability in nonprofit organizations. Nonprofits should be doing things like publishing annual reports and implementing safeguards against fraud.
I became interested in this topic after writing paper 2 about IKEA’s questionable tax structure that seems to be elaborately planned to pay minimal taxes. I think that transparency and accountability are extremely important in all organizations, but they are particularly important within the non-profit sector because first, they deal primarily with donations, second, they reap many benefits that for-profit businesses are not privy to, and third, they are an important part of our society and have a responsibility to those that they serve. After looking into the NCN and Kiva example, I decided to learn more about the laws and regulations surrounding all 501(c) organizations, which are United States tax exempt organizations.
The IRS website has so much (more than needed?) information about the policies surrounding tax exempt organizations. Understanding the differences between 501(c) organizations will help inform my suggestions for industry standards and best practices. This source has made me think that I need to specialize in either private foundations or public charities since they differ in many regards. It will be interesting to see this progress as I research more.
The IRS resource will help me understand what it means to be a tax exempt organization, the requirements, regulations, and restrictions. It will contribute to my larger goal in producing an argument.
I think that this information is reliable and unbiased. It will be useful to understand the law before making proposals because obviously they need to be in compliance and it would be good to know what (if anything) is already required.