Prof. Mayer says charities require better oversight

mayer_profile The Chronicle of Philanthropy recently published an op-ed by Notre Dame Associate Professor of Law Lloyd Hitoshi Mayer (along with attorney Brendan M. Wilson) about the need for more effective governmental oversight of charitable organizations.

Here is an excerpt:

“Charities at their best provide for important human and societal needs and so deserve the significant tax and other benefits they enjoy. Charities are not always at their best, however, and board members and officers on occasion fail—sometimes in serious ways—to fulfill their duties to ensure that charities pursue their missions and use their resources for the public good. Those failures can harm all charities by undermining public confidence…

“Instead of creating a new national regulatory body or asking the IRS to police charity governance, we propose that Congress build on the existing and broad authority of state attorneys general to oversee and, if needed, sanction charities by offering states a dedicated
source of financial support to expand or create charity-supervision offices. For states that already have such offices, federal money would permit the hiring of additional lawyers, accountants, and other staff members who could investigate possible governance failures at charities and educate charity leaders about their governance duties. For states that do not have such offices, the offer of federal money will be a powerful incentive to create them.”

Read the entire article here:

For more on Professor Mayer, including his biography and selected scholarship, visit http://law.nd.edu/people/faculty-and-administration/teaching-and-research-faculty/lloyd-hitoshi-mayer/.