IRS Nullifies Section 501(c)(3) . . . Issue #95 April 1 2014

April 1, 2014 . . . Blue Avocado is in secret merger talks with the Red Cross, Greenpeace,Yellow Ribon Fund, Purple Heart Foundation, American Black Film Festival, and Brown University. "At last, there will be a place where wounded veterans can make films about college students eating guacamole in disaster areas," said a spokesman.

"You can fool some of the people all of the time," said circusman P.T. Barnum famously, "but you can only fool all of the people on April Fool's Day." Here are the winning entries in our contest for stories "impacting" the nonprofit sector today. -- Susan Sanow and Jan Masaoka

IRS Announces Recall of Section 501(c)(3)

From Paul Sussman, Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation, San Francisco

The Internal Revenue Service announced today the recall of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code due to "unwieldy and inconsistent requirements" that can cause "extreme inconvenience, high operating costs, and in rare cases,

insanity" among managers. The IRS promised to repair the problem as soon as possible, and offered nonprofit organizations subsidies to compensate for costs incurred in complying with the malfunctioning code section. The announcement stunned nonprofit leaders, but left financial markets seemingly unaffected.

Nonprofits See Benefits of Secession from U.S.

From Robyn Blackwell, United Way of Acadiana, Lafayette, Louisiana

Several nonprofit organizations are considering withdrawing from the United States and declaring themselves sovereign nations in order to apply for foreign aid and balance their budgets. Says one NPO executive, "Our board looked at the amount of money going to capacity building in foreign countries. Since grant funding has become more competitive, our board considered this to be a creative and viable fundraising opportunity. We're really thinking out of the box!"

Charity Navigator Closes

From Lee Taylor, Hayward, California

"We realized it's stupid to rank nonprofits based on a few unproven management indicators," said leaders. "We apologize for all the harm we've done to good nonprofits." When reached for comment, a nonprofit spokesperson said, "Ding dong the wicked witch is dead."

AFP Approves Hypnosis as Acceptable Fundraising Method

From Katie O'Daley

Always open to new possibilities, the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) has approved hypnosis as a technique for fundraising. "We're all about results," says the AFP spokesman. "Whatever it takes to part individuals with their money is what it's all about. Getting money from foundation program officers remain a challenge. After all, it's not really their money."

Foundation Spends Down Without Giving Money To Kids' Foundations

From Kate Kawahara, MCOPED, Los Angeles

As more and more foundations announce they are spending down their assets, there has been praise from many corners of the nonprofit world. "It's great to see foundations recognizing the needs of today," said one nonprofit leader.

But a closer look reveals that most foundations that spend down do so by giving large portions to the foundations of their children. That's why it was headline news when the Ssenippah (happiness backwards) Foundation spent down its assets by giving it to poor people. "Giving a starving man a fish is an outcome," said the soon-to-be-former president. "He's got a million people trying to teach him to fish who don't realize that the lake near him is too polluted to fish in."

Participant Asks Actual Question at a Conference

From Lee Taylor, Hayward, California

A sleepy, passive audience was jolted awake at a session of last week's national conference of IS (Independent Statistics) when a participant asked a question. As is the norm, all the "questions" up to then had been either brief opinion speeches or slightly-disguised self-promotions. Panelists were too startled to respond at the time. "We never expected an actual question," said the moderator later. "This was truly a first for us."

If Someone Hands You a Blue Avocado, Make Blue Guacamole

From Ann Adrian

Through the power of genetic modification, Blue Avocado is delighted to announce that there are, in fact, blue-hued avocados headed to a Whole Foods near you! Cause related marketing is in full swing with Whole Foods rolling out a special promotion by inking a deal with blues legend BB King. Staffers at Blue Avocado will be trotting out a recipe contest and plans for Blue Avocado: The Cookbook. Whole Foods will do in store demos on the blue fruit, with staff clad in Blue Avocado t-shirts and passing out free slap bracelets.

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Classified Advertisement

Your Board Diversity Problem: Solved!
I am a 23-years-old, disabled, gay, Spanish- and Chinese-trilingual African American female CPA seeking an older, white nonprofit board needing a treasurer and that has a funder-driven desire to be more "diverse." I can solve your demographic statistical problem for just one, comprehensive, monthly fee. I take credit cards and enjoy walks on the beach.

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Winners and judges

Congratulations and thank you to our wonderful creative readers for the items considered for this special April Fool's Day issue: Ann Adrian, Robyn Blackwell, Angela Goldstein, Lydia Green, Sarah Martinez Helfman, Kate Kawahara, Priscilla Martens, Katie O'Daley, Frank Resnick, Ann Rosenfield, Karen Sell, Paul Sussman, and Lee Taylor.

Winners have been invited to a campfire conversation with Rick Cohen from Nonprofit Quarterly and Blue Avocado publisher Jan Masaoka.

Thanks to the judges, too: Christina Dragonetti of the California Association of Nonprofits, Linda Fowells of Community Partners, Jeff Kost of Development Resources, Inc. (DRI), Gloria Rubio-Cortes of the National Civic League, Suzanne Vella of the Nonprofit Center Milwaukee, and Craig Weinrich of the Council of New Jersey Grantmakers.

Next issue of Blue Avocado: Our next regular issue comes out late April with articles on HR and transgender employees, a First Person Nonprofit on following a founder, the estimable Vu Le, and A Board Member's Guide to Overhead. See you soon! -- Susan and Jan

Comments (28)

  • Thank you for the laughs! I needed them!

    Mar 30, 2014
  • Anonymous

    Hysterical! -- Beth

    Apr 01, 2014
  • Anonymous

    Hilarious!!!!!!!! Thank you. Xox --Bess

    Apr 01, 2014
  • Anonymous

    Thank you so much for a great laugh to start the day. --Elizabeth

    Apr 01, 2014
  • I realize today's newsletter is an "APRIL FOOLS DAY" issue, but it is NOT funny.

    The section I have copied is the most insensitive article ever. You being a person of non-white ethnicity I am appalled you approved this for publication. Shame on you.

    Classified Advertisement

    Your Board Diversity Problem: Solved!

    I am a 23-years-old, disabled, gay, Spanish- and Chinese-trilingual African American female CPA seeking an older, white nonprofit board needing a treasurer and that has a funder-driven desire to be more "diverse." I can solve your demographic statistical problem for just one, comprehensive, monthly fee. I take credit cards and enjoy walks on the beach

    -- Sandra

    Apr 01, 2014
  • Sandra, I'm sorry you feel this way, and I very much appreciate your taking the time to write. In my view this entry lampoons the knee-jerk, superficial way that some boards and their executives try to "diversify." To me it's exactly the failure of such boards that makes this ironic and funny. Again: thank you for writing. Jan

    Apr 01, 2014
  • haha!! Very good!!

    -- Nancy

    Apr 01, 2014
  • The date of theses notices is not without meaning

    --Robert

    Apr 01, 2014
  • I thoroughly enjoyed this issue! Thanks!

    -- Sarah

    Apr 01, 2014
  • Thanks! great April Fool's jokes because they heap absurdity on to the realities.
    Laugh turns to tears with "Giving a starving man a fish is an outcome," said the soon-to-be-former president. "He's got a million people trying to teach him to fish who don't realize that the lake near him is too polluted to fish in."
    -- Glenda
    Apr 01, 2014
  • Okay, you got me. Being the Director of the All Hands Active Makerspace which recently filed for 501(c)3 status and is anxiously awaiting an IRS response, I almost jumped out of my chair when this hit my inbox.

    Then I realized what day it was. So after my heart rate returned to normal let me amend my first sentence..."Expletives Deleted" you got me! Enjoy the foolishness.

    Cheers.

    Larry
    Apr 01, 2014
  • HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    --Martha

    Apr 01, 2014
  • Love your April Fool's humor!

    Thanks!

    -- Mara
    Apr 01, 2014
  • This is hysterical.

    --Marya

    Apr 01, 2014
  • Anonymous

    Okay, everybody stop fooling around and get back to work!

    "Stephen Miller IRS Commissioner"

    Apr 01, 2014
  • Anonymous

    This is always my favorite issue...lots of creativity and laffs! -- FL

    Apr 01, 2014
  • Anonymous

    Enjoyed the laughs~ Thank you! -- Tara

    Apr 01, 2014
  • Anonymous

    Thank you. Very much enjoyed the read!! --S.G.

    Apr 01, 2014
  • You guys are funny. I always like your April Fools the most.

    --CS
    Apr 01, 2014
  • PLEASE NO MORE JOKE EMAILS. PLEASE SEND A CORRECTION, MY WIFE IS YELLING AT ME I KEEP TRYING TO TELL HER THE CONTENT OF YOUR RECENT APRIL 1 2014 EMAIL IS AN APRIL FOOLS JOKE!!!!!

    Apr 01, 2014
  • Thanks for the chuckle!

    -- Peter

    Apr 02, 2014
  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the laughs! --MB

    Apr 02, 2014
  • Although I enjoy a good laugh as much as the next guy, the following is in very poor taste and not really much of a joke: "At last, there will be a place where wounded veterans can make films about college students eating guacamole in disaster areas," said a spokesman."
    There is nothing, I mean NOTHING funny about wounded veterans. My sons are in the Navy, and we worry all day, every day about their safety - doing something that few others their age have the courage to do.

    Don't know who wrote that piece, but he or she should stand in the corner for a couple of hours. Better still, go visit a VA hospital and see what actual wounded warriors go through.

    Shame on you - and it was a shitty joke anyway.
    DW

    Apr 02, 2014
  • We missed your deadline... but here is our April Fools joke that we sent out to the network of nonprofits in northwest Montana:

    Subject: Breaking News: Ensure Your Nonprofit Receives Subsidy

    Breaking News:

    The details for the Reform Tax Act of 2014 were released at 12:01 am this morning. Due to the rushed deadline (April 15), we are sending out this special breaking news alert.

    In the Reform Tax Act of 2014, charitable giving will be incentivized through federal subsidies and tax credits.

    Please read and forward this information on the following website to your donors so that they can take advantage of these subsidies or tax credits by April 15.

    In brief:

    * Taxpayers with adjusted gross incomes under $50,000 will be given a federal subsidy, based on their income. This subsidy will be paid directly to the charity of their choice.
    * Taxpayers with adjusted gross incomes over $50,000 will receive a tax credit match. The 3:1 tax credit match - that is, $3 for every dollar contributed by the donor - will be paid directly to the charity of their choice.

    Ensure that you are the charity of their choice by the April 15 deadline.

    Please read and forward the following website (https://flatheadnpdp.wordpress.com/) to your donors, Board members, volunteers, etc. to take advantage of these subsidies and tax credits.

    Apr 02, 2014
  • Hello there,

    I would just like to tell you that I generally very much enjoy and learn from your newsletters. But this one in particular was brilliant. Thanks for the comic relief!
    --Phyllis
    Apr 02, 2014
  • This was the best (and one of the few) laugh I've had this week. We'll done! And thanks.

    --MS
    Apr 04, 2014
  • This was the best (and one of the few) laugh I've had this week. We'll done! And thanks.

    --MS
    Apr 04, 2014
  • Well this is the April Fools' issue but still subscribe as it has great articles year round. :-)

    Apr 05, 2014

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