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Civil Society | Indiana University | Steinberg, Richard | 2010

Nonprofit organizations provide an intriguing alternative institutional form for provision of services in higher education, health care, religion, aid to the poor, research, and arts and culture. We first consider the role and behavior of these organizations (If not for profit, for what?), then consider several recent public policy controversies. These include purported fundraising abuses, the funneling of “profits” towards personal gain, “collusion” by universities in the granting of financial aid, commercial activities that may unfairly compete with for-profits, the conversion of multi-billion dollar nonprofit health and health insurance organizations into for-profit entities, and the tax treatment of personal donations. This year, Congress will consider extending estate taxation (with effects on charitable bequests), nonprofit bridge loans, and the IRA charitable rollover, and the Corporation for National and Community Service will consider how to implement the new Social Innovation fund. A good site for updates on public policy, from the nonprofit community perspective, is at