Inc.'s editor-in-chief tells how a not-for-profit had to appear "helpless" for tax reasons.
People in Washington, D.C., talk a lot these days about the "new accountability" demanded of not-for-profit organizations. Evidently, that does not mean they should be better managed or more attuned to the marketplace. One not-for-profit I know recently had its 501(c) application turned down by the Internal Revenue Service because the organization seemed a tad too businesslike. So it hired a lawyer experienced in the field, who redid the application to make the group (in his words) "appear less rigorous and more helpless." Lo and behold, the new application was approved.