Tuesday, March 20, 2007
IRS releases "Good Governance Practices" for charitable organizations
The IRS seems to be saying that adoption of these good governance practices is not a criterion for obtaining or retaining exempt status, but that an organization that departs to a significant degree from them is more likely to engage in practices that put its exempt status in jeopardy. Interestingly, if somewhat bizarrely, the Service inserted a comment about board size into its introduction that doesn't appear -- either implicitly or explicitly -- in the Good Governance Practices themselves. It's the trite-but-true "Goldilocks" principle that boards that are too small have difficulty representing "a public interest" and boards that are too large "may be less attentive to oversight duties." Presumably boards that are "just right" are more likely to see that their duties are carried out in a manner that promotes, in the case of exempt hospitals, community benefits.