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Reflection: Social Innovation Summit 2017

On June 7 and 8 I was given the opportunity to attend Landmark Ventures’ Social Innovation Summit at the JW Marriott in downtown Chicago. I was interested in the summit because social innovation is a concept that repeatedly comes up in the world of philanthropy. As people seek to develop new and unique solutions to both emerging challenges such as cyber-bullying to age-old issues like equity and equality in the education system, social innovation has become trendy. There are social innovation incubators, corporate efforts to address issues with cutting-edge strategies and not for-profit organizations founded on forward-thinking and creative programs. Similarly, foundations have followed su

Non-profit Organizations, Advocacy and Lobbying: What does the IRS Permit?

The extent to which 501(c)3 charitable nonprofit organizations can legally participate in advocacy and lobbying while still retaining tax-exempt status is not well-understood. It's a question which seems to come up a lot these days in the philanthropic/nonprofit world, especially here in Illinois where the lack of a state budget over the past two years has prevented $12.8 billion from being released, with no end in sight (Responsible Budget Coalition). I attended an educational meeting at Forefront that featured a sobering prognosis on the state of the State and how the nonprofit sector can participate in Revenue Advocacy, the fight for the crucial funding necessary to provide important and

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