Charity / Non-Profit Law

Diab, Ahmed Abdelnaby, ‘The Accountability Process during the Time of COVID-19 Pandemic and the Emerging Role of Non-Profit Associations’ (2021) 20(1) Academy of Strategic Management Journal (pre-print, published 15 April 2021)
Abstract: This study theoretically addresses the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on accountability and the role that can be played by non-profit community initiatives in this context. This is done by discussing the accountability concept from the perspectives of institutional logics, and social capital. Drawing upon unstructured literature review and the desk research method, secondary data (e.g., social media, websites, and published reports in least-developed countries (LDC) such as Egypt, Bangladesh, and Ethiopia) were used to provide a broad understanding of the dynamics influencing the accountability process during the pandemic time. This study suggests that there will be a central dominant healthcare logic during the pandemic time, contributing to the emergence of social accountability where non-profit associations take the lead. This study has implications for researchers, shareholders, and policymakers by enhancing their understanding of the accountability process during crisis time.

Haber, Michael, ‘Covid-19 Mutual Aid, Antiauthoritarian Activism, and the Law’ (2020) 67 Loyola Law Review 115-174 (pre-published version available on SSRN)
Abstract: As the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the globe in the spring of 2020, thousands of grassroots, participatory, and often social movement-connected community efforts to help feed, shelter, and care for one another through the crisis were launched, many of which identified their projects as ‘mutual aid.’ This article presents an overview of mutual aid and gives an introduction to the legal issues being confronted by mutual aid groups. It begins by presenting a history of mutual aid practices, principally in the U.S. context, situating mutual aid within the political framework of anti-authoritarian activism. It then gives an overview of common legal issues being confronted by COVID-19 mutual aid groups, including questions related to: (1) risk, liability, and entity formation and structure; and (2) raising and distributing money and goods, and how these activities may be taxed. It concludes by arguing that mutual aid groups should not limit their visions to short-term disaster response but instead seek to maintain and grow their networks to build long-term grassroots power.

Haber, Michael, ‘Legal Issues in Mutual Aid Operations: A Preliminary Guide’ (Hofstra University Legal Studies Research Paper No 2020–06, 5 June 2020)

Abstract: This is a preliminary guide to legal issues that impact groups engaged in mutual aid. It is targeted to groups that have been responding to the COVID-19 crisis in New York, but has information that may be relevant for groups engaged in mutual aid in other contexts and other places. It gives legal information on topics including: risk of liability; questions around governance and incorporation; safety policies, liability waivers, and insurance; banking and mutual aid; funding mutual aid and taxation of mutual aid; crowdfunding regulations; and food storage and safety rules.

Hasan, Samiul, ‘Public and Non-Profit Organisation Management in the Post-COVID-19 World: Possible Issues and Options for Bangladesh’ (SSRN Scholarly Paper ID 3632711, 21 June 2020)
Abstract: This is a revised version of a webinar presentation for a program at the East Delta University, Bangladesh. At first, it underlines the possibility of a debate on the rationality of ‘unscientific lockdown’ that is to harm those people more who are likely to be affected less by the virus, especially in Bangladesh. The discussion then suggests six possible factors to define the post-COVID-19 world and its trajectories, that would create opportunity as well as challenges for Bangladesh. Characterising the non-profit sector with available six legal forms and their varied regulatory mechanisms and the overarching ‘Foreign Donations (Voluntary Activities) Regulation Ordinance of 1977 (amended in 1982), the work argues, referring to the related theories, that there may not be one uniform form of management or leadership. It is to be contingent upon the size, purpose, age, and (sources) of fund of the organisation. It proceeds further to analyse why all organization are to focus on “efficiency” as a core dimension of management, while the public sector needs to consider “outcome equity”. The government should acknowledge the contribution of the non-profit sector and let it function to offer goods and services for the disaffected “majority” without exploitation or profiteering in the guise of non-profit, but with enough regulation to ensure fairness and state security. As such, in the uncertain post-COVID-19 world, where the private sector is likely to shrink or lose face, the NPOs’ management basics should be self-regulation without any bias or division because the government and society would need them collectively more in ensuring outcome-equity. The work is based on the authors’ previous comprehensive works on the non-profit sector and other secondary sources of information and data, as cited and listed at the end.

Johnstone, Syren, ‘A Viral Warning for Change. COVID-19 Versus the Red Cross: Better Solutions Via Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence’ (University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law Research Paper No 2020/005, February 2020)
Abstract: Among the many issues being raised in the course of the recent COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak is the ability of charities to respond to crises and to fulfil their fiduciary and moral duty to apply donations effectively and for the purposes intended. This article notes the problems encountered by charities, in China and elsewhere, and argues that the present crisis should be seen as a call to arms for the tech industry, which has the relevant know-how and resources to radically change the landscape of crisis response and the management of donations through the implementation of blockchain and artificial intelligence tools that are already in common commercial use. Fundamental changes are needed to the structure and method of how such crises are handled. The time for global technologists to develop, on a collaborative basis, borderless solutions to issues of common humanitarian concern is now.

Khalil, Muhammad Ainul Hakim Muhammad et al, ‘Advantages of Temporary Waqf in Combating COVID-19 Pandemic in Malaysia’ (2020) 3(1) INSLA E-Proceedings 167–180
Abstract: Waqf is a form of charity which is highly recommended in Islam. In Malaysia, most of the states impose solely on perpetuity property based on Shafiᶜiy school of law view as stated in State Administration of Islamic Law Enactment and State Waqf Enactment. However, there are certain states allowed the implementation of temporary waqf such as Johor, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, and Sarawak. In 2020, most of the country across the world including Malaysia are affected by deadly disease which is known as COVID-19. The World Health Organization (WHO) declare it as pandemic on January 2020. Malaysia Government has issued Movement Control Order (MCO) as a preventive measures to overcome this contagious disease. Many institutions and employment sectors are ordered to stop their operation temporarily. The negative impact of MCO affected daily life routine, public safety and security, education, and business. Thus, the objective of this paper is to study the concept of temporary waqf from the Islamic perspectives and to explore the advantages of temporary waqf in combating COVID-19. This paper has conducted inductive and deductive methods. In this qualitative research, data has been collected by using library research, observations, and interview. The result of this paper shows that temporary waqf products brought many advantages as compared to perpetuity waqf in combating this pandemic COVID-19.

Langford, Rosemary Teele, ‘Insolvent Trading, Charitable Companies and COVID-19’ (2020) 37(6) Company and Securities Law Journal 435-439
Pre-published version of article available on SSRN
Abstract: In light of the challenges caused by by COVID-19 for all companies, this article analyses the interaction between temporary insolvent trading relief and directors’ duties, with particular focus on directors of Australian charitable companies.

Molk, Peter and D Daniel Sokol, ‘The Challenges of Nonprofit Governance’ (2021) 62(5) Boston College Law Review 1497–1553
Abstract: The stakes for proper nonprofit governance are extremely high. Over 1.5 million nonprofits are registered with the IRS, collectively employing 12 million people and accounting for 5.4% of US GDP. Yet while for-profit companies have significant checks on the behavior of boards and management, nonprofit firms lack many of the same types of internal and external governance control mechanisms. COVID-19 is just the latest in a long history of shocks to expose the lack of preparedness and capability of many nonprofit boards in fulfilling their essential governance functions.This Article contributes to the corporate governance literature by identifying aspects of nonprofit governance that create unnecessary risk to nonprofit entities and to society overall. Currently many governance failures that would be corrected in traditional for-profit entities go unaddressed among nonprofits. We make unique contributions to addressing these governance shortcomings by suggesting an enforcement reorientation by both public and private actors. Our novel solutions encompass disclosure, certification, oversight by state attorneys general, and federal actors.

Ryznar, Margaret, ‘Extending the Charitable Deduction Beyond the Covid-19 Pandemic’ (2020) 167(3) Tax Notes Federal 463–464
Abstract: While the importance of the charitable deduction decreased in the 2017 tax reform, it has returned during the COVID-19 pandemic with the CARES Act. This Article lays out the reasons that the limited above-the-line charitable deduction authorized by Congress during the coronavirus pandemic should remain a permanent feature of U.S. tax law.

Sidel, Mark, ‘Overseas NGOs and Foundations and Covid in China’ (University of Wisconsin Legal Studies Research Paper No 1706, 30 July 2021)

Abstract: The COVID crisis that enveloped Wuhan, Hubei Province and some other parts of China in late 2019 and early 2020 might, in another era, have encouraged China to temporarily relax constraints on international aid and engagement. In the current Chinese political environment, such relaxation of constraints wasn’t going to happen. China accepted some overseas aid at the beginning of the COVID crisis, but almost entirely on the restrictive political and legal terms laid down in the Overseas NGO Law and framework enacted in 2016.

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