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Governing Nonprofit Organizations: Federal and State Law and Regulation Paperback – January 14, 2009

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 570 pages
  • Publisher: Belknap Press (January 14, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674030451
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674030459
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,459,685 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Whether you call it civil society, social capital, or the nonprofit charitable sector, this vital and diverse sector deserves the highest quality of attention by democratic institutions, citizens, and scholars. Marion Fremont-Smith provides the single best resource for understanding the issues raised by government regulation of religions, foundations, social services agencies, hospitals, arts organizations, and other parts of the nonprofit sector. While making a compelling argument in favor of the trend toward federal regulation instead of the patchwork of state supervision and neglect that still exists, the book manifests clarity, erudition, and fairness on every page and should help elevate the study of this crucial part of society. (Martha Minow, Harvard Law School, and author of Partners, Not Rivals: Privatization and the Public Good)

Marion Fremont-Smith's Governing Nonprofit Organizations is an impressive work of scholarship that will significantly add to the field of nonprofit literature. There is no other single volume that covers the range of the subjects dealt with in this book. There are general works about the history of philanthropy, the scope and functioning of the nonprofit sector, the economics or sociology of the nonprofit sector, and specific problems of the nonprofit sector, but there is no comprehensive volume which focuses on the history of the law of charities and of governmental regulation of the nonprofit sector, much less one that couples with that history a detailed examination of the problems inherent in the present regulatory structure. (Joel L. Fleishman, Duke University Law School)

Marion Fremont-Smith's Governing Nonprofit Organizations is an important contribution to the understanding of nonprofit organizations. Dealing with their historical setting in a mixed economy, the rationale for their extensive subsidization, and the effectiveness of their regulation and how it can be improved, it will be must reading for trustees, managers, and lawyers in the mushrooming private nonprofit sector, as well as researchers and public policymakers. (Burton Weisbrod, Northwestern University, and author of The Nonprofit Economy)

As an attorney who's spent most of his professional life representing nonprofit organizations, I can say without fear of significant contradiction that this book will be welcomed as an invaluable addition to the literature of the field. (Robert H. M. Ferguson, Patterson, Belknap, Webb, and Tyler, LLP)

This new book does not disappoint as it ranges widely from the history of rules about establishing charitable trusts and corporations, to the intricacies of the Internal Revenue Code, and on to the crazy quilt of state regulations regarding the duties of donors and trustees...The book should be essential reading and a reference for anyone responsible for--or just interested in--nonprofit governance, especially those trying to formulate new standards and regulations in response to the recent exposés of malfeasance in the sector. (Leslie Lenkowsky Chronicle of Philanthropy 2005-01-01)

About the Author

Marion R. Fremont-Smith is Senior Research Fellow, Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. She served as Assistant Attorney General and Director of the Division of Public Charities in Massachusetts, and is a retired partner of Choate, Hall and Stewart.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By AccountingProf on December 29, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is well written and very clear. Although most of the topics pertain to law, the is equally accessible to non-lawyers. The primary thing you need to know about this book is the specific topics covered. In my review, the page number at the beginning of each topic is listed after the title of that topic.
Chapter 1 covers "The Nonprofit Sector in the Twenty-First Century." History 8 pages. "Current Challenges for Specific Components of the Sector" 4 pages, "How Extensive is Wrongdoing in the sector? (13 pages). Policy Issues facing the Nonprofit Sector... 4 pages
Chapter 2: A Brief History of the Law of Charities: Introduction 3.
Charities in England 23 pages. Charities in the U.S. 23 pages (the reason so much space is devoted to England is that it strongly influences the U.S.). "Congressional Investigations prior to 1969" 1 page; "Tax Reform Act of 1969" 4 pages. Reactions to that Tax Reform Act 4. Congressional Activity since 1969 (14 pages). Intermediate Sanctions for Excess Benefit Transactions 2. "Other Changes in Substantive Laws after 1970" 14 pages.
Chapter 3: Creation, Administration, and Termination of Charities. Charitable Purposes 16. The Trust form of Charities 16. The Corporate Form for Charities 24. Doctrines of Cy Pres and Deviation 15.
Chapter 4 Fiduciary Duties: State Law Standards. Fiduciary Duties of Trustees: Prudence and Loyalty 7. Liability of Trustees for Breach of Trust 2. Exculpatory Clauses 1. Fiduciary Duties of Corporate Directors: Care 12.
At this point in writing my review., I decided to put the page number at the beginning of each topic instead of the number of pages for that topic..
The Duty of Care as Related to Investments 211. Fiduciary Duties of Corporate Directors: Loyalty 215.
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