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Cindy Lott Discusses Nonprofit Regulation and Enforcement With Nonprofit Quarterly

Nonprofit Management Program Director Cindy M. Lott is interviewed in the summer 2016 issue of The Nonprofit Quarterly, in a wide-ranging conversation about nonprofit regulation and enforcement, and how it changes on both a state and a federal level.

Lott, a Yale Law School graduate and an expert in philanthropic regulation and its nuances, brings up fascinating questions that will impact the charitable sector. She notes that we have “a federalist system” but it is part of a “3-D matrix” that includes states’ regulations as well as the intersection of local and national governments and federal agencies.

One recent development that affects nonprofits and how they function is the open data movement. The new amount of access that we have to data will change the way that nonprofits work and are regulated on a state and federal level. Lott mentions the interstate Single Portal project, an initiative from the National Association of State Charity Officials, as one example of how data collection will be changing with technology. It provides one online system for nonprofits to comply and file registration and reporting requirements.

Lott’s expertise in nonprofit regulation is on display throughout the interview, and she asks important questions about how these companies will function in the future:

“One of the other interesting developments occurring in this sector right now is that the layers of jurisdiction are becoming more apparent, including at the local level. We are seeing this in particular with the examination of the definition of charity. States don’t have to have the same definition of charity that the feds do, and now even local jurisdictions are staking a claim on defining charitable activities within their borders. And this is going to be one of the issues that comes to the fore over the next few years.”

Read the full interview with Lott in the The Nonprofit Quarterly.