William Mitchell Law Review

Publication Information

31 William Mitchell Law Review 119 (2004-2005)


In the wake of the scandals at major corporations such as Enron and WorldCom, attorneys general of several states are proposing additional legislative reforms to ensure financial accountability of nonprofit organizations, and both the Senate Finance Committee and House Ways and Means Committee have recently held hearings on proposed reforms for exempt organizations. These increasing demands for accountability have, in turn, amplified the pressure on boards of directors of all nonprofit organizations to govern effectively. But what is effective governance in this new climate of accountability, particularly for organizations holding exalted status under I.R.C. § 501(c)(3) and concomitant “public charity” status under 509(a)? This article will review current developments in the area of fiduciary duty of boards of directors of nonprofit tax-exempt organizations, to suggest what current trends indicate may be enhanced definitions of directors’ fiduciary duties in the post-Enron environment.