The name of NLI’s blog, And God’s First, is inspired by St. Thomas More, who was convicted of treason and executed by Henry VIII for refusing to take the Oath of Supremacy. More’s witness has inspired people of faith for many centuries, as he stood firmly for the rights of conscience despite pressure from the King.

“On his way to the Tower one of his daughters, named Margaret, pushed through the archers and guards, and held him in her embrace some time without being able to speak. Afterwards More, asking leave of the archers, bade her have patience, for it was God's will, and she had long known the secret of his heart. After going 10 or 12 steps she returned and embraced him again, to which he said nothing, except to bid her pray to God for his soul; and this without tears or change of color. On the Tuesday following he was beheaded in the open space in front of the Tower. A little before his death he asked those present to pray to God for him and he would do the same for them [in the other world.] He then be sought them earnestly to pray to God to give the King good counsel, protesting that he died his faithful servant, and God's first."

The Paris Newsletter Account of More’s Trial and Execution,
August 4, 1535

What Directors Need to Know About the Duty of Obedience

May 16, 2022 | Compared to the more common fiduciary duties of care and loyalty, the duty of obedience to mission is often forgotten. Unlike directors in the for-profit sector who seek to maximize profit for shareholders, non-profit directors must consider their organizational purposes and mission statements when making decisions.


Impact Investing: Nonprofits and the Parable of the Talents

May 11, 2022 | The Parable of the Talents is often referenced when the topic of investing arises. The story aims to teach us that talents (our money, resources, tools, or gifts) are to be placed out in the world and put into action where they can benefit others, grow, and then come back multiplied. The principle applies to faith-based nonprofits, as well as individuals and for-profit businesses. When a faith-based organization finds itself with extra cash, the organization should consider whether investing these extra funds prudently would be in the organization’s best interest.


Working Remotely

April 14, 2022 | One side-effect of COVID-19 has been the acceleration of remote working. Whether provided as an accommodation to a disability, or in response to a demand from (among others) Millennial employees, many companies and organizations will need to adapt to this new working environment. This adaptation includes providing for remote working in a way that is done fairly and avoids litigation.


Compliance Alert: IRS Form 990 Filing Deadline Approaches

April 11, 2022 | Most organizations must file the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) Form 990 or request an extension by May 15. Many organizations also have state tax filings, charitable registration forms, corporate annual reports, or some combination of these due on the same date.


The Real Civil Rights Issue of Our Time

March 23, 2022 | In his new memoir, former attorney general William P. Barr defends religious liberty as the most pressing civil rights issue of our time.


Religious Liberty Alert: Faith-Based Nonprofits and Forthcoming HHS Rules

March 17, 2022 | Faith-based nonprofits will likely be required by forthcoming U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) rules to provide insurance coverage for procedures and treatments that contradict many faith-based nonprofits’ religious beliefs. Specifically, HHS plans to finalize two rules that would pose serious religious liberty concerns.


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The Napa Ledger

Published monthly, the Napa Ledger includes a digest of pertinent legal and policy updates, insight into the latest Napa Legal content, and a collection of articles that relate to the work we are doing. These resources are provided for educational purposes and not as legal advice.

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