Introduction to Private Inurement and Private Benefit for Religious Nonprofit Leaders
Increasingly, the daily headlines feature allegations of misconduct by the leaders of churches and religious tax-exempt organizations.  Typical stories describe an insider’s use of the tax-exempt organizations’ assets, such as a private plane, funds, or business opportunities, for the benefit of the insider or a favored person. Even if misconduct allegations are later shown to be unfounded, such stories can permanently harm an organization and, perhaps worse, the people it serves. Trustworthiness in fact and appearance is critical for religious organizations, especially if they are donor funded.