Letter from the Editor

The International Journal
of Not-for-Profit Law

Volume 9, Issue 1, December 2006

The International Journal of Not-for-Profit Law, the grateful recipient of so many intellectual gifts since its founding in 1998, devotes this issue’s special section to philanthropy. Claude Rosenberg and Tim Stone of the NewTithing Group argue that the affluent donate less, proportionally, than the middle class. The authors show how donors can make generous yet affordable gifts by taking into account cost of living, tax incentives, and other factors. Next, economist Arthur C. Brooks of Purdue University maps a different divide in American giving: religious conservatives donate far more than secular liberals. His findings, as Brooks told the Chronicle of Philanthropy, should represent “a call to action for the left, not a celebration of the right.”

Our articles begin with positive developments on three fronts. First, International Center for Not-for-Profit Law President Douglas Rutzen analyzes The Salvation Army v. Russia, a significant reaffirmation of civil society’s importance from the European Court of Human Rights. Second, TÜSEV, a network of Turkish foundations and not-for-profit organizations, reports on a bill to reform Turkish foundation law. The bill was passed by the Parliament, vetoed in part by the President, and now awaits final action. Despite the veto, TÜSEV sees the legislation as a noteworthy move toward international standards of freedom of association. Third, Tessa Brewis and Ricardo Wyngaard of the Non-Profit Consortium discuss new income tax legislation in South Africa, which significantly benefits not-for-profit organizations.

Providing, perhaps, less ground for celebration, political scientist B.U. Nwosu of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, argues that free, fair, and meaningful elections in Nigeria will require a great deal of effort on the part of civil society. Martin Beck Matuštík, a Charta 77 member who now teaches philosophy at Purdue University, ponders the ironies of Czechoslovakia’s Velvet Revolution, as well as the prospects that it might be imitated, or even bettered, in Iran. Alison Kamhi of Harvard Law School critically examines the Russian NGO law and its conflicts with constitutions, treaties, and laws. Monsiapile Kajimbwa of the Danish Association for International Cooperation’s MS-Training Centre for Development Cooperation in Arusha, Tanzania, urges NGOs to change their approach to the global south: they should help people achieve sustainable livelihoods through programs that are locally rooted rather than imposed from afar. Vladislav Valentinov of the Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Central and Eastern Europe views the not-for-profit sector through the lens of economic theory, stressing the tension between actors’ monetary and nonmonetary motivations. Finally, the United States Department of State has just issued Guiding Principles on Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). In crafting the principles, the State Department relied heavily on ICNL and its partners.

We’re thankful to those who made this issue possible: Logos and the Stanford Social Innovation Review, for letting us republish articles; Rebecca See of ICNL, for her masterly web work; and, especially, our authors, for their enlightening articles.

Stephen Bates
International Journal of Not-for-Profit Law