This paper recites a number of lessons about charitable organizations that were learned during my tenure as a state charities regulator and uses these insights to question whether it is appropriate to understand these organizations by comparing them to for-profit firms. The paper concludes that this comparison is not helpful and argues for limited regulation by state attorneys general.
This publication is Hauser Center Working Paper No. 33.1. Hauser Working Paper Series Nos. 33.1-33.9 were prepared as background papers for the Nonprofit Governance and Accountability Symposium October 3-4, 2006.