In the News

The L3C is so revolutionary and potentially so threatening...

Thursday, June 3, 2010
by Rick Zwetsch

The prevalence of misinformation is another area of concern for L3C entrepreneurs. They worry that there is a lot of room for falsifying information on the Internet (whether intentional or not), which makes it hard to validate what is true and false—a big concern for such a new and sometimes misunderstood movement. While many note that recent articles in the Nonprofit Times and at and have helped clarify information in the business press, and that L3C founder Robert Lang's website Americans for Community Development ( is a good resource, they still worry that the wrong information is too prevalent in other locations on the Web:


With the advent of instantaneous information, it's easy for the wrong information to get out. Not too long ago when the IRS wrote a letter that wasn't very favorable on the L3C, the word out was the L3C is over. There is starting to be a movement of people saying that is not true, but there wasn't any one place really that came out with an official statement and said, 'this is what is going on.' And I think that [we need to have] one organization that is doing that.

—Christopher Washington, SOLVE L3C; Washington, D.C.


I think the L3C is so revolutionary and potentially so threatening to capitalism that it will definitely get attacked. [So] I would like to see a small consortium of maybe five foundations to create an L3C oversight committee so they represent the voice of the foundation world and have L3C attorneys create a legal advisory team. That way when Time Magazine and the big media finds us there are some official spokespeople they can go to and get the story straight, from a lawyer or foundation person, rather than somebody off the street who really doesn't get it.

—Eric Lombardi, Eco-Cycle; Boulder, CO


Yet although he's seen as one of the chief authorities in the L3C movement, Marc Lane said he doesn't believe the movement needs a more authoritative voice. He thinks that since the L3C is a private sector solution, the marketplace should govern the dissemination of information—not any one person or organization:


I am not a believer in managing information. If the L3C isn't about transparency and accountability, what is it about? I think we all benefit when there is a free exchange of information.

—Marc Lane, Marc J. Lane Advisors, L3C; Chicago

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