Friday, May 16, 2008

Direct-to-donor Online Disclosure System for Charities and Nonprofit Political Committees

On April 28, 2008, the Chronicle of Philanthropy published an interesting story about a proposal for federal legislation that would implement online direct-to-donor disclosure rules for nonprofits.  According to the article, this proposed system would eliminate the needs for national nonprofits, including political groups, to register in multiple state under charitable solicitation laws.  Here is an excerpt from the article:

Mr. Fitzgibbons says his “direct-to-donor” system would be less cumbersome and costly for charities than registering in multiple states — and make it easier for donors and regulators to find information because it would be posted online. Organizations that did not “opt in” to the new system would be subject to traditional state-registration laws.

The proposal would also force members of Congress to shine a light on their own fund-raising activities. Committees that raise money for federal political candidates, for example, would be required to indicate on the disclosure form whether they have transferred money to other candidates or committees — a practice Mr. Fitzgibbons says is not always disclosed in fund-raising solicitations.

For the entire article, see "Debate Begins Over Proposal to Overhaul Fund-Raising Disclosure Rules," in the April 28, 2008, online edition of the Chronicle of Philanthropy.  The comments to the story, also on the chronicle site, are worth a read.


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