Sunday, June 1, 2008
The California State Assembly is considering legislation that would require foundations to diversify their nonprofit governing boards. The bill, entitled the Foundation Diversity and Transparency Act (AB 624), requires that California foundations collect information on the composition of their boards and report this information to the public. Here is the legislative counsel summary of the bill:
Existing law regulates the administration of nonprofit corporations and trusts that are deemed to be private foundations, as defined under federal tax law, and requires these private foundations to distribute their income for each taxable year so as not to subject the private foundation or its property to specified federal tax requirements. Existing law requires these entities to prepare specified annual reports.
This bill would require a private, corporate, or public operating foundation that is incorporated in this state with assets over $250,000,000 to collect specified data pertaining to its governance and domestic grantmaking. The bill would require this information to include the racial and gender composition of the board of directors and staff of the foundation; if applicable, the number of grants and grant dollars awarded to organizations specifically serving specified ethnic
minoritycommunities, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities, disabled communities, and other underrepresented communities; the number of grants and grant dollars awarded to organizations where 50% or more of the board members or staff are ethnic minorities; and the number of grants and grant dollars awarded to predominantly low-income communities. The bill would require a foundation to disclose this information via its Internet Web site, if available, and to include this information in its annual report, as specified.
For the text of the entire bill, go here or download here: Download ab_624_bill_20080507_amended_sen_v95.pdf. For commentary on this bill see the May 30, 2008, Wall Street Journal and May 11, 2008, Washington Times.