Friday, March 24, 2023
Opinion Page (Letter to the Editor): More Research Is Needed on State Regulation of Charities
The goals of the Irish Charity Regulator
From The Chronicle of Philanthropy, February 16, 2023:
We are pleased to see the robust conversation reflected in last week’s Chronicle of Philanthropy article “New Report on State Charity Regulation Touches Off Debate About What Helps Nonprofits Thrive” (February 9). Such a dialogue is long overdue and is ultimately the purpose of the Philanthropy Roundtable report we authored — and on which the story is based.
Starting a discussion about which regulations create net benefits and which regulations impose net costs is essential. However, as the study emphasizes multiple times in issuing its state scores, “this is an imperfect ranking based on imperfect variables.” That does not mean it isn’t a worthy endeavor. Much more can be learned about this topic, and additional research is needed.
It’s widely accepted that state regulations on charities can create important benefits: promoting trust and discouraging fraud. But how these regulations are implemented matters. The notion that regulations will impose net costs when taken to excess should not be controversial.
Research is needed on when regulations transform from being beneficial into a financial burden, and into how they affect a charity’s financial viability.
. . .