March 16, 2011

Action Requested: Contact members of the  Assembly Government Affairs Committee and urge them to vote “NO” on AB 242, a bill to impose excessive reporting burdens on nonprofit organizations.

Background: A bill was introduced in the Assembly last week that would require “quasi-public organizations” to submit extensive financial information to the government if they receive money from a state agency “in the form of a donation, gift, grant or other conveyance.” “Quasi-public organizations are defined as all tax-exempt organizations pursuant to Section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code, and includes charities, chambers of commerce, fraternities, civic leagues, private foundations and churches, The annual filing would have to include listings of the amount of all moneys received from state agencies, details about how the resources were used, the identities of individuals benefitting from the money so received, administrative costs, and salaries of the nonprofit’s employees.

Why It Matters to Nonprofits: AB 242 defines nonprofits as “quasi-public.” This new definition is extremely damaging, misleading, and contrary to the reality and purpose of nonprofit organizations. AB 242 also asserts that nonprofits “have no reporting requirements for state funds” and “no accountability” which is far from the truth. It forces nonprofits to divert already limited resources to spending it on paperwork instead of providing services. AB 242 details excessive reporting requirements that would impose unwarranted invasions of privacy for the thousands of employees, clients and beneficiaries served by nonprofits in our state.

Take Action

Because AB 242 has been assigned to a working session of the Assembly Government Affairs Committee that will vote on the bill soon (no more opportunity to testify), you are urged to call committee members (stop by the legislative building if you can) with three succinct talking points:

  1. Your nonprofit is independent of government and should not be labeled “quasi-public.”
  2. The bill diverts resources away from needed services (to perform paperwork functions that the government should already be doing).
  3. The requested data  is excessive and tramples the legitimate privacy rights of employees, clients and beneficiaries.

Check out the list of committee members and their contact information. Also, please read the ANN response letter for further details.

Now is time to take action.