CalNonprofits Articles

Update 4/13/16 - Thanks to the work we all did together, AB 2855 by Assemblyman Jim Frazier (D-Oakley) did not advance in the legislature yesterday. You can read CalNonprofits' letter opposing the bill and also check out this joint letter of opposition.

In the last two weeks, hundreds of nonprofit organizations from around California and beyond spoke up. In particular, we are all indebted to United Ways of California, the League of California Community Foundations, California Arts Advocates, California Professional Firefighters, Sacramento Regional Community Foundation, the Nature Conservancy, California State Parks Foundation, California YMCAs, the Humane Society of the United States, California Blood Centers and the State Humane Association of California who each sent representatives to the hearing yesterday to voice our collective concerns in person. Allied with CalNonprofits, these groups helped us persuade the committee to hold off on advancing this bill. 

Assemblymembers Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita), Catharine Baker (R-Dublin), Kristin Olsen (R-Modesto) all voted no on AB 2855. And Assemblymembers Rich Gordon (D-Menlo Park) and Matt Dababneh (D-Encino) abstained, leaving AB 2855 one vote shy of the six needed to clear the Assembly Privacy and Consumer Protection committee. CalNonprofits is grateful to these legislators for their thoughtfulness.

As you know, AB 2855 would have required nonprofits to place unnecessary and burdensome notices on every document that included a fundraising message - not just California nonprofits but any nonprofit that raises funds in California - which is pretty much every nonprofit in the world. While we share the goals of transparence for nonprofits and prosecuting the few - but high profile - bad actors, this bill would have done nothing toward achieving those goals. We have already approached Assemblymember Frazier’s office to identify ways we might be able to work more closely together in the future, and CalNonprofits looks forward to joining him at a nonprofit outreach seminar in Brentwood next week.

While the fate of AB 2855 might be sealed (for now), we prevailed by the slimmest of margins and only after enduring a hearing that made pointedly clear just how much work our sector has to do to ensure that policymakers know who we are, how we operate and how regulated our sector is. Another takeaway message is that the non-compliance or malfeasance of the very few creates immense negative exposure for the overwhelming majority of non-profits who are diligent, effective, and compliant. We can't rest at maintaining our donors' trust and the public's trust; we must earn state lawmakers' trust too.

You can count on CalNonprofits to embrace this challenge. When the nonprofit community is organized, we are very strong.

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