CalNonprofits Articles

fundraising stock photoWe have some great news to share about our collective policy work! A total of eight of the bills we supported are now law, including AB 488 (Irwin). This new law — several years and many stakeholder meetings in the making — provides important protections for online donors and nonprofits receiving online funds.

“This legislation impacts every single person who clicks on that ‘donate now’ button and every single nonprofit that receives funding this way,” said Jan Masaoka, CEO of CalNonprofits. “It may be low-profile but it’s most certainly high-impact and meaningful.”

Fundraising platforms will no longer be able to hide fees, use nonprofits’ names to raise funds without permission, or hang onto donations indefinitely.

Under this new law, platforms will have to disclose all processing fees upfront. They’ll need to get consent, in most cases, before using a nonprofit’s name to solicit funds. And they’ll be required to distribute donations to nonprofits promptly and offer some transparency to the money’s path. Online platforms will have to register with the Attorney General (AG), placing them under the AG’s supervision going forward.

We are hopeful that these much-needed regulations will increase donor trust in online platforms and result in increased online giving. The law goes into effect January 1, 2023.

The backstory on AB 488

This bill took several different forms in past years; in fact, CalNonprofits didn’t support previous versions! But through many conversations over the past few years with multiple stakeholders — including representatives from big tech companies that host these platforms — the bill improved to the point that we felt we could support it. All along the way, we pushed for better provisions until finally this year, the bill language fully aligned with our crowdfunding principles, developed with input from many of you.

And once CalNonprofits could support the bill, we worked closely with the AG’s and the bill author’s (Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin) staff to champion the bill. We reviewed proposed amendments to see if they protected donors and nonprofits, we testified in hearings, and we helped address concerns from other stakeholders.

Rob Bonta official photoWe want to extend a big thank-you to AG Rob Bonta and his staff and to bill author Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin and her staff for their leadership and persistence, and to Governor Gavin Newsom for signing the bill into law. CalNonprofits will continue to work with our partners in the AG’s Office on the development of the regulations they will use to implement this new law.

Other bills signed into law

Seven other CalNonprofits-supported bills signed into law provide protections for nonprofits and our employees, increase funding opportunities, expand civic engagement and voter rights, and strengthen broadband access:

▪  AB 37 (Berman) and AB 796 (Berman) extend vote-by-mail to all elections in California (AB 37) and strengthen our Motor Voter Program that registers voters through the Department of Motor Vehicles (AB 796).

▪  AB 424 (Stone) protects student loan borrowers with private loans — including those borrowers who work for nonprofits — from frivolous lawsuits by loan servicers.

▪  AB 900 (Reyes) reduces the possibility of self-dealing by trustees of charitable trusts by requiring them to give notice to the AG when they want to sell or transfer all or most of a trust’s assets.

▪  AB 1267 (Cunningham) allows alcohol beverage manufacturers to give to nonprofits a portion of proceeds from their fundraising efforts through sales of alcoholic beverages. Now through 2024 nonprofits can work with alcohol beverage manufacturers to fundraise as long as those efforts do not encourage alcohol consumption.

▪  AB 118 (Kamlager) creates the Community Response Initiative to Strengthen Emergency Systems Act grant pilot program to provide grants to community-based organizations to engage in emergency response activities that do not require a law enforcement officer.

▪  SB 28 (Caballero) requires the state’s Public Utilities Commission to collect data on the locations broadband franchise holders are servicing and to hear customer grievances against franchise holders.

Ongoing advocacy for our two-year bills

We are excited to continue our work next year with these bill authors for these two-year bills that we sponsored or supported this year, and which will be taken up again in early 2022:

▪  SB 543 (Limón) will require state agencies that do business with nonprofits to have an in-house nonprofit liaison.

▪  SB 784 (Glazer) will allow contract flexibility during emergencies for nonprofits with state contracts.

▪  AB 1353 (Wicks) is a spot bill for donor-advised funds reform language TBD.

▪  AB 1038 (Gipson )will create the California Health Equity Program to bring public health resources to underserved communities.

We look forward to engaging you in our policy efforts on behalf of our California nonprofit community in the coming year. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have questions about our legislative work, or any of our policy work, at

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