California is in the process of adding teeth and money – $1.4 million special fund – to charity registration enforcement. According to the Center for Investigative Reporting: State law requires charities that fundraise in the state to register with the attorney general. The Department of Justice estimates that there are 52,000 delinquent charities in California and at least 130,000 additional charities operate in California despite having failed to register.
On May 27th the California Assembly unanimously passed Assembly Bill No. 2077 to be used by the attorney general to enforce the registration and reporting provisions of the Supervision of Trustees and Fundraisers for Charitable Purposes Act. The bill is now in the Senate and it appears to be smooth sailing on its way to the governor’s desk. Once approved, the legislation will fund the hiring of up to 13 staff positions to:
1) Handle administrative appeals and court actions related to delinquencies.
2) Assist unregistered charities in complying with registration and reporting requirements.
3) Review initial applications and financial reports.
4) Provide public education and protection activities.
Hopefully the addition of staff will shorten the approval time for charity registration in CA. One thing for sure, there will be more attention on compliance!