Florida Charity Registration Legislation Adds New Requirments

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs have recently been giving charity registration and professional fundraisers a lot of attention. Florida has the dubious honor of being home to 11 of the top 50 WORST charities according to the Center for Investigative Reporting; http://cironline.org/.

The new legislation aims to “prevent the misuse of Floridians’ charitable contributions by deterring fraudulent and deceptive organizations from soliciting contributions in [the] state.”

 How does this new legislation affect the charity registration process? According to the LFNP (The Law Firm for Non-profits at  http://www.lfnp.com/) there are two key changes:

  • Any charity that solicits contributions in or from Florida residents must adopt a conflict of interest policy, which must require annual certification of compliance with the policy by all directors, officers, and trustees of the charity. A copy of the annual certification must be submitted to the Department with its annual registration statement.
  • A charity that has more than $1 million in total revenue and spends less than 25% of it on program service costs must complete an additional Department form, including the dollar amount and percentage of total revenue allocated to employees, fundraising, travel expenses, overhead, and charitable programs. The form must also detail any transactions with insiders (e.g., directors and officers).

What do you think about the increasing administrative requirements for charity registration?