Friday, August 23, 2013

Secrecy vs Transparency at Charities

by Gary Snyder 

In New York State charities are required to reveal where they got their money. However, a growing number of nonprofit organizations, spanning the ideological spectrum, are seeking exemptions, arguing that their donors could be endangered if their names were released to the public. 

Similar disputes over transparency versus privacy are taking place in California, Maine, Minnesota and other states. One was granted an exemption--Naral Pro-Choice New York--the prominent abortion rights group. 

Other groups around the nation have also sought to shield their donors from public scrutiny. 

Another group, the Committee to Save New York, spent more than $13 million on advertising supporting Governor Cuomo’s agenda in 2011 and 2012; the group went dormant as soon as the state started requiring disclosure of donors. 

Ironically, Arthur Eisenberg, the New York Civil Liberties Union legal director noted: “It’s the individual donors who shouldn’t need to take that (abuse), and the price of their association with us, and their participation in the First Amendment activity of lobbying, should not be at the cost of their feeling secure and free from threats and retaliation.” (NYT)

Nonprofit Imperative gathers its information principally from public documents...some of which are directly quoted. Virtually all cited are in some phase of criminal proceedings; some have not been charged, however. Cites in various media: Featured in print, broadcast, and online media outlets, including: Charity Navigator, Vermont Public Radio, Miami Herald, National Public Radio (NPR), Huffington Post, The Sun News, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Wall Street Journal (Profile, News and Photos), “Betrayal”, (a movie), NBC (on Charity Fraud…TBD), FOX2, ABC Spotlight on the News, WWJ Radio, Marie Claire, Ethics World, Aspen Philanthropy Newsletter, Harvard Business Review, Current Affairs, Charity Navigator, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, St. Petersburg Times, Board Room Insider, USA Today Topics, Accountants News,, Responsive Philanthropy Magazine, New York Times, Portfolio Magazine, The Virgin Islands Daily News, NANKAI (China) BUSINESS REVIEW, National Religious Broadcasters newsletter, The Charity Governance Blog, American Chronicle, Palm Beach Post, Detroit Free Press, Oakland Press, Nonprofit World, Socially Responsible Business Forum, PNNOnline, Ohio Nonprofit Resources, Nonprofit Good Practice Guide, Nonprofit Startup Guide, Nonprofit Blog, National Coalition of Homeless Newsletter, Finance and Administration Roundtable Newsletter,, CORP! Magazine, Crain’s Michigan Nonprofit,, PhilanTopic, Nashville Free Press, Nonprofit Law Blog, Seniors World Chronicle, Carnegie Reporter, Assoc. of Certified Fraud Examiners Examiner,, Worchester (MA) Telegram and Gazette, Carnegie Corporation of America, EO Tax Journal, Wikipedia: Non-profit Organizations; Parent: Wise Austin, Accountants News, Veterans Today,, Far-roundtable, #Nonprofit Report, nonprofithelpnews, nonprofit news; National Enquirer, Northwest Herald, The HelpWise Daily, The #Nonprofit Report, Wikipedia (Nonprofit Organization),, Nonprofits: On the Brink (2006) Silence: The Impending Threat to the Charitable Sector (2011)
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