OCTOBER 2017

STATE LAW

 California

Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) has announced that she will donate contributions she received from disgraced Hollywood producer, Harvey Weinstein, to Equal Rights Advocates, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting women’s rights.

 Minnesota

Senator Al Frankin (D-MN) has redirected donations he received from Harvey Weinstein to the Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center. The organization provides food and clothing to Minnesota women in need.

Puerto Rico

Beware of charity scammers soliciting money for recovery efforts in Puerto Rico. The devastation on the island has caused an uptick in charitable impersonators preying on individuals who want to help. Always research a charitable organization before giving. Guidestar and Charity Navigator have websites that rate charity credibility. Make your contributions directly to known organizations instead of relying on third parties to make donations for you. Puerto Rico is in desperate need of help and you want to ensure that as many charitable funds as possible are going directly to provide resources for the island, rather than in the pockets of greedy opportunists.

Tennessee

A reminder that the State’s charitable fundraising law was recently amended to remove fundraising counsel from its provisions. As of July1, 2017, fundraising counsel no longer needs to register with the Secretary of State of Tennessee.

Texas

According to Published Reports, a long time aid to former representative Steve Stockman (R-TX) pled guilty to fraud and money laundering charges in a scheme to funnel Charitable Donations into the political campaigns at the Congressman’s direction. Stockman was indicted in March on fraud, conspiracy, and money-laundering charges.

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Houston charities are still waiting to receive millions of dollars in relief funds pledged after Hurricane Harvey. It’s been two months since that hurricane devastated the Houston area. Immediately after the hurricane made landfall, big corporations made donation pledges to help with the recovery efforts. According to the Houston Chronicle, at least $76 million has yet to be received.

Washington

The Attorney General has filed lawsuits against hospitals in Tacoma and Olympia accusing them of withholding charity care from thousands of low income patients. The suits allege that the hospitals used aggressive tactics to get clients to pay money as a condition of services that were promises to them at no cost as a result of their economic situation. In many cases, the patients allegedly were not told they were eligible for free or reduced rates.

OTHER MATTERS

AFP

The Association of Fundraising Professionals has announced Mike Geiger as its new President and CEO effective November 1, 2017.

Boy Scouts of America Announcement

The organization announced that it will start accepting young women for specifically designed programs. It now appears it will be possible for a female to become an Eagle Scout.

Internal Revenue Service

The IRS issued Rev. Proc. 2017-53 last month. This document is important to organizations seeking to provide assistance to international agencies. It provides guidelines for determining the equivalency of foreign charitable organizations.

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The IRS has also issued a publication containing the audit technique guides for organizations exempt under § 501(c)(3). A copy of the guidelines can be obtained directly from the IRS website. It is 44 pages long and gives insight into the examiner’s inquiry.

NAACP

The NAACP has announced Derrick Johnson as the permanent President and CEO of the organization as well as their goal to transition from a charity to a social-welfare group registered as a 501(c)(4) with the IRS.