Last year New York State approved the Nonprofit Revitalization Act – a plan to reform and revitalize New York’s nonprofit sector. Passage of the Act overhauls the laws governing New York’s nonprofit sector for the first time in more than 40 years. The Act is expected to apply to at least 65,000 registered nonprofits in New York. It goes into effect July 1, 2014.
The Act includes oversight and governance reforms that the New York Attorney General hopes “will help protect taxpayer dollars and preserve public trust.” Among the reforms, the Act calls for charities to tighten financial and conflict of interest controls, including requirements to perform stricter oversight of insider deals and to adopt more robust conflict of interest and whistleblower policies (find a summary of the Act’s provisions here).
To help charities comply with the Act, the New York Attorney General is funding a new group, CharitySTRONG, with a two-part, $250,000 grant. Under the grant, CharitySTRONG will develop online tools to provide legal and best practice guidance in areas such as fiduciary oversight, liability, auditing, and using social media.
The organization also plans to develop a recruitment and matchmaking service for board members called onBOARD. The service will connect willing volunteers with organizations.
CharitySTRONG aims to launch by early 2015. Other states are paying close attention to the success of these new programs. Do you think similar programs should be brought to California?