Last year, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman unveiled a plan to “revitalize” New York’s nonprofit sector. We told you about it here. This year, he has a new focus – 501(c)(4) “social welfare” organizations. This isn’t too surprising given the press these organizations have received lately, but the high level of transparency the AG’s new regulations call for will certainly shock many 501(c)(4) leaders.
Schneiderman is calling for greater public disclosure by all nonprofit organizations, including 501(c)(4)s, required to register in NY. Specifically, they will now be required to report the amount and the percentage of their total expenditures that go to federal, state, and local electioneering. And those groups that spend more than $10,000 influencing state and local elections in NY will also be required to file itemized lists of expenses and contributions for these elections. The itemized lists must include the name, address, and employer of any donor who gives at least $1,000 to the organization, which will become publicly available. Check out the entire text of the adopted rule here.
How will the new regulations affect your organization? Even 501(c)(4)s not doing business in NY should pay close attention to these laws. If effective, they may be coming to an Attorney General near you.