Xavier Becerra took office as California’s new Attorney General in January 24, 2017. His first order of business was to look directly at nonprofit organizations (NPO’s) in California and determine whether or not they are complying with the laws of the land. These laws include the laws of California that govern nonprofits organizations, in addition to the laws set up by each individual organization. He is looking, in particular, at each nonprofits’ governing laws outlined in their bylaws to see if they are following their own laws. Do you have the correct amount of board members? Are you having the correct number of board meetings and on the months stated in your bylaws? Have you changed your programs and mission since they were last filed? Have you updated your bylaws to reflect these changes?
Now is the time to review your bylaws. Do they still reflect who you are as an organization? If not, what things have changed and what needs to be changed for your bylaws to be more accurate? Is your board too small, or too large for what is stated? This is a good time to look and see if it is time to do some board housekeeping. Who of your board members should stay, and who should go? It may be even time to do some board training – you want a board that knows what their role and responsibility is as a board members. The stronger the board, the stronger the organization. Does your organization have transparency so that anyone can see what is going on, why, and how?
Have you filed the necessary paperwork to solicit funds for your annual campaign and ongoing fundraising? This should include any fundraising being conducted online. Did you know that social media fundraising in and out of the state requires registration with the state of California and 39 other states in the US? The Multistate Registration and Filing Portal, Inc., a Delaware nonprofit corporation (MRFP), working with the National Association of State Charities Officials (NASCO), and the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) are developing an online system that will allow nonprofit organizations and their professional fundraisers to comply with all states’ registration and annual filing requirements through a single online portal (“The Single Portal Initiative”).
NAAG has recently established a charities committee. The NAAG Charities Committee mission is to assist and enable attorneys general with charities registration and enforcement issues and matters by providing information, communication and support; to facilitate cooperation among the various areas of attorneys general offices that handle charities registration and enforcement through open dialogue and communication; to plan, organize and conduct training and annual seminars in coordination with the National Association for State Charities Officials and its assistant attorney general members for the exchange of ideas and information on matters relevant to charities registration and enforcement; and to promote the development of effective charities registration and enforcement programs and education for the protection of citizens and increasing awareness of our duties to our citizens.
Now is the time to get things in order before you hear a knock on your door! BV can help…