U.S. Supreme Court Strikes Down California’s Donor Disclosure Requirement

Posted on July 1, 2021 by James Gilmer in Industry News, Nonprofit Compliance.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) struck down California’s requirement that nonprofits submit unredacted donor information with their annual solicitation registrations. The original challenge, brought by the Americans for Prosperity Foundation and the Thomas More Law Center, held that disclosure of donor information violated the donors’ First Amendment rights of association.

In a 6-3 ruling, the Supreme Court upheld the challenge, overturning the decision by the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and ruling that California may not require charities to submit Schedule B when registering.

Along with New Jersey and New York, California is one of three states to require unredacted Schedule B from the organization’s annual Form 990 return. In light of the SCOTUS decision, the California Attorney General’s website now officially states, “Effective July 1, 2021, the Registry of Charitable Trusts will no longer require the filing of Schedule B to the IRS Form 990 as part of the registration and annual reporting requirements.”

At this time, the state of New Jersey is still currently requiring Schedule B information on the basis that it is not disclosed to the general public. Should that change, the state intends to inform organizations and their registration agents directly or via the Department of Consumer Affairs website.

Separately, the New York Charities Bureau has informed us that they are currently reviewing the Supreme Court’s ruling. We will provide further relevant updates should there be a requirements change.

Harbor Compliance tracks legislative changes and maintains regular contact with state agencies. We help client organizations achieve registration and navigate a changing landscape of at times complex requirements. For more information on our fundraising compliance solutions, click the following link:

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