Due to the volume of questions I’ve been receiving recently about HB 187, I wanted to reiterate our position on it.
In summary, DANA has worked with many of our nonprofit members over the past five years to get feedback, opinions, and suggestions on the HB 187 Charitable Solicitor Registration Bill. DANA, the Delaware Community Foundation, the Association of Fundraising Professionals Brandywine, the United Way of Delaware, and various fundraising consultants have worked with the legislators and Attorney General’s office closely to make this bill the least onerous on nonprofits as possible.
This bill has been working its way through the General Assembly since 2009. We have delayed it along the way to allow nonprofits a chance to recover from the recession. Originally, the bill’s fees exceeded $1,000, which was extremely excessive. Now, the fees start at $10 and top out at $100, on a sliding scale. Previous versions of the bill also required full audits for all nonprofits no matter their size, as well as reports of activities. Now, regularly filed 990 forms will be accepted, with full audits only being required for organizations with budgets over $1 million.
The Delaware Attorney General’s office has been very responsive to make this bill the least cumbersome for the nonprofit sector while achieving their goal of increasing the public’s confidence in the charitable nonprofits. Overall, it is hoped that with increased confidence and transparency, individual giving may increase. Delaware is one of eight states in the country that presently do not require nonprofit 501(c)(3) registration. All of our surrounding neighbor states require nonprofits soliciting in their states to register. Therefore, this bill will bring Delaware into alignment with our neighbors, as well as most of the nation.
If you have further concerns about the bill, please contact me directly. Also, the Attorney General’s office is very open to discussing any suggestions or concerns you may have.
Follow my Public Policy blog here, and our social media channels (Facebook: /DEnonprofit & Twitter: @DE_Nonprofit @JohnDBaker1) to stay up-to-date on public policy items DANA follows for the sector.
- John Baker, EVP of Policy and Programs, DANA