New bill cracks down on nonprofit spending

The Senate Appropriations Committee is considering a bill that would give the California state attorney general an increase in power over nonprofit and other donation-based organizations that misuse their funds, the Bay Citizen reports.

Nonprofit? You might think. But they wouldn’t take the money that I put into a charity or fundraiser and misuse it; they must have stronger ethics than that. Right?

Unfortunately, mismanagement of charity money by nonprofit organizations and fiscal sponsors — companies who take care of financials and paperwork on a nonprofit’s behalf — is not uncommon.

In one instance in 2010, the attorney general had to intervene after the Association for Firefighters and Paramedics Inc. of Santa Ana had allegedly misused thousands of dollars donated for burn victims on a pricey Caribbean cruise and other personal expenses.

Is your stomach turning? Because mine is doing double-corkscrew-backflips upon hearing that.

The current law states that the attorney general must show proof that a nonprofit was looking to deceive and defraud. But the new bill, AB 2327, would give the AG‘s office the ability to take legal actions against an organization that fails to provide accurate documentation of funds from charity and fundraising events, or falsifies documents all together.

In addition, the AG can impose a penalty of $1,000 per violation.

That oughta teach swindlers not to rob from do-good-er functions, right? Because if they do, they get slapped with a nasty fine and have their hyneys handed to them on a platter by the state.

In addition, the bill also requires fiscal sponsors to have officers’ and directors’ insurance in the event that they mismanage a nonprofit’s money.