Arizona Nonprofit Must Reveal $11 Million Donor Details
November 1, 2012

A nonprofit group that contributed $11 million to fight a California ballot measure aimed at raising taxes was ordered by a judge to disclose documents so state election officials can probe where the money came from. State court Judge Shelleyanne W.L. Chang in Sacramento, Calif., issued a ruling siding with the Fair Political Practices Commission that had argued that an audit of records from the Arizona nonprofit, Americans for Responsible Leadership, related to the contribution was needed before the Nov. 6 general election.

Hearing Set on $11 Million Election Donation From Arizona Nonprofit
October 26, 2012

The next round in the legal battle over an $11 million donation from an Arizona nonprofit will be fought Tuesday. A Superior Court judge in Sacramento set the date after a brief hearing Thursday. The Fair Political Practices Commission is seeking records that could be used to unmask the donors behind the nonprofit Americans for Responsible Leadership.

So far, the group has refused to hand over any documents, saying it has a 1st Amendment right to keep the identities of its donors secret.

Court Rejects ‘Citizens United’ Arguments in Texas Bingo Case
October 12, 2012

A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that Texas charities can’t use proceeds from bingo on certain types of political advocacy, rejecting a challenge that pivoted on the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.

In 1980, Texas voters approved an amendment to the state constitution creating an exception to the ban on gambling for charitable bingo. The following year, Texas passed a law prohibiting charities from using bingo proceeds to support or oppose political candidates and ballot measures, and from attempting to influence legislation.

Nonprofits Need a Strong, Unified Voice to Lobby Government, Report Says
September 20, 2012

Nonprofits need a single organization to spearhead a national advocacy network to champion public policies that help charities and foundations, especially as Washington seems poised to consider an overhaul of the federal tax code, says a new report.

A two-year study involving more than 100 interviews with experts and studies of 500 advocacy efforts was released Wednesday by Independent Sector, a coalition of charities and foundations. The report estimated that it would cost $20 million over four years to establish a national organization to push a nonprofit agenda.

'Don't Be Afraid to Bark At and Chase the Big Dogs'
July 26, 2012

The reduced charitable postage rates are safe for now, but the the issue isn't going away. Neither is the debate over the charitable tax deduction. Fundraisers must fight to protect their industry.

Nonprofit Postal Rates Saved in House Bill
June 28, 2012

The section of a U.S. Postal Service reform bill in Congress that would have eliminated discounted nonprofit postal rates during a 12-year period has been eliminated from the legislation.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the leading sponsor of the postal reform bill, H.R. 2309, informed the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers that Section 403 of the bill will be deleted when it goes to the House floor for a vote later this summer.

Supreme Court Clamping Down on Unions' Political Fundraising
June 22, 2012

The Supreme Court is putting increasing limits on unions’ abilities to raise political funds at the same time it is freeing corporations' ability to spend. That’s the argument being made by some academics after a Supreme Court decision Thursday that requires that nonmembers opt in to contribute to public employee union political fundraising, rather than opt out if they don't want to give.

New California Disclosure Rules for 501(c) Organizations
June 15, 2012

When does a 501(c)(6) trade association have to disclose its members to the public? Not often, as the schedule of contributors provided to the IRS is not a public document. California has other ideas about that. If a 501(c) organization makes independent expenditures in California state races, or is involved in a ballot measure, new rules from the California Fair Political Practices Commission will require disclosure of certain members or contributors.

Judge Tosses Rule Shielding Campaign Donors
April 2, 2012

The Federal Election Commission overstepped its bounds in allowing groups that fund certain election ads to keep their financiers anonymous, a federal judge ruled Friday. U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson's ruling could pave the way to requiring groups that spend money on electioneering communications — ads that don't expressly advocate for or against a candidate running for federal office — to disclose their donors.

The FEC ruled in 2007 that corporations and nonprofits did not have to reveal the identities of those who financed such ads.