6 questions regarding watchdog concerns

June 25, 2013       The NonProfit Times      

Anyone involved in the nonprofit sector realizes that an industry so closely regulated doesn’t need any more oversight, but the fact is that close monitoring is here to stay.

Dealing with scrutiny, whether from entities that are hostile to nonprofits, friendly to them or genuinely impartial, can be made a little easier if everybody in the sector understands what is behind all of it.

During Fundraising Day in New York 2013, sponsored by the New York City chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), Seth Perlman, a senior partner of Perlman and Perlman LLP, Art Taylor, president and CEO of the BBB Wise Giving Alliance, and Erika Kloehn, vice president of direct response at the USO, discussed the threshold questions about accountability, compliance and transparency. These are important considerations for anyone in nonprofits wondering about the depth and breadth of regulation and oversight.

The questions executives need to get their arms around include:

  • Why is fundraising regulated?
  • What role do the states play?
  • What role does the federal government play?
  • What about watchdogs and the media?
  • How extensive is fraudulent fundraising in the sector? Further, do registration and reporting help prevent fraud?
  • How has technology changed the landscape? How will it change it in the future?