New York attorney general Eric T. Schneiderman has announced a plan to reform and revitalize the state's nonprofit sector.
The plan (46 pages, PDF) includes proposals to eliminate outdated and costly burdens on nonprofits, strengthen oversight and accountability, and reaffirm a commitment from the AG's office to police self-dealing and other forms of corruption. To assist nonprofits in the state that are facing financial and strategic challenges, the plan also includes proposals for several new partnerships with the business and academic communities designed to enhance nonprofit governance.
The plan was developed with feedback from the Leadership Committee for Nonprofit Revitalization, a group of thirty-two nonprofit leaders that was convened in 2011 and offered a series of proposals to reduce regulatory burdens on nonprofits while strengthening their governance and accountability. Proposals in the attorney general's plan that respond to the committee's recommendations include the Nonprofit Revitalization Act, which would enhance oversight of nonprofits by their boards, provide new tools designed to stop fraud and abuse, and modernize outdated requirements to facilitate more efficient operations and reduce costs; New York on BOARD, a director recruitment initiative designed to build stronger and more diverse nonprofit boards; and Directors U, which seeks to improve director education.
"In these difficult economic times, it is more important than ever to make New York a hospitable environment so nonprofits can continue to carry out their vital work," said Schneiderman. "At the same time, we must maintain the public's trust by ensuring that nonprofits are governed effectively and with meaningful oversight."