On February 16, 2012, the New York Attorney General’s Office released the recommendations of the Leadership Committee for Nonprofit Revitalization. The report recommended numerous regulatory changes. In an effort to make New York a more hospitable environment for nonprofits, the proposals seek to lift the archaic administrative and financial burdens placed on these organizations while restoring public trust and transparency in their leadership.
The Attorney General’s Office established the Leadership Committee for Nonprofit Revitalization in response to concerns raised by the state’s nonprofit sector that unnecessary bureaucracy continues to prevent New York nonprofits from fully serving their communities. The Attorney General charged the committee with focusing on the need for efficient and effective boards of directors and the restoration of public trust in nonprofit organizations.
Proposals listed in the report include bringing immediate financial relief to nonprofits by making immediate cash flow loans; establishing an Office of Contracting Reform and Accountability to address the state contracting problem; creating a contracting website to allow nonprofits to track the status of contracts; and modernizing New York laws to make them more tenable for nonprofits. The report also recommends increased oversight of executive pay, independent oversight of financial audits, and granting the Attorney General statutory authority to address fraud. To assist New York nonprofits in recruiting and training qualified directors, the report supports the creation of programs such as “New York on BOARD” to attract more diverse leaders, and “Directors U” to provide easy, accessible training to nonprofit directors.
These proposals mark an important step forward in the partnership between the New York Attorney General’s Office and the nonprofit sector in revamping the current legal and business environment of the state’s nonprofit sector. While the road ahead may be a long one, the recommendations proposed suggest an innovative and cost-effective future for New York nonprofits.
This post was contributed by Nancy Sciocchetti.