Attorney General Bonta Releases Proposed Regulations Implementing New Online Charitable Fundraising Law

Friday, May 27, 2022
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California Department of Justice to hear public comment at virtual hearing on July 13 as part of rulemaking process 

OAKLAND – California Attorney General Rob Bonta today released a package of proposed regulations implementing Assembly Bill 488 (AB 488), a new law governing charitable fundraising on internet platforms. In recent years, charitable fundraising on internet platforms has grown exponentially, altering the landscape of charitable giving. The proposed regulations will allow the Attorney General to properly supervise charitable fundraising occurring on internet platforms and protect donors and charities from fraud and deceptive or unfair solicitations.

"When Californians open their hearts and their wallets, they deserve to have confidence that their donations are going toward their intended purposes," said Attorney General Bonta. "The reality is: online solicitations are everywhere and charitable donations increasingly flow through crowdfunding sites and other third-party online platforms. AB 488 gives my office the tools we need to match today's virtual market and safeguard charitable donations made through online platforms."

AB 488, sponsored by Attorney General Bonta and authored by Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin, expands the Attorney General’s supervision of charities, charitable trustees, and fundraisers to include charitable fundraising platforms and platform charities. Charitable fundraising platforms include charitable crowdfunding websites, e-commerce companies that solicit donations for charities or engage in online charitable sales promotions, and companies that provide customizable versions of their fundraising platforms to charities. Platform charities are retained by charitable fundraising platforms, typically for the purpose of soliciting and receiving donations for other charitable organizations.

Under this new law, the Attorney General is required to adopt regulations necessary for supervising charitable fundraising on internet platforms. Today's proposed regulations implement AB 488's requirements that charitable fundraising platforms and platform charities:  

  • Register and report to the Attorney General’s Registry of Charitable Trusts, with filings made available for public viewing;
  • Provide conspicuous disclosures in certain solicitations, intended to prevent public deception, confusion, and misunderstanding;
  • Promptly issue tax donation receipts, when applicable;
  • Promptly distribute donations to charities;
  • Only solicit for charities that have provided prior consent, unless certain criteria are met that safeguard against harm to charities and the public; and
  • Only solicit for charities in good standing in California and with the IRS.

A copy of the proposed regulations can be found here. A virtual hearing on the proposed regulations will occur on Wednesday, July 13, 2022 at 9:00 am Pacific Time. A link to the public hearing can be found here. Media are encouraged to RSVP at 

Persons who wish to submit written comments on the proposed regulations must submit them by Tuesday, July 12, 2022 at 5 pm Pacific Time. Comments can be submitted by email to or by mail to The California Department of Justice, Charitable Trusts Section, Attn: Brian Armstrong, Deputy Attorney General, 455 Golden Gate Ave., Suite 11000, San Francisco, CA 94102-7004. Please note that any information provided is subject to the California Public Records Act.

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