VIRTUAL PUBLIC FORUM: California Department of Justice to Hear Public Comment Regarding New Online Charitable Fundraising Law as Part of Rulemaking Process
Interested parties may also submit written comments by Dec. 1, 2021
OAKLAND – On December 1, 2021, the California Department of Justice will hold a virtual public forum on Assembly Bill 488, a new law governing charitable fundraising on internet platforms. The forum will provide the public with an initial opportunity to provide public comment and participate in the rulemaking process.
AB 488 amends The Supervision of Trustees and Fundraisers for Charitable Purposes Act, which vests the Attorney General with regulatory supervision of charities, charitable trustees, and other legal entities holding charitable assets or soliciting donations in California. AB 488 expands the Attorney General’s supervision to include “charitable fundraising platforms” and “platform charities.” Charitable fundraising platforms include charitable crowdfunding websites, e-commerce companies that solicit donations for charities on their websites or engage in online charitable sales promotions, and companies that provide customizable versions of their fundraising platforms to charities.
Effective January 1, 2023, charitable fundraising platforms and platform charities are required to:
- Register and report to the Attorney General’s Registry of Charitable Trusts, which will be 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.
AB 488 also requires the Attorney General to adopt new regulations necessary for supervising charitable fundraising platforms and platform charities. Regulatory topics include:
- The content of registration forms and annual reports submitted by charitable fundraising platforms and platform charities;
- The requirements for holding and distributing donations, including the maximum length of time for promptly sending donated funds to charities;
- The circumstances under which the public may be notified when donated funds are sent to their selected charities; and
- The requirements for agreements between charities and charitable fundraising platforms or platform charities that provide consent for solicitations.
December 1, 2021, from 9:30 AM PT to 12:30 PM PT
Members of the public who wish to speak at the forum are requested to RSVP in advance to email@example.com with the following information: name, title, affiliation, e-mail address, and whether you require accommodations, such as a sign language interpreter or translator.
RSVPs to speak at the virtual forum may also be submitted by mail to: The California Department of Justice, ATTN: Charitable Trusts Section, 455 Golden Gate Ave., Suite 11000, San Francisco, CA 94102-7004. If you wish to submit written comments on the regulatory topics, please provide your comments to the same email or mailing address noted above no later than December 1, 2021. Please note that any information provided is subject to the California Public Records Act.