Public Policy Update from FPN

FPN Public Policy Update
Florida Legislature Passes Bill to Protect Charities From Clawbacks
On April 25, 2013, the Florida Legislature gave final approval to a bill intended to protect charities when they receive donations that are later found to have come from fraudulent activity. The bill (HB 95) was passed by the House 114-0 in March and by the Senate 35-2 on Thursday. The bill now goes to Governor Rick Scott.The bill protects charities from being forced to give back donations that they have accepted in good faith and have spent or allocated for charitable purposes – but that years later are the subject of a “clawback” because the funds were later found to have been gained through a fraudulent transaction on the part of the donor. The bill exempts contributions to charities from clawback efforts if the donations were made more than two years before any legal action started.The bill would protect charities like Girls Incorporated of Sarasota County. A court-appointed receiver filed a lawsuit against Girls Inc. to recoup $360,000 that the charity received from the Guy-Nadel Foundation, going back to 2004, plus $90,000 interest – nearly half of the group’s annual budget – because all of the foundation’s funds came from a Ponzi scheme.

Support for the bill has been led by the Florida Nonprofit Alliance. FPN has supported this bill since it was first introduced in the 2012 legislative session, and will be writing a letter to Governor Scott to urge him to sign the bill into law.

More Information
> AP: Lawmakers Pass Bill to Protect Charities.
> Sarasota Herald-Tribune: Nadel’s Gift to Girls Inc. Could Cripple the Organization.
If you have any questions about this or other public policy or legislative issues, contact FPN President & CEO David Biemesderfer at 813-983-7396, dave@fpnetwork.org.
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