Some donors want to have their name in lights, in the annual report, on the building, on a pew: loud and in public.
And some donors want just the opposite: for their philanthropy to be a private event. Some religions even counsel their adherents that their good deeds and giving are not valued the same if they are widely known.
Sadly, this second group of donors is under assault. And it’s up to us to stop it.
Three states have started requiring private donor information — name, address, and amount — of any gifts $5,000 and above. They’ve required this as a precondition of fundraising in the state. And this is despite one of the states already being, um, careless with the information.
Some people want to give anonymously. They should be allowed to be able to give anonymously. They should be free of solicitation by every Tom, Dick, and Neiman Marcus who can scrape a 990 for high net-world individuals. They should be free of harassment at their home address by those who don’t like how they give their money away. They should be free from having to compromise their religious views or moral beliefs.
In short, they should be free to give as they wish and shout about it with the volume on 100 or on mute. And if they aren’t, there will be a chilling effect on these large donations.
That’s the issue coming up to the Supreme Court right now: can states force nonprofits to disclose their largest donors and subject them to all of the above? Or are we going to save donor privacy?
And that’s where you come in.
The Nonprofit Alliance is filing an amicus brief with the Court, telling them about the impact this will have on this nation’s great causes and the generous people who support them. And TNPA is looking for people and organizations to sign on to that brief.
And if you want to learn more about the issue, TNPA is holding a town hall meeting on Thursday.
We’ll get back to helpful strategies, tips, and head-scratches in this blog later in the week. But this was too important to wait — we hope you’ll join us in the fight for donor privacy.