Non-profits provide vital services for thousands of New Yorkers throughout the state. Unfortunately, scores of corrupt politicians have used non-profits as personal slush funds to enrich themselves and their family members at the taxpayers’ expense. Here are my common-sense reform proposals to ensure that non-profits can no longer be used as a conduit between needed resources and greedy, corrupt public officials.
Require the New York State Attorney General’s office to post the Financial Statements for all non-profits throughout the state online in a searchable database.
Prohibit all elected and high-level appointed officials in New York State from receiving any remuneration from a non-profit organization.
Require all elected, high-level appointed officials and government employees who serve in any volunteer leadership capacity at a non-profit (i.e. a non-compensated board position for the organization) to file an initial and an annual Disclosure Statement with the New York State Attorney General’s office. Such statements will be included in the searchable database and will require information pertaining to any potential conflicts of interest.
Require all elected and appointed public officials’ family members or domestic partners who serve in any volunteer leadership capacity or receive any compensation themselves from a non-profit to similarly file such a Disclosure Statement. Required information will include any potential conflicts of interest and/or compensation.
Require that all non-profit organizations that receive any federal, state, or city money not spend more than 30% of all funds raised by the organization on administrative and fundraising expenses. They must apply for a special waiver. Charity watchdog groups state that less than 1/3 of funds should go to administrative and fundraising expenses. This applies to all raised funds, not just government funds.