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New Online Charitable Fundraising Law



Article Source:  CA Attorney General

Attorney General Bonta Announces Final Regulations Implementing New Online Charitable Fundraising Law

SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Rob Bonta today announced the final regulations implementing Assembly Bill 488 (Government Code section 12599.9), a first-of-its-kind law governing charitable fundraising on internet platforms. The final regulations are the result of an extensive rulemaking process, and allow the Attorney General to properly supervise crowdfunding websites and other online platforms that perform, permit, or enable solicitations for charitable donations through their platforms. Most notably, starting on June 12, 2024, these charitable fundraising platforms are required to register with the Attorney General’s Registry of Charities and Fundraisers.

“There’s no denying that, in recent years, charitable giving has been increasingly taking place online. Internet platforms like GoFundMe, Meta, and PayPal all make it convenient for Californians to donate to or support their favorite charities, but that convenience can come at a cost,” said Attorney General Bonta. “With the final regulations that we are announcing today, my office will be better equipped to protect donors and charities, and ensure that donations are going toward their intended purposes.” 

The final regulations implement Government Code section 12599.9 requirements that charitable fundraising platforms and platform charities: 

  • Register and submit annual fundraising reports to the Attorney General’s Registry of Charities and Fundraisers, with filings made available for public viewing.
  • Provide conspicuous disclosures in their 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.
  • Only solicit for charities in good standing in California and with the IRS. 

A copy of the final regulations can be found here. More information on Government Code section 12599.9 and the regulations, including registration and reporting, is available here. AB 488 was sponsored by Attorney General Bonta and authored by Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks). 

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