This bill has been amended

Bill S2156-2013

Provides for the issuance of a certificate of ethics course completion to professional fundraisers who complete a course of instruction in the law and ethics of fund

Provides for the waiver of annual fees for professional fundraisers who complete a course of instruction in the law of ethics in fundraising.

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  • Jan 8, 2014: REFERRED TO FINANCE
  • Jan 14, 2013: REFERRED TO FINANCE

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BILL NUMBER:S2156

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the executive law, in relation to providing for the issuance of a certificate of ethics course completion to professional fundraisers and charitable organizations who complete a course of instruction in the law and ethics of fundraising

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This bill provides for the issuance by the Attorney General of a certificate of ethics course completion to professional fundraisers who complete a course of instruction in the law and ethics of fundraising.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: This bill amends the Executive Law to add a new section 178, which provides for the issuance by the Attorney General of a certificate of ethics course completion to professional fundraisers, professional solicitors, fundraising counsel, and charitable organizations required to register with the Charities Bureau of the Attorney General's Office, who complete a course of instruction in the law and ethics of fundraising. It also provides that the Attorney General shall annually publish the names of the individuals and organizations which have been granted the certificate and that the charities bureau registry maintained by the attorney general shall indicate that a certificate has been granted.

This bill defines "acceptable course" as a course of instruction approved by the Attorney General in consultation with the Education Department, in relation to the law and ethics of fundraising and philanthropy. Universities and colleges statewide, and professional trade associations would be permitted to offer the course through classroom training and/or by distance learning.

JUSTIFICATION: There are approximately 1.8 million non-profits in existence today raising between $225-$255 billion per year. Many of these organizations employ in-house fundraisers who do not have formal education in fundraising. Many ethical problems exposed in Corporate America are now spilling over into the non-profit sector. Recent scandals, in particular the Bernard Medoff catastrophe, point out that there is need for transparency and maximum accountability. In order to encourage education in professional responsibility in the field of philanthropy, this legislation provides an incentive in the form of a certificate of ethics course completion from the Attorney General. The course will raise the consciousness of fundraisers making them sensitive to the ethical issues they are faced with on a daily basis. In addition, fundraisers would be apprised of the many new state and federal laws pertaining to non-profits.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: Similar legislation was introduced in 2011 A.1441/S.2695.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 2156 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 14, 2013 ___________
Introduced by Sens. VALESKY, RANZENHOFER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Finance AN ACT to amend the executive law, in relation to providing for the issuance of a certificate of ethics course completion to professional fundraisers and charitable organizations who complete a course of instruction in the law and ethics of fundraising THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The executive law is amended by adding a new section 178 to read as follows: S 178. COURSE OF INSTRUCTION IN THE LAW AND THE ETHICS OF FUNDRAISING AND PHILANTHROPY. 1. ANY PROFESSIONAL FUNDRAISER, PROFESSIONAL SOLICI- TOR, OR FUNDRAISING COUNSEL, WHO IS AN INDIVIDUAL REQUIRED TO REGISTER PURSUANT TO SECTION ONE HUNDRED SEVENTY-THREE OF THIS ARTICLE, WHO SHALL HAVE COMPLETED AN ACCEPTABLE COURSE OF INSTRUCTION IN THE LAW AND ETHICS OF FUNDRAISING AND PHILANTHROPY SHALL BE ENTITLED TO A CERTIFICATE OF ETHICS COURSE COMPLETION BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL. SUCH INDIVIDUALS SHALL VERIFY ON THEIR REGISTRATION OR RE-REGISTRATION FORM THAT THEY HAVE COMPLETED SUCH COURSE AND SHALL PROVIDE DOCUMENTATION OF SUCH COMPLETION AT THE REQUEST OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL. 2. ANY PROFESSIONAL FUNDRAISER, PROFESSIONAL SOLICITOR, OR FUNDRAISING COUNSEL WHICH IS AN ORGANIZATION, GROUP, ASSOCIATION, PARTNERSHIP, CORPORATION, OR ANY COMBINATION THEREOF REQUIRED TO REGISTER PURSUANT TO SECTION ONE HUNDRED SEVENTY-THREE OF THIS ARTICLE, SEVENTY-FIVE PERCENT OF WHOSE EMPLOYEES RESPONSIBLE FOR THE HIRING, TRAINING OR SUPERVISION OF EMPLOYEES ENGAGED IN THE FUNDRAISING ACTIVITIES OF THE ORGANIZATION, GROUP, ASSOCIATION, PARTNERSHIP OR CORPORATION COMPLETE AN ACCEPTABLE COURSE OF INSTRUCTION IN THE LAW AND ETHICS OF FUNDRAISING AND PHILAN- THROPY, SHALL BE ENTITLED TO A CERTIFICATE OF ETHICS COURSE COMPLETION BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL. SUCH PROFESSIONAL FUNDRAISER, PROFESSIONAL SOLICITOR, OR FUNDRAISING COUNSEL SHALL VERIFY ON ITS REGISTRATION OR
RE-REGISTRATION FORM THAT SUCH VOLUNTEERS OR EMPLOYEES HAVE COMPLETED SUCH COURSE AND SHALL PROVIDE DOCUMENTATION OF SUCH COMPLETION AT THE REQUEST OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL. 3. ANY CHARITABLE ORGANIZATION, INCLUDING ANY CHARITABLE ORGANIZATION REQUIRED TO BE REGISTERED PURSUANT TO ARTICLE EIGHT OF THE ESTATES, POWERS AND TRUSTS LAW, REQUIRED TO REGISTER PURSUANT TO SECTION ONE HUNDRED SEVENTY-TWO OF THIS ARTICLE, SEVENTY-FIVE PERCENT OF WHOSE EMPLOYEES RESPONSIBLE FOR THE HIRING, TRAINING OR SUPERVISION OF EMPLOY- EES ENGAGED IN THE FUNDRAISING ACTIVITIES OF THE CHARITABLE ORGANIZATION COMPLETE AN ACCEPTABLE COURSE OF INSTRUCTION IN THE LAW AND ETHICS OF FUNDRAISING AND PHILANTHROPY SHALL BE ENTITLED TO A CERTIFICATE OF ETHICS COURSE COMPLETION BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL. SUCH CHARITABLE ORGANIZATION SHALL VERIFY ON ITS REGISTRATION OR RE-REGISTRATION FORM THAT SUCH VOLUNTEERS OR EMPLOYEES HAVE COMPLETED SUCH COURSE AND SHALL PROVIDE DOCUMENTATION OF SUCH COMPLETION AT THE REQUEST OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL. 4. THE ATTORNEY GENERAL SHALL ANNUALLY PUBLISH THE NAMES OF ANY PROFESSIONAL FUNDRAISER, PROFESSIONAL SOLICITOR, FUNDRAISING COUNSEL OR CHARITABLE ORGANIZATION THAT HAS BEEN GRANTED A CERTIFICATE OF ETHICS COURSE COMPLETION IN ANY REPORT PREPARED TO ASSIST THE PUBLIC IN DETER- MINING WHICH CHARITABLE ORGANIZATIONS TO SUPPORT, AND THE CHARITIES BUREAU REGISTRY MAINTAINED BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL SHALL INDICATE THAT A CERTIFICATE OF ETHICS COURSE COMPLETION HAS BEEN GRANTED. 5. FOR THE PURPOSE OF THIS SECTION, "ACCEPTABLE COURSE" SHALL MEAN A COURSE OF INSTRUCTION APPROVED BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, IN CONSULTATION WITH THE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT, IN RELATION TO THE LAW AND ETHICS OF FUNDRAISING AND PHILANTHROPY. UNIVERSITIES AND COLLEGES STATEWIDE, AND PROFESSIONAL TRADE ASSOCIATIONS THAT ESTABLISH PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS AND PROVIDE TRAINING AND RESOURCES FOR INDIVIDUALS ENGAGING IN PROFES- SIONAL FUNDRAISING, MAY OFFER AN ACCEPTABLE COURSE THROUGH CLASSROOM TRAINING AND/OR BY DISTANCE LEARNING, AND SHALL PROVIDE DOCUMENTATION OF COMPLETION TO THOSE WHO COMPLETE THE COURSE. ANY PERSON TAKING THE COURSE MAY ELECT TO DO SO BY EITHER METHOD OFFERED. COURSES PROVIDED BY DISTANCE LEARNING SHALL BE SUBJECT TO ALL REGULATIONS ESTABLISHED BY THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT FOR SUCH COURSES. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.

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