Acton Institute Powerblog

More Government Control of Charities Looms

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As public policy debate about the extent of government regulation over charities, Karen Woods argues in favor of a “common sense approach” that “would look to transparency and accountability measures that are already on the books, rather than fashioning yet more regulation and mandated enforcement from public agencies.”

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Jonathan Spalink


  • dufflepud

    "Undoubtedly, changes must be made to strengthen the public’s trust in charitable organizations."
    Really? If I don’t trust them I don’t support them. Who is this public that gives money to charities they don’t trust. Back when I was growing up people called this kind of behavior "stupid". While there weren’t laws against it there were consequences and as a result people learned to not do stupid things.

    We live in an imperfect world and if you are going to support a charity you should look into its finances to the point where you feel comfortable with it. Any kind of interference by the state will give donors a false sense of security at the beginning followed by the realization that there has been a real decline in quality. Add to this an environment where organizations spend time meeting the criteria to be "on the list" rather than helping people and any incentive to give to these organizations will, for good reason, be gone. When I was growing up they described this the same way – stupid.

  • Rubicon

    It is a shame that regulations and red tape would
    encumber many charitable organizations that are
    truly working to advance the obviously needfull
    causes they serve. However, perhaps a study of
    and increased regulation of charities, would
    eliminate many organizations that currently enjoy
    the status and designation of "charitable", that are
    clearly engaged in political skullduggery and
    semantically benefiting, while advancing causes that
    are decidedly "uncharitable" to any except those
    who reap the monetary benefit of the designation.