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Despite Bad Apples, Colorado Nonprofits Do Vital Work

Jan 11, 2017

On Jan. 11, The Denver Post published a guest commentary by Colorado Nonprofit Association President and CEO Renny Fagan regarding the importance of enforcing the laws against charitable fraud. The commentary responded to a Dec. 29, 2016 article and Jan. 4 editorial in The Denver Post regarding the attorney general's FY 2017–18 budgetary request for $350,000 for a unit to oversee charities and protect charitable assets.


Colorado Nonprofit Association appreciates The Denver Post’s editorial. We also want Coloradans to know that with few exceptions, Colorado’s nonprofits are trustworthy, ethical and work hard to follow the laws governing their tax-exempt status and solicitation of donations.

Colorado’s more than 20,000 charitable nonprofits provide essential services and programs that strengthen our communities and enrich lives. Many of these organizations rely on donations from generous Coloradans.

As in any industry, one or two bad actors can tarnish the reputation of many. Colorado Nonprofit Association supports the efforts of the attorney general and secretary of state to enforce charity regulations against those undermining public trust in our nonprofit community by committing charitable fraud or failing to act with transparency and accountability.

Increase Nonprofit Transparency, Combat Charitable Fraud

Through collaborations among the attorney general, secretary of state, Colorado Nonprofit Association and other charitable entities, Colorado has taken three important steps to increase nonprofits’ transparency and strengthen enforcement against charitable fraud.

  1. Distribute Principles and Practices for Nonprofit Excellence in Colorado – a free Colorado Nonprofit Association publication containing the current laws and best practices for nonprofits – and provide training in those principle areas.
  2. Ensure nonprofits register with the state of Colorado and fine those failing to register.
  3. Implement civil penalties against charitable fraud and increased transparency requirements for independent fundraisers.

Adding a few additional staff to handle the existing workload of the attorney general’s office would be an additional step to help protect the charitable purposes of donated funds.

Continue Giving to and Learning about Nonprofits

We encourage Coloradans to continue giving generously to nonprofits and learn how they contribute to our communities – a story that isn’t told by the sum of their administrative costs. Donors can find out more about Colorado nonprofits at:

Read the complete guest commentary in The Denver Post.

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