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Charities and Diversity

So, there’s this state that thinks foundations with $250 million in assets or more should to provide reports on the gender orientation and ethnicity of their boards and staffs, and the boards and staffs of the charities they support.  And to what extent they are actually run by minorities, or support them.

I’ll give you one guess which state I’m talking about.

I’ll wait.

That was fast.  Yes, it is California!  You are so smart!

You’re not from there are you?

Heather R. Higgins, a board member of the Philanthropy Roundtable, wrote a piece [1] for the Wall Street Journal on this topic today on this topic.

It’s just a little scary to think about.

Champions of the bill claim that its only goal is to “request diversity data.” Then why force the donors to collect this information from grantees, instead of asking each registered charitable organization simply to report the information directly to the government? The bill’s critics fear the real goal is to pressure charities into meeting “diversity” goals out of fear of displeasing their funders – who themselves fear that ultimately their ability to set their own goals, or even their tax-exempt status, will be at risk if diversity goals aren’t met.

Ultimately, this all leads in one direction: to politically determine how private charities manage and deploy their resources.

Proof positive once again that our governments, especially those that are a little extreme, are drunk with power, and love to use the tax system to manipulate society.  In a way, the whole thinking  here is messed up with things that can become essentially arbitrary.  How about PACs?  Shouldn’t the government try to encourage PACs to ensure they are including all kinds of political perspectives, including anarchists and rebels?  And what about the governments?  What about the State of California?  Should the legislature not be made of up predefined proportions of all kinds of underrepresented groups?  Are cat owners being unfairly slighted?  Do dog owners get better treatment than exotic animal owners?  When will it end?

Okay, it seems a bit tongue-in-cheek, but this will get out of control very quickly.  Similar reporting requirements are sure to be put on private businesses.  Information will be reported and then publicized, and then groups will be unfairly ridiculed.  Christian churches will be persecuted for not having any Wiccan members, lenders will be accused of unfair lending practices for not lending to people who have no income.  And before long, it’s not just reporting, it’s enforcement.

But again, the real evil here is government sticking its nose into the business of charities.  And under the guise that there must be accountability when tax exempt status is in play.

Let’s get rid of the income tax system.  And shrink the government.  If they really have so much time on their hands that you get this, then maybe the California Legislature has outlived its usefulness.