Is this article for you? It covers services only available to Give Lively member nonprofits.
Is this article for you? It covers Salesforce integration services only available to Give Lively member nonprofits.

Learn how California’s nonprofit governance and delinquency laws might affect access to the Give Lively platform

Get up to date about California’s nonprofit governance and delinquency laws (Assembly Bill 488).

Before you get started

Video Overview

Walkthrough

Before you get started

Video Overview

Walkthrough

Before you get started

Video Overview

Walkthrough

No items found.

Before You Get Started

Double-check your California status. Visit California’s Registry Search Tool.

Video Overview

Video Transcript

Walkthrough

On March 26, 2024, the California Attorney General’s Office published finalized rules on how to implement Assembly Bill 488 (AB-488), which established new regulations around the way nonprofits conduct online fundraising. 

The most important issues are the legal requirements imposed on all nonprofits identified as “delinquent” by the California Attorney General’s Office. These regulations also require a charitable fundraising platform like Give Lively to restrict access by delinquent charities to its fundraising tools.

Importantly, delinquency may apply to nonprofits based in California as well as all nonprofits headquartered outside the state but required to register in California to solicit charitable donations there.

What does the law require?

AB-488 establishes that delinquent nonprofits are not eligible to receive donations through any "charitable fundraising platform” or “platform charity" – legal entities like Give Lively and the Give Lively Foundation, respectively. 

For Give Lively, this means that, by law:

  • The donation pages of delinquent nonprofits must be disabled and their recurring donations must be paused.
  • Nonprofits that apply to use our services will not be considered until they are back in good standing.
  • Funds collected via the Give Lively Foundation (for example, for donations via Charity Navigator’s Giving Basket) destined for delinquent nonprofits may not be disbursed.

How can nonprofits check their own status? 

Nonprofits should visit California’s Registry Search Tool for a detailed view of their status with the state of California. 

Most commonly, a charitable organization is listed as “delinquent” when it misses a deadline to submit timely, complete, required filings and/or fees to the California Attorney General's Office. If the delinquency is not remedied, the organization’s registry status is changed to “Suspended" and then “Revoked.”

The California Department of Justice has a useful Delinquency Webinar on YouTube that walks through the basics of Attorney General oversight, the consequences of delinquency and basic filing requirements.

Nonprofits should also check their status with:

What are the remedies if a nonprofit is not in good standing?

Unfortunately, the only remedy is to make direct contact with the California Attorney General’s Delinquency Program, establish the reason for the delinquency and react to it as expeditiously as possible.

Although Give Lively is here to help, we have no influence with the California Attorney General’s Office (or the Franchise Tax Board or IRS) or the lists it maintains. To ensure they are in good standing, nonprofits must reach out to the appropriate government agencies. To share sentiments about the law, please also direct them to the Attorney General’s Office or the California State Legislature.

Once Give Lively receives confirmation that restrictions have been lifted, we will reinstate the nonprofit's full use of our platform. Our systems update nightly and restrictions are lifted automatically when California updates its databases. However, member nonprofits should contact Give Lively if they find they are "current" with California in the Registry Search Tool.

What about nonprofits that received a notice of delinquency, but are based in another state and don't raise money in California?

The data Give Lively pulls comes directly from a list of delinquent charities maintained by the California Attorney General's Office. Nonprofits are on that list if they received a delinquency email from us or see a warning in the Nonprofit Admin Portal.

This means that, at some point in time, the nonprofit was registered with the California Attorney General's Office to solicit donations in California and that it is presently not in good standing. The California Attorney General's Office maintains a Registry Search Tool that explains in detail why an organization is marked "delinquent" in its database.

These requirements are applicable to all U.S. nonprofits, not just those headquartered in California. The law requires charitable fundraising platforms like Give Lively, Meta/Facebook, Network for Good and others to pause the fundraising activities of California-delinquent charities because they do business in California, even if those charities are based elsewhere. 

For next steps, contact the California Attorney General’s Office or consult with a legal/tax professional. To share sentiments about the law, please direct them to the Attorney General’s Office and the California State Legislature.

Why must Give Lively turn off fundraising pages on a given date?

AB-488's rules allow charitable fundraising platforms to grant a five-day grace period to delinquent nonprofits after the charitable fundraising platform learns about the delinquency. The California Attorney General’s Office publishes its delinquency lists twice per month. This determines the date mentioned in the emails we send and warnings that appear in the Nonprofit Admin Portal. Give Lively adheres to the timing statutorily set by the state of California. We did not impose the deadlines and we do not control them.

Are time extensions possible?

Give Lively has no influence with the California Attorney General’s Office and is restricted from taking any action beyond referring nonprofits to them. Unfortunately, along with all other charitable fundraising platforms, we are held to a legal standard that imposes significant penalties if we do not comply with the law. We are unable to make exceptions, but stand ready to assist once the situation has been remedied.

Some nonprofits have worked with California for a while and the delinquency is still not resolved

We understand how frustrating this law is for nonprofits just trying to do good work. However, Give Lively has no influence with the California Attorney General’s Office and is restricted from taking any action beyond referring nonprofits to them. To ensure nonprofits return to good standing, they must resolve issues directly with the California Attorney General's Office and in accordance with their timetable. 

For next steps, contact the California Attorney General’s Office or consult with a legal/tax professional. To share sentiments about the law, please direct them to the Attorney General’s Office and the California State Legislature. Also check the California Attorney General's Registry Search Tool, which has the most up-to-date status for nonprofits. 

Give Lively member nonprofits should contact Give Lively if they find they are "current" with California in the Registry Search Tool. Otherwise we pull the latest information from California's databases nightly and update accordingly.

Why is this news being shared just now?

The California Attorney General’s Office published finalized rules on how to implement AB-488 on March 26, 2024. That was when they defined many of the specifics, including grace periods, the frequency of their database updates and the timing of specific regulation implementation. The California Attorney State Legislature did not give us – or anyone in the nonprofit tech sector – much time to make changes. (Our outreach and action protocols for alerting nonprofits went online on June 12, 2024.)

Importantly, the State of California should have directly notified all organizations about any issues before California labeled those nonprofits as delinquent. It's unfortunate that nonprofits may be learning about their delinquency for the first time from us, not California. 

We understand how alarming this is and we know how much it could affect a nonprofit’s good work. We hope it is resolved expeditiously and we're here to help once it is. To share sentiments about the law, please direct them to the Attorney General’s Office and the California State Legislature.

What about funds that have already been donated but not disbursed? 

Give Lively member nonprofits receive donations directly through a payment processor, so there aren’t any blocked funds. Once a donation has been made, it is typically automatically disbursed to the nonprofit per the terms of the agreement the nonprofit has with the payment processor.

Donations collected via the Give Lively Foundation (for example, for donations via Charity Navigator’s Giving Basket) will not be disbursed to delinquent nonprofits. They will instead be held by the Give Lively Foundation in accordance with California's laws.

What actions does Give Lively take?

Give Lively has established outreach and action protocols to respond to member nonprofits declared delinquent and those from which the delinquency label has been removed. 

When we learn a nonprofit is declared delinquent

The California Attorney General’s Office publishes its delinquency lists twice per month and the data we receive sets the date for nonprofit action.

Give Lively automatically and promptly alerts the nonprofit:

  • We send an email advising of the delinquency and the deadline for action.
  • We place the following warning on the dashboard of the Nonprofit Admin Portal.
Screenshot of warning from the Nonprofit Admin Portal advising "Your nonprofit is 'delinquent' and your donation pages will be disabled on [date]."

If the delinquency is not remedied by the date shown in the warnings:

  • We send a followup email notification advising that Give Lively has acted according to California law. 
  • We update the warning on the dashboard of its Nonprofit Admin Portal.
Screenshot of warning from the Nonprofit Admin Portal advising "Your donation pages will be disabled."
  • We display the following notice on all of the nonprofit’s Give Lively-powered fundraising pages.
Screenshot of warning on nonprofit donation pages advising "Donations currently disabled."
  • In the User Portal, we display a "This recurring donation has been paused" notice on Give Lively-managed recurring donations.

When we confirm a nonprofit is back in good standing

Give Lively automatically and promptly alerts the nonprofit of the removal of the delinquency label.

  • We send an email confirming the return to good standing.
  • We remove all warnings and notifications from the Nonprofit Admin Portal, fundraising pages and recurring donations.

Resources

Most of the following links are mentioned in context above, but lifted out here again for easy reference.

General resources

Delinquency resources

Nonprofit status checks

(The California Attorney General's office also updates an official "May Not Operate or Solicit for Charitable Purposes” list twice a month, on the first and third Wednesday of each month. To see this, go to the Attorney General of California Verification Search, open the “Charity Registration Reports” section and carefully read the instructions, advice and chart showing different status types. For delinquencies, download the "May Not Operate or Solicit for Charitable Purposes” list.)

Downloads

Get Inspired

No items found.