As charities increasingly use social-networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to raise money, state regulators are looking for ways to make sure that con artists aren’t using these sites to prey on unsuspecting donors.
At this year’s annual meeting of the National Association of State Charity Officials, social media will be a hot topic.
While most of the conference, to be held in a Washington suburb, will be conducted behind closed doors, social media will be discussed in two sessions on October 3 in an all-day event open to the public.
During one session, Bob Carlson, assistant attorney general in Missouri and the president of the charity regulators’ group, will to discuss legal implications of charity efforts on social networks, along with Jeremy Sher, president of Grassroots Giving Group, a company that advises charities on social-network fund raising.
In addition, Tracy Thorleifson, a lawyer at the Federal Trade Commission, and Bennett Weiner, chief operating officer of the BBB Wise Giving Alliance, will outline ways to educate social media donors.
Social media, however, isn’t the only issue on the minds of regulators. The rest of the agenda for the conference’s public day includes discussions about:
- Governance of nonprofits
- Privacy issues
- International solicitation
- Alternative legal structures for organizations that do good, such as low-profit, limited liability corporations