Non-profit and Tax Exempt Organizations Partner Richard Sills was quoted in the article "State of Arizona Takes Donor's Gift From Parks" published in the February issue of The Non-Profit Times.
The article discusses the state of Arizona's seizure of nearly half of the state's Parks Donation Fund in an effort to help mend a $1.5 billion budget gap. The Arizona legislature approved the acquisition of $213,000 of the fund's approximately $500,000, which includes donations from drop boxes located in state parks, bequests and other private contributions.
The move has drawn controversy, with some contending the state went beyond its rights to seize charitable funds donated with the sole intent of being used for Arizona's parks. However, others argue that it is within the Arizona government's scope to take the gifts as long as they were open-ended and not set aside for specific purposes such as for a particular trail or building.
Mr. Sills argues that whether you agree with the state's move or not, it could have a harmful impact on nonprofit organizations and may cause potential donors to reconsider making contributions. "It causes more expense as people try to find out more about it and charities have to explain it," he said. "In the long run, the confusion this causes has got to be a negative factor."