Executive Summary

  • For a variety of reasons, including personal privacy, religious conviction, and fear of social or economic retribution, some donors to charitable causes will not give if they know that their donations will be made public.
  • Under the guise of greater political transparency, some politicians have sought to reveal the identities of anonymous donors to certain social causes, including gifts to 501(c)3 charitable organizations that engage in public policy work.
  • Forced donor disclosure negatively affects nonprofits across the ideological spectrum, from the left-leaning American Civil Liberties Union to the more conservative New Civil Liberties Alliance, as well as both Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the National Right to Life Education Foundation.
  • Forcing nonprofit organizations to reveal personal information about their donors threatens the fundamental right of freedom of association protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.