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California Considering Diversity Disclosure for Foundations

(Feb. 11, 2008) The California Assembly has passed legislation that would require foundations with more than $250 million in assets to disclose ethnic, gender and sexual orientation information about their boards of directors and their grant and contract recipients.

Assembly Bill 624 would require such foundations to post the following specific information both in their annual reports and on the Internet:

  • The racial, gender and sexual orientation composition of the board of directors or trustees, as well as its staff
  • The number of grants awarded to organizations that serve ethnic minority communities and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities
  • The percentage of grant dollars awarded to organizations where 50 percent or more of the board members and/or staff are ethnic minorities or are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender
  • The percentage of business contracts awarded to businesses owned by ethnic minorities or individuals who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender

The Council on Foundations, as well as several associations of grantmakers in California have indicated their opposition to the bill, citing the voluntary efforts that many foundations are making already in the area of diversity.

The bill next heads to the California Senate, which is expected to consider the bill during the next couple of months.

AFP is currently analyzing the foundation bill and determining its next steps.

A full copy of the bill can be found here (search on "624").

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