Why Does More Than $100,000,000 A Year In Contributions
Go To Pay Bureaucrats Rather Than To The Cause For Which
They Were Intended?

Who Are They Protecting?

Pervasive government regulators are destroying the very system that works to provide much needed dollars to charitable, educational and public advocacy groups in America, just when the need is so great. In the name of consumer protection, the ability of non-profit organizations is being shackled with fees, regulations and other hidden costs that divert your voluntary contribution away from the purpose you intended.

While their intentions may be good, one must ask who are they really protecting? The consumer? Or their own job? And at what cost to the donor?

Perhaps they are simply confused. Lost in their ivory tower they may think they actually do know better than you do what organizations are worthy of your support. Is it any wonder that the laws in one state actually state that the regulators shall decide which organizations are “worthy” enough to ask for support from their citizens?

The cost of such folly is enormous. In fact, it would be laughable if it weren't so sad. Just how much do you think government regulations take out of donations you make to non-profit organizations across America?

How does $100,000,000 sound? That’s right, the rules and regulations imposed by the politicians and bureaucrats divert upwards of $100 million -- that’s one hundred million dollars -- from voluntary organizations, much of it into the coffers of your favorite state government.

The Cure Is Worse Than The Disease
One hundred million dollars. That’s a lot of money to protect us from ourselves because we’re too stupid to know whether a group is or is not “worthy” of our support. But hey, it’s not their money and, remember, it’s their job at stake. So what if a good share of the money you sent to help a starving child or for a scholarship or to oppose legislation you detest is eaten up by the bureaucracy? It's no skin off their nose. And after all, they are there to help you.

The Tangle Of Red Tape
And each year the cost increases as the fees grow larger and the tangle of red tape expands.

“Each year the cost increases as the fees grow larger and the tangle of red tape expands.”

Of course, these regulations were supposedly written to protect you. And, although such regulations may have been created with the best of intentions by well-meaning folks, you suffer the consequences. You pay the bill.

Sadly, it is from your contribution to cure cancer, support libraries and museums, make your voice heard in Congress, provide scholarships to needy students, assist hospitalized veterans and much, much more that these costs are paid.

Here’s How It Works
Some overly aggressive charity or advocacy group crosses the line and makes claims it can’t support. Instead of dealing directly with the problem through fraud statutes which exist in every state, a politician or bureaucrat decides that more rules or regulations should be imposed on all organizations which survive through voluntary support.

A bureaucracy is born! And slowly but steadily this bureaucracy grows, eroding and limiting freedom of speech and your right to choose which non-profit groups and organizations will receive your support.

In truth, most of this information is already filed annually with the IRS or is available upon request directly from the organization. In either case, it is publicly available to anyone who wants it. Non-profit foundations associations and advocacy groups are an important part of our democratic process. They address issues and solve problems which would otherwise go wanting. Why hamstring them and treat them as guilty until proven innocent?

“Pervasive government regulators are destroying the very system that works to provide much needed dollars to charitable, educational and public advocacy groups in America, just when the need is so great.”

Drowning In Bureaucracy
Nevertheless, each organization you support must now run the gauntlet of registering not only in their own state, but also in some forty state and local jurisdictions. Complex (and often confusing) reports that only a bureaucrat could love must be filed regularly. This not only takes the time of a paid member of the organization's staff, but generally requires the assistance of a Certified Public Accountant and a lawyer. In fact, some states require a formal audit (not just an independent financial review). This can cost an organization tens of thousands of dollars each year.

Large organizations like those dealing with cancer and heart disease, can end up having a full-time staff of accountants and lawyers who spend their days completing forms and meeting regulations.

“Can a free society which seeks to cure its ills and solve its problems afford a $100,000,000 roadblock?”

The Numbers Are Escalating
In a typical state, as many as 1,000 non-profit organizations are required to complete and submit registrations each year. If each one of those organizations spends just $2,500 in filing fees, professional services and administrative time in complying with such regulations, the cost to their supporters is $2,500,000! In reality, it’s probably much more.

Assuming that each of the 40 jurisdictions which require registration cause non-profit groups to incur similar expenses, the national cost to supporters of such organizations is $100,000,000!

But, unfortunately we still aren’t finished. Yes, if you are a donor, you pay still more.

Someone in each of these state capitals has to read, certify, record, and file all these forms sent in by the organizations and their agencies. In fact, the regulations of non-profit charities by state government has become a growth industry and you pay for it.

Protecting You From Yourself
Often working out of a bureaucracy with the high sounding name of “Consumer Protection Agency” scores of government bureaucrats, including numerous well-paid attorneys and accountants, shuffle paperwork, make threats, and otherwise do their bureaucratic thing, all in the name of protecting you from yourself. Since government agencies almost never pay their own way, you can be sure that you pay millions more in taxes to cover the cost of operating these bloated bureaucracies. Once again, you're paying taxes to protect you from yourself.

That brings us to a cost of more than $100,000,000 per year to regulate non-profit charities and organizations in the United States. And remember, this entire bureaucracy is based on the premise that you aren’t smart enough yourself to decide which groups deserve your support, and which are legitimate and which are not. The assumption is that only the bureaucrats can determine which organizations should be allowed to ask for your voluntary support. Are they really that much smarter than you are?

So What’s The Bottom Line?
At the bottom line, such costly and bloated bureaucratic structures are born out of a belief that the free market does not work and that only the elite are smart enough to decide for the rest of us which organizations should be allowed the freedom to solicit funds in the marketplace. When your right of free speech is involved, the cure is indeed worse than the problem.

As a result, today some $100,000,000 (or more) is diverted from its legitimate use in finding a cure for cancer, helping a needy student, assisting a hospitalized veteran supporting an educational foundation, building a museum, funding a library or one of more than ten thousand other worthwhile causes, because the bureaucrats know better than you do how and where to give your money.

Can You Afford This Burden?
Can a free society which seeks to cure its ills and solve its problems afford a $100,000,000 roadblock?

If you believe that this bureaucratic nightmare is a part of the problem rather than a part of the solution, then give your support to efforts to free the marketplace of costly government regulations which hurt the very people they were supposed to help.

If you really want to get involved, please write: Free Speech Coalition, 8180 Greensboro Drive, Suite 1070, McLean, Virginia 22102-3860. Fight back! End the bureaucratic nightmare that threatens to undermine and erode the independent sector in our nation which is the bedrock of caring, concern and problem solving in our society.

Tell It Like It Is!
It’s time for you to tell the politicians and the regulators to butt out! They might be surprised to know that you are smart enough to separate the frauds from the real thing.

The fact is, existing anti-fraud laws give them all the authority they need to shut down the charlatans. Tell them you value your freedom of speech and association and that you want to continue using them to raise funds for the common good. Do it today before it's too late.

The Free Speech Coalition, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of an open and free marketplace of ideas. It seeks to empower Americans from coast to coast who seek to support and encourage associations, organizations and groups whose purpose is to build a better America.


Free Speech Coalition, Inc.
8180 Greensboro Drive, Suite 1070, McLean, Virginia 22102-3860
Voice: 703-356-6912 • FAX: 703-356-5085