Thursday, June 22, 2006

How to cause charitable organizations to depart your state

Two Michigan legislators have proposed a bill requiring all foundations operating in the state of Michigan to give at least 50% of their giving in any three-year period to charities based in Michigan.

This is an example of a ridiculously short-sighted piece of legislation that will have an unintended consequence precisely the opposite of its intended purpose--it will cause foundations to move out of Michigan and discourage new ones from being created there. This bill is directed specifically at the Ford Foundation, which does seem to have some real issues, but this misguided cure is worse than the disease.

Hat tip to Trent Stamp of Charity Navigator, who calls it "about the silliest thing I've ever heard."

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