House Bill 1205 would protect donor privacy by allowing a nonprofit to defend itself in state court if its donor list is leaked by a rogue government bureaucrat. Eighty-one percent of voters said they would support legislation protecting the personal information of those who donate to charitable causes. Only 11 percent said they would be opposed.
Even more telling, 76 percent of Mississippi voters said they would be LESS likely to give to a charity if they knew their personal information, including the amount of their contribution, would be posted on a government website.
“Without the protections HB 1205 puts into place, charitable giving all across Mississippi will decline. This would be a tragedy because Mississippi has long been recognized as one of the most charitable states in the country,” said Dr. Jameson Taylor, Vice President for Policy with the Mississippi Center for Public Policy. “Mississippi’s donor privacy legislation will make sure charitable gifts in Mississippi go toward their real purpose, instead of being used on expensive legal fees that arise when a nonprofit has to defend itself from government bullying.”
“Many donors prefer to keep their giving out of the spotlight because they fear consumer boycotts, retaliation by public officials, or even threats to their safety as a result of having their personal support for causes made public,” Jon Pritchett, President and CEO of Mississippi Center for Public Policy said. “Transparency and public disclosure are requirements on our government; privacy and confidentiality are rights of the citizens. We must protect those fundamental rights and not be misled by groups who falsely but loudly claim something different.”
“Mississippi’s donor privacy legislation changes nothing pertaining to Mississippi campaign finance law,” concluded Dr. Taylor. “It changes nothing pertaining to political action committees (PACs). And it does not, and cannot, change anything pertaining to federal donor disclosure or nonprofit requirements.”