Ruling from U.S. Supreme Court Defends Right to Anonymously Donate to Nonprofits

Date: July 01, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 1, 2021) – NFIB applauds today’s decision from the United States Supreme Court in the case Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. Bonta, which defends the right of private individuals to anonymously donate to nonprofit organizations. NFIB filed an amicus brief in the case arguing compelled disclosure of a nonprofit organization’s donors violates the First Amendment. NFIB filed the amicus brief with the Hispanic Leadership Fund and the National Association of Home Builders.  

“NFIB and small businesses are pleased the Supreme Court has once again held that freedom of expression and association are cornerstone freedoms for all Americans,” said Karen Harned, NFIB Small Business Legal Center Executive Director. “The case had the potential to set a concerning and dangerous precedent if states could legally demand donor information without any law enforcement reason. With this decision, small business owners who decide to support nonprofits don’t have to worry that their information could be used by those with opposing views to harass or engage in economic or physical retribution against them.”

The case was consolidated with Thomas More Law Center v. Bonta and concerns whether the state of California can require nonprofit organizations that solicit funds in the state to disclose the names and addresses of all donors who give over a certain dollar amount or percentage of contributions in a given year. The U.S. Supreme Court reversed the Ninth Circuit’s decision, which held that California’s requirement did not infringe on the donor’s right to associate freely under the First Amendment. The Supreme Court held that California’s disclosure requirement was unconstitutional because it imposed a “widespread burden on donors’ associational rights” under the First Amendment.

The NFIB Small Business Legal Center protects the rights of small business owners in the nation’s courts. NFIB is currently active in more than 40 cases in federal and state courts across the country and in the U.S. Supreme Court.

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