Regulation of Nonprofits and Philanthropy Project

State Regulation and Enforcement in the Charitable Sector
Report Launch and Roundtable Discussion of Future Research

September 26, 2016

Urban Institute's Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy,
Regulation of Nonprofits and Philanthropy Project

The State Regulation and Enforcement in the Charitable Sector report is the first systematic analysis of state-level oversight and regulation of charities in the United States. Conducted by the Charities Regulation and Oversight Project at Columbia Law School and the Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy at the Urban Institute, the study sheds light on regulatory and enforcement activities and programs undertaken at the state level. Apart from its utility for policymakers at all levels of government, practitioners, and the academic community, the research results can assist states in the perennial challenges of setting priorities and allocating limited human, financial, and technological resources. These stakeholders share the mutual goals of effective legislation, enhanced compliance, and effective enforcement. This report is a primer and road map for all who wish to gain insight into the state regulatory structures that oversee the charitable and nonprofit sector, toward the goal of more effective and efficient charity regulation.   Participants discussed the report, the status of state charitable regulatory and enforcement activity, and next steps in formulating a research agenda.

The project report entitled, State Regulation and Enforcement in the Charitable Sector,  is available here.

We are grateful to the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation for supporting this convening. 


  • Alan J. Abramson, professor, George Mason University
  • Putnam Barber, senior adviser, University of Washington
  • Angela Bies, associate professor, University of Maryland
  • Elizabeth T. Boris, institute fellow, Urban Institute
  • Tim Delaney, president & chief executive officer, National Council of Nonprofits
  • Marion R. Fremont-Smith, senior research fellow, Hauser Institute for Civil Society
  • Karen Gano, assistant attorney general, Connecticut Attorney General's Office
  • Alissa Gardenswartz, deputy attorney general,  Colorado Attorney General’s Office
  • Kirsten Grønbjerg, professor, Indiana University
  • Janet Kleinfelter, senior counsel, Tennessee Attorney General's Office
  • Cindy M. Lott, program director, Nonprofit Management Programs, Columbia University.
  • Lloyd Mayer, professor, University of Notre Dame Law School
  • Steven Rathgeb Smith, executive director, American Political Science Association
  • John Tyler, general counsel & corporate secretary, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
Event materials