Buono Bill To Create Online Information Clearinghouse For Nonprofits Passes Senate

Measure Would Put All Information Not-for-Profit Groups Need to Know In One Place

TRENTON – Legislation Majority Leader Barbara Buono sponsored to do away with the state’s current disjointed system of providing essential information for nonprofit organizations by creating a centralized online information clearinghouse has been passed by the full Senate.

“We must create an easier means for nonprofits to get the vital information they need to maximize their resources for the good of their communities,” said Buono (D-Middlesex). “Our current hodge-podge of web sites is getting in the way of good nonprofit governance. When someone has a question, they shouldn’t have to root around to find an answer, they should have one clear place to go.”

Buono’s bill (A-2173/S-1361) would direct the Secretary of State’s Office, in conjunction with the state’s Office of Information Technology, to create a single Internet portal where nonprofit groups could easily find information regarding available state funding sources, laws and regulations regarding incorporation and board development, and volunteer opportunities, among other information.

The legislation stems from a 2009 roundtable session Buono held with leaders from the state’s nonprofit sector. That event was created with the specific intent of identifying ways to state could help nonprofits increase efficiency and maintain their services during the recession. Participants at that session cited the difficulties they faced in easily finding essential information. Buono noted that the one-stop website is a common sense move that would benefit nonprofits regardless of economic conditions.

Currently, nonprofit executives must navigate through individual agency websites to find essential information on funding and legal requirements and regulations. Buono said a one-stop website would be more efficient for groups, and allow them to more readily access the information and resources they need to meet their organizational missions.

“Nonprofits should be dedicating their time to making a difference in their communities, not navigating a confusing laundry list of state websites,” said Buono.

The bill passed 37-0, and now heads to the Assembly for further consideration.

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