Thursday, June 28, 2012


By Peter Chepucavage
The NEW D.C. Nonprofit Corporation Act of 2010 overhauls the laws regarding the formation and operation of nonprofits organized under D.C. Law. It is the first substantial change to the D.C. Nonprofit Code since 1962.

The new law replaces the old law and applies to nonprofit corporations formed under the 1962 D.C. Nonprofit Code, effective January 1, 2012. It also applies to nonprofits formed under the pre-1962 D.C. law who have not elected to be covered by the 1962 Nonprofit Code (so-called “Old Act Companies”).

Of particular interest are provisions requiring that individual members be provided names and addresses of all members. The new D.C. Nonprofit Corporation Code (the “Nonprofit Code”) requires that the nonprofit maintain accurate membership lists. Section 29.413.01 requires the nonprofit to maintain a “record of its members, in a form that permits preparation of a list of names and addresses of all members, in alphabetical order, by class, showing the number of votes each member is entitled to cast.” A member is entitled to inspect and copy the membership list upon giving the nonprofit five days notice the organization must also give notice of the availability of the list for elections. In each case the organization may suggest alternative means of communicating with members.

 The ramifications of such a requirement are still uncertain as the law went into effect in January but it should have an impact on alternate slates and airing of gripes. The law prohibits commercial use of the list. A summary is found at: along with a number of alerts on individual sections.

Because penalties can be imposed Plexus recommends careful consideration as to how to comply with the law. While transparency and open communications are always desirable abuse of such lists is possible. An alternative approach might be for the organization to create a blog where members can communicate with each other and the Board if that is acceptable to the members.

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