The following message comes from BoardSource, an online resource for nonprofit board leaders. We are passing along this information because we believe it is crucial that our community provide the IRS valuable feedback about a drastic new rule change that would require some nonprofits to collect their donors' social security numbers.
A proposed change in IRS rules would require some nonprofits to collect their donors' social security numbers, as explained in this article ("Never" Is the Better Answer). At BoardSource, we believe this would have very damaging impact on nonprofits, and that boards need to speak out.
By requiring nonprofit organizations to collect social security numbers, the IRS will be opening organizations – and their board members as fiduciaries – to significant liability and place a tremendous burden on nonprofit organizations to invest heavily in cybersecurity measures to protect this valuable data from hackers. It will also create confusion, alarm, and distrust among potential donors who may – as a result – choose not to support our important missions.
The IRS is asking the public for feedback, and we encourage you to submit your own comments in opposition to this potentially harmful proposal by next week's deadline of Wednesday, December 16. The National Council of Nonprofits, one of our partners on the Stand for Your Mission initiative, has developed and posted free materials on its website for you, including an analysis, various talking points, and sample comments.