Non-profit organizations in New York range from tiny neighborhood or PTA groups to gigantic hospital systems. Non-profits are also one of the largest corruption risks in New York State and NYC government because they receive billions in state and local grants from the legislature and the government, and social service non-profits have been at the center of numerous scandals involving powerful politicians. More recently, the State of New York has made extensive use of non-profits affiliated with SUNY to manage economic development contracts, including those at the center of the Upstate Bid Rigging Scandal.
Unfortunately, just when government oversight of New York’s sprawling and diverse non-profits is needed most, the main government watchdog, the Internal Revenue Service has been demoralized and vastly diminished by crippling budget cuts and relentless attacks from congress. Absent the IRS, the only non-profit watchdog in New York State is now the Attorney General’s Charities Bureau, which has struggled with antiquated technology and inadequate resources to police a burgeoning nonprofit sector that has exploded into areas of partisan political activism and economic development far beyond what anyone imagined a few decades ago.