The Dodd-Frank Act and Implications for Nonprofit Organizations


In the midst of the worst U.S. financial crisis since the Great Depression that has captured the attention of lawmakers and the public over the last several years, Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Act” or the “Dodd-Frank Act”), which was signed into law on July 21, 2010. The law has set in motion a new era of regulation over financial products and services that will have a broad impact for years to come.

While many of the provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act apply specifically to financial services firms and their related activities, the Act does include a handful of key provisions that may impact generally the nonprofit community. In addition, the Dodd-Frank Act makes sweeping changes in how financial products and services are regulated that will impact a number of nonprofit organizations directly due to new regulations and compliance requirements.

Nonprofit leaders should look carefully at the provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act and determine whether their organization’s fall under any of its provisions and, to the extent that they do not, how they may address practices required under the Act, even if not mandated by law. In addition, there are a number of opportunities for nonprofits in the areas of financial literacy and consumer education. Of course, there also will be no shortage of opportunities for financial services industry trade associations to weigh-in on issues of importance to their memberships.

This article will provide some general background and review the main provisions most likely relevant to nonprofit organizations.

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