NAACP loses registration as charity in N.Y.

January 10, 1995|By James Bock | James Bock,Sun Staff Writer

In a sign of disarray at the NAACP, New York state has canceled the registration of the civil rights group and its fund-raising arm as charities for failing to file 1993 financial reports.

Douglas M. Williams, director of New York's Office of Charities Registration, said yesterday that the NAACP and its Special Contribution Fund are now barred from soliciting or receiving a total of $25,000 or more in that state.

After calls from a reporter, NAACP officials said yesterday that they were sending the required reports by overnight mail.

"They will be put back in our good graces immediately as soon as we receive these things," Mr. Williams said.

Maryland officials said the NAACP's registration is up to date here. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is based in Baltimore and chartered in New York.

Mr. Williams said the reports were due Nov. 15, which included a six-month extension of time to file. He said the NAACP failed to respond to a notice warning that its registration would be canceled if the reports were not received by Dec. 15. The official said the matter was about to be turned over to the New York attorney general.

Gilbert M. Jonas, a New York fund-raiser who works under contract with the NAACP, said he was "stunned" to hear the registration was canceled.

"I don't think it's terribly serious because it can be corrected by simply sending in the forms," Mr. Jonas said.

The NAACP has a deficit of almost $4 million, and most of its staff was on unpaid furlough late last year because the organization could not make its payroll.

Despite turmoil at the NAACP, including the firing in August of then-Executive Director Benjamin F. Chavis Jr., Mr. Jonas said response had been strong to fund-raising appeals in late 1994. He added that corporate gifts dipped from $3.7 million in 1993 to about $3.4 million last year.

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