Non Profit Public Access Ordinance

Non Profit Public Access Ordinance

Chapter 12L of the San Francisco Administrative Code

1. Which Non-Profits Are Covered?

The Chapter 12L applies to non-profits that receive at least $250,000 per year in funding provided by or through the City.

2. What Are Covered Non-Profits Required To Do?

a. Open Board Meetings

  • At least 2 Board meetings per year must be open.
  • Members of the public who attend must be allowed to address the Board; there must be at least 30 minutes of designated public comment.
  • At least 30 days before the public Board meeting, the nonprofit must send written notice of the meeting date, time and location to the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors for posting (City Hall, Room 244, SF, CA 94102); and to the San Francisco Main Library Government Information Center (100 Larkin St, SF, CA 94102) (Adm. Code 12L.4 (d) (2).
  • Upon request, a member of the public must be told the time, date and place of the open Board meeting.

Note: Open meeting requirements do not apply to non-profits engaged primarily in abortion counseling, abortion services, domestic violence sheltering or suicide prevention. The portion of any non-profits’ Board meeting wherein client or donor confidential information is being discussed may be closed to the public.

b. Public Access to Financial Records

The public is entitled upon request to inspect and copy:

1. Most recent budget

2. Most recent tax return
3. Financial audits or performance evaluation completed in the last two years by or for the City, so long as the City has not designated them as confidential


Note: The public may inspect these documents during the organizations’ regular business hours and receive copies. The nonprofit may charge 10 cents per page for copying.

c. Community Representation on the Board

Non-profits are required to make a good faith effort to include on its Board at least one member of the community served by the nonprofit. The nonprofit is required to give public notice of Board vacancies, allow members of the public to nominate themselves for Board membership and allow the public to comment on Board membership.

3. Enforcement

The ordinance provides for a three stage dispute resolution process if a complaint is filed by a member of the public (review and recommendation by the contracting City department, review by the Sunshine Ordinance Task Force and review and recommended resolution by the Board of Supervisors). If there are material breaches in compliance by the nonprofit, the contracting department is authorized, but not required to terminate or decline to renew the contract.