What's Good for the Goose is Not Good for the Gander: Sarbanes-Oxley-Style Nonprofit Reforms

30 Pages Posted: 21 Jan 2007 Last revised: 18 Apr 2012

See all articles by Lumen N. Mulligan

Lumen N. Mulligan

University of Missouri Kansas City


In this article, I contend that these Sarbanes-Oxley-inspired, state, nonprofit reforms, particularly the costly disclosure requirements, will be of little value in the effort to improve ethical nonprofit board governance. The article proceeds as follows. Part II provides a primer on the oversight of nonprofit organizations. Part III reviews the recent Sarbanes-Oxley-like nonprofit reforms introduced in seven states. Part IV contends that the disclosure-focused reforms, which form the bulwark of these acts, will not foster ethical nonprofit board governance. Part V argues that this failure stems from the inappropriate application of a stockholder-based, normative perspective in the nonprofit sector. The article concludes by noting that appropriating a normative construct more tailored to the nonprofit community, namely stakeholder theory, is essential to drafting effective nonprofit sector reforms in the future.

Keywords: Nonprofit, Sarbanes-Oxley, Business Ethics, State Reforms

JEL Classification: L30, L31

Suggested Citation

Mulligan, Lumen N., What's Good for the Goose is Not Good for the Gander: Sarbanes-Oxley-Style Nonprofit Reforms. Michigan Law Review, Vol. 105, p. 1981, August 2007 , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=958302

Lumen N. Mulligan (Contact Author)

University of Missouri Kansas City ( email )

500 E. 52nd Street
Kansas City, MO 64110
United States

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