§ 57-57

Prohibited acts

A. No charitable organization shall use or exploit the fact of registration under this chapter so as to lead the public to believe that such registration in any manner constitutes an endorsement or approval by this Commonwealth. The use of the following statement shall not be deemed a prohibited exploitation, “Registered with the Commissioner as required by law. Registration does not imply endorsement of a public solicitation for contributions.”

B. No person shall, in connection with the solicitation of contributions or the sale of tangible personal property or services represent, or lead anyone by any manner, means, practice or device whatsoever to believe, that the person on whose behalf such solicitation or sale is being conducted is a bona fide charitable organization or that the proceeds of such solicitation or sale will be used for charitable purposes, if he has reason to believe such not to be the fact.

C. No person shall, in connection with the solicitation of contributions or the sale of tangible personal property or services for charitable purposes, represent or lead anyone by any manner, means, practice or device whatsoever to believe, that any other person sponsors or endorses such solicitation of contributions, sale of tangible personal property or services for charitable purposes or approves of such charitable purposes or a charitable organization connected therewith when such other person has not given written consent to the use of his name for these purposes.Any member of the board of directors or trustees of a charitable organization or any other person who has agreed either to serve or to participate in any voluntary capacity in the campaign shall be deemed thereby to have given his consent to the use of his name in said campaign. Nothing contained in this section shall prevent the publication of names of contributors without their written consents, in an annual or other periodic report issued by a charitable organization for the purpose of reporting on its operations and affairs to its membership or for the purpose of reporting contributions to contributors.

D. No person shall denominate any membership fee or purchase price of goods or services sold, as a contribution or as a donation or in any other manner represent or imply that the member or the purchaser of such goods or services will be entitled to an income tax deduction for his cost or any portion thereof unless:

1. A signed opinion of counsel or an Internal Revenue Service ruling or determination letter holding such cost to be deductible has been obtained; or

2. The member or purchaser is informed in writing that such cost may not be deductible.No person shall represent or imply that a contributor will be entitled to an income tax deduction for his contribution unless a signed opinion of counsel or an Internal Revenue Service ruling or determination letter holding gifts to such organization to be deductible has been obtained.

E. No person shall make any representation that he is soliciting contributions for or on behalf of a charitable or civic organization or shall use or display any emblem, device or printed matter belonging to or associated with a charitable or civic organization for the purpose of soliciting or inducing contributions from the public without first being authorized to do so by the charitable or civic organization.

F. No professional solicitor shall solicit in the name of or on behalf of any charitable or civic organization unless such solicitor has:

1. Written authorization of two officers of such organization, a copy of which shall be filed with the Commissioner. Such written authorization shall bear the signature of the solicitor and shall expressly state on its face the period for which it is valid, which shall not exceed one year from the date issued.

2. Such authorization with him when making solicitations and exhibits it on request to persons solicited, police officers, or agents of the Commissioner.

G. No charitable or civic organization shall accept any contribution exceeding $ 5 in cash or tangible property without providing, on request of the donor, a written receipt acknowledging such contribution on behalf of the organization.

H. No person, and no organization of which such person is an officer, professional fund-raising counsel or professional solicitor, shall solicit within this Commonwealth if:

1. Such person has been convicted in any jurisdiction of embezzlement, larceny or other crime involving the obtaining of money or property by false pretenses or the misapplication of funds impressed with a trust, unless such person has received a pardon for such offense or the public is informed of such conviction in a manner approved in writing by the Commissioner before any solicitation occurs; or

2. Such person has ever been enjoined by any court or otherwise prohibited from soliciting in any jurisdiction, unless the Commissioner first determines in writing that such person is entitled to solicit in such jurisdiction at the time of soliciting within this Commonwealth or that the reason for such injunction or prohibition does not involve moral turpitude.

I. No person shall solicit within this Commonwealth for the benefit of any other person located without the Commonwealth, if such other person refuses to supply any information which the Commissioner deems necessary to assure himself that the provisions of this chapter are complied with. A solicitation shall be deemed to be on behalf of every person who or which receives, directly or indirectly, more than 10 percent of the gross amount collected.

J. No charitable or civic organization shall allow a professional solicitor to solicit on its behalf if the professional solicitor has not registered pursuant to § 57-61.

K. No charitable or civic organization, professional fund-raising counsel or professional solicitor shall solicit in this Commonwealth without being duly registered or granted the appropriate exempt status under this chapter.

L. No person shall employ in any solicitation or collection of contributions for a charitable purpose any device, scheme or artifice to defraud or obtain money or property by any misrepresentation or misleading statement.

M. No officer, agent, director or trustee of any charitable or civic organization, professional fund-raising counsel or professional solicitor shall refuse or fail, after notice, to produce to the Commissioner any books and records of such organization.

N. No person shall use or permit the use of the funds raised by a charitable solicitation for any purpose other than the solicited purpose or, with respect to funds raised by general appeals, the general purposes of the charitable or civic organization on whose behalf the solicitation was made.

O. No person shall knowingly and willfully make any false statements in any registration application or statement, report or other disclosure required by this chapter.

P. No professional solicitor shall solicit on behalf of a charitable or civic organization unless the charitable or civic organization has registered or been granted the appropriate exempt status under this chapter.

Q. No person shall represent, in any solicitation, that tickets to events will be donated for use by another unless he complies with the following requirements:

1. He shall have obtained commitments, in writing, from persons or charitable or civic organizations stating that they will accept donated tickets and specifying the number of persons for whom they are willing to accept tickets;

2. He shall not collect or accept more contributions for donated tickets than the number of ticket commitments he has received from persons or charitable or civic organizations;

3. He shall have printed in advance on each ticket the exact number of persons to be admitted by the ticket and the dollar price or value of each ticket;

4. He shall distribute the tickets in a timely fashion to those having given commitments; and

5. He shall maintain during the solicitation and for a period of three years thereafter: (i) records reflecting the name and address of each contributor and the amount of money and number of tickets donated by each such contributor; and (ii) the written commitments of each person or charitable or civic organization to accept tickets and specifying the number of persons on whose behalf tickets were to be accepted, as required in subdivision 1 of subsection Q of this section.

R. No person shall knowingly use or permit the use of funds raised by a solicitation or by contribution to benefit or provide support, directly or indirectly, in cash or in kind, to terrorists, terrorist organizations, terrorist activities or to family members of any terrorist.

History

1974, c. 574; 1979, c. 595; 1983, c. 374; 1987, c. 561; 1988, c. 322; 1990, c. 711; 2003, cc. 977, 1009.

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