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Pastor, Church & LawMember access only

by Richard R. Hammar, J.D., LL.M., CPA

Regulation of Charitable Solicitations

§ 9.02
Key point 9-02. Several states have enacted laws regulating the solicitation of charitable contributions. These laws generally do apply to solicitations of contributions by churches from their members. However, in some cases, they may apply to churches that use professional fundraisers, or that actively solicit contributions from nonmembers.
1. State Charitable Solicitation Laws

Several states have enacted laws regulating the solicitation of charitable contributions. The purpose of such laws is "to protect the contributing public and charitable beneficiaries against fraudulent practices in the solicitation of contributions for purportedly charitable purposes." [20] Larson v. Valente, 456 U.S. 228 (1982).

The typical statute requires designated charitable organizations to register with a state agency prior to the solicitation of contributions within the state, and imposes various reporting requirements. ...

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This content is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. "From a Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations." Due to the nature of the U.S. legal system, laws and regulations constantly change. The editors encourage readers to carefully search the site for all content related to the topic of interest and consult qualified local counsel to verify the status of specific statutes, laws, regulations, and precedential court holdings.