The following words and phrases when used in this act shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
“Administrative costs.” All management and general costs of a charitable organization, not identifiable with a single program or fundraising activity, but indispensable to the conduct of such programs and activities and to an organization's existence, including expenses for the overall direction of the organization, business management, general recordkeeping, budgeting, financial reporting and related activities, salaries, rent, supplies, equipment and general overhead expenses.
“Affiliate.” Any chapter, branch, auxiliary or other subordinate unit of any charitable organization, howsoever designated, whose policies, fundraising activities and expenditures are supervised or controlled by such parent organization.
“Bureau.” The Bureau of Charitable Organizations of the Department of State.
“Charitable organization.” Any person granted tax exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 ( Public Law 99-514 , 26 U.S.C. § 501(c)(3) ) or any person who is or holds himself out to be established for any charitable purpose or any person who in any manner employs a charitable appeal as the basis of any solicitation or an appeal which has a tendency to suggest there is a charitable purpose to any solicitation. An affiliate of a charitable organization which has its principal place of business outside this Commonwealth shall be a charitable organization for the purposes of this act. The term shall not be deemed to include:
(1) any bona fide duly constituted organization of law enforcement personnel, firefighters or other persons who protect the public safety whose stated purpose in the solicitation does not include any benefit to any person outside the actual active membership of the organization; and
(2) any bona fide duly constituted religious institutions and such separate groups or corporations which form an integral part of religious institutions, provided that:
(i) such religious institutions, groups or corporations are tax exempt pursuant to the Internal Revenue Code of 1986;
(ii) no part of their net income inures to the direct benefit of any individual; and
(iii) their conduct is primarily supported by government grants or contracts, funds solicited from their own memberships, congregations or previous donors, and fees charged for services rendered.
“Charitable promotion.” Any advertising or sales campaign, event or performance, conducted, produced, promoted, underwritten, arranged or sponsored by a commercial coventurer, which represents that the purchase or use of goods or services or attendance at events or performances offered or sponsored by the commercial coventurer will benefit, in whole or in part, a charitable organization or purpose.
“Charitable purpose.” Any benevolent, educational, philanthropic, humane, scientific, patriotic, social welfare or advocacy, public health, environmental conservation, civic or other eleemosynary objective, including an objective of any bona fide duly constituted organization of law enforcement personnel, firefighters or other persons who protect the public safety if a stated purpose of the solicitation includes any benefit to any person outside the actual active membership of the organization.
“Commercial coventurer.” Any person who for profit is regularly and primarily engaged in trade or commerce other than in connection with the raising of funds or any other thing of value when offered at the usual retail price comparable to similar goods or services in the market for a charitable organization and who advertises that the purchase or use of goods, services, entertainment or any other thing of value will benefit a charitable organization.
“Contribution.” The promise, grant or pledge of money, credit, property, financial assistance or other thing of any kind or value, excluding volunteer services, in response to a solicitation, including the payment or promise to pay in consideration of a performance, event or sale of a good or service. Payment by members of an organization for membership fees, dues, fines or assessments or for services rendered to individual members, if such fees, dues, fines or assessments confer a bona fide right, privilege, professional standing, honor or other direct benefit, shall not be deemed contributions, provided that membership is not conferred solely as consideration for making a contribution in response to a solicitation. Government grants or contracts shall not be deemed a contribution.
“Department.” The Department of State of the Commonwealth.
“Federated fundraising organization.” A federation of independent charitable organizations which have voluntarily joined together, including, but not limited to, a United Way or Community Chest, for purposes of raising and distributing money for and among themselves and where membership does not confer upon the federated group organization operating authority and control of the individual agencies.
“Firefighters.” Any person who is or represents or holds itself out to represent, aid, train or otherwise benefit any paid or volunteer firefighter, active or retired, or their families.
“Fundraising costs.” Those costs incurred in inducing others to make contributions to a charitable organization for which the contributors will receive no direct economic benefit. Fundraising costs normally include, but are not limited to, salaries, rent, acquiring and maintaining mailing lists, printing, mailing and all direct and indirect costs of soliciting, as well as the cost of unsolicited merchandise sent to encourage contributions. Fundraising costs do not include the direct cost of merchandise or goods sold or the direct cost of fundraising dinners, bazaars, shows, circuses, banquets, dinners, theater parties or any other form of benefit performances.
“Law enforcement personnel.” Any person who is or represents or holds itself out to represent, aid, train or otherwise benefit any police officer, sheriff or deputy sheriff, constable or deputy constable, county detective, fire police or any other person who is empowered to make arrests, serve warrants, issue summons or otherwise enforce the laws of this Commonwealth to include retired law enforcement personnel and the families of law enforcement personnel.
“Net proceeds.” The total proceeds received from the solicitation of contributions reduced by the direct cost of merchandise or other goods sold or fundraising events of any kind.
“Owner.” Any person who has a direct or indirect interest in any professional fundraising counsel or professional solicitor.
“Parent organization.” That part of a charitable organization which coordinates, supervises or exercises control of policy, fundraising and expenditures, or assists or receives funds from or advises one or more affiliates.
“Person.” Any individual, organization, corporation, association, partnership, trust, foundation or any other entity however styled.
“Professional fundraising counsel.” Any person who is retained by a charitable organization for a fixed fee or rate under a written agreement to plan, manage, advise, consult or prepare material for or with respect to the solicitation in this Commonwealth of contributions for a charitable organization, but who does not solicit contributions or employ, procure or engage any compensated person to solicit contributions and who does not have custody or control of contributions. A bona fide salaried officer or regular, nontemporary employee of a charitable organization shall not be deemed to be a professional fundraising counsel provided that the individual is not employed or engaged as professional fundraising counsel or as a professional solicitor by any other person.
“Professional solicitor.” Any person who is retained for financial or other consideration by a charitable organization to solicit in this Commonwealth contributions for charitable purposes directly or in the form of payment for goods, services or admission to fundraising events, whether such solicitation is performed personally or through his agents, servants or employees or through agents, servants or employees especially employed by or for a charitable organization who are engaged in the solicitation of contributions, the sale of goods or services or the production of fundraising events under the direction of such person, or a person who plans, conducts, manages, carries on, advises, consults, whether directly or indirectly, in connection with the solicitation of contributions, sale of goods or services or the production of fundraising events for or on behalf of any charitable organization, but does not qualify as a professional fundraising counsel within the meaning of this act. A person who is otherwise a professional fundraising counsel shall be deemed a professional solicitor if his compensation is related to the amount of contributions received. A bona fide salaried officer or regular, nontemporary employee of a charitable organization shall not be deemed to be a professional solicitor provided that the individual is not employed or engaged as professional fundraising counsel or as a professional solicitor by any other person.
“Secretary.” The Secretary of the Commonwealth.
“Solicitation.” Any direct or indirect request for a contribution on the representation that such contribution will be used in whole or in part for a charitable purpose, including, but not limited to, any of the following:
(1) Any oral request that is made in person, by telephone, radio or television or other advertising or communication media.
(2) Any written or otherwise recorded or published request that is mailed, sent, delivered, circulated, distributed, posted in a public place or advertised or communicated by press, telegraph, television or any other media.
(3) Any sale of, offer or attempt to sell any advertisement, advertising space, sponsorship, book, card, chance, coupon, device, food, magazine, merchandise, newspaper, subscription, ticket or other service or tangible good, thing or item of value.
(4) Any announcement requesting the public to attend an appeal, assemblage, athletic or competitive event, carnival, circus, concert, contest, dance, entertainment, exhibition, exposition, game, lecture, meal, party, show, social gathering or other performance or event of any kind.
FindLaw Codes are provided courtesy of Thomson Reuters Westlaw, the industry-leading online legal research system. For more detailed codes research information, including annotations and citations, please visit Westlaw.
FindLaw Codes may not reflect the most recent version of the law in your jurisdiction. Please verify the status of the code you are researching with the state legislature or via Westlaw before relying on it for your legal needs.