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Professional fundraisers are key players in the nonprofit sector, providing expert insight into how to successfully solicit the donations that keep an organization afloat. In the same way that charitable organizations must register to solicit donations, professional fundraisers are also required to register in the state of Missouri. Meeting the necessary registration requirements is imperative to conducting a successful fundraising business, both in Missouri and nationwide.
At Copilevitz, Lam & Raney, we provide comprehensive fundraising registration services to our clients. This often includes working with professional fundraisers to analyze contracts, ensure regulatory compliance, and complete state registration to solicit donations. As trusted legal counsel, we support dozens of professional fundraisers, consultants, commercial co-venturers, and other entities across Missouri and the United States. To learn more about how we can help, consider contacting our Kansas City office at 816-472-9000 today.
In the state of Missouri, a professional fundraiser is defined as any individual who is employed or contracted by a professional fundraiser organization to solicit funds for a charitable organization. This definition can be found in the Missouri Charitable Organizations and Solicitations Law, 15 CSR 60-3.010, Section 1(F). An individual who simply edits applications that the nonprofit submits is not considered a professional fundraiser. The professional fundraiser may work on either a temporary or permanent basis. It should be noted that bonafide, salaried employees of the charitable organization are not considered professional fundraisers, unless they are employed for the sole purpose of soliciting donations.
A central focus of our practice is ensuring that nonprofits, charitable organizations, and professional solicitors are able to continue their activities without pause. To accomplish this goal, we provide high-quality, client-centered fundraising registration services to individuals working at all levels of the nonprofit industry. Some of the key services that we provide include the following:
Above all, our goal at Copilevitz, Lam & Raney is to advocate for the rights of professional fundraisers and nonprofit leaders. In doing so, we ensure that nonprofit professionals are able to continue their work and avoid the common legal issues that arise. We take the time to understand the unique needs of our clients and implement strategies and solutions that most effectively benefit them and their work. This approach has positioned us as the foremost leader in fundraising registration services.
Yes, Missouri does impose laws on any fundraising activity involving paid solicitors. Chapter 407.462 of the Missouri Revised Statutes states that no charitable organization shall hire a professional fundraiser to solicit donations for their charitable cause without first registering with the state. Missouri is not the only state to impose such legislation and the majority of states regulate charitable solicitation in some manner.
As a professional fundraiser, if you fail to register prior to fundraising, you may be found guilty of fraud. Penalties associated with such noncompliance are often steep, as every instance of unregistered solicitation constitutes a unique violation of the law. The consequences can be financial, in the form of a $1,000 fine, or can result in a ban on future solicitation in the state.
The majority of fundraising efforts are considered solicitation under the law. There are two exceptions, however, regarding what is considered solicitation in Missouri:
All other solicitation efforts require registration. Failure to register before soliciting donations or engaging in fundraising efforts can have serious legal consequences. The laws surrounding solicitation can be confusing, leading many professional fundraisers to seek out legal assistance before accepting clients.
In Missouri, it is necessary to file a registration statement before soliciting funds in the state. To register as a professional fundraiser, you must first submit the Professional Fundraiser Initial Registration Statement and pay the $50 filing fee. All relevant paperwork is submitted to the Attorney General’s Office via mail. The average processing time for professional fundraiser registration is one week, but this is merely a rough estimate. Depending on the volume of applications, the processing time may vary. For more information on fundraising registration services and requirements, consider speaking with an experienced attorney.
As a professional fundraiser, you are required to renew your registration on an annual basis. Registration is effective for a one-year period, at which point you must complete a renewal statement and pay the $50 renewal fee. Moreover, professional fundraisers are required to report any new clients in the form of registration amendments. Any amendments or updates to a professional fundraiser’s registration must be filed prior to working with the new client and accompanied by the $25 amendment fee.
Raising funds for a charitable organization is legally complicated. As a professional solicitor, your workload is likely heavy and matters of compliance may fall to the wayside. For this reason, it can be beneficial to have a trusted legal advisor and partner in your corner.
We are the nation’s largest provider of fundraising registration services. Through our clear and focused guidance, we help professional fundraisers navigate registration laws and avoid noncompliance issues. To speak with an experienced attorney today about the unique services we provide to professional fundraisers, consider scheduling a consultation with Copilevitz, Lam & Raney at 816-472-9000.
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