Check a Charity
Missouri Charitable Solicitations Law
- 407.450. Short Title.
- 407.453. Definitions.
- 407.456. Registration and Reports, Who Shall File, Exceptions.
- 407.459. Register of Documents, Maintained by Attorney General--Public Inspection, Exception.
- 407.462. Registration and Reports, Required of Soliciting Organization, Fee--Form--Exceptions.
- 407.466. Registration by Fundraisers--Form--Oath--Fees.
- 407.469. Disclosure of Fund-raising Costs and Use of Professional Fundraiser.
- 407.472. Investigations by Attorney General--Investigative Demand, How Served--Injunction, Procedure.
- 407.478. Provisions of Charitable Organizations and Solicitations Law No Bar to Other Civil Actions.
Charitable Organizations and Solicitations Law
407.450. Short Title.
Sections 407.450 to 407.478 RSMo supp. 1988 shall be known and may be cited as the "Charitable Organizations and Solicitations Law".
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As used in sections 407.450 to 407.478, the following terms shall mean:
- (1) "Charitable organization", any person as defined in section 407.010, who does business in this state or holds property in this state for any charitable purpose and who engages in the activity of soliciting funds or donations for, or purported to be for, any fraternal, benevolent, social, educational, alumni, historical or other charitable purpose;
- (2) "Charitable purpose", any purpose which promotes or purports to promote, directly or indirectly, the well-being of the public at large or any number of persons, whether such well-being is in general or limited to certain activities, endeavors or projects;
- (3) "Educational institution", a school, college or other institution which has a defined curriculum, student body and faculty, and which conducts classes on a regular basis;
- (4) "Professional fundraiser", any person, as defined in section 407.010, who is retained under contract or otherwise compensated by or on behalf of a charitable organization primarily for the purpose of soliciting funds. The term "professional fundraiser" shall not include any bona fide employee of a charitable organization who receives regular compensation and is not primarily employed for the purpose of soliciting funds;
- (5) "Religious organization", any society, sect, persuasion, mission, church, parish, congregation, temple, convention or association of any of the foregoing, diocese or presbytery, or other organization, whether or not incorporated, or any employee thereof, no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any private party or individual associated with such organization, and that otherwise qualifies as an exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of title 26, United States Code, as amended, that either:
- (a) Meets at more or less regular intervals for worship of a supreme being or higher power, or for mutual support or edification in piety or with respect to the idea that a minimum standard of behavior from the standpoint of overall morality is to be observed; or
- (b) Is, including but not limited to, any nursing, boarding, retirement, children's or orphan's home, or any foundation, commission, hospital, school, college, university, seminary, or other entity, which is owned, operated, controlled, supervised or principally supported by, or associated with through the sharing of common religious bonds and convictions, any organization which meets the requirements of this subdivision;
- (6) "Solicitation", any request or appeal, either oral or written, or any endeavor to obtain, seek or plead for funds, property, financial assistance or other thing of value, including the promise or grant of any money or property, of any kind or value for a charitable purpose, but excluding:
- (a) Direct grants or allocation of funds received or solicited from any affiliated fund-raising organization by a member agency; and
- (b) Unsolicited contributions received from any individual donor, foundation, trust, governmental agency or other source, unless such contributions are received in conjunction with a solicitation drive.
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407.456. Registration and Reports, Who Shall File, Exceptions.
- 1. Except for charitable organizations which are exempted under subsection 2 of this section, no charitable organization shall solicit funds in this state, nor employ a professional fundraiser to solicit funds in this state, for any charitable purpose unless it, and each professional fundraiser employed by it, have filed all registrations and reports required by sections 407.450 to 407.478.
- 2. The provisions of sections 407.459 and 407.462, and subsection 1 of section 407.469 shall not apply to the following:
- (1) Religious organizations;
- (2) Educational institutions and their authorized and related foundations;
- (3) Fraternal, benevolent, social, educational, alumni, and historical organizations, and any auxiliaries associated with any of such organizations, when solicitation of contributions is confined to the membership of such organizations or auxiliaries;
- (4) Hospitals and auxiliaries of hospitals, provided all fund-raising activities and solicitations of contributions are carried on by employees of the hospital or members of the auxiliary and not by any professional fundraiser who is employed as an independent contractor;
- (5) Any solicitation for funds governed by chapter 130, RSMo; and
- (6) Any organization that has obtained an exemption from the payment of federal income taxes as provided in section 501(c)(3), 501(c)7 or 501(c)(8) of Title 26, United States Code, as amended, if, in fact, no part of the net earnings of the organization inure to the benefit of any private party or individual associated with such organizations.
- 3. Sections 407.450 to 407.478 shall apply regardless of any contrary provisions contained in any contract, agreement, instrument or other document.
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407.459. Register of Documents, Maintained by Attorney General--Public Inspection, Exception.
The attorney general shall establish and maintain a register of all documents filed by charitable organizations in accordance with the provisions of sections 407.450 to 407.478. Such register shall be open to public inspection; except that the attorney general may withhold from public inspection documents or information obtained in the course of an investigation undertaken pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, or which otherwise may be withheld from public inspection by law.
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407.462. Registration and Reports, Required of Soliciting Organization, Fee--Form--Exceptions.
- 1. No charitable organization shall solicit funds in this state, nor employ a professional fundraiser to solicit funds in this state, for any charitable purpose, unless it has filed with the office of the attorney general an initial registration, which shall be sworn to under oath and shall be in the form and manner prescribed by the attorney general, except that charitable organizations in existence and soliciting on May 1, 1986 may file such initial registration within one year of May 1, 1986. All initial registrations, and amendments thereto, shall be accompanied by a filing fee of fifteen dollars unless the attorney general, by rule, establishes a different filing fee. Amendments to initial registrations shall be filed as prescribed by the attorney general.
- 2. In addition to the documents required by subsection 1 of this section, every charitable organization shall, within seventy-five days of the close of each of its fiscal years ending after the date on which the charitable organization files its initial registration under subsection 1 of this section, file an annual report. Each annual report shall be sworn to under oath, and shall be in the form and shall be filed in the manner prescribed by the attorney general. Each annual report shall be accompanied by a filing fee of fifteen dollars unless the attorney general, by rule, establishes a different filing fee. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to:
- (1) Any charitable organization which receives an allocation of money from an incorporated community chest or united fund, provided such community chest or united fund is complying with all provisions of this section relating to the filing of registrations, amendments to registrations and annual reports;
- (2) Any charitable organization which does not actually raise or receive contributions in cash, goods or services valued in excess of the dollar amount established by the attorney general by rule, which amount shall not be less than ten thousand dollars, during the twelve-month period immediately preceding the date on which its annual report would otherwise be due under this subsection; or
- (3) Any charitable organization which is a local affiliate of a statewide or national charitable organization if all local fund-raising expenses are paid by the statewide or national organization and the statewide or national organization files the annual report required by this subsection.
- 3. All fees collected pursuant to this section shall be credited to and deposited in the merchandising practices revolving fund.
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407.466. Registration by Fundraisers--Form--Oath--Fees.
- 1. No person shall act as a professional fundraiser for any charitable organization unless he is registered with the attorney general and such registration has not expired or been canceled. Applications for registration as a professional fundraiser, and renewals thereof, shall be in the form and manner prescribed by the attorney general, and shall be sworn to under oath. All registrations issued to professional fundraisers shall be effective for a period of one year.
- 2. All applications for registration as a professional fundraiser, and renewals thereof, shall be accompanied by a fee of fifty dollars unless a different fee has been prescribed by the attorney general by rule. All fees collected pursuant to this subsection shall be credited to and deposited in the merchandising practices revolving fund.
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407.469. Disclosure of Fund-raising Costs and Use of Professional Fundraiser.
- 1. All charitable organizations required to submit an annual report under section 407.462 shall, upon request, disclose the percentage of the funds solicited which were spent on the costs of fund-raising in the last twelve-month period for which an annual report was filed under section 407.462. For purposes of this section, costs of fund-raising shall include all money directly expended on fund raising and that portion of all administrative expenses and salaries of the charitable organization attributable to fund-raising activities. Any person who markets or collects funds on behalf of a charitable organization shall state on all literature solicitating such funds that a portion of the funds contributed are used for marketing expenses and paid to persons for marketing the charitable organization, if any such funds are so used.
- 2. Whenever a solicitation of funds on behalf of a charitable organization is undertaken by a professional fundraiser, the professional fundraiser shall disclose that fact to prospective contributors.
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407.472. Investigations by Attorney General--Investigative Demand, How Served--Injunction, Procedure.
- 1. When it appears to the attorney general that a person has engaged in, is engaging in or is about to engage in any method, use, act or practice declared to be unlawful by sections 407.450 to 407.478 or when he believes it to be in the public interest that an investigation should be made to ascertain whether a person in fact has engaged in, is engaging in, or is about to engage in any such act or practice he may issue and cause to be served a civil investigative demand to assist in the investigation of the matter. The issuance and enforcement of each civil investigative demand shall be in compliance with all of the terms and provisions of sections 407.040 to 407.090.
- 2. Whenever it appears to the attorney general that a person has engaged in, is engaging in, or is about the engage in any method, use, act, or practice declared to be unlawful by sections 407.450 to 407.478, he may bring an action pursuant to section 407.100 for an injunction prohibiting such person from continuing such methods, uses, acts or practices, or engaging therein, or doing anything in furtherance thereof. In any action brought by the attorney general under this subsection all of the provisions of sections 407.100 to 407.140 shall apply thereto.
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407.478. Provisions of Charitable Organizations and Solicitations Law No Bar to Other Civil Actions.
Nothing in sections 407.450 to 407.478 shall be construed to preclude any person or group of persons from asserting any private cause of action they might have against a charitable organization.
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