Here’s a map that contains links to sites in each State addressing Commercial Co-Venturer Regulations and registration processes.
Resources contained in this map may vary in accuracy and timeliness. Many are links to State Legislatures, Attorney Generals Offices, Departments of Justice and Secretary of State Offices.
Not All States Require Nonprofits to Register Their Fundraising Efforts
According to Perlman & Perlman’s informative 2015 Report which breaks down the varying filing requirements of all parties with regard charitable solicitations, Professional Solicitors for example are required to register, which often involves fees, in all but 6 States and the District of Columbia. Commercial Co-Venturers in contrast are required to file in only a handful of States, including Alabama, California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Mississippi and South Carolina.
Definitions: What are the Different Fundraising Designations?
*All legal definitions are defined on a State by State basis. The following definitions summarise the designations in order to further clarify what category a business or nonprofit may fall in.
- Fundraising Counsel- Is a fundraising consultancy or firm which provided advice, strategy, resources, techniques, contacts and leads and and generally guides, advises and trains a nonprofit to optimise and obtain better results in their fundraising goals. Fundraising counsel must register with the nonprofits they serve in the majority of States.
- Professional Solicitor- Professional solicitors are for profit businesses that nonprofits may hire to solicit funds on their behalf. These agencies often seek direct donations by way of phone campaigns, email campaigns, direct street level solicitation and other means. Professional Solicitors are also required to register in the majority of States.
- Commercial Co-Venturers- A company engages in commercial co-ventures when they agree to give a percentage of sales to a nonprofit or charity. This for-profit/non-profit partnership is beneficial for the nonprofit and the business in a variety of ways. The nonprofit lends credibility, trust and cause-related marketing power to the company while potentially reducing the partner companies advertising expenses. What the non-profit gets in return is a portion of the sales of products, resulting in often substantial revenues to the nonprofit. Commercial co-ventures are not as heavily regulated as the previous two models, however laws governing these relationships change frequently. There are at least two States that require bonding in addition to registration.
A commercial co-venturer partnership can take on a variety of creative forms- branded advertising is one route that is most visible and used by the biggest and most powerful brands in the world. But there are other methods, like affiliate partnerships that allow nonprofits to control the advertising and sometimes even the branding on an e-commerce shop.
List of Contacts For Inquiries
Given that laws are constantly changing with regard to these public/private partnerships, the best way to be sure you are going into a new venture correctly is to contact the State you will be doing business in, as well as the State in which your business has nexus and complete any required registration before you initiate a new fundraising campaign.
Below is a list of State by State contacts to get started with your research.
For more information about Commercial Co-Venturer Regulations, check out this article.