Title 5
Businesses and Professions

Chapter 53.1
Solicitation by Charitable Organizations

R.I. Gen. Laws 5-53.1-1

 5-53.1-1.  Definitions.

The following words and phrases as used in this chapter have the following meanings unless a different meaning is required by the context:

(1) "Charitable organization" means any organization soliciting for a charitable purpose or any organization holding themselves out as such.

(2) "Charitable purpose" means, but is not limited to, any benevolent, educational, humane, patriotic, social service, civic, philanthropic, scientific, literary, or eleemosynary purpose.

(3) "Contribution" means the promise or grant of any money, property, or anything of value obtained through solicitation, except payments by members of any organization for fees, dues, fines, assessments, or for services rendered to individual members.

(4) "Department" means the department of business regulation.

(5) "Director" means the director of the department.

(6) "Fraudulent act" means that a party made a false representation of a material fact or concealed a material fact with the intention to deceive; that the party intended that a person rely on this material representation or misinformation; and that there was justifiable reliance on this representation or misinformation.

(7) "Fundraising counsel" means any person who for compensation consults with a charitable organization or who plans, manages, advises, or assists with respect to the solicitation of contributions for or on behalf of a charitable organization, but who does not have access to contributions or other receipts from a solicitation and who does not solicit. Bona fide volunteers or employees of a charitable organization, or an attorney-at-law retained by a charitable organization, shall not be deemed a fundraising counsel.

(8) "Membership" means the collective body of any charitable organization comprised of persons having voting rights and other powers of governance and who derive a direct benefit or privilege as a member thereof.

(9) "Person" means and shall include any individual, organization, group, association, partnership, corporation, trust, limited-liability company, and combination of the foregoing, however formed, as well as any and all other entities, however formed.

(10) "Professional fundraiser" means any person who directly or indirectly for compensation or other consideration plans, manages, conducts, carries on, or assists in connection with a solicitation for charitable purposes or individually solicits or who or that employs or otherwise engages on any basis another person to solicit for or on behalf of any charitable organization, or who or that engages in the business of, or holds himself, herself, or itself out to persons as independently engaged in the business of soliciting for the charitable purpose. Bona fide volunteers or employees of a charitable organization or fundraising counsel shall not be deemed a professional fundraiser.

(11) "Professional solicitor" means any person who is employed or retained for compensation by a professional fundraiser to solicit contributions for charitable purposes. Bona fide employees of a charitable organization or fundraising counsel shall not be deemed professional solicitors.

(12) "Senior-level executive employee" means any employee of a charitable organization whose compensation is in excess of the amount specified as requiring disclosure on United States Internal Revenue Service Form 990 (or the appropriate successor form by whatever name or number it may be called or designated).

(13) (i) "Solicit" and "solicitation" means to appeal or request, directly or indirectly, whether express or implied, for money, credit, property, financial assistance, or any other thing of value by means of mail, personal contact, written material, radio, telephone, television, news media, magazines or other periodicals, or any other means of plea or representation that the money, credit, property, financial assistance, or other thing of value will be used for a charitable purpose.

(ii) Solicitation is deemed to have taken place when the appeal or request is made, whether or not the person making the appeal or request receives any contributions.

History of Section.
P.L. 1999, ch. 152, 2.