Businesses and Professions
Solicitation by Charitable Organizations
R.I. Gen. Laws § 5-53.1-2
§ 5-53.1-2. Registration of charitable organizations.
(a) Every charitable organization, except as otherwise provided in § 5-53.1-3, that acts, operates, transacts business in this state, or intends to solicit contributions from persons in this state by any means whatsoever, shall, prior to any solicitation, file with the director upon forms prescribed by the department, the following information:
(1) The name of the charitable organization and the name or names under which it intends to solicit contributions;
(2) The names and addresses where each can regularly be found of the officers, directors, trustees, partners, and senior-level executive employees and, for a limited-liability company or limited-liability partnership, also the members, partners, and managers, for the charitable organization, as the case may be, as well as the person or persons responsible for the day-to-day operations of the charitable organization;
(3) The addresses of the charitable organization and the addresses of any offices in this state. If the charitable organization does not maintain an office, the name and address of the person having custody of its financial records;
(4) Where and when the charitable organization was established, the form of its organization, and its tax-exempt status, if any, issued by the United States Internal Revenue Service;
(5) A general description of all the uses for which the contribution to be solicited will be applied;
(6) The date on which the fiscal year of the charitable organization ends;
(7) Whether the charitable organization is authorized by any other governmental agency to solicit contributions and whether it or any of its present officers, directors, members (if a limited-liability company), trustees, partners, or the senior level executive employees are or have ever been enjoined by any court from soliciting contributions or have been found by a final judgment to have engaged in unlawful practices regarding solicitation of contributions or administration of charitable assets and whether its registration or license has been suspended or canceled by any governmental agency together with the reasons for the suspension or cancellation;
(8) The names and addresses of any professional fundraisers or fundraising counsels who are acting or have agreed to act in this state on behalf of the charitable organization along with a copy of the contract for the services;
(9) The charitable organization's most recent annual report, if any, in accordance with the requirements of § 5-53.1-4;
(10) The names and addresses of any chapters, branches, affiliates, or other organizations that, during the immediately preceding fiscal year of the charitable organization, share the contributions or other revenue raised in this state. Provided, that any contribution to another organization that is merely transferred by or through a United Way, a federated fund, or an incorporated community appeal, which transferee organization is selected by the donor, does not need to be included;
(11) The percentage of contributions received in the immediately preceding fiscal year that was spent for fundraising and for administration;
(12) A listing of the names and the compensation of the charitable organization's five (5) most highly compensated individuals in excess of the amount specified as requiring disclosure on United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form 990 (or the appropriate successor form by whatever name or number it may be called or designated), including, without limitation, directors, officers, members (if a limited-liability company), trustees, partners, employees, or agents, for the immediately preceding fiscal year, and the total number of individuals, including, without limitation, directors, officers, members (if a limited-liability company), trustees, partners, employees, and agents of the charitable organization, earning annual compensation in excess of the amount referred to above for the immediately preceding fiscal year;
(13) Whether any director, officer, member (if a limited-liability company), trustee, partner, employee, or agent or senior-level executive employee of the charitable organization has been convicted of a felony, or pled nolo contendere to a felony charge, or is held liable in a civil action by final judgment if the felony or civil action involved fraud, embezzlement, fraudulent conversion, or misappropriation of property.
(b) A charitable organization shall be deemed to have met the filing requirements in this section by submitting a copy or duplicate original of IRS Form 990 (or the appropriate successor form by whatever name it may be called); provided, that the organization responds to subsections (a)(3), (a)(7), (a)(8), (a)(11), and (a)(13) of this section.
(c) The registration form shall be signed under penalty of perjury by two (2) authorized officials of the charitable organization, one of whom shall be a director or trustee.
(d) For filing the registration, the department shall receive a fee of ninety dollars ($90.00), to be paid at the time of registration.
(e) Registration under this section shall expire one year following the approval of the application by the department, unless the director prescribes a different period by rule or order. Re-registration shall also be for a similar period of one year and may be effected by filing an application on forms prescribed by the director no later than thirty (30) days prior to the expiration of the prior registration.
(f) Every registered charitable organization shall notify the director within thirty (30) days of any material change, of which it has actual knowledge, in the information required to be furnished by the charitable organization under this section. For the purposes of this section, the requirement to notify the director of a material change applies only with respect to subsections (a)(1), (a)(3), (a)(4), (a)(5), (a)(6), (a)(7), (a)(8), (a)(9), and (a)(13) of this section.
(g) Registration statements, financial reports, professional fundraisers' contracts, and all other documents required to be filed pursuant to this chapter shall become public records in the office of the director, except as may be otherwise specifically prohibited by this chapter or by the provisions of chapter 2 of title 38.
(h) No charitable organization, professional fundraiser, or fundraising counsel shall use or exploit the fact of registration, in any manner whatsoever, so as to lead the public to believe that registration in any manner constitutes an endorsement or approval by the state.
(i) The department may enter into reciprocal agreements with the appropriate authorities of any other state or the United States for the purpose of exchanging complaint and investigative information under this chapter.
History of Section.
P.L. 1999, ch. 152, § 2; P.L. 2001, ch. 115, § 1; P.L. 2009, ch. 68, art. 12, § 4.