Businesses and Professions
Solicitation by Charitable Organizations
R.I. Gen. Laws § 5-53.1-8
§ 5-53.1-8. Professional fundraisers and fundraising counsel.
(a) No person shall act, operate, or transact business as a professional fundraiser or fundraising counsel in this state before he, she, or it has registered with the director or after the expiration or cancellation of such registration. Applications for registration and re-registration shall be in writing, under oath and penalty of perjury, in the form prescribed by the director and shall be accompanied by an annual fee in the sum of two hundred forty dollars ($240). A professional fundraiser who has access or the ability to access or control funds that are being solicited shall at the time of making application for registration or re-registration, file with, and have approved by, the director a bond. In the bond, the filer shall be the principal obligor, in the sum of ten thousand dollars ($10,000), with one or more sureties whose liability in the aggregate as sureties will at least equal that sum. The bond, which may be in the form of a rider to a larger blanket liability bond, shall run to the director for the use of the state and to any person who may have a cause of action against the obligor of the bond for any malfeasance or misfeasance in the conduct of the solicitation. Registration or re-registration when effected shall be for a period of one year, or a part thereof, expiring on the thirtieth (30th) day of June. An application for re-registration shall be filed no more than thirty (30) days prior to the expiration of the registration. Applications for registration and re-registration and bonds, when filed with the director, shall become public records in the office of the director. If there is any material change in the information provided in any application for registration and re-registration, the applicant or registrant shall notify the director, in writing, within twenty (20) days of the change.
(b) A professional fundraiser and fundraising counsel shall maintain accurate and current books and records of all activities while required to be registered under subsection (a); and, until at least three (3) years shall have elapsed after the end of the effective period of the registration to which they relate, the books and records shall be maintained in an office available for inspection and examination by the director; provided, that any books and records obtained by the director shall not be available to the public for inspection. The professional fundraiser or fundraising counsel shall not be required to make available to the director the names and addresses of members and donors, except with their consent or the consent of the organization or through legal process where good cause has been shown by the director to question compliance with this chapter and access to the information is necessary to determine compliance. Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to limit an organization's ability to challenge the process on constitutional grounds.
History of Section.
P.L. 1999, ch. 152, § 2; P.L. 2009, ch. 68, art. 12, § 4.