Conditions applicable to solicitations.
All entities soliciting contributions for charitable purposes must comply with the requirements of this section except entities exempted from registration are not required to make the disclosures under subsections (1)(c), (4)(b) or (c), and (5)(b) of this section. The following conditions apply to solicitations as defined by RCW 19.09.020:
(1) Any entity that directly solicits contributions from the public in this state must make the following clear and conspicuous disclosures at the point of solicitation:
(a) The name of the individual making the solicitation;
(b) The identity of the charitable organization and the city of the principal place of business of the charitable organization;
(c) The published number and web site of the office of the secretary, if requested, for the donor to obtain additional financial and other information on file with the secretary. The disclosure must be made during an oral solicitation of a contribution, and at the same time at which a written request for a contribution is made.
(2) A commercial fund-raiser must meet the required disclosures described in subsection (1) of this section clearly and conspicuously at the point of solicitation and must also disclose the name of the entity for which the fund-raiser is an agent or employee and the name and city of the charitable organization for which the solicitation is being conducted.
(3) Telephone solicitations must include the disclosures required under subsection (1) or (2) of this section prior to asking for a contribution. The required disclosures must also be provided in writing within five business days to anyone who makes a pledge by telephone to donate.
(4) In the case of a solicitation by advertisement or mass distribution, including postal, electronic, posters, leaflets, automatic dialing machines, publications, and audio or video broadcasts, it must be clearly and conspicuously disclosed in the body of the solicitation material that:
(a) The solicitation is conducted by a named commercial fund-raiser, if it is;
(b) The registration required by the charitable solicitation act is on file with the secretary's office; and
(c) The potential donor can obtain additional financial and other information at a published number or web site for the office of the secretary.
(5) A container or vending machine displaying a solicitation must display:
(a) In a clear and conspicuous manner the name of the charitable organization for which funds are solicited, the name, business address, and telephone number of the individual or any commercial fund-raiser responsible for collecting funds placed in the containers or vending machines;
(b) The statement: "This organization is currently registered with the secretary's office under the charitable solicitation act - call 1-800-332-4483," if the charitable organization for which funds are solicited is required to register under chapter 19.09 RCW.
(6) No entity may represent that tickets to any fund-raising event will be donated for use by another person unless all the following requirements are met:
(a) The entity prior to conducting a solicitation has written commitments from persons stating that they will accept donated tickets and specifying the number of tickets they will accept;
(b) The written commitments are kept on file by the entity for three years and are made available to the secretary, attorney general, or county prosecutor on demand;
(c) The contributions solicited for donated tickets may not be more than the amount representing the number of ticket commitments received from persons and kept on file under (a) of this subsection; and
(d) Not later than seven calendar days prior to the date of the event for which ticket donations are solicited, the entity must give all donated tickets to the persons who made the written commitments to accept them.
(7) Any entity soliciting charitable contributions must not misrepresent orally or in writing:
(a) The tax deductibility of a contribution;
(b) That the person soliciting the charitable contribution is a volunteer or words of similar meaning or effect that create the impression that the person soliciting is not a paid solicitor unless such person is unpaid for his or her services;
(c) That the person soliciting the charitable contribution is a member, staffer, helper, or employee of the charitable organization or words of similar meaning or effect that create the impression that the person soliciting is not a paid solicitor if the person soliciting is employed, contracted, or paid by a commercial fund-raiser.
(8) If the charitable organization is associated with, or has a name that is similar to, any unit of government the entity soliciting contributions must disclose to each person solicited whether the charitable organization is or is not part of any unit of government and the true nature of its relationship to the unit of government. This subsection does not apply to a foundation or other charitable organization that is organized, operated, or controlled by or in connection with a registered public charity, including any governmental agency or unit, from which it derives its name.
(9) No entity may, in conducting any solicitation, use the name "police," "sheriff," "firefighters," or a similar name unless properly authorized by the police, sheriff, or firefighter organization or police, sheriff, or fire department it is representing. Authorization must be in writing and signed by two authorized officials of the organization or department. The written authorization must be retained in accordance with RCW 19.09.200.
(10) An entity may not, in conducting any solicitation, use the name of a federally chartered or nationally recognized military veterans' service organization as determined by the United States veterans' administration unless authorized in writing by the highest ranking official of that organization in this state. The written authorization must be retained in accordance with RCW 19.09.200.
(11) Entities must comply with all local governmental regulations that apply to soliciting for or on behalf of charitable organizations.
(12) Any entity required to register under this chapter must not engage in any solicitation for contributions unless it complies with all provisions of this chapter.
(13) Solicitations must not be conducted by a charitable organization or commercial fund-raiser that has, or if a corporation, its officers, directors, or principals have, been convicted of a crime involving solicitations for or on behalf of a charitable organization in this state, the United States, or any other state or foreign country within the past ten years or has been subject to any permanent injunction or administrative order or judgment under RCW 19.86.080 or 19.86.090, involving a violation or violations of RCW 19.86.020, within the past ten years, or of restraining a false or misleading promotional plan involving solicitations for charitable organizations.
(14) Any entity subject to this chapter must not use or exploit the fact of registration under this chapter to lead the public to believe that registration constitutes an endorsement or approval by the state, but the use of the following is not deemed prohibited: "Currently registered with the Washington state secretary of state as required by law. Registration number . . . ."
(15) Any entity soliciting contributions for a charitable purpose must not include in any solicitation, or in any advertising material for a solicitation, or in any promotional plan for a solicitation, any statement that is false, misleading, or deceptive. All solicitations, advertising materials, and promotional plans must fully and fairly disclose the identity of the entity on whose behalf the solicitation is made.
(16) No entity may place a telephone call to a donor or potential donor for the purpose of soliciting contributions for a charitable purpose, before eight o'clock a.m. or after nine o'clock p.m. pacific time.
(17) No entity may, when contacting a donor or potential donor for the purpose of soliciting contributions for a charitable purpose, engage in any conduct the natural consequence of which is to harass, intimidate, or torment any person in connection with the contact.
(18) Any entity that solicits contributions may not collect or attempt to collect contributions in person or by courier unless:
(a) The contributions are noncash items such as contributions of tangible personal property; or
(b) The solicitations are made in person and the collections, or attempts to collect, are made at the time of the solicitations; or
(c) The contributor has agreed to purchase goods or items in connection with the solicitation and the collection or attempt to collect is made at the time of delivery of the goods or items.
(19) Failure to comply with subsections (1) through (18) of this section is a violation of this chapter.
[2011 c 199 § 14. Prior: 2007 c 471 § 8; 2007 c 218 § 64; 1994 c 287 § 2; 1993 c 471 § 9; 1986 c 230 § 11; 1983 c 265 § 9; 1982 c 227 § 7; 1977 ex.s. c 222 § 6; 1974 ex.s. c 106 § 3; 1973 1st ex.s. c 13 § 10.]
| Intent -- Finding -- 2007 c 218: See note following RCW 1.08.130.|
Effective date -- 1982 c 227: "Sections 5 and 6 of this act shall take effect June 30, 1983. The remaining sections of this act are necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, the support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and shall take effect March 1, 1982." [1982 c 227 § 25.]