2001-S 588 am
Enacted 7/9/2001

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Introduced By:  Senator Leo R. Blais Date Introduced:  February 14, 2001

It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:

SECTION 1. Section 5-53.1-2 of the General Laws in Chapter 5-53.1 entitled "Solicitation By Charitable Organizations" is hereby amended to read as follows:

5-53.1-2. Registration of charitable organizations -- (a) Every charitable organization, except as otherwise provided in section 5-53.1-3, which acts, operates, transacts business in this state or which 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, members (if a limited liability company), trustees, partners or 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 fund raisers or fund raising 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 section 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, however, that any contribution to another organization which 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, need not be included;

(11) The percentage of contributions received in the immediately preceding fiscal year which was spent for fund raising 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 State Internal Revenue Service 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 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 held liable in a civil action by final judgment if the felony or civil action involved fraud, embezzlement, fraudulent conversion or misappropriation of property; and

(b) A charitable organization is deemed to have met the filing requirements above by submitting a copy or duplicate original of form 990 (or the Appropriate Successor form by whatever name it may be called) provided; however, that the organization responds to paragraphs numbered 3, 7, 8, 11, and 13 above.

(c) The registration form shall be signed under penalty of perjury by two authorized officials of the charitable organization, one of whom shall be a director or trustee.

(d) For filing the registration, the department receives a fee of seventy-five dollars ($75.00), to be paid at the time of registration.

(e) Registration under this section expires one (1) 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 (1) 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 paragraphs (1), (3), (4), (5), (6), (7), (8), (9) and (13).

(g) Registration statements, financial reports, professional fund raisers' 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 title 38, chapter 2 of the Rhode Island General Laws.

(h) No charitable organization, professional fund raiser or fund raising 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 and 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.

SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.

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