Charitable Solicitation Laws (State-by-state analysis)

This web site solicits the general public in all states for membership in a church (The Legacy of the Angels). Membership is free but requires taking a spiritual vow to become an Angel.

We are unaware of any law prohibiting the solicitation of free church memberships, but if such a law existed, it would be unconstitutional due to the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment.

WHAT THE LAW SAYS:

U.S. Constitution:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...

First Amendment

The request for donations within this web site is made only to church members. While the general public can view most of the information in this web site, the portions of this web site for actually making donations are restricted to church members only.

State charitable solicitation laws, generally

Charitable solicitation laws vary widely among the states. The states can be broadly characterized into four groups, with some overlap between groups 2, 3 and 4:

  1. Some states (and the federal government) have no charitable solicitation laws.

  2. Some states define frauds in connection with charitable solicitation and impose penalties for such frauds.

    Such laws often include disclosure provisions, requiring that donors be given accurate and complete information in connection with their donation, and failure to provide such information constitutes fraud.

    Vastly more information is dislosed within this web site than is required by any such laws.

  3. Some states impose filing or registration requirements on commercial fundraisers who take a fee for soliciting in behalf of a charity.

    The request for donations in this web site does not involve any commercial fund raiser.

  4. Some states impose filing or registration requirements on the charities themselves.

    Of these states, most have exemptions from such requirements for one or both of the following:

    • churches;

    • organizations that request donations exclusively from their members.

    The request for donations within this web site meets both of these criteria, and is therefore exempt from filing or registration requirements in states providing either of these exemptions.

However, certain Group 4 states require filing or registration, even when a church is requesting donations exclusively from its members. The request for donations within this web site is VOID in such states, which, for reference purposes, we call "no donations" states.

As of March 1, 2005, the following states have been identified as "no donations" states:

  1. Arizona
  2. DC
  3. Florida
  4. Georgia
  5. Illinois
  6. Kentucky
  7. Maine
  8. Michigan
  9. Mississippi
  10. New York
  11. North Carolina
  12. North Dakota
  13. Pennsylvania
  14. Rhode Island
  15. South Carolina
  16. Tennessee
  17. U.S. Territories

The request for donations within this web site is VOID in "no donations" states.

Donations from "no donations" states will be refused.

If you are in a "no donations" state, please contact us so we can do further legal research on your state. Anyone is free to travel to another state (which is not a "no donations" state), and then access this web site, received our request for donations, and donate while physically in that other state.

Physical location of donors

It is not possible for our web server to reliably determine, by electronic means, the state from which a person is viewing this web site. While IP addresses may, in some cases, be traceable to a particular state, people sometimes have out-of-state Internet Service Providers.

Nor is it possible to reliably determine, by means of examining a financial instrument, the state from which a person makes a donation. Notwithstanding the address printed on a check, people can write checks when they are in another state. Notwithstanding the address on a credit card (or Paypal) account, people can make credit card (or Paypal) transactions when they in another state.

The only reliable means by which we can determine the state a member is in when he or she receives and responds to the request for donations within this web site is to ask that member to affirmatively tell us the state he or she is in at the time of doing so.

When members make DCGYIF donations, they are requested first to "pledge" the donation while logged in to this web site, and then immediately to follow through with actual payment. In the "pledge" step, the member selects (from a drop-down list that excludes the "no donations" states) the state he/she is physically within, making in the following statement:

By checking this box, I warrant that I am making this donation while I am physically located and my donation is in response to viewing this web site and receiving its request for donations while physically located in this same place.

In response to the "pledge" step, members receive a "donation confirmation number" which is used to complete the donation. In the event of payment by credit card, e-check or Paypal, the donation confirmation number will appear in the transaction. If a check is sent in the mail, the member will be asked to write the donation confirmation number on the check. If a member fails to write the donation confirmation number on a mailed-in check, the amount and date will be reasonably used to ascertain it. The donation confirmation number ties the donation to the above statement of the member's physical location, and that statement shall be determinative of the state (regardless of return addresses, addresses on checks, bank addresses, postmarks or the state where the member lives).

In the event that we receive unsolicited donations from persons who are not members (or in the event that we receive donations from members who did not first pledge the donation while logged into this web site), and the donation is accompanied with a statement similar to the above, that statement shall be determinative of the state. Absent such statement, reasonable means will be utilized to determine the state, including return addresses, addresses on checks, bank addresses and postmarks.

Donations received from "no donations" states will be refused. If a donation from any "no donations" state is received in the form of a check in the mail, then the check will be marked "void", photocopied for our records, and returned to the sender. Donations received by credit card, e-check or Paypal transactions require the payment of fees by us to various merchant banking entities, and the reversing of such transactions also costs us money. If a donation from a "no donations" state is received via credit card, e-check or Paypal, then the amount will be credited back to the donor, less the fees we are charged. Please do not donate from a "no donations" state.

County and city ordinances

In addition to state charitable solicitation laws, many counties and cities have ordinances that regulate charitable solicitation. Most such ordinances regulate one or both of the following:

We are not aware of any local ordinances regulating charitable solicitations made via Internet by a church (exclusively to its members and without a commercial fundraiser). However, we have not examined the ordinances of the tens of thousands of cities and counties in the United States. If you suspect that the request for donations within this web site might be prohibited in your city or county, please contact us.

The request for donations within this web site is void where prohibited by law. If we accept a donation and subsequently discover that a local ordinance prohibited it, then the donation will be reimbursed to the donor.

Nevada

Nevada is in Group 2. Nevada prohibits charities from making deceptive statements (or omissions) to donors. This is a non-intrusive, reasonable law, and we are 100% in compliance with it, even without the exemption. Nevertheless, because we are a church, we are exempt from it.

WHAT THE LAW SAYS:

Nevada Statute:

Chapter 598 Deceptive Trade Practices

Solicitations for or on Behalf of Charitable Organizations

598.1305 Prohibited acts; jurisdiction of Attorney General; violation constitutes deceptive trade practice.

1. A person, in planning, conducting or executing a solicitation for or on behalf of a charitable organization, shall not:

(a) Make any claim or representation concerning a contribution which directly, or by implication, has the capacity, tendency or effect of deceiving or misleading a person acting reasonably under the circumstances; or

(b) Omit any material fact deemed to be equivalent to a false, misleading or deceptive claim or representation if the omission, when considering what has been said or implied, has or would have the capacity, tendency or effect of deceiving or misleading a person acting reasonably under the circumstances.

...

4. As used in this section:

(a) "Charitable organization" means any person who, directly or indirectly, solicits contributions and who:

(1) The Secretary of the Treasury has determined to be tax exempt pursuant to the provisions of section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; or

(2) Is, or holds himself out to be, established for a charitable purpose.

The term does not include an organization which is established for and serving bona fide religious purposes.

Nevada Revised Statutes 598.1305

Holy Realm of Surrendered Service ("HRSS") is

an organization which is established for and serving bona fide religious purposes.

Therefore, HRSS is not a "charitable organization" as the term is used in NRS 598.1305, and the provisions of the section do not apply.

Nevada imposes no requirement by state law that a charity file or register in order to conduct charitable solicitations.

Clark County, Nevada

HRSS is domiciled in Clark County, Nevada, in an unincorporated area of the county at:

Suite F-279
9775 Maryland Parkway
Las Vegas, Nevada 89123

While its postal city is "Las Vegas", HRSS is nevertheless located outside the City of Las Vegas.

A chapter of the Clark County Code regulates charitable solicitations in and from the county, and it does impose registration requirements. However, a charity that solicits donations exclusively from its members is excepted from the entire chapter and need not register.

WHAT THE LAW SAYS:

Clark County, Nevada, Ordinance:

Title 6 Business Licenses

Chapter 6.58 Charitable Solicitations

6.58.030 Registration/identification.

(a) It is unlawful for any person in the unincorporated areas of the county to operate or conduct business as a charitable promoter, solicitor or canvasser without first having procured a certificate of registration...

...

6.58.120 Exceptions. The following are excepted from the operation of this chapter:

(1) The solicitation of funds for charitable purposes by any organization or association from its own members;

Clark County, Nevada, Code 6.58

HRSS solicits funds (via this web site) exclusively

from its own members

Therefore, HRSS is excepted from the operation of Chapter 6.58 of the Clark County Code and is not required to register in order to solicit charitable contributions in or from Clark County.

California

California is in Group 4, because it imposes a requirement that charitable organizations must file, register and regularly report with the state Attorney General. However, religions corporations sole are explicitly exempt from these requirements.

WHAT THE LAW SAYS:

California Statute:

Government Code

Title 2. Government of the State of California

Division 3. Executive Department

Part 2. Constitutional Officers

Chapter 6. Attorney General

Article 7. Uniform Supervision of Trustees for Charitable Purposes Act

12583. The filing, registration, and reporting provisions of this article do not apply to ... any religious corporation sole or other religious corporation or organization that holds property for religious purposes, or to ...

...

12585. Every charitable corporation, unincorporated association, and trustee subject to this article shall file with the Attorney General...

California Government Code sections 12583 and 12585

HRSS is exempt from filing, registering or reporting with the California Attorney General under the Uniform Supervision of Trustees for Charitable Purposes Act because it is a

religious corporation sole

California has another charitable solicitation law requring certain information to be disclosed to donors on an "information card" (or alternative printed means). However, organizations that solicit only to their members are exempt from this law.

WHAT THE LAW SAYS:

California Statute:

Business and Professions Code

Division 7. General Business Regulations

Part 3. Representations to the Public

Chapter 1. Advertising

Article 1.3. Charitable Solicitations

17510.3. (a) Prior to any solicitation or sales solicitation for charitable purposes, the solicitor or seller shall exhibit to the prospective donor or purchaser a card entitled "Solicitation or Sale for Charitable Purposes Card." ...

In lieu of exhibiting a card, the solicitor or seller may distribute ... any printed material...

Information on the card or printed material ... shall include the following:

(1) The name and address of the... organization...

(3) The amount, stated as a percentage of the total gift or purchase price, that will be used for charitable purposes.

(6) The non-tax-exempt status of the organization or fund, if the organization or fund for which the money or funds are being solicited does not have a charitable tax exemption under both federal and state law.

(7) The percentage of the total gift or purchase price which may be deducted ...

17510.6. The provisions of this article shall not apply to solicitations, sales, offers, or attempts to sell within the membership of a charitable organization or upon its regular occupied premises...

California Business and Professions Code sections 17510.3. and 17510.6

HRSS is exempt from the provisions of the above law because it's charitable solicitations are made exclusively

within the membership

Even without the exemption, all the discosure requirements of the above law would be easily satisfied by the extensive information provided in this web site. In particular, 100% of all donations are used to capitalize the AngelBase Sacred Industrial Project. As extensively discussed on other web pages, HRSS is a federally tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization and is also also tax-exempt in California. 100% percent of any donation is tax-deductible.


More states coming soon.

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