|Posted:||December 16, 2022 11:21 AM|
|From:||Representative Torren C. Ecker|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Solicitation of Funds for Volunteer Fire Companies|
|In the near future, I will be introducing legislation to amend the “Solicitation of Funds for Charitable Purposes Act” to ease the regulatory and financial burden this statute imposes on our volunteer fire companies.
This Act requires charitable organizations soliciting contributions to annually register with the Department of State’s Bureau of Charitable Organizations, unless they are exempt as provided for under the Act. To be exempt from registration, all fundraising activities must be carried out by members or volunteers of the charitable organization.
Furthermore, the act requires the filing of a financial report, which must be independently audited, reviewed or compiled by a public accountant or certified public accountant. The amount of money received from solicitations determines the extent of the audit required, which can very easily run into several thousands of dollars.
The use of a 3rd party professional fundraiser for something as simple as preparing “mailers” automatically triggers the requirement for an independent audit or review of financial statements. In my view, this is an unnecessary and costly mandate on our volunteer fire companies, especially when the act already requires them to submit their financial statements along with their annual registrations.
My legislation will provide relief for volunteer fire companies by exempting them from the audit requirements regardless of whether or not they utilize a 3rd party fundraiser which only handles such tasks as mailers and the money received goes directly from the contributor to the volunteer fire company. In addition, our proposal will reduce the outrageous fines that are currently imposed under the act that can profoundly hurt our volunteer fire companies financially.
Please consider joining me in cosponsoring this important legislation.
Introduced as HB794