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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: September 9, 2019 01:37 PM
From: Senator Doug Mastriano
To: All Senate members
Subject: Solicitation of Funds for Religious Institutions, Volunteer Fire Companies & Senior Centers
In the near future, I am introducing legislation to amend the “Solicitation of Funds for Charitable Purposes Act” to ease the regulatory and financial burden this statute imposes on our charitable organizations, such as volunteer fire companies and senior centers.

This act requires charitable organizations soliciting contributions to annually register with the PA Dept. 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 third party professional fundraisers 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 these charitable groups, especially when the act already requires the charitable organizations to submit their financial statements along with their annual registrations.

My legislation will relieve these charitable organizations by exempting them from the audit requirements regardless of whether or not they utilize a third party fundraiser, that only handles tasks such as mailers, and the money received goes directly from the contributor to the charitable organization.

Lastly, this proposal will reduce the outrageous fines that are currently imposed under the act, which can profoundly hurt our volunteer organizations financially.

I am partnering with House Representatives Dan Moul and Dawn Keefer in introducing this legislation. Please consider sponsoring this legislation. If you have any questions, please contact Scot Pitzer in my office at 717-787-4651.

Introduced as SB879