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Consumer Protection/Code Enforcement Division


Solicitors for Charities

California has strict rules for people who solicit money for charities:

1. Before any solicitation, the person must show the prospective donor either a card or printed material that includes, in at least 10-point type, all of these things:

             the name and address of the charitable organization
              the name and business address of the paid solicitor
              the percentage of the donation that will be used for charitable purposes
              the fact that the charity is not tax-exempt (if applicable)
              the percentage of the donation that may be written off the donor’s taxes

If printed material is used, it can be given out during the course of the solicitation. (Calif. Bus. & Prof. Code §17510.3(a))


2. Anyone paid to solicit for a charity must disclose prior to the solicitation:

             the fact that they are a commercial fundraiser, and
             their organization’s name as registered with the Attorney General

(Calif. Bus. & Prof. Code §17510.85)


3. Anyone paid to solicit for a charity must first register and post a bond with the California Attorney General. (Calif. Govt. Code §§12599 (b), (f), 12599.5)

If you’ve seen a solicitor who appeared to be breaking any of these rules in Santa Monica, please contact the Consumer Protection Unit at 310-458-8336, or smconsumer.org.

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