Charitable Solicitations Act

 

O.C.G.A. § 43-17-1

GEORGIA CODE
Copyright 2015 by The State of Georgia
All rights reserved.

*** Current through the 2015 Regular Session ***

§ 43-17-1 (2015)

§ 43-17-1.  Short title. This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Georgia Charitable Solicitations Act of 1988."

§ 43-17-2. Definitions

As used in this chapter, the term:

(1)  "Attorney General" means the Attorney General or his or her designee.

(2)  "Charitable organization" means any benevolent, philanthropic, patriotic, or eleemosynary (of, relating to, or supported by charity or alms) person, as that term is defined in this Code section, who solicits or obtains contributions solicited from the general public, any part of which contributions is used for charitable purposes; and any person who or which falsely represents himself, herself, or itself to be a charitable organization as defined by this paragraph. The term charitable organization shall not include a religious organization as defined in paragraph (12) of this Code section.

(3)  "Charitable purpose" means any charitable, benevolent, philanthropic, patriotic, or eleemosynary purpose for religion, health, education, social welfare, arts and humanities, environment, civic, or public interest; and any purpose which is falsely represented to be a charitable purpose as defined by this paragraph.

(4)  "Charitable sales promotion" means an advertising or sales campaign, conducted by a commercial coventurer, which represents that the purchase or use of goods or services offered by the commercial coventurer will benefit, in whole or in part, a charitable organization or purpose.

(4.1)  "Collection receptacle" means an unattended container for the purpose of collecting donations of clothing, books, personal or household items, or other goods. Such term shall not include containers used for the purpose of collecting monetary donations.

(5)  "Commercial coventurer" means a person who for profit is regularly and primarily engaged in trade or commerce other than in connection with soliciting for charitable organizations or purposes and who conducts a charitable sales promotion.

(6)  "Contribution" means the promise or grant of any money or property of any kind or value.

(7)  "Educational institution" means an entity organized and operated exclusively for educational purposes and which either:

(A)  Maintains a regular faculty and curriculum and has a regularly enrolled body of students in attendance at the place where its educational activities are regularly carried on; or

(B)  Is accredited by a nationally recognized, independent higher education accreditation body.

(8)  "Executive officer" means the chief executive officer, the president, the principal financial officer, the principal operating officer, each vice president with responsibility involving policy-making functions for a significant aspect of a person's business, the secretary, the treasurer, or any other person performing similar functions with respect to any organization, whether incorporated or unincorporated.

(9)  "Fundraising counsel" means any person, other than a paid solicitor required to register under this chapter, who plans, advises, consults, or prepares material for a solicitation of charitable contributions within, into, or from this state and who does not either:

(A)  Solicit such contributions or employ, procure, engage, direct, or supervise any compensated person to solicit such contributions; or

(B)  Have custody or control of contributions.

A natural person who is a volunteer, employee, or salaried officer of a charitable organization is not a fundraising counsel with respect to the charitable organization of which he or she is a volunteer, individual, or officer. An attorney, accountant, investment counselor, or banker who, solely incidental to his or her profession, renders professional services to a charitable organization, paid solicitor, or fundraising counsel or advises a person to make a charitable contribution is not a fundraising counsel as a result of such advice.

(10)  "General public" or "public," with respect to a charitable organization, means any person in the State of Georgia without a membership in or other bona fide relationship with such charitable organization.

(11)  "Membership" or "member" means a status by which, for the payment of fees, dues, assessments, and other similar payments, an organization provides services to the payor and confers on the payor a bona fide right, privilege, professional standing, honor, or other direct benefit other than the right to vote, elect officers, or hold offices. The term "membership" or "member" shall not be construed to apply to a person on whom an organization confers a membership solely as a consideration for making a contribution.

(12)  (A) "Paid solicitor" means a person:

(i)  Other than a commercial coventurer who, for compensation, performs for a charitable organization any service in connection with which contributions are, or will be, solicited within or from this state by such person or by any compensated person he or she employs, procures, engages, or contracts with, directly or indirectly, to so solicit;

(ii)  Who would be a fundraising counsel but for the fact that such person at any time has custody of contributions from a solicitation as defined by this chapter; or

(iii)  Who services a collection receptacle which purports, either through language appearing on the receptacle itself or otherwise, to be collecting items for the purpose of benefiting a charitable purpose or one or more entities espousing a charitable purpose.

(B)  A "paid solicitor" shall not mean:

(i)  A bona fide officer, employee, or volunteer of a charitable organization or commercial coventurer with respect to contributions solicited for that charitable organization;

(ii)  An attorney, investment counselor, accountant, or banker who, solely incidental to his or her profession, advises a person to make a charitable contribution or who holds funds subject to an escrow or trust agreement;

(iii)  A person who removes or delivers donations placed in a collection receptacle for a fixed fee and who does not otherwise directly or indirectly receive any of the proceeds of the sale of such donations or derive any other benefit from such activity; or

(iv)  A charitable organization registered with the Secretary of State which operates collection receptacles or a religious organization which operates collection receptacles.

(13)  "Person" means an individual, a corporation, a partnership, a limited liability company, an association, a joint-stock company, a trust, or any unincorporated organization.

(14)  "Religious organization" means an entity which:

(A)  Conducts regular worship services; or

(B)  Is qualified as a religious organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as now or hereafter amended, that is not required to file IRS Form 990, Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax, under any circumstances.

(15)  "Solicitation," "solicitation of funds," or "solicit" means the request or acceptance directly or indirectly of money, credit, property, financial assistance, or any other thing of value to be used for any charitable purpose; and such act shall be a consumer act or practice or consumer transaction as defined by Part 2 of Article 15 of Chapter 1 of Title 10, the "Fair Business Practices Act of 1975."

(16)  "Solicitor agent" means any person, other than a paid solicitor or commercial coventurer, who or which solicits charitable contributions for compensation. The term "solicitor agent" shall not include, with respect to a particular charitable organization which is either registered or exempt from registration under this chapter, any person who is a charitable organization itself or a bona fide officer, employee, or volunteer of such charitable organization which is either registered or exempt from registration under this chapter and who is neither supervised by, nor whose activities are directed by, any paid solicitor or its agent.

(17)  "State" means any state, territory, or possession of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. 

§ 43-17-3. Registration of paid solicitors; renewal; financial statements; denial of registration; amendments; contracts; solicitation notices; accounting; deposit of contributions; records

(a)  No paid solicitor shall solicit contributions for a charitable purpose in or from this state or on behalf of a charitable organization, unless such paid solicitor is a registered paid solicitor pursuant to this Code section. No paid solicitor shall solicit contributions in person unless such paid solicitor has been qualified for such means of solicitation by the Secretary of State.

(b)  A fundraising counsel who at any time has custody of contributions from a solicitation for a charitable purpose must be registered as a paid solicitor and comply with the provisions of this Code section.


(c) 

(1)  A paid solicitor shall be registered with the Secretary of State prior to engaging in any solicitation. A registration shall expire on December 31 of the year in which the registration became effective and may be renewed for additional one-year periods upon application and the payment of the appropriate fee.

(2)  An application for registration as a paid solicitor may be made by any person and shall be accompanied by the registration fee set forth in subsection (d) of this Code section. Such application for registration shall be made in a manner prescribed by the Secretary of State, which may include, in whole or in part, electronic filing, shall be verified by the applicant, shall be filed with the Secretary of State, and shall contain the information and documents set forth in this paragraph and such other information as may be prescribed by rules and regulations promulgated by the Secretary of State:

(A)  The name of the applicant;

(B)  The address of the principal place of business of the applicant and the addresses of all branch offices of the applicant in this state;

(C)  The form of business organization; the date of organization of the applicant; and if the business entity is a corporation or limited partnership, the date it qualified to do business in Georgia;

(D)  The names and business addresses of all general partners, limited partners, directors, affiliates, or executive officers of the applicant; if the applicant is a limited liability company, the names and business addresses of all members of the limited liability company; a statement of the limitations, if any, of the liability of any general partner, limited partner, director, member, affiliate, or executive officer; and a statement setting forth in chronological order the occupational activities of each such general partner, limited partner, director, member, affiliate, or executive officer during the preceding ten years;

(E)  A brief description of the general character of the business conducted or proposed to be conducted by the applicant;

(F)  A list of any other states in which the applicant is registered as a paid solicitor and, if registration of the applicant as a paid solicitor has ever been denied, revoked, suspended, or withdrawn or if such a proceeding is pending in any state, full details with respect thereto;

(G)  Whether the applicant or any general partner, limited partner, director, member, affiliate, or executive officer of such applicant has ever been subject to any injunction or disciplinary proceeding by any state agency involving any aspect of fund raising or solicitation, has ever been convicted of or charged with a misdemeanor of which fraud is an essential element or which involved charitable fund raising, or has ever been convicted of or charged with a felony and, if so, all pertinent information with respect to such injunction, disciplinary proceeding, conviction, or charge;

(H)  Whether the applicant or any general partner, limited partner, director, member, affiliate, or executive officer of such applicant has ever been subject to an order, consent order, or any other disciplinary or administrative proceeding pursuant to the unfair and deceptive acts and practices law of any state and, if so, all pertinent information with respect to such order or proceedings; and

(I)  Written consent by each control person of the paid solicitor, as described by rule of the Secretary of State, to a criminal background investigation for the purpose of verification by the Secretary of State of information provided in the application.


(3)  If the paid solicitor will have physical possession or legal control over any contributions collected by it in or from this state, the applicant shall attach to the application for registration as a paid solicitor a financial statement for the fiscal year of the applicant which ended within one year prior to the date of filing unless the fiscal year of the applicant has ended within 90 days prior to the date of filing, in which case the financial statement may be dated as of the end of the fiscal year preceding such last fiscal year. Such financial statement shall be prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.

(4)  Within 15 business days after an applicant has fully complied with this subsection, the Secretary of State shall examine each paid solicitor's registration application, solicitation notice, and contract to determine whether the applicable requirements of this chapter relating to the same are satisfied and shall register such applicant as a paid solicitor unless he or she shall find that there are grounds for denial as provided in Code Section 43-17-7. When the Secretary of State has registered an applicant as a paid solicitor, he or she shall immediately notify the applicant of such registration. In the event the Secretary of State has not notified the applicant of deficiencies or grounds for denial of the application within such period, the applicant may conduct himself or herself in a manner as if registered until and unless such applicant is so notified.

(5)  If the Secretary of State finds that there are sufficient grounds to deny the registration of the applicant as provided in Code Section 43-17-7, he or she shall issue an order refusing to register the applicant. The order shall state specifically the grounds for its issuance. A copy of the order shall be mailed to the applicant at his or her business address and to any charitable organization who proposes to employ such applicant.

(6)  Every registration under this Code section shall expire on December 31 of each year. The registration of a paid solicitor must be renewed each year by the submission of a renewal application containing the information required in an application for registration, except to the extent that the Secretary of State by rule does not require the resubmission of such information which has previously been included in an application or renewal application previously filed; by the payment of the proper registration fee; and, if it would be required in the event of an initial application, by the filing of a financial statement as of a date within one year prior to the date of filing unless the fiscal year of the applicant has ended within 90 days prior to the date of filing, in which case the financial statement may be dated as of the end of the preceding fiscal year. Such financial statements shall be prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.

(7)  The registration of a paid solicitor shall be amended within 30 days to reflect a change of name, address, principals, state of incorporation, or other changes which materially affect the business of the paid solicitor. Such amendments shall be filed in a manner which the Secretary of State may prescribe by rule or regulation.

(d)  The fee for the initial registration of a paid solicitor shall be $250.00. The fee to amend the registration shall be $15.00. The annual renewal fee for a paid solicitor registration shall be $100.00.
(e) 

(1)  There shall be a contract between a paid solicitor and a charitable organization which shall be in writing, shall clearly state the respective obligations of the paid solicitor and the charitable organization, and shall state the amount of compensation that the paid solicitor will receive. Such compensation shall be stated as a fixed amount, as an amount to be derived from a formula, or as a percentage of the gross revenue derived from the solicitation campaign, subject to and in accordance with the provisions of paragraphs (2), (3), and (4) of this subsection.

(2)  If the compensation of the paid solicitor is contingent upon the number of contributions or the amount of revenue received from the solicitation campaign, the stated amount shall be expressed as a fixed percentage of the gross revenue.

(3)  If the compensation of the paid solicitor is not contingent upon the number of contributions or the amount of revenue received, the stated amount shall be a reasonable estimate, expressed as a percentage of the gross revenue, and the contract shall clearly disclose the assumptions upon which the estimate is based. The stated assumptions shall be based upon all the relevant facts known to the paid solicitor regarding the solicitation to be conducted as well as the past performance of solicitations conducted by the paid solicitor.

(4)  The compensation description required by this subsection shall exclude any amount which the charitable organization is to pay as expenses of the solicitation campaign, including the cost of merchandise or services sold or events staged. The contract shall clearly describe who shall pay such expenses, how they will be paid, and whether such payment is contingent upon any event or fact, including, but not limited to, the amount of funds raised through the solicitation campaign. If any portion of the expenses are paid separately by the charitable organization apart from the other fees paid to the paid solicitor, the contract shall include a reasonable estimate of such expenses.

(f)  Prior to the commencement of each solicitation campaign the paid solicitor shall file with the Secretary of State a completed "solicitation notice" on forms prescribed by the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State may provide that said filing be made, in whole or in part, through electronic means. The solicitation notice shall include a copy of the contract described in subsection (e) of this Code section, the projected dates when soliciting will commence and terminate, the location and telephone number from which the solicitation will be conducted, the name and residence address of each person responsible for directing and supervising the conduct of the campaign, a statement as to whether the paid solicitor will at any time have custody of contributions, and a full and fair description of the charitable program for which the solicitation campaign is being carried out.

(g)  Within 90 days after a solicitation campaign has been completed, and on the anniversary of the commencement of a solicitation campaign lasting more than one year, the paid solicitor shall account to the charitable organization with whom it has contracted and to the Secretary of State for all contributions collected and expenses paid. The accounting shall be in the form of a written report, submitted to the charitable organization and to the Secretary of State, shall be retained by the charitable organization for three years, and shall contain the following information:

(1)  The total gross receipts;

(2)  A description of how the gross receipts were distributed, including an itemized list of all expenses, commissions, and other costs of the fundraising campaign and the net amount paid to the charitable organization for its charitable purposes after payment of all fundraising expenses, commissions, and other costs;

(3)  The signature of the charitable organization acknowledging its agreement with the accuracy of the report, or a statement from the paid solicitor stating the reasons why such signature has not been obtained within the prescribed period, including a summary of any communications from the charitable organization contesting the accuracy of the report;

(4)  With respect to any contributions other than monetary donations and securities, including, but not limited to, boats, motor vehicles, clothing, shoes, books, appliances, and other household items received as a result of solicitations by a paid solicitor:

(A)  The names and addresses of any persons to whom such contributions were delivered by the paid solicitor, by the charitable organization whose name was used in connection with the solicitation, or by their agents; provided, however, that this subparagraph shall not require the names and addresses of donees or retail purchasers of consumer products which are delivered to a charitable organization to be given away or sold at retail by the charitable organization with the proceeds of such sales being used to further the stated charitable purpose of the organization;

(B)  The total consideration, if any, received by the paid solicitor, by the charitable organization, or by their agents from such persons for such contributions; and

(C)  The manner in which such consideration was calculated; and

(5)  Such other information as the Secretary of State by rule may require.

(h)  Each monetary contribution received by the paid solicitor shall, in its entirety and within three business days of its receipt, be deposited in an account at a federally insured financial institution. The account shall be in the name of the charitable organization with whom the paid solicitor has contracted and the charitable organization shall have sole control of all withdrawals from the account.

(i)  (1) The paid solicitor shall maintain during each solicitation campaign and for not less than three years after its completion, the following records:

(A)  The name and, if known to the paid solicitor, the address of each person pledging to contribute together with the date and amount of the pledge;
(B)  The name and residence address of each employee, agent, or other person, however styled, involved in the solicitation;
(C)  A record of all contributions at any time in the custody of the paid solicitor;
(D)  A record of all expenses incurred by the paid solicitor for which the charitable organization is liable for payment;
(E)  The location and account number of all accounts in which the paid solicitor has deposited revenue from the solicitation campaign; and
(F)  Such other records as may be prescribed by the Secretary of State by rule and regulation.

(2)  If the paid solicitor sells tickets to an event and represents that tickets will be donated for use by another, the paid solicitor shall also maintain for the same period as specified in paragraph (1) of this subsection:

(A)  The name and address of those contributors donating tickets and the number of tickets donated by each contributor; and
(B)  The name and address of all organizations receiving donated tickets for use by others, including the number of tickets received by each organization.

(3)  All records of such paid solicitor are subject to such reasonable periodic, special, or other examinations by representatives of the Secretary of State, within or outside this state, as the Secretary of State deems necessary or appropriate in the public interest or for the protection of the public, provided that the Secretary of State shall not disclose this information except to the extent he or she reasonably deems necessary for investigative or law enforcement purposes.

(j)  Not later than 90 days following the end of each solicitation campaign, the paid solicitor shall provide to the charitable organization, at no cost, a copy of all records described in subsection (i) of this Code section. In the event any such campaign exceeds six months in length, such records shall be provided, in addition, not less than 30 days following the end of each six-month period.

§ 43-17-4. Bonding requirements for registered paid solicitors; deposits in lieu of bond

(a)  An applicant for registration as a paid solicitor who will have physical possession or legal control over any contributions collected by it in or from this state on behalf of any charitable organizations shall file with the Secretary of State a bond satisfactory to the Secretary of State in the sum of $10,000.00 payable to the State of Georgia for the use of all interested persons and conditioned upon the faithful compliance by the principal with any and all provisions of this chapter and any regulations and orders issued by the Secretary of State. Such an applicant for renewal of registration as a paid solicitor shall also file such bond. Except as otherwise provided in subsection (b) of this Code section, the Secretary of State shall not register such an applicant or renew the registration of such an applicant until such bond is filed as provided in this subsection. Any such bond may be canceled by the principal or surety by giving notice to the Secretary of State, but such cancellation shall not affect any cause of action accruing thereon prior to cancellation and such cancellation shall result in automatic cancellation of the principal's registration until a new bond satisfactory to the Secretary of State is filed. Any action on such bond must be brought within two years after accrual of the cause of action. The amount prescribed in this subsection for the bond required of a paid solicitor shall be construed as being the aggregate liability recoverable against such bond, regardless of the number of claimants, and shall not be construed as individual liability.

(b)  The requirement for filing of such bond by an applicant for registration or renewal of registration as a paid solicitor shall not be applicable if the applicant for registration or renewal of registration as a paid solicitor has deposited in trust with the Secretary of State:

(1)  A certificate of deposit or letter of credit evidencing a deposit with a financial institution satisfactory to the Secretary of State in the amount of $10,000.00 payable to the applicant and assigned to the Secretary of State;

(2)  An irrevocable letter of credit addressed to the Secretary of State in the amount of $10,000.00, issued by a bank which is a member of the Federal Reserve System and conditioned only upon the rendering of a judgment by a court of competent jurisdiction in which the applicant is found liable for damages under this chapter; or

(3)  Obligations of the United States, an agency thereof, or the State of Georgia which mature in not more than two years and which have a market value as of the date of deposit of at least $10,000.00.

(c)  Such deposits shall be held for the benefit of all persons to whom the applicant is liable for damages under this chapter for a period of two years after such applicant's registration has expired or been revoked; provided, however, such deposits shall not be released at any time while there is pending against the applicant an action (including any direct appeal of such action or an appeal based on a petition for certiorari jurisdiction), of which the Secretary of State has notice, in a court of competent jurisdiction in which it is alleged that the applicant is liable for damages under this chapter. Such deposits shall not be released except upon application to and the written order of the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State shall have no liability for any such release of any deposit or part thereof made by him in good faith. The Secretary of State may designate any regularly constituted state depository having trust powers domiciled in this state as a depository to receive and hold any such deposit. Any such deposit so held shall be at the expense of the applicant. Such depository shall give to the Secretary of State a proper trust and safekeeping receipt upon which the Secretary of State shall give an official receipt to the applicant. The State of Georgia shall be responsible for the safekeeping and return of all deposits made pursuant to this Code section. So long as the applicant complies with this chapter, the applicant may demand, receive, bring an action for, and recover the income from the securities deposited or may exchange and substitute for the letter of credit or securities deposited or a part thereof, with the approval of the Secretary of State, a letter of credit or securities of the kinds specified in subsection (b) of this Code section of equivalent or greater value. No judgment creditor or other claimant of the applicant shall levy upon any deposit held pursuant to this Code section or upon any part thereof, except as specified in this subsection. Whenever any person shall file an action in a court of competent jurisdiction in which it is alleged that the applicant is liable for damages under this chapter, such person, in order to secure his recovery, may give notice to the Secretary of State of such alleged liability and of the amount of damages claimed, after which notice the Secretary of State shall be bound to retain, subject to the order of the Superior Court of Fulton County, as provided in subsection (d) of this Code section, a sufficient amount of the deposit to pay the judgment in the action.

(d)  In the event that the applicant prevails in such action and in the event that such deposits have been held by the Secretary of State for a period of at least two years after the applicant's registration has expired or been revoked, then such deposits shall be released to the applicant; provided, however, such deposits shall not be released at any time while there is pending against the applicant an action (including any direct appeal of such action or an appeal based on a petition for certiorari jurisdiction), of which the Secretary of State has notice, in a court of competent jurisdiction in which it is alleged that the applicant is liable for damages under this chapter. If a judgment is rendered in such action by which it is determined that the applicant is liable for damages under this chapter and the applicant has not paid the judgment within ten days of the date the judgment became final or if the applicant petitions the Supreme Court of the United States to take certiorari jurisdiction over such action and the applicant has not paid the judgment within ten days of the date the Supreme Court of the United States denies certiorari jurisdiction or within ten days of the date the Supreme Court of the United States affirms the judgment, then such person may petition the Superior Court of Fulton County for an order directing the Secretary of State to reduce such deposit or a portion thereof sufficient to pay the judgment to cash or its equivalent and to pay such judgment to the extent the judgment may be satisfied with the proceeds of the deposit. If there shall remain any residue from the deposit and if at least two years have passed since the expiration or revocation of the applicant's registration, the Secretary of State shall pay such residue to the applicant, taking his receipt for the residue, which shall be filed and recorded with the other papers of the case, unless there is pending against the applicant an action (including any direct appeal of such action or an appeal based on a petition for certiorari jurisdiction), of which the Secretary of State has notice, in a court of competent jurisdiction in which it is alleged that the applicant is liable for damages under this chapter, in which case the Secretary of State shall hold or dispose of such residue in accordance with the provisions of this subsection relating to the holding or disposing of the entire deposit. If more than one final judgment is rendered against the applicant for violation of this chapter, the judgment creditors shall be paid in full from such deposit or residue thereof, to the extent the deposit or residue is sufficient to pay the judgments, in the order in which the judgment creditors petitioned the Superior Court of Fulton County.

(e)  Anything in this Code section to the contrary notwithstanding, the Secretary of State shall comply with any order of a Georgia or United States court of competent jurisdiction to turn over any deposit held by him pursuant to subsection (a) of this Code section or the proceeds from any bond held by him pursuant to subsection (a) of this Code section to a trustee or receiver for the use and sole benefit of persons on whose behalf the Secretary of State holds such deposit or proceeds.

§ 43-17-5. Registration of charitable organizations; service of process; financial statement; tax exemption determination; denial; renewal; amendments; fees; records

(a)  It shall be unlawful for any person:

(1)  Wherever located to solicit or accept charitable contributions from any person located in this state;
(2)  While in this state to solicit or accept charitable contributions from any person, wherever located; or
(3)  Wherever located to solicit or accept charitable contributions from any person, wherever located, on behalf of a charitable organization located in this state,

unless the charitable organization on whose behalf such contributions are being solicited or accepted is subject to an effective registration statement under this chapter or exempt from registration pursuant to Code Section 43-17-9.

(b) 

(1)  Every charitable organization, except those exempt from registration pursuant to Code Section 43-17-9, which intends to solicit in this state or have contributions solicited in this state on its behalf by other charitable organizations, commercial coventurers, or paid solicitors shall, prior to any solicitation, file a registration statement with the Secretary of State upon a form prescribed by the Secretary of State. No charitable organization required to be registered under this Code section shall solicit prior to registration.

(2)  A registration statement, which the Secretary of State may require to be in whole or in part an electronic filing, shall be signed by an authorized executive officer of the charitable organization and shall contain the following information:

(A)  The name under which the charitable organization intends to solicit contributions;
(B)  The names and addresses of officers, directors, trustees, and executive personnel and, in the case of a state-wide parent organization, the communities in which the chapters, branches, or affiliates are located and their directors;
(C)  The names and addresses of any fundraising counsel or paid solicitor who acts or will act on behalf of the charitable organization, together with a statement setting forth the terms of the arrangements for salaries, bonuses, commissions, or other remuneration to be paid to the fundraising counsel or paid solicitor;
(D)  The general purposes for which the charitable organization is organized;
(E)  The purposes for which the contributions to be solicited will be used;
(F)  The period of time during which the solicitation will be made;
(G)  The method of solicitation; and
(H)  Such other information as the Secretary of State may require.

(3)  There shall be filed with such application an irrevocable written consent of the applicant to the service of process upon the Secretary of State in actions against such applicant in the manner and form provided in Code Section 43-17-18.

(4)  There shall be filed with such application a financial statement of the charitable organization or a consolidated financial statement of the charitable organization and its subsidiaries as of a date within one year prior to the filing of the registration statement. If the charitable organization has received or collected more than $1 million during its preceding fiscal year, the financial statement shall be prepared by an independent certified public accountant and shall be a certified financial statement of the charitable organization or a certified consolidated financial statement of the charitable organization and its subsidiaries prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles as of a date within one year prior to the date of filing unless the last fiscal year of the charitable organization has ended within 90 days prior to the date of filing, in which case such certified financial statement may be as of the end of the fiscal year preceding such last fiscal year. If the charitable organization has received or collected more than $500,000.00 but not more than $1 million during its preceding fiscal year, the financial statement shall be reviewed by an independent certified public accountant and such certified public accountant's review report, prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles as of a date within one year prior to the date of filing, shall be filed with the financial statement. If the charitable organization has received or collected any charitable contributions during its preceding fiscal year, the financial statement shall have attached thereto a copy of the Form 990, Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax, or the Form 990EZ, Short Form Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax, which the organization filed for the previous taxable year pursuant to the United States Internal Revenue Code. In the event a charitable organization did not file a Form 990 or 990EZ, such charitable organization shall be required to file, with such financial statement, such form as may be prescribed by rule and regulation of the Secretary of State which requires information substantially similar to that required to be provided on Form 990 or 990EZ.

(5)  Every charitable organization registered with the Secretary of State shall file with the Secretary of State copies of any federal or state tax exemption determination letters received after the initial registration within 30 days after receipt and shall file any amendments to its organizational instrument within 30 days after adoption.

(6)  The Secretary of State may waive or extend the time period for the furnishing of any information required by this subsection and may require such additional information as to the previous history, records, or association of the applicant, general partners, limited partners, directors, affiliates, or executive officers or members in the case of a limited liability company as he or she may deem necessary to establish whether or not the applicant should be registered as a charitable organization under this chapter.

(7)  When an applicant has fully complied with this subsection, the Secretary of State shall register such applicant as a charitable organization unless he or she shall find that there are grounds for denial as provided in Code Section 43-17-7. When the Secretary of State has registered an applicant as a charitable organization, he or she shall immediately notify the applicant of such registration.

(8)  If the Secretary of State finds that there are sufficient grounds to deny the registration of the applicant as provided in Code Section 43-17-7, he or she shall issue an order refusing to register the applicant. The order shall state specifically the grounds for its issuance. A copy of the order shall be mailed to the applicant at its business address and to any paid solicitor who proposes to solicit contributions on behalf of the charitable organization.

(9)  Every registration under this Code section shall be valid for a period of 24 months from its date of effectiveness. The registration must be renewed on or before the expiration date by the submission of a renewal application containing the information required in an application for registration, to the extent that such information has not previously been included in an application or renewal application previously filed, by the payment of the proper fee, and by the filing of financial statements covering the periods since the most recent financial statement previously filed. If the charitable organization has received or collected more than $1 million during either of its two preceding fiscal years, the financial statements for the years with such revenue level shall be prepared by an independent certified public accountant and shall be a certified financial statement of the charitable organization or a certified consolidated financial statement of the charitable organization and its subsidiaries. If the charitable organization has received or collected more than $500,000.00 but not more than $1 million during either of its two preceding fiscal years, the financial statements for the years with such revenue level shall be reviewed by an independent certified public accountant and such certified public accountant's review report, prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. If the charitable organization has received or collected any charitable contributions during its preceding two fiscal years, the financial statements shall have attached thereto a copy of the Form 990, Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax, or the Form 990EZ, Short Form Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax, which the organization filed for the previous two taxable years pursuant to the United States Internal Revenue Code. In the event a charitable organization did not file a Form 990 or 990EZ, such charitable organization shall be required to file, with such financial statement, such form as may be prescribed by rule and regulation of the Secretary of State which requires information substantially similar to that required to be provided on Form 990 or 990EZ. Such financial statements shall be prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles and, if required to be certified, shall be certified by an independent public accountant duly registered and in good standing as such under the laws of the place of his or her residence or principal office.

(10)  The registration of a charitable organization shall be amended within 30 days to reflect a change of name, address, principals, state of incorporation, corporate forms (including a merger of two charitable organizations), or other changes which materially affect the business of the charitable organization. Such amendments shall be filed in a manner which the Secretary of State may prescribe by rule or regulation.

(c)  The fee for the initial registration of a charitable organization shall be $35.00. The fee for renewal of a charitable organization's registration shall be $20.00.

(d)  A charitable organization shall maintain for not less than three years a record of all contributions including, but not limited to, the name and address of each contributor giving $25.00 or more directly or indirectly to the charitable organization, the date and amount of the contribution, and the location and account number of all bank or other financial institution accounts in which the charitable organization has deposited contributions.

(e)  All records of charitable organizations which relate to charitable solicitations or charitable contributions are subject to such reasonable periodic, special, or other examinations by representatives of the Secretary of State, within or outside this state, as the Secretary of State deems necessary or appropriate in the public interest or for the protection of the public, provided that the Secretary of State shall not disclose this information except to the extent he or she deems reasonably necessary for investigative or law enforcement purposes.

(f)  A charitable organization shall maintain for not less than three years at an office located in Georgia or, if it has no office in Georgia, its principal office all records provided to it by any paid solicitor relating to any solicitation campaign. The charitable organization shall notify the Secretary of State of the address of the office at which such records are kept.

§ 43-17-6. Agreement for charitable sales promotion; final accounting and records of promotions

(a)  Every charitable organization which agrees to permit a charitable sales promotion to be conducted in its behalf shall obtain, prior to the commencement of the charitable sales promotion within this state, a written agreement from the commercial coventurer which shall be available to the Secretary of State upon request. The agreement shall be signed by an authorized representative of the charitable organization and the commercial coventurer and it shall include, at a minimum, the following:

(1)  The goods or services to be offered to the public;

(2)  The geographic area where, and the starting and final date when, the offering will be made;

(3)  The manner in which the charitable organization's name will be used, including the representation to be made to the public as to the actual or estimated dollar amount or percent per unit of goods or services purchased or used that will benefit the charitable organization;

(4)  If applicable, the maximum dollar amount that will benefit the charitable organization;

(5)  The estimated number of units of goods or services to be sold or used;

(6)  A provision for a final accounting on a per unit basis to be given by the commercial coventurer to the charitable organization and the date by which it will be made;

(7)  A statement that the charitable sales promotion is subject to the requirements of this chapter; and

(8)  The date by when, and the manner in which, the benefit will be conferred on the charitable organization.

(b)  The final accounting for the charitable sales promotion shall be kept by the commercial coventurer for three years after the final accounting date.

(c)  All records of charitable organizations and commercial coventurers pertaining to such sales promotion are subject to such reasonable periodic, special, or other examinations by representatives of the Secretary of State, within or outside this state, as the Secretary of State deems necessary or appropriate in the public interest or for the protection of the public, provided that the Secretary of State shall not disclose this information except to the extent necessary for investigative or law enforcement purposes.

§ 43-17-7. Denial, suspension, or revocation of registration; other disciplinary actions; financial statements

(a)  The Secretary of State, by order, may deny, suspend, or revoke a registration, limit the fundraising activities that an applicant or registered person may perform in this state, bar an applicant or registered person from association with a paid solicitor or charitable organization, or bar a person who is a partner, officer, director, or employee of, or a member of a limited liability company which is, an applicant or registered person from employment with a paid solicitor or charitable organization if the Secretary of State finds that the order is in the public interest and that the applicant, registered person, or such other person:

(1)  Has filed an application for registration with the Secretary of State which, as of its effective date or any date after filing in the case of an order denying effectiveness, was incomplete in a material respect or contained a statement that was, in light of the circumstances under which it was made, false or misleading with respect to a material fact;

(2)  Has willfully violated or failed to comply with this chapter, a prior enactment, or a rule promulgated by the Secretary of State under this chapter or a prior enactment;

(3)  Is the subject of an adjudication or determination, after notice and opportunity for hearing, within the last five years by a state or federal agency or a court of competent jurisdiction that the person has violated the charitable organizations regulatory act or the unfair and deceptive acts and practices law of any state, but only if the acts constituting the violation of that state's law would constitute a violation of this chapter had the acts occurred in this state;

(4)  Within the last ten years has been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor which the Secretary of State finds:

(A)  Involves the solicitation or acceptance of charitable contributions or the making of a false oath, the making of a false report, bribery, perjury, burglary, or conspiracy to commit any of the foregoing offenses;

(B)  Arises out of the conduct of solicitation of contributions for a charitable organization;

(C)  Involves the larceny, theft, robbery, extortion, forgery, counterfeiting, fraudulent concealment, embezzlement, fraudulent conversion, or misappropriation of funds;

(D)  Involves murder or rape; or

(E)  Involves assault or battery if such person proposes to be engaged in counseling, advising, housing, or sheltering individuals;

(5)  Is permanently or temporarily enjoined by a court of competent jurisdiction from acting as a charitable organization, paid solicitor, or as an affiliated person or employee of such;

(6)  Is the subject of an order of the Secretary of State denying, suspending, or revoking the person's registration as a charitable organization or paid solicitor;

(7)  Has violated a law or any rule or regulation of this state, any other state, the United States, or any other lawful authority (without regard to whether the violation is criminally punishable), which law or rule or regulation relates to or in part regulates charitable organizations or paid solicitors regulated under this chapter, when the charitable organization or paid solicitor knows or should know that such action is in violation of such law, rule, or regulation;

(8)  Has failed to pay the proper filing fee within 30 days after being notified by the Secretary of State of a deficiency, but the Secretary of State may provide for the reinstatement of the registration or the suspension of a fine or penalty at such time as the deficiency is corrected; or

(9)  Has failed to comply with a subpoena or order issued by the Secretary of State.

(b)  The Secretary of State may not begin a proceeding solely on the basis of a fact or transaction known to the Secretary of State when the registration became effective unless the proceeding is begun within 90 days after effectiveness of the registration.

(c)  If the Secretary of State finds that an applicant or registered person is no longer in existence; has ceased to do business as a paid solicitor or charitable organization; is adjudicated mentally incompetent or subjected to the control of a committee, conservator, or guardian; or cannot be located after reasonable search, the Secretary of State, by order, may deny the application or revoke the registration.

(d)  The Secretary of State may at any time require a charitable organization or paid solicitor to file with him a financial statement showing its financial condition as of the most recent practicable date, but such financial statement need not be certified.

§ 43-17-8. Disclosures required

(a)  Every charitable organization, paid solicitor, or solicitor agent required to be registered under this Code section, at the time of any solicitation that occurs in or from this state, shall include the following disclosures:

(1)  The name and location of the paid solicitor and solicitor agent, if any;

(2)  The name and location of the charitable organization for which the solicitation is being made;

(3)  That the following information will be sent upon request:

(A)  A full and fair description of the charitable program for which the solicitation campaign