Arkansas Charitable Solicitation Laws
Under Arkansas law, charitable organizations are required to register with the Attorney General and file annual reports with the Secretary of State. There is not a filing fee to register with the Attorney General or to file an annual report with the Secretary of State.
A charitable organization cannot solicit contributions from persons in Arkansas without registering and providing certain information to the Arkansas Attorney General by May 15 each year. Unless exempted from registration under the statute, a charity must register with the Attorney Generalís office and file annual reports to solicit charitable contributions in the state.
Although certain organizations are exempted from registering with the Attorney Generalís office, the organizations must apply for exemption by filing the applicable exemption form. The following organizations or persons can apply for exemption: religious organizations, educational institutions, political candidates and organizations, government organizations, nonprofit hospitals, charitable organizations that do not intend to receive contributions in excess of $25,000, or any person who benefits solely for the benefit of exempt organizations.
The Attorney General accepts registrations on the Charitable Organization Application for Registration Form, which can be accessed on the Attorney Generalís website. An initial registration must include an IRS determination letter or complete 1023 application, a copy of the Articles of Incorporation, a copy of the most recent 990 or annual report of charitable organization, an audit report prepared by a certified public account if revenue exceeds $500,000, and a copy of all fundraising contracts.
Charitable organizations must renew their registration each year by May 15. A registration renewal must include a copy of all fundraising contracts, most recent 990, an audit report if revenues exceed $500,000, and if applicable, any amendments to the articles of incorporation.
Charitable organizations are also required to submit an Annual Report to the Arkansas Secretary of State by August 1 each year. The report must include the name of the corporation, the corporationís jurisdiction, the name and address of the corporationís registered agent, address of the corporationís principal office, names of the corporationís principal officers, and names and addresses of the corporationís directors.
All paid solicitors must register with the Attorney General before engaging in any fundraising activities. A paid solicitor is a person who, for compensation, performs any services in connection with soliciting and controlling contributions. A bona-fide non-temporary employee is not a paid solicitor. Paid solicitors must pay a $200 registration fee, file a $10,000 bond with the Attorney General, and maintain for at least three years all records relating to any paid solicitation.
A telemarketer is any person employed for compensation by a paid solicitor to solicit contributions. Professional telemarketers must register with the Attorney General within 72 hours of becoming employed, pay a $10 registration fee, and renew their registration on an annual basis.
Fundraising counsel is any person who, for a flat fee or a fixed hourly rate, performs services in connection with soliciting contributions on behalf of a charitable organization. Fundraising counsel does not receive or control charitable contributions. Fundraising counsel must complete a registration application, pay a registration fee of $100, and renew its registration on an annual basis.
Prior to soliciting any funds, the solicitor must disclose the identity of the organization soliciting the funds and whether the solicitor is a volunteer or is a compensated solicitor. The solicitor must disclose his or her professional status at the time of solicitation. If asked, the solicitor must disclose the percent of the contributed funds that will be paid to the solicitor and what percentages will ultimately be retained by the charity. These requirements do not apply to bona-fide full time employees of the charitable organization.
Generally, a solicitor cannot make a misrepresentation, either express or implied, during the course of soliciting funds. The solicitor cannot represent that the organization is supported by the state or that the organization is supported by a person or other entity without receiving express permission to do so. A solicitor cannot solicit contributions on behalf of a corporation that is not registered with the attorney general.
Arkansas has not adopted the Charleston Principles. As a result, internet solicitations and solicitors will be subject to the same regulations and registration requirements as traditional solicitations and solicitors.