Updated forms are available for download and are required with filings received by the Registry on or after January 1, 2022. Significant changes and important reminders include:
Note: Please expect 30-90 days to process filings (forms and/or supporting documentation) from the date received. We will reply, if necessary. Please check the Registry Verification Search tool for updates.
A commercial fundraiser is a type of professional fundraiser. A commercial fundraiser can be a person, corporation, or unincorporated association who is paid by a charity to solicit money or property on the charity's behalf. The commercial fundraiser may solicit donations through various means, such as: direct mail, telephone, email or internet platform, auction at charity events, event ticket sales, vehicle donation, or thrift store operation. Commercial fundraisers may be paid either a flat fee or a percentage of the donations collected in the charity's name.
By law, the California Attorney General oversees the activities of commercial fundraisers. A commercial fundraiser that operates in California must do all of the following:
Charitable organizations and commercial fundraisers are subject to specific legal obligations, and are prohibited from engaging in certain practices as set forth in statutes. (Government Code, sections 12599 and 12599.6.) Some of the more notable requirements are as follows:
The failure to comply with registration, renewal and filing requirements, and the prohibitions and other requirements set out in Government Code sections 12599 and 12599.6, may lead to the filing of civil litigation or administrative enforcement action and subject the commercial fundraiser to civil penalties and other orders as provided in Government Code sections 12591.1, 12598, subdivision (e)(1), and 12599, subdivision (f). Please review California Law on Supervision of Trustees and Fundraisers for Charitable Purposes.
Registration is required before soliciting any funds in California for charitable purposes, or before January 15th of each year.
Yes. A commercial fundraiser must file an annual financial report for each campaign conducted for each charity during a calendar year. The report must be signed both by the commercial fundraiser and charity officials.
Annual financial reports must be filed by January 30th of each year.
Under Government Code section 12586.1, in addition to a registration fee, a commercial fundraiser may be assessed a late fee of twenty-five dollars ($25) for each month or part of the month after the date on which the registration statement or financial report were due to be filed if:
The Attorney General has the option of imposing penalties instead of late fees under Government Code section 12591.1.
The written contract must contain or state:
For more detailed information about the mandatory contract requirements, see Government Code sections 12599, subdivision (i) and 12599.3.
No, a copy of the contract does not need to be submitted unless specifically requested by the Attorney General's Office.
Yes. Charitable organizations have the right to cancel a contract if any of the following applies:
[See Government Code sections 12599.3]
Under Government Code section 12599, commercial fundraisers for charitable purposes are required to file a notice of intent to solicit for charitable purposes, not less than 10 working days before the start of each solicitation campaign, event or service. For campaigns to aid victims of emergency hardship or disasters, the notice must be filed not later than at the start of solicitation.
See Form CT-10CF, Notice of Intent to Solicit for Charitable Purposes, available for download on this webpage.
No, it can only solicit on behalf of a charitable organization that is registered or exempt from registration with the Attorney General's Registry of Charitable Trusts. To verify if the charitable organization is registered or exempt, please use the Registry's Verification Search tool.
The following acts are prohibited:
[See Government Code sections 12599, 12599.6]
Commercial fundraisers must keep records for at least 10 years following each solicitation campaign, and the records must contain:
[See Government Code sections 12599.7]