Section 1716.07 | Professional solicitors.
(A) No professional solicitor shall engage in any solicitation unless it has complied with the requirements of this chapter and any rules adopted under this chapter.
(B) Every professional solicitor, before engaging in any solicitation, shall register with the attorney general. Applications for registration or renewal of registration shall be in writing, under oath, and in the form prescribed by the attorney general, and shall be accompanied by a fee in the amount of two hundred dollars. Any corporation, partnership, association, or other entity that intends to act as a professional solicitor may register for and pay a single fee of two hundred dollars on behalf of all its members, officers, employees, agents, and solicitors. In that case, the names and addresses of all the officers, employees, and agents of the professional solicitor and all other persons with whom the professional solicitor has contracted to work under its direction, including solicitors, shall be listed in the application or furnished to the attorney general within five days of the date of employment or contractual arrangement. The application shall contain any other information that the attorney general may require. The registration shall be for a period of one year or part of one year and shall expire on the thirty-first day of March of each year. Upon application and payment of the fee specified in this division and filing of the bond prescribed in division (C) of this section, the registration may be renewed for additional one-year periods. All fees prescribed in this division shall be paid into the state treasury to the credit of the charitable law fund established under section 109.32 of the Revised Code.
(C) At the time of making an application for registration or renewal of registration, the professional solicitor shall file with and have approved by the attorney general a bond in which the professional solicitor shall be the principal obligor, in the sum of twenty-five thousand dollars, with one or more sureties authorized to do business in this state. The professional solicitor shall maintain the bond in effect as long as the registration is in effect; however, the liability of the surety under the bond shall not exceed an all-time aggregate liability of twenty-five thousand dollars. The bond, which may be in the form of a rider to a larger blanket liability bond, shall run to the state and to any person who may have a cause of action against the principal obligor of the bond for any liability arising out of a violation by the obligor of any provision of this chapter or any rule adopted pursuant to this chapter.
(D)(1) Prior to the commencement of any solicitation, the professional solicitor shall file all of the following with the attorney general:
(a) A completed document called "Solicitation Notice" upon a form prescribed by the attorney general and containing all of the information specified in division (D)(2) of this section;
(b) A copy of the contract described in division (A) of section 1716.08 of the Revised Code;
(c) A sworn statement by the charitable organization on whose behalf the professional solicitor is acting certifying that the solicitation notice and any accompanying material are true and correct to the best of its knowledge.
(2) The solicitation notice shall include all of the following:
(a) The fund-raising methods to be used;
(b) The projected dates when the solicitation will commence and terminate;
(c) The location and telephone number from where the solicitation will be conducted if it will be conducted by telephone;
(d) The name and residence address of each person responsible for directing and supervising the conduct of the solicitation campaign;
(e) A statement of whether the professional solicitor will at any time have custody of any contributions;
(f) A full and fair description of the charitable program for which the solicitation campaign is being carried out;
(g) The written and signed consent of every charitable organization on whose behalf the professional solicitor will be soliciting contributions or whose name will be mentioned during the solicitation.
(E) Not later than ninety 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 professional solicitor shall provide to the charitable organization and file with the attorney general a financial report of the campaign, including the gross revenue received and an itemization of all expenses incurred. The report shall be completed on a form prescribed by the attorney general and signed by an authorized official of the professional solicitor who shall certify under oath that the report is true and correct.
(F) Each contribution collected by or in the custody of the professional solicitor shall be solely in the name of the charitable organization on whose behalf the contribution was solicited. Not later than two days after receipt of each contribution, the professional solicitor shall deposit the entire amount of the contribution in an account at a bank or other federally insured financial institution, which shall be in the name of that charitable organization. The charitable organization shall have sole control of all withdrawals from the account and the professional solicitor shall not be given the authority to withdraw any deposited funds from the account.
(G)(1) During each solicitation campaign and for not less than three years after its completion, the professional solicitor shall maintain the following records:
(a) The name and, if known to the professional solicitor, the address and telephone number of each contributor and the date and amount of the contribution, provided that the attorney general shall not disclose that information except to the extent necessary for investigative or law enforcement purposes;
(b) The name and residence address of each employee, agent, and any other person, however designated, who is involved in the solicitation, the amount of compensation paid to each, and the dates on which the payments were made;
(c) A record of all contributions that at any time are in the custody of the professional solicitor;
(d) A record of all expenses incurred by the professional solicitor for the payment of which the professional solicitor is liable;
(e) A record of all expenses incurred by the professional solicitor for the payment of which the charitable organization is liable;
(f) The location of each bank or financial institution in which the professional solicitor has deposited revenue from the solicitation campaign and the account number of each account in which the deposits were made;
(g) A copy of each pitch sheet or solicitation script used during the solicitation campaign;
(h) If a refund of a contribution has been requested, the name and address of each person requesting the refund, and if a refund was made, its amount and the date it was made.
(i) Any other record of such information as the attorney general may require.
(2) If the professional solicitor sells tickets to any event and represents that the tickets will be donated for use by another person, the professional solicitor also shall maintain for the same period as specified in division (G)(1) of this section the following records:
(a) The name and address of each contributor that purchases or donates tickets and the number of tickets purchased or donated by the contributor;
(b) The name and address of each organization that receives the donated tickets for the use of others, and the number of tickets received by the organization.
(3) Any of the records described in divisions (G)(1) and (2) of this section shall be made available to the attorney general upon the attorney general's request and shall be furnished to the attorney general within ten days of the request.
(H) Unless otherwise provided in this section or section 1716.08 of the Revised Code, any change in any information filed with the attorney general pursuant to this section and section 1716.08 of the Revised Code shall be reported in writing to the attorney general within seven days after the change occurs.
(I) No person shall serve as a professional solicitor, or be a member, officer, employee, or agent of any professional solicitor, who has been convicted in the last five years of either of the following:
(1) Any violation of this chapter or any rule adopted under this chapter, or of any charitable solicitation legislation or regulation of a political subdivision of this state or charitable solicitation law of any other jurisdiction that is similar to this chapter;
(2) A felony in this or another state.
(J) If a professional solicitor fails to comply in a timely or complete manner with any of the requirements under this section, the professional solicitor is liable for and, in addition to any fee required in this section, shall pay two hundred dollars for each late filing. Each registration, renewal of registration, bond, solicitation notice, contract, sworn statement, or financial report shall be considered a separate filing for the purposes of this section. Any fees required by this section are in addition to, and not in place of, penalties prescribed in this chapter.
Last updated May 3, 2021 at 12:32 PM