Know This Before Launching a Charitable Promotion by @ThallenESQ

charitable promotions

by Thallen Brassel | Featured Contributor

During the holiday season, it is quite popular for businesses and brands to team up with their favorite charities. Usually, the brands promote a special product or service in the charity’s name and then donate proceeds to the cause.  This is a great way to build good press and goodwill for your business while helping those in need.

Unfortunately, the legal aspects of these promotions are often overlooked, leaving both the charity and business exposed to unintended consequences.  Before launching your promotion, make sure you are familiar with any federal or state nonprofit requirements relating to charitable solicitations, and that you have an agreement in place to deal with your “commercial co-venture” (i.e., the joint relationship between a charitable organization and a for-profit business).

Taking these steps can ensure that:

  1. The nonprofit is compliant with all charitable solicitation requirements (including registration, filing/reporting and fees);
  2. That the agreement between the parties clearly outlines the business deal and relationship between the business and charity (and clearly allows the charity to have control over the fundraising process); and
  3. That the arrangement does not jeopardize the charity’s nonprofit status.

There is way more than meets the eye to these popular arrangements, but now you’ll know to reach out for guidance before you launch a charitable promotion this holiday season!

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*This post should not be taken as legal advice.  Please seek the advice and/or counsel of your own attorney regarding any matters discussed here.


Thallen BrasselThallen Brassel is an attorney in the Nashville office of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP, where she concentrates her practice in business, tax and technology law.  She is an alumna of Vanderbilt University and Duke University School of Law, and before returning home to Tennessee, she began her legal career at a Wall Street law firm in New York City.

Thallen is also the creator of Life, Law and the Internet, a consumer’s blog that brings awareness to how the law and internet impact our daily lives.  Her current interests include the fast-paced sector of social media, marketing & advertising, and she has experience advising Fortune 500 companies on marketing campaigns, and compliance with federal and state regulations.

Thallen is also a wife and mom, and enjoys volunteering, traveling and chasing around her toddler son! Follow her on Twitter @ThallenEsq.

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