14-401.12. Soliciting charitable contributions by telephone.

(a) Any professional solicitor who solicits by telephone contributions for charitable purposes or in any way compensates another person to solicit by telephone contributions for charitable purposes shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. Any person compensated by a professional solicitor to solicit by telephone contributions for charitable purposes shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

(b) Definitions. - Unless a different meaning is required by the context, the following terms as used in this section have the meanings hereinafter respectively ascribed to them:

(1) "Charitable purpose" shall mean any charitable, benevolent, religious, philanthropic, environmental, public or social advocacy or eleemosynary purpose for religion, health, education, social welfare, art and humanities, civic and public interest.

(2) "Contribution" shall mean any promise, gift, devise or other grant for consideration or otherwise, of any money or property of any kind or value, including the promise to pay, which contribution is wholly or partly induced by a solicitation. The term "contribution" shall not include payments by members of an organization for membership fees, dues, fines or assessments, or for services rendered to individual members, if membership in such organization confers a bona fide right, privilege, professional standing, honor or other direct benefit, other than the right to vote, elect officers, or hold offices; nor any money, credit, financial assistance or property received from any governmental authority; nor any donation of blood or any anatomical gift made pursuant to the Revised Uniform Anatomical Gift Act. Reference to dollar amounts of "contributions" or "solicitations" in this section means, in the case of payments or promises to pay for merchandise or rights of any description, the value of the total amount paid or promised to be paid for such merchandise or rights, and not merely that portion of the purchase price to be applied to a charitable purpose.

(3) "Professional fund-raising counsel" shall mean any person who for a flat fixed fee under a written agreement plans, conducts, manages, carries on, or acts as a consultant, whether directly or indirectly, in connection with soliciting contributions for, or on behalf of any charitable organization but who actually solicits no contributions as a part of such services.

(4) "Professional solicitor" shall mean any person who, for a financial or other consideration, solicits contributions for or on behalf of a charitable organization, whether such solicitation is performed personally or through its agents, servants or employees specially employed by or for a charitable organization, who are engaged in the solicitation of contributions under the direction of such person; or a person who plans, conducts, manages, carries on, advises or acts as a consultant, whether directly or indirectly, to a charitable organization in connection with the solicitation of contributions but does not qualify as "professional fund-raising counsel" as defined in this section. A bona fide salaried officer or employee of a charitable organization maintaining a permanent establishment within the State or the bona fide salaried officer or employee of a parent organization certified as tax exempt shall not be deemed to be a professional solicitor.

(5) The words "solicit" and "solicitation" shall mean the request or appeal, directly or indirectly, for any contribution on the plea or representation that such contribution will be used for a charitable purpose. Solicitation as defined herein shall be deemed to occur when the request is made, at the place the request is received, whether or not the person making the same actually receives any contribution.

(c) A solicitation by telephone is presumed to be for a charitable purpose if the person making the solicitation states or implies that some other named person or organization, other than the professional solicitor or his employees, is a sponsor or endorser of the solicitation who will share in the proceeds that result from the telephone solicitation. (1981, c. 805, s. 1; 1993, c. 539, s. 281; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c); 2007-538, s. 8; 2011-284, s. 10.)