If the charitable organization engages a professional fundraiser (Professional Solicitor, Fund-raising Counsel, Commercial Co-venturer), there are several things to keep in mind before, during and after executing a fundraising contract:
1. Is the professional fundraiser reputable? Request references.
2. Is the professional fundraiser registered with the states where the charitable organization will be or is soliciting using their services? Request a state list with registration numbers and due dates.
3. Does the fundraising contract meet all the requirements of the states in which it will be filed? (e.g. indicates the full legal name of the charity)
4. Are the proper disclosures contained in the script and written solicitation materials? Exercise proper review of these materials for compliance.
5. Is the relationship disclosed on the appropriate state applications? Take care not to disclose the professional fundraiser in a state it is not required to register with or is not providing services in.
6. Was a copy of the contract submitted to said states by the charity and professional fundraiser? Most states require an executed copy of the fundraising agreement.
7. Does the charity and professional fundraiser communicate with each other regarding their respective registration status prior to a campaign during the contract period? Maintain communication around status with the states especially when the registration is not on extension and/or has expired.
8. At the end of the contract term, the professional fundraiser is required to submit financial information where applicable. Confirm that the charity agrees with the figures during the reported period.
9. At the end of the contract term, will the organization renew the agreement? Consider checking out other vendors.
10. Did the contract terminate before the end of term date? The professional fundraiser should notify the states and submit the appropriate financial forms, if applicable.