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Legal considerations abound when considering a cause marketing partnership between company and nonprofit. In 2012, the New York Attorney General took the unusual step of issuing a set of best practice guidelines for cause marketers. Do you know how these guidelines will impact your programs?
**60-minute Recorded Webinar** What New York's Cause Marketing Guidelines Mean for You - FREE for CMF Members or $99
General Legal Considerations and Resources
There are often legal implications and considerations when entering into a cause marketing arrangement. According to Ed Chansky of Greenberg Traurig, LLP, more than 40 states have charitable solicitation laws that generally define and regulate "commercial co-venturers," "fundraising counsel," "professional fund-raisers/paid solicitors," "solicitations" and "contributions".
For a thorough introduction to these concepts, read For Goodness Sake: Legal Regulation and Best Practices in the Field of Cause Marketing.
Also from Ed Chansky, here's a sample CCV contract.
Other Recommended Reading:
Considering Partnering with a Corporation? Legal Considerations (Great primer on UBIT and UBTI) by Mark Klimek and Jeremy Schirra of McDonald Hopkins, LLC
A Legal Guide to Corporate Philanthropy by David Shevlin of Simpson Thatcher
Corporate Sponsorship: Frequently Asked Questions by Adler and Colvin
Regulations and Standards
The BBB Wise Giving Alliance Standards for Charity Accountability were developed to assist donors in making sound giving decisions and to foster public confidence in charitable organizations. The standards seek to encourage fair and honest solicitation practices, to promote ethical conduct by charitable organizations and to advance support of philanthropy.
Clearly disclose how the charity benefits from the sale of products or services (i.e., cause-related marketing) that state or imply that a charity will benefit from a consumer sale or transaction. Such promotions should disclose, at the point of solicitation:
a) the actual or anticipated portion of the purchase price that will benefit the charity (e.g., 5 cents will be contributed to abc charity for every xyz company product sold),
b) the duration of the campaign (e.g., the month of October),
c) any maximum or guaranteed minimum contribution amount (e.g., up to a maximum of $200,000).
Are the guidelines recently issued by New York’s attorney general a game-changing development for cause marketers? Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation have already signed on to comply – what should your business or nonprofit organization do? Are other states likely to follow suit? We’ve assembled three of cause marketing’s leading legal minds to answer those questions and more: Ed Chansky of Greenberg Traurig, Karen Wu of Perlman & Perlman and Kristalyn Loson of Venable. Free to CMF Members, $99 for non-members. Click to purchase.
Contemporary Cause Marketing Legal Issues