The Department of Justice (DOJ) Charitable Activities Section supervises and regulates the activities of charitable organizations in Oregon. The section has several different program areas and responsibilities. For more information on a particular topic, click on one of the links below:
How to Contact the Charitable Activities Section
Charities and donors can find forms and other information by clicking on the links above. You can also reach the Section by phone at 971-673-1880 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Section is located at 1515 SW 5th Ave., #410, Portland, OR 97201-5614.
Additional Background about the Charitable Activities Section
The Charitable Activities Section oversees charitable organizations and their assets in Oregon. Its duties include registering charities and professional fundraising firms; issuing licenses related to nonprofit gaming; and investigating and taking legal action to enforce violations of state law governing charitable organizations.
Charitable Registration & Reporting
One of the primary functions of the Charitable Activities Section is to maintain a registry of charitable organizations. Charitable organizations that solicit funds, hold assets, or otherwise do business in Oregon are required to register with the Section. Once registered, charities are required to file annual financial reports. The Section maintains roughly 18,000 files on charities operating in Oregon. These files are available to the public. Members of the public can search an online database of organizations registered with the Section and can obtain copies of charities’ annual reports and other registration information by calling 971-673-1880.
Professional Fundraiser Registration and Reporting
Any individual or company that is paid to solicit donations on behalf of a nonprofit organization or charitable cause must register with the Charitable Activities Section, with the limited exception of paid employees of the nonprofit. Commercial and professional fundraising firms on contract with nonprofit organizations must also file campaign notices and financial reports with the Section. If you are uncertain whether you must register as a fundraiser with the Department of Justice, please call 971-673-1880 and ask for the Professional Fundraising Registrar.
Nonprofit Gaming Regulation
The Charitable Activities Section is responsible for regulating nonprofit gaming and administering laws that allow nonprofit tax exempt organizations to use bingo, raffle and Monte Carlo event gaming as a means of raising funds for their programs. In addition to screening applicants for licenses, the Section ensures compliance with operating rules.
Investigation & Enforcement
The Section investigates and takes legal action in matters involving misuse of charitable assets, misleading charitable solicitations and breaches of fiduciary duties by officers, directors and trustees of charities. These investigations derive from a variety of sources, including financial reports filed with DOJ, whistleblower complaints and information from outside sources.
Nonprofit Complaint Review
Individuals wishing to file a complaint about a charitable organization or solicitation may do so by completing our online complaint form or by mailing a completed form or letter to the Department of Justice at 1515 SW 5th Ave., # 410, Portland, OR 97201-5614.
Charitable Asset Supervision
The Charitable Activities Section exercises the Attorney General’s statutory and common law authority over charitable assets. Under the Uniform Trust Code, the Oregon Nonprofit Corporations Act, the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act, and other applicable law, charitable fiduciaries are required to provide advance notice to the Attorney General of certain transactions or court proceedings relating to charitable assets.
For example, the Attorney General is entitled to advance notice of any proposed modification of the terms of a charitable trust or restricted gift. Nonprofit hospitals also must obtain the Attorney General’s approval before they may transfer their assets to unrelated organizations.
If you have questions about Cy Pres proceedings or similar matters, please contact the Charitable Activities Section for additional information.
Education & Outreach
The Charitable Activities Section carries out the Attorney General’s duty to protect and preserve the public’s interest in charitable organizations and their assets. The Section does so in part through educational efforts to help members of the nonprofit sector understand their legal obligations and donors understand how to make informed giving decisions.