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Giving Back: Tips For Businesses

motor vehicles


Sometimes a business will be asked to display candy machines, honor boxes, wishing wells, or donation canisters to raise money for a cause. Whatever the device, it will be owned and serviced by someone other than you or your employees, receive currency from your customers and communicate an implicit stamp of approval from you and your business.

Generally, there are three common arrangements in which the device is owned and serviced by:

  • Employees or volunteers of a charitable organization. In this case the net profits go to the charity.

  • A private operator who has entered into a contract with a nonprofit organization. These operators must register with the Attorney General's office and the percentage to be paid to the nonprofit organization must be prominently disclosed on the device.

  • A private commercial operator that does not donate proceeds to a nonprofit organization. The operator may have permission to use the nonprofit organization's name in exchange for a one-time or periodic royalty payment or the opportunity to place a program service message on the device. The operator is not required to register with the Attorney General’s office but the device must include a prominent statement such as "all proceeds go to the unit owner".

If you are considering the placement of a collection device at your place of business, know who you are dealing with. If the device is not operated by employees or volunteers of the organization itself, request a copy of the contract or letter of agreement before you agree to let them set up shop.

If you have questions or concerns about a solicitation, please file a complaint online or call DOJ’s Charitable Activities Section at (971) 673-1880.

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