Community Support must also pay $20,000
Oregon Attorney General John Kroger today announced an agreement with Community Support, Inc. to resolve allegations arising from the large national telemarketing firm's aggressive fundraising activity on behalf of numerous nonprofit organizations.
"Telemarketers that break the law are not welcome in Oregon," said Attorney General Kroger.
Today's agreement follows a lawsuit filed by the Department of Justice last May that accused Community Support of violating numerous provisions under Oregon consumer protection law and settlements it previously had reached with Oregon.
According to the 2010 complaint, Community Support employed an illegal and aggressive scheme to solicit donations in the name of several client organizations and failed to disclose its professional fundraising status to donors, despite retaining at least 80% of the money it raised on behalf of veterans' and other charitable organizations.
Community Support has long been associated with nonprofits that claim to benefit causes with widespread public appeal but devote a small fraction of revenues and donations to their charitable purpose. Those charities include the National Vietnam Veterans Foundation, Inc., United States Navy Veterans Association, Firefighters Support Foundation, Inc., Woman to Woman Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. and Cancer Center for Detection and Prevention.
To deter unscrupulous charities from preying on the good will of Oregon donors, Attorney General Kroger will ask the 2011 Legislature to pass a law that will use the tax code to fight charities that spend most of the money they raise on telemarketers, administration and executive salaries. The proposal will eliminate the Oregon tax deduction for donations to charities that spend less than 30 percent of the money they raise on the people they claim to support.
The agreement filed today in Multnomah County Circuit Court permanently bars Community Support from soliciting donations in the State of Oregon and requires the company to pay $20,000 to the Oregon Department of Justice.
Attorney General John Kroger leads the Oregon Department of Justice. The Department's mission is to fight crime and fraud, protect the environment, improve child welfare, promote a positive business climate, and defend the rights of all Oregonians.
Tony Green, (503) 378-6002 firstname.lastname@example.org