171-a. Definitions. The following words and phrases as used in this article shall have the following meanings unless a different meaning is required by the context. 1. "Charitable organizations." Any benevolent, philanthropic, patriotic, or eleemosynary person or one purporting to be such or law enforcement support organization as defined in subdivision eleven of this section.
2. "Contribution." The promise or grant of any money or property of any kind or value, whether or not in combination with the sale of goods, services, entertainment or any other thing of value, including a grant or other financial assistance from any agency of government, except payments by members of any organization for membership, for services or other benefit, other than the right to vote for directors or trustees, elect officers, or hold offices.
3. "Person." Any individual, organization, group, association, partnership, corporation, or any combination of them.
4. "Professional fund raiser." Any person who directly or indirectly, by contract, including but not limited to sub-contract, letter or other agreement or other engagement on any basis, for compensation or other consideration (a) plans, manages, conducts, carries on, or assists in connection with a charitable solicitation or who employs or otherwise engages on any basis another person to solicit from persons in this state for or on behalf of any charitable organization or any other person, or who engages in the business of, or holds himself out to persons in this state as independently engaged in the business of soliciting for such purpose; (b) solicits on behalf of a charitable organization or any other person; or (c) who advertises that the purchase or use of goods, services, entertainment or any other thing of value will benefit a charitable organization but is not a commercial co-venturer. A bona fide director, trustee, officer, volunteer or employee of a charitable organization or fund raising counsel shall not be deemed a professional fund raiser.
5. "Professional solicitor." Any person who is employed or retained for compensation by a professional fund raiser to solicit contributions for charitable purposes or for the purposes of any law enforcement support organization from persons in this state.
6. "Commercial co-venturer." Any person who for profit is regularly and primarily engaged in trade or commerce other than in connection with the raising of funds or any other thing of value for a charitable organization and who advertises that the purchase or use of goods, services, entertainment, or any other thing of value will benefit a charitable organization.
7. "Secretary." The secretary of state.
8. "Membership." The collective body of any charitable organization comprised of persons having voting rights and other powers of governance.
9. "Fund raising counsel." Any person who for compensation consults with a charitable organization or who plans, manages, advises, or assists with respect to the solicitation in this state of contributions for or on behalf of a charitable organization, but who does not have access to contributions or other receipts from a solicitation or authority to pay expenses associated with a solicitation and who does not solicit. A bona fide officer, volunteer, or employee of a charitable organization or an attorney at law retained by a charitable organization or an individual engaged solely to draft applications for funding from a governmental agency or an entity exempt from taxation pursuant to section 501(c)(3) of the internal revenue code, shall not be deemed a fund raising counsel.
10. "Solicit." To directly or indirectly make a request for a contribution, whether express or implied, through any medium. A "solicitation" shall be deemed to have taken place whether or not a contribution is made. For purposes of this article, a "solicitation" or a "solicitation of contributions" includes any advertising which represents that the purchase or use of goods, services, entertainment or any other thing of value will benefit a charitable organization. Provided, however, that the printing and the mailing of a written solicitation for funds or any other thing of value to benefit a charitable organization shall not alone constitute soliciting on the part of persons who printed and mailed such solicitation if such persons do not otherwise solicit, receive or have access to contributions.
11. "Law enforcement support organization." Any organization, association, union or conference of or purporting to be of current or former law enforcement officers, including, without limitation, peace officers and police officers as defined in subdivisions thirty-three and thirty-four of section 1.20 of the criminal procedure law, sheriffs, deputy sheriffs, detectives, investigators or constables or any auxiliary or affiliate of such an organization, association, union or conference composed of one or more such organizations.
12. "Attorney general". The attorney general of the state of New York.
Last modified: February 3, 2019