Parents on one of the teams in our nonprofit youth sports league have taken it upon themselves to do fundraising. They buy drinks, barbecue and other food to sell during the games. We have a snack hut so they are competing with the organization. But they also fail to provide any accounting. We have no idea where the funds are going or who is collecting or spending the money. Our board never authorized the practice. They say as team moms they are allowed to do any fundraising for the team if they want. Is this true?
Probably not. Assuming that they tell customers that the net proceeds will support the teams, it sounds like the sale includes a “charitable appeal” to support the kids. If you are in one of the 39 states or the District of Columbia that have charitable solicitation registration statutes, it is probably against the law to solicit for the benefit of a charity without the prior written consent of that charity. Simply because they are parents does not mean that they can solicit on your behalf without your consent. This rule normally applies even if your league is not required to register itself to solicit. The prohibited activities sections of registration laws normally apply to charitable organizations and other persons even if the organizations are exempt from registration.
Even if not covered by a registration statute, you may have a claim against them for posing as your agent in the fundraising. Or if you want to cause them some regulatory problems, you might check out whether they are complying with all local health regulations in serving food.
I assume you don’t want a real confrontation, however. I assume you would rather talk with them directly to see if you can work together to raise as much as you can for the teams. After all, barbecue may be a lot more popular than plain old hot dogs and hamburgers.
It looks like the "Moms" and the Board of the non-profit need to sit down and figure out a way to keep real accounting of monies spent and taken in. The charity is for Youth Sports League, not for one team, so the Moms are raising money for their own team and making it seem as if it's for the non-profit organization.
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