You are here

Do UFO claims meet standards for solicitation?

Your Legal Questions Answered

Do UFO claims meet standards for solicitation?

Are there standards for solicitation materials used by organizations with a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status? I'm concerned about a particular organization that insists the U.S. government is covering up the existence of UFOs, and part of the material they use to solicit donations has been repeatedly challenged and disproved. Can they get away with this?

Charitable solicitation is a form of speech protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution, and people are allowed to solicit for their cause, no matter how wrong, unpopular, or just plain crazy it may seem to others. People have a right to disbelieve “proof” offered by others. We see it played out in politics every day.
States have prohibitions on fraud and misrepresentation in solicitation, but prosecutions tend to focus on misrepresentations about the use of funds, such as saying the entire contribution will go to a charity when the professional solicitor is taking a hefty percentage. It takes a lot to prove knowing deceit, and in matters of opinion, there is not likely to be a prosecution. We tend to believe that you counter bad speech with good speech.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Add new comment

Sign-up for our weekly Q&A; get a free report on electioneering