Working with Commercial Co-Venturers 

Commercial Agreements for Charities

Charitable sales promotions are a great way to raise funds. And commercial co-venturers can make it happen. Increasingly, nonprofits and corporations are partnering on campaigns that benefit charitable fundraising through the purchase or use of goods and services.

Our Goal is to Make Your Commercial Co-Ventures Profitable and Risk-Free.

That means assisting you with all necessary contracts (contract development and review) and annual financial reports to meet state charitable solicitation requirements. And because compliance does vary from state to state, we help you stay current with laws and prepare new and renewal forms for your fundraising registration. We also provide legal services to many for-profit entities that contract with charitable organizations.

Interested in learning more? Our monthly Fundraising & Nonprofit Report delivers the latest updates on important legal issues related to fundraising and nonprofit organizations.

Commercial Co-Venturer Defined

A commercial co-venturer is any person or firm who for profit regularly conducts a charitable sales promotion or underwrites, arranges or sponsors a sale, performance or event of any kind which is advertised to benefit a charitable organization.

Commercial co-ventures have become a popular way for consumer products and services companies to support charitable causes while generating commercial goodwill.

What to Ask of a Potential Commercial Co-Venturer:

The law involving commercial co-ventures is still emerging. Twenty-two states currently have laws governing the conduct of commercial co-venturers through registration filing or some other sort of registration requirement. Several states mandate that a copy of the contract between the organization and the commercial co-venturer must contain a number of specific provisions. Wherever an appeal is communicated, the commercial interest is deemed to be a fiduciary, subject to accountability to any state in which the appeal is made whether registration is required or not.

The bottom line: if your commercial co-venturer is planning to run any charitable sales promotion, they need to be registered. Several states require registration prior to the beginning of a campaign. Failure to register in a timely fashion can lead to significant fines, even criminal penalties.