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October 23, 2014

S.C. Fines Fundraising Firm $1-Million for Charity Pitches

South Carolina's secretary of state has levied a $1.054-million fine on a commercial fundraiser for "numerous violations" of the state's law on charity solicitations, WIS television of Columbia, S.C., reports. Authorities said callers for Minnesota-based Strategic Fundraising did not disclose to prospective donors in South Carolina that they were paid solicitors, did not give the locations of client charities, and misrepresented the share of donations going to mission programs.

The citations involved robo-calls on behalf of multiple nonprofits in June 2014. "This wasn't a situation in which an individual caller made a mistake and went off script - these disclosure violations were a result of deliberate choices" by the company, Secretary of State Mark Hammond said. Strategic Fundraising received violation notices in 2007, 2008, and 2009 and entered into an agreement with South Carolina in 2009 to comply with state solicitation laws.