TN SOS Imposes Civil Penalty on GA-Based Charity for Misleading Fundraising

Press release from the Office of Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett; December 22, 2014:

A civil penalty of $45,000 has been imposed against NSPIRE Outreach, a Georgia-based organization also known as Hope House or Hope for Domestic Violence, for soliciting contributions using false or misleading practices.

Specifically, the group has falsely represented that it works with other organizations with which it has no affiliation.  Additionally, numerous individuals have filed complaints with the Division of Charitable Solicitations and Gaming because they continued to receive calls requesting donations even after requesting to be removed from the group’s call list.

“It’s very important for charitable organizations not to misrepresent themselves when dealing with potential donors,” Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. “They should be who they say they are and deliver the services they promise to deliver. Also, if people request that they not receive further solicitations, those requests should be honored.”

Brent Culberson, director of the Division of Charitable Solicitations and Gaming in the Secretary of State’s office, informed Gregg Kennard, executive director of NSPIRE, of the penalty via a letter.

The Division of Charitable Solicitations and Gaming oversees enforcement of the Tennessee Charitable Solicitations Act. If you learn about solicitations that seem false or misleading or have concerns about the solicitation practices of a nonprofit, contact the office at (615) 741-2555 or 1-800-861-7393.