Company Fined $720K for Fundraising Tactics for State Troopers

News release from Secretary of State’s office:
The Tennessee Division of Charitable Solicitations and Gaming has assessed $720,000 in civil penalties against Xentel, Inc., a Florida-based professional fundraising company, for failing to properly disclose its status in phone calls to Tennessee residents prior to requesting that they donate to the American Association of State Troopers.
The division’s investigators documented 144 cases between July 1 and Aug. 15 in which Xentel representatives violated the Tennessee Charitable Solicitations Act, which requires professional fundraising organizations to clearly and conspicuously disclose that they are raising money on behalf of a charitable organization. Organizations that violate the law are subject to a civil penalty of $5,000 for each violation.
Todd Kelley, director of the Division of Charitable Solicitations and Gaming, stated that “based on the calls we reviewed, it is clear that Xentel, in the vast majority of those calls, attempted to lead those who were called to believe that the solicitation was being done by the charity itself, rather than by a professional fundraiser.”
Xentel was notified of the violations this week.
The Division of Charitable Solicitations and Gaming is part of the Office of the Secretary of State.
“It is vital for groups involved in charitable fundraising to be very open and forthright about what they are doing,” Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. “Openness requires that they make it clear who is raising money. If a professional fundraiser is involved, potential donors have a right to ask how much of the money they donate will go to the charitable organization and how much will go the professional fundraiser. That information may well affect some decisions about whether or not to give.”
Information about organizations registered to solicit contributions in Tennessee is available at:
To report potentially fraudulent or misleading activities by a charitable organization or professional fundraiser, contact the Division of Charitable Solicitations and Gaming at (615) 741-2555 or local law enforcement authorities.

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