Bins for clothing, book donations may get identifiers of for-profit owner
Mothers Against Drunk Driving's logo appears on a donation collection bin. CMRK, a for-profit company that pays MADD for use of its logo, might soon add a notice telling donors the bins are owned by the company. (SHAWNE K. WICKHAM/Union Leader)
"We expressed our concerns that we didn't want to mislead the donating public, and he expressed a desire to work with us," said Anthony Blenkinsop, director of the charitable trusts unit.
"We just expressed our concern that we viewed it as potentially misleading to donors who felt they were donating to a nonprofit organization when he, in fact, is not a nonprofit organization," he said. "We thought there should be something on the bins to reflect the fact that these bins are, in fact, operated by a for-profit agency."
"We're working on wording to try to figure out what we have to do to be 110 percent in compliance with the rules and regulations of the New Hampshire charitable trusts division," he said. "We said, 'please help us to do what's right and what is correct, and help the organization in between.' "
The issue first arose last fall after a New Hampshire resident contacted the AG's Office to ask about the MADD boxes.
At that time, a spokesperson for MADD told the Sunday News the anti-drunk-driving organization has an agreement with CMRK that allows the company to post MADD's logo on the collection bins in exchange for an annual licensing fee of $10,000.
He said he has not made any profit from what he collects from boxes in New Hampshire. And he said he is losing several locations here because the lease contract is expiring.
Blenkinsop said his office is working on suggested language that would clarify the relationship between MADD and CMRK.
Blenkinsop said some states have passed laws regulating donation collection bins. He said it's too early to say whether legislation is needed here.
Blenkinsop said it's also incumbent upon the charities in such cases to make clear how much of what is collected is actually benefiting them. "I would hope any nonprofit entity would want to make sure the public is given information that allows them to make an informed choice," he said.
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