Often companies are blissfully unaware that their charitable sales promotion is a regulated activity and are surprised to learn that there are regulations they must comply with. However, states have an interest in protecting consumers from false and misleading advertising. They also have an interest in protecting charities from being exploited. Accordingly, at least 20 states regulate such cause marketing offers which are referred to interchangeably as commercial co-ventures or charitable sales promotions.
Generally, a commercial co-venturer is a person regularly and primarily engaged in commerce (other than in connection with raising funds for charities) who conducts a “charitable sales promotion.” Co-venturers are typically for-profit companies who engage in charitable sales promotions. Approximately twenty-one jurisdictions regulate commercial co venturerers.