by Laura S. Fowler, Kathryn L. Turpin, and John G. Pearce JD/CPA
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Dear Readers: Well… It’s summertime. Let’s have a little fun! Each week this summer, The Fowler Law Firm will send you an Electronic Alert like this one, designed to do two equally important things: (1) Inform you about a challenge many others like you regularly ask that costs them money or forfeits an opportunity; and (2) Showcase the skills and resources of The Fowler Law Firm PC in our award-winning Practice Sections.
Reply to this Electronic Alert to ask a question or make a comment in strictest confidence. Have a great Summer of 2016!
One member of your all-volunteer fundraising team created the most gorgeous digital animated image, website and mobile app to promote your upcoming scholarship fundraiser. Your scholarship foundation efforts were so successful, you raised over $100,000.00. Now the animator claims the right to use the image at an unrelated website to promote their business, which is a sales organization. What do you do?
- Laugh a lot: Getty Images or Sony probably owns the image which your greedy volunteer copied and they are in Big Trouble now.
- Worry a lot: Regardless of who owns the image, the sales organization of the volunteer is not well respected and your fund raising efforts may be severely harmed by this development?
- Ragefully retain Legal Counsel to write a Cease and Desist letter to the Animator using some of the funds just raised by the Scholarship Foundation.
- All of the above.
The Correct Answer Is… You have a nightmare of a problem. Sort this out before you start any marketing campaign, whether the images and text were created for charitable or for traditional purposes. A simple one-page letter should be signed by anyone who will have anything to do with the creation of an image, catchy title, slogan, the website, codes, mobile apps, or anything else distinctive enough ever to be associated with your fundraiser. Anyone who won’t sign that is not a volunteer—they are a vampire!
In your every fundraising adventure, we wish you the very best!