YOUR KINDLY OUTREACH TO OTHERS IN NEED
A FEW WORDS OF CAUTION
By Laura Fowler Attorney at Law
Editor’s Note: Friday, September 8, 2017, Laura Fowler will teach ‘Broker Responsibility’, a Texas Real Estate Commission six-hour course mandated for certain classes of real estate professionals. She will include in that course detailed information about how to help our flood and disaster victims accessing legitimate charitable and professional organizations who offer their services at no cost. To register for Broker Responsibility, go to: https://www.wcrealtors.org/ or call 512-255-6211.
An excellent free handbook on disaster relief is available at the Austin Bar Association. A Hurricane Harvey Legal Hotline will be manned by Austin areas lawyers to give advice at no charge and walk in legal clinics. See times and locations at: http://www.austinbar.org/
Our hearts and prayers go out to those harmed by Hurricane Harvey. Whether you are a noble volunteer or an even more heroic organizer/ administrator of a charity, the following words of caution are intended to help you give your time and resources without worrying about liability.
If you propose to associate with a non-profit organization to perform volunteer services or make a gift, make certain you know who you are dealing with. Most charitable organizations are wonderful; some are fiends and thieves! If the charity has no filing at Texas Secretary of State or IRS Charitable Navigator, it is at best an association of well intended citizens; you should exercise greater care.
See: http://www.sos.state.tx.us/corp/sosda/; https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/exempt-organizations-select-check
If the organization with which you choose to associate, whether you give your time or a gift, is a duly filed and qualified 501(c) non-profit charitable organization, when you act as an employee or volunteer, you enjoy substantially enhanced defenses to liability only if your organization has a policy of charitable liability insurance in the amount of $1, 000,000.00.
See: Texas Civil Practices and Remedies CHARITABLE IMMUNITY AND LIABILITY Section 84.01 http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/CP/htm/CP.84.htm.
While there are many twists and turns in this law, well managed Texas nonprofit organizations and associations carry this very affordable form of insurance. We thank you for your every kindly gesture towards those less fortunate and in need.
About The Fowler Law Firm PC: Attorneys with The Fowler Law Firm PC proudly donate their talents and resources to many area charities. See: https://thefowlerlawfirm.com/giving-back/
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