Political and Non-Profit Risk under the TCPA
Political and non-profit risk under the TCPA has few exceptions. Calls to landline numbers are generally exempt from the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)’s do-not-call rules (with some exceptions). However, the TCPA limits the use of autodialed calls, texts and prerecorded voice messages (“robocalls”) to wireless numbers. The cost of a single TCPA violation can be up to $1,500. Which is why it is crucial to identify wireless numbers in your data and remove known litigators before beginning your campaign. Experienced TCPA litigants will pounce on any opportunity to bring forth class action litigation, no matter who you are or what you represent.
If you are calling a landline phone number as part of a non-profit or political campaign, you do not need consent. However, if you are calling or texting a wireless number using an autodialer, prior express consent is required, even if the calls are purely informational. Additionally, no calls or texts may be made to protected phone lines such as emergency or toll-free lines without the called party’s prior express consent.
If a for-profit organization is making calls or texts on behalf of a non-profit or political campaign and the calls or texts are not substantially related, they would be subject to TCPA law. Additionally, if there is a commercial message as any part of the communication, even if it also contains a charitable or political purpose, it is considered “telephone solicitation” under the TCPA.
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