Under What Circumstances Will A Charity Turn Down Donations? [e216]

August 19, 2015

The guys close out the week by talking about the Houston based restaurant that failed to make a donation to a local food bank and latertried to rectify the situation by running an unapproved fundraiser.

Full Podcast Transcript

NASIR: All right. Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist to the business news. My name is Nasir Pasha and also joining us…

MATT: Is Matt Staub.

NASIR: Very good. We just got done with Restaurant Week a couple of weeks ago in Houston. When’s Restaurant Week in San Diego? I can’t remember.

MATT: There’s a full-blown restaurant week and then there is some sort of half restaurant week or something or a pre-restaurant week but it’s not really… I don’t know. But I never participated because I don’t eat desserts.

NASIR: Oh, yeah, it’s always like a three-course. I’m sure everyone’s aware. I usually go to restaurants during Restaurant Week but never order the fixed menu.

MATT: The prefixed? Yeah.

NASIR: It’s usually at least a three-course meal, right? Sometimes it’s five or what-have-you, depending on the restaurant you go to.

MATT: Yeah. Usually, you’re looking at an appetite… like, an appetizer/starter, an entrée, and a dessert. And so, I’m not a big appetizer fan. I don’t eat desserts – period. For me, it doesn’t really make sense.

NASIR: Period?

MATT: Yeah.

NASIR: I don’t eat desserts – question mark. I do eat desserts. Actually, it looks like San Diego Restaurant Week is coming in in a month. In fact, they have one month, seven days, two hours, thirty minutes, and four, three, two, one seconds.

MATT: By the time this episode comes out, it’ll be closer.

NASIR: Yeah. Why are we talking about this again?

MATT: We’re talking about it because, in your backyard, in Houston, have you been to the Sparrow Bar + Cookshop?

NASIR: No, it doesn’t sound like my cup of tea anyway.

MATT: Well, yeah, it does. I mean, you like cool, trendy places.

NASIR: I guess that’s true. I don’t like that it has a plus sign within the name. Like, how do you pronounce that? “Sparrow Bar plus Cookshop?” Just thinking about putting it into my Google to search for it or telling people, “Oh, meet us at…” I guess it’s just Sparrow and then it says Bar and Cookshop. Anyway…

MATT: It’s because you don’t like math so the plus sign, you’re confused.

NASIR: Yeah, there’s no equal sign. Where is the solution? If it gave me the solution, then I’d be fine.

MATT: Yeah. So, this Sparrow Bar + Cookshop put on or announced a $45.00 prefixed menu in August to help raise money for the Houston Food Bank. The only problem is this fell outside of the Houston Restaurant Week so people were thinking, “Well, that’s kind of weird. I mean, usually, we do this $45.00 prefix or whatever the prefix menu during Restaurant Week like everyone else does.” Then, people did some digging and found out that, back in 2013, there was supposed to be a donation made to the Houston Food Bank. There in fact was not a donation made so the belief was that this $45.00 prefix menu was to cover that donation from two years prior. Also, I guess there’s guidelines for the food bank and you can’t use a charity’s name without their permission and failing to disclose how much of the $45.00 will be donated – both of which SB+C failed to do, didn’t get permission, and did not disclose how much would be donated.

NASIR: What’s interesting is that, apparently, the person that wrote this article tried to get comment from the chef who apparently is some famous chef – or I don’t know if famous – she won Top Chef Masters Veteran, Monica Pope – it’s the person that owns it, I guess. But she was on vacation so she couldn’t comment. It’s hard to know exactly what happened here. All we know is that this Houston Food Bank didn’t actually receive any funds. By the way, Houston Restaurant Week is actually Houston Restaurant Weeks. Apparently, it lasts for like, I don’t know…

MATT: 52 weeks.

NASIR: It’s 52 weeks a year. That was a good one, actually.

MATT: Have you ever been to those sushi places where it’s like everything half off every single day? It’s like, well, if everything’s half off, then just put the prices down. I don’t get it.

NASIR: Yeah, there was this one sushi place – this was a while ago but by my house – they had the grand opening banner there forever and they just had a grand opening sale happy hour and it was just for weeks and months on end. By the time I moved, it was still up there. But, yeah, Houston Restaurant Weeks is from August 1st to September 7th so we’re actually still in it. But, yeah, how they found out was kind of strange because, on one hand, I kind of understand that maybe this was some kind of mishap, but the repercussions of this is pretty huge. Even if you forget to give donations like that, that can have some dire consequences because here you collect all this money and, for years now, you’ve kept it and not paid for it. This goes to other news stories we may have covered in the past where you’re representing that you’re going to provide some kind of charitable donation, a percentage of proceeds, and you’re using that marketing to do so and you don’t do it, I mean, if you don’t do it, especially if you don’t do it intentionally, it’s fraud – you know, plain and simple. If you don’t do it because you forget to, you still may run the risk of people thinking that you did it for fraud because it’s going to be hard for you to explain, “Oh, I forget to give X number of dollars times seven,” with the number of plates that you sold. You know, that’s not easy.

MATT: Well, yeah, and I guess the amount that was pledged in 2013 is undisclosed so we don’t know how much they would need to cover it. But, yeah, I mean, you can’t make this pledge to this food bank and then just completely ignore it. I mean, I’m assuming they’re trying to keep this much information in as possible so they don’t look even worse but, you know, it was a good move by the food bank to say, “Hey,” because they’re actually the ones that stepped in to say, “Stop doing this. If you guys can come even on what you owe us from 2013, okay, we can think about it, but we’re not going to let you use our name.” I think the reason behind it – someone might think, “Well, why would they do that? It’s free money.” But, obviously, it’s possible that they’re using the name of the Houston Food Bank to get people to show up and pay money when they normally wouldn’t – perhaps based on what’s happened before.

NASIR: Absolutely. My wife and I had this exact same discussion about Restaurant Week in general because, you know, it tends to be more crowded and then you have this price fixed menu of things that you may not want or, like you said, you don’t eat desserts. But then, she’s like, “Well, but a portion goes to charity and, if you’re spending that money anyway and you’re going out to dinner, sometimes, it’s actually…” I think for this case it was seven out of $45.00 but I think there are some restaurants that’d give even a bigger percentage than that. So, definitely, they get a benefit from being a part of this Houston Restaurant Week and donating that. But you know what’s really strange, Matt? Did you see the response when basically it spread that the food bank asked Sparrow to stop using its name to raise money, the restaurant basically tweeted, “We just wanted to do the right thing and make them some $$ at the same time. A new charity will be announced Tuesday PM.” Isn’t that a strange response to you? It kind of rubs me the wrong way a little bit, no?

MATT: Yeah, there is something wrong with that. I’m not sure exactly what it is but…

NASIR: It just has a tone to it, right?

MATT: Yeah.

NASIR: It just has a tone to it as if, like, we just wanted to do the right thing – and, of course, they walk into the public sphere and the first response that I see is the Sparrow Houston, the right thing is to donate the dollars collected for Houston Food Bank in 2013, not hold second fundraiser to collect the same dollars. That’s what the impression is, right? That’s what it seems to be and this has been only a few days yet there hasn’t been many other news stories about this but, to me, this is like, you know, if true, they’re still probably looking for the facts, but that is kind of disruptive, no?

MATT: Right, yeah, no, it is. I mean, it’s a pretty easy lesson. When you pledge an amount to a charity or non-profit or what-have-you, you need to follow through with that and, you know, the specifics of it, I would think that these, you know, somewhere like the Houston Food Bank would have people in place to kind of run you through the guidelines you need to follow. I mean, in fact, they even mention there are guidelines so you can just read them yourself but it’s not like you can plead ignorance on this or you can say you forget. I’m sure somebody at the Houston Food Bank reached out to the Sparrow Bar + Cookshop at some point and said, “Hey, what about that money you owed us that you said you’d pay us?” and they just ignored it, I’m assuming, but I don’t think it fell through the cracks.

NASIR: Yeah, it’s hard to know but, just based on that response, it makes me question it at the least.

MATT: Yeah.

NASIR: For businesses that are planning on doing some kind of promotion where X percentage goes to charity, I’m sure people have thought about doing this themselves but, even from a very large scale to the NFL sponsoring breast cancer or to every product has a little sticker on there saying a percentage goes to charity or what-have-you, probably the most important thing is at the least make sure that amount goes to charity – I think that’s obviously – but the second is you actually do need the permission of that particular charity to use that promotion. Now, you don’t need their permission to give them money but, if you’re using their trademark or brand in your marketing materials, then you probably need their permission to do so – unless they give some kind of blanket use which most companies don’t do that because they don’t want to be seen as affiliated with certain, you know, if they don’t agree with that particular company’s policies, they may not want to be affiliated with you and so you would have to request that.

MATT: Yeah, this is a pretty easy lesson. Like we said, there’s no reason to look too deep into it.

NASIR: Yeah, it’s an easy lesson not to pay up but I’m sure this happens. From a small business perspective, it’s like, “Okay, I want to run a promotion, I’m going to give X number of dollars to Red Cross,” and you put up Red Cross’ logo on your website, you put up other marketing material and, hey, that might not fly with the Red Cross so you might want to think twice about that.

MATT: Yeah.

NASIR: Speaking of, by listening to this episode, 80 percent of the proceeds that you pay to listen to this episode goes to Matt and I, and the 20 percent goes to you as a refund.

MATT: 20 percent back, automatically. 100 percent of our 80 percent goes to pizzas.

NASIR: You know, we forgot to, we’ve got to get a pizza episode coming up – next week, maybe.

MATT: What does this place have? I didn’t even check out their menu.

NASIR: You can’t just fit it in. It has to be, like, pizza-focused.

MATT: Uh, well, this is a local and global.

NASIR: Locally-sourced, globally-inspired.

MATT: Oh, man, you’re going to hate this website.

NASIR: Oh, I know, I’m looking at it.

MATT: It’s “LOCAL + GLOBAL. LOCALLY SOURCED x GLOBALLY INSPIRED.”

NASIR: I know. No equal signs. By the way, I actually don’t like the website. I think it’s hard to read, the colors are kind of I don’t know, and there’s rumors that they don’t pay their charity that they advertise for so another reason why I don’t like it.

MATT: There you go.

NASIR: All right. Well, like you said, easy lesson but hopefully a good lesson for us to learn as well.

MATT: Yeah.

NASIR: Thanks for joining us.

MATT: Yeah, and keep it sound and keep it smart.

Legally Sound | Smart Business

By

The Podcast Where Nasir Pasha and Matt Staub cover business in the news with their legal twist and answer business legal questions that you the listener can send it to info@legallysoundsmartbusiness.com.

Get Business Legal Updates

Please provide your full name.
Please provide a valid email address.
We respect your privacy, and we will never share your information. Unsubscribe at any time.
Legally Sound Smart Business cover art

Legally Sound Smart Business

A business podcast with a legal twist

Legally Sound Smart Business is a podcast by Pasha Law PC covering different topics in business advice and news with a legal twist with attorneys Nasir Pasha and Matt Staub.
Apple Podcast badge
Google Podcast badge
Spotify Podcast badge

Latest Episodes

October 12, 2021

In our latest episode, Nasir and Matt are covering the legal issues on Social Media. The average person spends most of their day on social media, whether they are scrolling for hours or publishing their own content. However, just because you publish your own content on Instagram does not equate to you owning that image….

September 28, 2021

What is a Non-Disclosure Agreement, and when do I need one? In this episode, Nasir and Matt shares why you need to use Non-Disclosure Agreements, basic facts about NDA’s, and discuss about the infamous Jenner-Woods story. Having the right Non-Disclosure Agreement in place not only protects you and your business, but it also makes the…

July 14, 2021

Through a five-round championship bout, Matt travels to Texas from California to determine which state is better for business. Will it be a knockout with a clear winner or will it go to the scorecards?

June 16, 2021

Covered in this episode of Legally Sound Smart Business are some typical business mistakes blunders small businesses often make and how to avoid them. Blunder #1: Copying and pasting agreements It may sound like a good idea at the time, but this blunder comes with hidden pitfalls. Having an attorney draft terms that are specific…

February 4, 2021

How you terminate an employee can make the difference between a graceful transition to avoidable negative outcomes like a dramatic exit or even a lawsuit. We gathered a panel of experts and asked them – is there a “right way” to fire an employee? We would like to thank our guests for this episode: Amr…

December 2, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned nearly every aspect of life on its head, and that certainly holds true for the business world. In this episode, Matt and Nasir explain how the early days of the pandemic felt like the Wild West and how the shifting legal playing field left a lot open to interpretation and…

November 16, 2020

After plenty of ups and downs, our buyer has finally closed on the purchase of their business. While we’re marking this down in the ‘wins’ column, it never hurts to review the game tape. In this final episode, our hosts, Matt Staub and Nasir Pasha, return to the deal almost a year later to reflect…

September 15, 2020

The ink is drying on the signature line and things are looking great for our buyer. After so much hard work, the finish line is in sight and the cheering within ear shot.   Though the landlord is still serving friction, things seem safe to move forward and for now, our buyer will be keeping…

July 31, 2020

Though things are coming along well, the journey would not be interesting if it was purely smooth sailing. After our buyer opens escrow, they are forced to push the closing date back when suddenly a letter from an attorney was received claiming the business, we are buying has a trade mark on the name!  Now…

June 12, 2020

With frustration at an all-time high and professionalism at an all-time low, our friend the Buyer has “had it” with the Seller and quite frankly their lack of knowledge. At present our Buyer is rightfully concerned that the latest misstep from our loose-lipped Seller will threaten not only the entire operation of the businesses but…

May 11, 2020

As we go deeper into the buying process, we start to uncover more challenges from our seller and encounter some of the wrenches they are tossing our way. When we last left off in episode three our team was knee deep in due diligence for our buyer, had already penned and signed the Letter of…

April 4, 2020

One word–interloper! When a new mysterious broker enters the transaction and starts to kick up dust, Nasir and Matt take the reins. The seller signed off on the letter of intent (see episode 2), yet this “business broker” serves only friction and challenges by refusing to send financials, whilst demanding more of a firm commitment…

April 4, 2020

Just as most stories and deals start out, everyone is optimistic, idealistic and full of hope for clear skies. It’s a perfect outlook with a perfect setup for the ups and downs yet to come. Peek further behind the curtain and into the first steps of buying a business: the letter of intent. After the…

April 4, 2020

When a savvy buyer hears opportunity knocking to purchase a prime positioned business, she decides not to go it alone and taps in the professionals to help navigate what could potentially be a fruitful acquisition. “Behind the Buy” is a truly rare and exclusive peak into the actual process, dangers, pitfalls and achievements, that can…

August 7, 2019

GrubHub is subject to two “matters of controversy” that have likely become common knowledge to business owners: “fake” orders and unfriendly microsites.

May 28, 2019

In this podcast episode, Matt and Nasir breakdown the legal issues of the subscription industry’s business on the internet. Resources A good 50-state survey for data breach notifications as of July 2018. California Auto-Renewal Law (July 2018) Privacy Policies Law by State Why Users of Ashley Madison May Not Sue for Data Breach [e210] Ultimate…

March 12, 2019

In recording this episode’s topic on the business buying process, Matt’s metaphor, in comparing the process to getting married probably went too far, but they do resemble one another. Listen to the episode for legal advice on buying a business.

December 3, 2018

Nasir and Matt return to discuss the different options available to companies looking to raise funds through general solicitation and crowdfunding. They discuss the rules associated with the various offerings under SEC regulations and state laws, as well as more informal arrangements. The two also discuss the intriguing story about a couple who raised over…

July 24, 2018

Flight Sim Labs, a software add-on creator for flight simulators, stepped into a PR disaster and possibly some substantial legal issues when it allegedly included a Trojan horse of sorts as malware to combat pirating of its $100 Airbus A320 software. The hidden test.exe file triggered anti-virus software for good reason as it was actually…

April 17, 2018

Attorneys Matt Staub and Nasir Pasha examine Mark Zuckerberg’s congressional hearings about the state of Facebook. The two also discuss Cambridge Analytica and the series of events that led to the congressional hearings, the former and current versions of Facebook’s Terms of Service, and how businesses should be handling data privacy. Full Podcast Transcript NASIR:…

March 10, 2018

The Trump presidency has led to a major increase in ICE immigration enforcement. It’s critical for business owners to both comply with and know their rights when it comes to an ICE audit or raid. Nasir, Matt, and Pasha Law attorney Karen McConville discuss how businesses can prepare for potential ICE action and how to…

February 5, 2018

New years always bring new laws. Effective January 1, 2018, California has made general contractors jointly liable for the unpaid wages, fringe benefits, and other benefit payments of a subcontractor. Nasir and Matt discuss who the new law applies to and how this affects all tiers in the general contractor-subcontractor relationship. Click here to learn…

January 2, 2018

With a seemingly endless amount of new mattress options becoming available, it is unsurprising that the market has become increasingly aggressive. As companies invest in more innovative solutions to get in front of customers, review sites, blogs and YouTube videos have moved to the forefront of how customers are deciding on their mattresses and how…

December 7, 2017

In recent months explosive amounts of high profile allegations of sexual harassment, assault, and varying acts of inappropriate behavior have transcended every sector of our professional world. With a deluge from Hollywood and politics, and the private workforce, accusations have inundated our feeds and mass media. This harassment watershed has not only been felt within…

November 16, 2017

If you are not familiar with the EB-5 program started in 1990 to give green cards to certain qualified investors in the United States, then you may not have been alone a few years ago. Currently, the EB-5 program has since exploded since its inception and now hits its quotas consistently each year. The program…

October 10, 2017

Government requests come in multiple forms. They can come in as requests for client information or even in the form of investigating your company or your employees. Requests for Client Information General Rule to Follow Without understanding the nuances of criminal and constitutional law and having to cite Supreme Court cases, any government requests for…

August 24, 2017

Nasir and Matt suit up to talk about everything pertaining to employee dress codes. They discuss the Federal laws that govern many rules for employers, as well as state specific nuances in California and other states. The two also emphasize the difficulty in identifyingreligious expression in dress and appearance, how gender-related dress codes have evolved…

June 28, 2017

Nasir and Matt discuss the life cycle of a negative online review. They talk about how businesses should properly respond, how to determine if the review is defamatory, the options available to seek removal of the review, how to identify anonymous reviewers, whether businesses can require clients to agree not to write negative reviews, and…

June 7, 2017

On this episode of the Ultimate Legal Breakdown, Nasir and Mattbreak down social media marketing withguests Tyler Sickmeyer and Kyle Weberof Fidelitas Development. They first discuss contests and promotionsand talk about where social media promotions can go wrong,when businesses are actually running an illegal lottery, and the importance of a soundterms and conditions. Next, they…

April 3, 2017

On this episode of the Ultimate Legal Breakdown, Nasir and Matt go in depth with the subscription box business. They discuss where subscription box companies have gone wrong(4:30), the importance of a specifically tailored terms and conditions(6:30), how to structure return policies (11:45), product liability concerns (14:45),the offensive and defensive side of intellectual property (19:00),…

February 1, 2017

Nasir and Matt discuss the suit against Apple that resultedfrom a car crashed caused by the use of FaceTime while driving. They also discuss howforeseeable use of apps can increase liability for companies. Full Podcast Transcript NASIR: Hi and welcome to Legally Sound Smart Business! I’m Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. Two attorneys…

January 5, 2017

The guys kick in the new year by first discussing Cinnabon’s portrayal of Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia soon after her death, as well as other gaffes involving Prince and David Bowie. They alsotalk about right of publicity claims companies could be held liable for based on using someone’s name or likeness for commercial gain.

December 22, 2016

Nasir and Matt discuss the recent incidentat a Victoria’s Secret store where the store manager kicked out all black women after one black woman was caught shoplifting. They then each present dueling steps businesses should take when employees are accused of harassment.

December 8, 2016

Nasir and Matt return to talk about the different types of clients that may have outstanding invoices and how businesses can convert unpaid bills to getting paid.

November 10, 2016

After a long break, Nasir and Matt are back to discuss a Milwaukee frozen custard stand that is now revising it’s English only policy for employees. The guys also discuss how similar policies could be grounds for discrimination and what employers can do to revise their policies.

October 6, 2016

The guys discuss the new California law that allows actors to request the removal of their date of birth and birthdays on their IMDB page and why they think the law won’t last. They also discuss how age discrimination claims arise for business owner.

September 29, 2016

Nasir and Matt discuss the racial discrimination claims surroundingAirbnb and how it’s handled the situation. They also discuss some practical tips for businesses experiencing similar issues.

September 8, 2016

Nasir and Matt discuss whyAmazon seller accounts are getting suspended and banned without notice and how business owners can rectify this situation through a Corrective Action Plan.

August 25, 2016

Nasir and Matt talk about the accusations surroundingfashion giant Zararipping off the designs of independent artists like Tuesday Bassen and howsmaller companies can battle the industry giants.

August 18, 2016

Nasir and Matt discuss Brave Software’s ad replacing technology that has caught the eye of almost every national newspaper and has a potential copyright infringement claim looming. They also welcome digital marketing expert Matt Michaelree to speak on the specifics of what Brave is attempting to do and whether it has the answers moving forward.

July 28, 2016

Nasir and Matt discuss the sexual harassment lawsuit filed by Gretchen Carlson against Fox CEO Roger Ailes. They also talk aboutthe importance of sexual harassment training and properly handling such allegations in the office.

July 15, 2016

Nasir and Matt talk about the changes at Starbucks that have led to many disgruntled employees and customers.

June 23, 2016

Nasir and Matt discuss the criminal charges facing FedExinvolving the alleged transportation of illegal drugs. They also talk about how business owners should address working with customers that may be breaking the law.

June 15, 2016

The guys return after a long break to discuss why Yahoo is auctioning off over 3,000 patents and how this decision will affect the longevity of the company.

May 25, 2016

Nasir and Matt discuss the increase in the salary thresholdfor exempt employees and how employerscan try to avoid paying overtime as a result.

May 18, 2016

Nasir and Matt discuss the Baltimore law that makes it very difficult to operate food trucks in the city. They also discuss all the legal restrictions tohaving a food truck.

May 11, 2016

Matt listens to Nasir recap the developing battle in his hometown of Vandalia, Ohio over whether a Dunkin Donuts can move into a location in close proximity to a local favorite donut shop. They then discusswhether the issue is more legal or personal.

May 9, 2016

The guys kick off the week by discussing a Nevada employee who is claiming she was fired for not supporting the Scientology beliefs of her employer.

April 27, 2016

The guys discuss the massive floods in Houston,how employers responded, and why one meteorologist became a local hero. They also discuss the steps businesses should take in preparing for storms outside the workplace.

April 20, 2016

The guys discuss the boycott of Amazon over the products of an unnamed presidential candidate. They also talkabout how a business should handle a boycott and whether it’s possible to exit one unscathed.

We represent businesses.
That’s all we do.

Oh, and we love it.

We love our work. We love reviewing that lease for your new location. We thrive on closing that acquisition that nearly fell through. We’re fulfilled when we structure a business to grow, raise capital, and be legally protected.

We focus on developing close relationships with our clients by being like business partners. A partner who provides essential, personalized, proactive legal support.

We do all of this without utilizing the traditional billable hour model. You pay for the value we bring, not the time spent on calls, emails, and meetings.

Our team is made up of attorneys and staff that share these values and we are retained by clients who want the same.

Pasha Law PC operates in the states of California, Illinois, New York, and Texas.

Meet Our Team

Fractional General Counsel Services

Pasha Law Select offers the expertise of a high-end general counsel legal team for every aspect of your business at a fixed monthly rate. Pasha Law Select is deliberately designed to allow our legal team to be proactive, to anticipate, and to be comprehensive in serving our clients. To be great lawyers, we need to know our clients. We can’t know our clients unless we represent a select number of clients in the long-term. This is Pasha Law Select.

Learn More