Complying with state charitable solicitation laws is a necessary obligation for charities and professional fundraisers (PFR) to operate successfully. Both charity and PFR are required to register in most states. Other solicitation laws may apply to one or both parties such as a surety bond, campaign reports, and solicitor registration. These documents are usually filed with the secretary of state or the attorney general charitable trust department. Donations by phone, mail, or online are all considered charitable solicitations and subject a charity and the PFR to specific registration rules and regulations.
If the charity requires registration in multiple states, consider using the Unified Registration Statement. The URS substitutes the information and data requirements of all states that require nonprofit registration into a generic registration that is accepted in the states listed below.
Charity administrators often acknowledge that charitable solicitation registration laws can be difficult to monitor and maintain, particularly if they are licensed in multiple states. Missing a deadline can result in unwanted red tape that may require legal representation to cut through. For many charities, it makes sense to outsource the administration of such legal requirements. If your charity does decide to outsource, choose a provider that has a keen understanding of:
- Initial and renewal nationwide applications.
- Each state’s licensing requirements.
- Filing due dates.
- State fees if applicable.
- Printed material legal disclosures.
This blog does not provide legal advice. If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney directly.