If your nonprofit engages in fundraising activities, it will likely need to file a registration form with every state where it is soliciting donations. Forty states and the District of Columbia require registration in advance of engaging in any fundraising or solicitation activity. This requirement is known as “charitable solicitation registration.”
What does the law require? It depends…
Most states define solicitation to include online solicitations that target residents in a particular state. The duty to register applies regardless of what form the solicitation takes. Whether your nonprofit fundraises through social media, texting, grant applications, personal asks, phone calls, direct mail, gives days, crowd-funding, etc., the law considers it “soliciting” and it triggers a duty to register.
What can happen if we don’t comply?
State regulators are increasing enforcement of these laws. As state regulators continue to increase enforcement of fundraising laws, nonprofits that play the enforcement lottery are at greater risk than ever. Failure to comply can result in substantial fines and penalties. Directors and officers can be fined personally and some state solicitation laws prohibit a nonprofit from reimbursing its directors and officers for such fines. In addition, states may bar your nonprofit from soliciting donations within the state.
Caritas Law Group can help. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for an estimate to take care of your charitable solicitation registration needs. Caritas Law Group serves nonprofits of all types and sizes and files registrations in all states that require them.