If you are a non-profit organization and solicit donations in other states, you need to register your organization with that state. This is an often-overlooked regulation when soliciting donations.
If you don’t register with the state where you are soliciting donations, you do so at your organization’s peril. States are increasingly cracking down on non-profit organizations that do not register. Your organization risks penalties, and in some instances, you may be directed to return donations because you did not register. In addition, you risk bad publicity. Remember that your reputation is everything.
The Attorneys General are required to oversee the nonprofit sector in most states. One way they can monitor progress is to require annual filings from organizations that solicit in each state. This is why most states (40 including the District of Columbia) require registration.
Currently, thirty-nine states and the District to Colombia require some form of registration and may require annual filings thereafter. Additionally, in the states that require registration, you may also have to file with that state’s Secretary of State as a foreign corporation.
The registration requirements vary among states. Some states require you register if you do any solicitation. Some require registration if you receive any funds. Finally, some require registration if you get over a certain threshold. You need to check the particular state’s requirements.
Registering your organization with each state is not a uniform process and the forms to register are different from state to state. It is a time-consuming process and it is often more cost-effective to outsource so you can focus on your mission. If you have questions about out of state registration or annual filing requirements, please call us.