What Are the Legal Prerequisites for Fundraising?
There are 40 states where you have to register with the Attorney General if you’re going to fund-raise in that state. The Attorney General’s office is in charge of oversight for the not-for-profit sector. Some states are fairly aggressive about enforcing those rules. Some states – Illinois among them – are less so except in the most egregious cases. You really have to be – and you’ll be surprised, or maybe you won’t be surprised.
There are an incredible number of organizations that never register with the Attorney General’s office. That’s a big problem because you’re not supposed to raise money in that state unless you’re registered. If somebody complains, the Attorney General’s office can actually close you down, which of course would be a very bad thing. Registration in each state where you plan to solicit is very important. It’s a headache, but the publicity that comes out of not registering can kill you. It’s just not worth it. We can help people register in states other than Illinois if that’s required.