Last week Kindful invited Greg McRay, President and Founder of Foundation Group, to talk with us about charitable solicitation registration requirements placed on nonprofits.
Based in Nashville, Foundation Group is a consulting firm that, since 1995, has successfully guided over 15,000 non-profits through the IRS 501(c)(3) registration process at a 100% success rate. The Foundation Group also provides an ongoing expert formation and compliance service to thousands of nonprofits each year.
Matt Clark, our Partner Development Manager, asked Greg a handful of questions about registering for solicitations. Here are some big takeaways:
Register, register, register
Whenever a nonprofit asks someone to donate, that’s considered a charitable solicitation. At minimum, make sure your nonprofit registers for charitable solicitations in the state your organization is incorporated in. Your organization could be fined if you receive a donation before registering, so make sure you stay on top of this process.
Most people consider solicitations as having a “Donate Now” button or sending a mailer asking donors to reply with cash or check. However, the umbrella of solicitations is wide – from obvious “Donate Now” links to even a word-of-mouth mention from a volunteer. All this to say: it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Not all states are equal
42 different states require you to register in order for you to solicit donations, but within those 42 there are plenty of variations. Good resources to check are the Attorney General or Secretary of State’s websites for the state in which you’re registering. Here’s a freebie for you: Delaware, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wyoming don’t require registration to solicit donations.
Filing made not-so-easy
While efforts have been made in the past, there still isn’t a central hub to register for all states at once. With hopes an electronic service will come along to facilitate multi-state registering, it’s still a process that will be one state at a time.
Helpful tip: Find which states your nonprofit receives the most donations from and focusing on registering in those states first. This process is outrageously easy in Kindful. Simply run a giving report and filter by state. Ta-da!
Get help from your friends
With so many caveats and unique requirements for this registration process, your best bet is to seek professional help with both getting and staying registered to solicit donations. Companies like the Foundation Group are best-suited to know all the ins and outs of the requirements and to make sure you don’t cross any red tape without the right pair of scissors.
To read the complete transcript or listen to the webinar click the image below.