PRACTICE AREAS

Charitable Solicitation & Professional Fundraiser Registrations

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If your nonprofit is engaged in fundraising activities, it will likely need to file a registration form with every state where it is soliciting donations.

Currently, 41 states and the District of Columbia require registration in advance of engaging in any fundraising or solicitation activity. This requirement is known as a charitable solicitation registration.

The duty to register applies regardless of what form the solicitation takes. Whether your nonprofit fundraises through a website, social media, texting, grant applications, personal asks, phone calls, direct mail, gives days, crowdfunding, etc. it is considered “soliciting” under the law and triggers a duty to register.

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What can happen if you don’t comply?

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. In addition, states may bar your nonprofit from soliciting donations within the state.

We can help

Caritas Law Group can help your nonprofit stay in compliance by identifying required states, filing all registrations, and keeping you in compliance over the long term.

What can happen if you don’t comply?

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. In addition, states may bar your nonprofit from soliciting donations within the state.

We can help

Caritas Law Group can help your nonprofit stay in compliance by identifying required states, filing all registrations, and keeping you in compliance over the long term.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
State Registration Requirements for Fundraising

In this FREE PDF download, you’ll learn all State Registration Requirements for fundraising.

We offer comprehensive registration services as well as a strategy session and support for nonprofits looking to handle their registrations in-house.
These links contain additional information regarding fundraising registration requirements:

Professional Fundraising
Counsel Registration

A Professional Fundraising Counsel (“PFC”) is generally defined as “a person who for compensation plans, manages, advises, counsels, consults or prepares material for, or with respect to, the solicitation of funds, assets or property for charitable purposes.”

The person does not receive or control funds, assets or property solicited for charitable purposes, and does not employ, procure or engage any compensated person to solicit, receive or control funds, assets or property for charitable purposes.

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Professional Fundraising
Counsel Registration

A Professional Fundraising Counsel (“PFC”) is generally defined as “a person who for compensation plans, manages, advises, counsels, consults or prepares material for, or with respect to, the solicitation of funds, assets or property for charitable purposes.”

The person does not receive or control funds, assets or property solicited for charitable purposes, and does not employ, procure or engage any compensated person to solicit, receive or control funds, assets or property for charitable purposes.

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Bona fide salaried officers, employees or volunteers who are responsible for fundraising activities on behalf of a charitable organization are excluded from the definition of PFCs. The definition also does not apply to an attorney, investment counselor or banker whose profession is to advise the organization. Registration requirements, however, do apply to independent contractors who, for a fee, plan, manage, advise, counsel, consult with or prepare material for charitable solicitations.

By way of example, a PFC may plan or conduct one or more of the following services: major donor asks, direct mail campaigns, prepare grant applications, conduct online campaigns. Anyone who is hired as a PFC by a charitable organization soliciting contributions from or within a state is required to register with said state. There are approximately 27states that require a PFC, that does not have control of the funds, to register. In some states a PFC may register under the title Professional Fundraiser which may also encompass Professional Solicitors. Those states typically have slight differences in registration requirements based on the person’s control of funds.

Bona fide salaried officers, employees or volunteers who are responsible for fundraising activities on behalf of a charitable organization are excluded from the definition of PFCs. The definition also does not apply to an attorney, investment counselor or banker whose profession is to advise the organization. Registration requirements, however, do apply to independent contractors who, for a fee, plan, manage, advise, counsel, consult with or prepare material for charitable solicitations.

By way of example, a PFC may plan or conduct one or more of the following services: major donor asks, direct mail campaigns, prepare grant applications, conduct online campaigns. Anyone who is hired as a PFC by a charitable organization soliciting contributions from or within a state is required to register with said state. There are approximately 27states that require a PFC, that does not have control of the funds, to register. In some states a PFC may register under the title Professional Fundraiser which may also encompass Professional Solicitors. Those states typically have slight differences in registration requirements based on the person’s control of funds.

HAVE QUESTIONS?

As you can see, there are many factors that go into the registration of charities and professional fundraisers. If you have questions or need assistance, schedule a consultation by completing the form.

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