Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Challenges of Charitable Solicitation Registration

There are few topics as confusing as state charitable solicitation registration. Nearly everyone who is in a charity leadership position is familiar with the concept but few clearly understand the implications of the laws in the various states as it relates to their charity.

One of the reasons this issue is so confusing is that it is a state, not a federal issue. With so much variation between the charitable solicitation laws in the 50 states, it is no wonder this matter leaves charity leaders puzzled.

Charities that seek contributions nationally must typically register in 39 states and the District of Columbia before starting to solicit. Since many states are increasing their enforcement efforts to ensure that charities and fundraisers are complying with initial and annual registration requirements, it's important that charities and fundraisers abide by these statutes—especially since noncompliance can result in the imposition of significant fines and penalties.

We have some excellent resources on the ECFA website to help you wade through the details of charitable solicitation registration including a state-by-state summary prepared by our friend and attorney, Chip Watkins.

To better understand these issues, join us for a special Charitable Solicitations Issues Webinar on June 22 at 1 pm EST. The two presenters, Karl Emerson and Dick Travis, are among the most knowledgeable individuals on this topic in the U.S. Karl is an attorney with Montgomery, McCracken and is the former director of the Bureau of Charitable Organizations of Pennsylvania. Dick Travis consults with many nonprofits on charitable solicitation issues and is the president of The Travis Group.

Click here to register.