Monthly Archives: February 2015

3 Things You Can Do To Prevent Legal Problems For Your Charity Now

You founded your organization with the best possible intentions in mind. You know the money you raise will be going to a very worthy cause that needs your help. Unfortunately, even in the world of charities, there are potential legal problems around almost every corner. How can you prevent the hassle of legal problems as well as the potential consequences involved? These tips can help.

  1. Do Your Research: Before you start any activities as an organization, whether they’re fundraising, naming directors to your board, or even gathering volunteers, do a bit of research. State laws vary on what’s required by charity organizations, as do IRS regulations, and the more you know about what might be required of you at the outset, the better off you’ll be.
  2. Consult an Attorney: Finding the right attorney to help you found your group is a wonderful idea, as it can help to head-off any legal problems before they become an issue. Choose someone who is well versed in the laws governing nonprofits to get the most bang for your buck.
  3. Register: Most charities are required to register as a nonprofit corporation and for conducting charitable solicitation in any state where they solicit donations, and in this day and age, that can mean anything from holding an event where you ask for donations to sending out a tweet that asks for donations. Because so many groups take to social media so freely today, registering in more than one state where you expect to get donations is frequently required. We can help. With our simple three-step process, you could be registered and ready to start collecting donations quicker than you expected. When the next fundraising opportunity comes up, you’ll be ready to go. Get started now.

I Never Registered Our Charitable Organization! What Do I Do Now?

Many nonprofits know that registration before you start fundraising activities is a must. Unfortunately, there are some who aren’t familiar with that requirement. As a result, there are groups out there that remain non-compliant with some state requirements for registration. If you’re one of the many that fall under that category, you’re treading in dangerous waters right now. In a world where a simple tweet can be classified as solicitation of funds, failing to register your organization could mean serious penalties.

Can I Just Stay Unregistered?

Even if you’re not sure you’re required to register, doing some research here is a must. Remaining unregistered means risking heavy fines for every single instance where you raised funds but remained unregistered. Those fines can be thousands of dollars each, so if you hold several events throughout the year, it could get very costly to your organization very quickly. Some states even provide criminal penalties for the brass of those groups that fail to register when they know it’s required.

In short, no, staying unregistered is not a good idea.

Register Now

Almost any state will tell you that even if you failed to register before, registering late is far better than never registering. To be clear, you may still face some small fines and penalties, but finding compliance now will mean you’re making a good faith effort to follow the guidelines laid out in each state. We even make that process easier than ever. With a bit of information and a few clicks, we can have your registration paperwork submitted for all applicable states in less time than you ever thought possible, and our free trial will help you find the information you need to determine if and where you need to file. Get started today to prevent problems down the road.

Ongoing Charity Registration Requirements You May Not Know

You may already know that your charity or nonprofit has to register in any state where you’ll be seeking donations. For those groups who use social media to raise funds, this can mean meeting the requirements of almost forty states before you ever embark on a fundraising project. While that is certainly a paperwork nightmare, what you may not know is that registering once simply isn’t good enough. In most cases, there are ongoing registration requirements with which you must comply.

Once and Done?

Filling out the paperwork to register your charity is a nightmare. Just deciding whether you’re required to register and which states you should register in is rough enough. After you’re done, though, you’re not truly done. Instead, you have to look at reregistration guidelines on a state by state basis. While most states and the District of Columbia require you to register on an annual basis, not all of them do. Some of them —  Arizona, Delaware, Iowa, Idaho, Indiana, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, and Wyoming — don’t require registration at all. Some of them require reregistration separately from annual financial reporting. Learning exactly what to expect can be difficult.

Is Reregistration Hard?
Some states have managed to streamline the process a bit so that you can reregister without a hassle using much of the same information you submitted initially. Unfortunately, like every other aspect of charity registration, that’s not always the case. There are states that require you to complete the same level of paperwork you did the first time during the course of reregistration.

Is There an Easier Way?

Absolutely. We can help. Whether you’re registering the first time or trying to get your organization reregistered to meet ongoing requirements, we make it easier than ever to make sure your group is complying with the standards in all applicable states, which is a must if you plan to raise funds in more than one state. To learn more, get started now.

Three Simple Charity Registration Tips

Almost every state requires nonprofits to register if they’re seeking charitable donations, and the penalty for ignoring the process can be stiff fines for your organization and additional administrative obstacles. The process is different from state to state, and if you’re crossing state lines to collect donations, multiple registrations are typically required. It can prove a bit of a paperwork hassle for those seeking money for a good cause, but these tips can help you find your way out of the mess.

  • Solicitation means different things in different states. What’s more, though, is that it’s usually a pretty broad definition, making it difficult to tell whether or not your organization’s new push for funds even counts. In some cases, it can be an oral request. In some case, it can be written. Even announcing a performance where a contribution is requested can count as solicitation, so it’s often better to register than take your chances.
  • The information you put on the form is usually public record. Many states even go as far as putting your information in an online database. As a result, you have to be very careful when you’re registering not to include personal information like the home address of your director, as it could be headed for a space where anyone can see it. Keep in mind, however, that you may not be able to withhold all such personal information, so find out what you can label as confidential.
  • Every state has different requirements. If you plan to seek donations in multiple states (and if you’re using social media to request funds, you probably are), you need to make certain you’re registered in all of those states or face the penalties in each of them.

Looking for a little more help getting your organization registered? Learn more about our simple three-step process today!

Should Your Charity Consider Professional Help to Get Registered?

Registering your charity to collect donations can be a frustrating process. You not only have to decide whether you need to register, but you also have to decide which states will require you to do so. Perhaps the most frustrating part of the equation is that registration must be complete and accepted before you ever even begin collecting donations, so planning your campaign and registration well in advance is a must.

Getting Professional Help

There are other options than taking time out of your schedule to handle the registration process on your own. You could hire a lawyer or accountant to take care of it for you. They will know the ins and outs of registration and will save you time completing multiple forms and managing deadlines. The drawbacks there, though, are obvious. Professional services, which can run in the thousands of dollars, are outside the administrative budget of many nonprofit organizations.

A Better Way

But what about dealing with registration without the hassle? If you’re looking for a better solution that will cost less, yet provide the compliance you need, we can help. With a streamlined registration process that means fewer costs and less hassle overall, we’ll help you get registered in almost forty states that require it without a problem. Our free trial can also lead you through the requirements of each state to help you decide if and where you need to register. Professional help can be a good thing, but it shouldn’t cost your organization a lot to get it. Our services are cost-effective and easy, helping you do what you do best faster than ever. Get started now to learn more.

The Risks of Not Registering your Charity

If you’re one of the many nonprofits preparing to raise funds in the upcoming year, you may already be familiar with the requirement to register in each state where you plan to raise funds. Because many are now using tools like social media to raise funds, the requirement to register in the states that require it is almost a foregone conclusion. If you’re looking to avoid the paperwork hassle, though, and not register your charity on the hope you qualify for some hidden exclusion, you may want to think again. The consequences associated with your actions are more serious than you think.

Civil Penalties

The civil penalties associated with failure to register typically mean fines for the organization itself. They can often be fairly substantial, too, taking quite a bite out of your group’s yearly revenue. Often, as in the State of Maryland, fines of $5,000 or more can be imposed for every single violation, so each time your group held an event and you weren’t registered, you may be adding to your tally.

Criminal Liabilities

The fines aren’t the only problem with a failure to register. If you knowingly fail to comply with the state’s charitable registration act, you could be facing up to felony charges just for failing to comply. This can extend to anyone on the directorial board who knew registration was required, and could mean extensive personal fines or even jail time (for multiple offenses in the State of Florida) for you and your board members.

Go The Easy Way

Fortunately, we make registration easier than ever, so there’s no problem with compliance. With a streamlined process that means one simple form ensures you’re complying with every state in which you plan to raise funds, and links to all the relevant information, it’s simple to get the paperwork you need completed immediately and never have to worry about facing penalties again. Get started now.

Why Does My Charity Have to Register?

 

Charity registration is a fairly common practice throughout the United States, but it’s just another frustrating paperwork hassle for many. Wondering why you should have to slog through the paperwork just so people can donate to you? The answer is less complex than you think.

Charities have a legal obligation to register because states use their regulatory authority to help ensure nonprofits are doing exactly as they advertise. You may be required to register in a state if you’re physically present there, if you own land or a building there or most of your organization’s activities are there, or if you raise any funds in that state. The goal here is a simple one. You want to raise funds in the name of a nonprofit organization, which means the state can’t collect taxes on that money. As a result, the state wants to ensure that you are indeed a nonprofit organization. Without laws like these, it would be fairly easy for almost any organization to call themselves a “charity” and begin raising funds for any cause.

It’s important to know that this registration process is not required for every nonprofit. What’s more, though, is that it can vary from state to state extensively. Some states make religious organizations exempt. The risk of failing to register, though, is far too high to ignore the potential need. Not registering may means fines and even criminal liability for those who chose to raise funds without registering. The key, then, is to learn more about whether you should register and where.

Once you’ve established it is a necessity for your organization, we can help. With a streamlined process, we make it easier than ever to start legally connecting the donations you need. Learn more about what you need to do now to get registered when you click here.

Do All Charities Have to Register?

If you work in the world of nonprofits, you’re probably already familiar with the concept of charity registration. Required for most when seeking new contributions, the statutes governing these vary widely from state to state, and they can encompass almost any kind of fundraising activity; even sending out a flier for a bazaar where you might ask for donations can count. The real question, though, is whether every charity is governed by the same regulations. Since the process can be a bit long and involved, if your charity isn’t required to register, you likely don’t want to have to fight the tide.

The Simple Answer

Unfortunately, the simple answer to this question is a bit more complicated than you may think. No, not every charity is required to register. Some religious organizations are exempt from registration. Some college and universities also fall under exemption rulings. Organizations that only raise a small amount of funds are also exempt. The problem? Even those definitions can vary from state to state. “Religious organizations” may mean different things in Missouri than it does in California. While each state does excuse some nonprofits, that doesn’t universally apply. What’s more, though, is that you have to do your legal research before you ever launch a new campaign or you could be subject to fines and penalties.

You may solicit locally, or only in your state, in which case you may need to register in that state. If you solicit in other states or get grants from out of state foundations, you will have to check the applicable rules. In addition, if you have a “Donate” button on your website that attracts donors from across the US, you will probably need to file in all the states where your donors reside, per an agreement among the states attorneys general called “The Charleston Principles.”

Your Next Step

If you’re a nonprofit, your best bet is to go ahead and register if you’re unsure about your exemption status. Fortunately, we can help. With a streamlined process that makes registration across the United States easier than ever, even before you launch your next campaign, we’ll help to ensure compliance is fulfilled to help you get back to what you do best – raising funds for your cause. Get started the easy way today.

What is State Charitable Solicitation Registration?

“State charitable solicitation registration” — a phrase that is both confusing and laden with regulatory meaning for nonprofit organizations.

Simply put, it is a requirement of most states that nonprofit organizations seeking donations for charitable purposes from their residents must submit specific financial and organizational information, usually on an annual basis. Continue reading