Monthly Archives: April 2015

Finally! Help with Charitable Solicitation Registration

If you have trouble with your state charitable solicitation registration or don’t know what it is, there is a brand new service to help you. 38 states plus the District of Columbia require charitable organizations that solicit or intend to solicit in their state to register with either their State Attorney General or Secretary of State’s office. Registration is not an endorsement of the charity by the state, but provides accountability and transparency to its residents. Failure to register when required can bring penalties and potential civil action.

Each state has its own forms, fees, and required documents, with most states having annual renewals and financial reporting with varying deadlines. While states do have categories of organizations that are exempt from registration, there is not a coherent set of definitions and distinctions across them and some states even require applications for exemption.

Those who have been through the process know that it is excruciating — multiple manila folders on your desk, calendar notes of deadlines to keep track of, charts of requirements, and printed forms to handwrite.

Now there is a way to make getting through it all much easier.  Simple Charity Registration (SCR) is a new online service that streamlines the state charitable registration process into a few simple steps:

  1. Use the compliance wizard to help you determine in which states you need to register;
  2. Complete the questionnaire of relevant state questions which auto-fills the appropriate forms; and
  3. Print the completed forms and attached checklist of how to file and what to include.

SCR was created by nonprofit professionals who have been through the registration process and wanted to make it easier and IT professionals who have streamlined other state processes. It was designed with the needs of the nonprofit in mind and includes links to state information, additional instructions, and sends email reminders of upcoming deadlines. The site includes blogs, like this one, that give additional information that charities need to know about keeping in compliance. Our FAQ page and customer service can help you as well.

Simple Charity Registration costs $50 per state, with a $900 maximum, and your first state is free. You are not billed until you print a document.

Start your free, no-obligation account today.

New Rule for New York State Charity Registration

Great news for those who are scurrying to finish state registrations or trying to figure out extension rules. New York State now gives an automatic extension of 180 days for charities renewing under New York State 7A or EPTL or Dual categories.

On March 17, 2015, the New York State Attorney General’s Charities Bureau announced the new policy. As of the announcement, all organizations that use the CHAR500 New York State Annual Filing for Charitable Organizations under any of the above categories will be allowed an additional 180 days to file the completed form, attachments and fees.

Category 7A is for those charitable organizations registering to solicit contributions in New York State under Article 7-A of the Executive Law.

Category EPTL is for charitable trusts registering under the Estates, Powers, & Trusts Law because they hold assets or conduct activities in New York State. Title 13, Chapter V, Sections 90 and 91 of the New York Code of Rules and Regulations define these categories.

Filing deadlines for category 7A or Dual (both 7A and EPTL) have been 4.5 months following the end of the charity’s fiscal year, making the new deadline 10.5 months after the fiscal year end. The deadlines for category EPTL only have been 6 months, so the new ones are now a year following the end of the organization’s fiscal year.

The Charities Bureau points out that this extension applies only to the New York State form and is not applicable to the IRS or other states’ requirements to apply for extensions, and that copies of IRS extension applications must be kept for 3 years and be provided if requested by the Charities Bureau.

More information on registering in New York State, including confirming the category for your organization, is available on the Charities Bureau website.

Simple Charity Registration can help make it easier to register in New York and any other state. Try it out. Your first state is free.