Author Archives: Lisa Tate

Multi-state Charity Compliance Webinar – November 28th 2:00 pm

Simple Charity Registration is an affordable form fill software designed to reduce the amount of time and resources it takes your organization to fulfill your state charity compliance requirements.

How can help you accomplish your mission?

4 Simple Steps:

  1. Identifying up front which states your organization will need to register in and in which states you may be exempt from registration requirements
  2. Collecting all information necessary to file up-to-date state specific forms (registration, renewal, exemption, or extension), with instructions and resources all in one place
  3. Sending email reminders of renewal and annual financial due dates, saving you from missed deadlines and penalties
  4. Storing your data from one year to the next, available to you at any time to add a new state or renew a previous one, keeping you compliant


4 Simple Steps to Compliance Video

Simple Charity Registration is designed to allow you to do your registration in parts as you have the information available, making now the perfect time to get started on your registrations and renewals while waiting for your financials to be complete.

Simple Charity Registration looks forward to helping you spend more of your valuable resources on your mission while staying compliant.

Join Us for a free, 30-minute webinar on Tuesday, November 28th at 2:00 pm EST.

Register Now


Here are some other resources that will be helpful throughout the registration process: GuideStar’s blog on State Registration Requirements for Fundraising, our blogs on what to prepare for registration and how Simple Charity Registration can help.

Please take a minute to visit our website and create a free account or contact us to learn more at 800.780.6027 or email us at with any questions.

Thank you
Your Simple Charity Registration Support Team

State Charity Registration Exemptions

You have started your nonprofit and you have applied to the IRS for a federal exemption, but wait, that does not mean you are exempt from filing state taxes, paying local sales taxes or registering your charity in each state.  Approximately 40 states require you to file a state charity registration application, several require you to apply for a corporate license and some you will need state tax exemptions.

These application processes are completely different than Federal tax exemption.  The state charity registration is your organization notifying the state that you will be soliciting its residents for donations.  The application that you provide to them is there way of assuring transparency to their citizens.   Looking for an exemption from filing a state charity registration application? Well, good luck!!  Those laws have more loop holes than an amusement park.

One hundred percent of all states offer some type of exemption but qualifying for that exemption and keeping it is a different story. Each state law has its own definitions and requirements for those exemptions. Some states only require an initial letter notifying them that your organization believes it is exempt while others require you to file an application for approval to the state charity office and a few require annual notifications.  In those states the fees are reduced for the exemption not the required paperwork.

Here are some common state exemptions:

Revenue <$25,000 (can vary from $5,000 to $50,000)

Religious Organizations or their affiliated groups

Educational Institutions or their supporting groups

Membership Organizations – Fraternal, Social, alumni, or professional

Veteran’s Organizations including Police, Fire and Rescue Groups

Political Party or Candidates for Office

Donations for a Specified Individual


Some other not so common state exemptions:

Childcare Providers

Adoption Agencies


Boys and Girls Clubs

Less than 10, 35 or 100 Donors per Year

As noted before, and will be discussed in our next post on the common exemptions, each of these exemptions have their own requirements designated by the state where you are soliciting donations.  They are not only determined by the state where you are physically located but in each state where you are soliciting donations.  You may be exempt in your home state but not in others; as well as your organization could be exempt in foreign states but not your state of origination.

If you have any comments, questions or concerns, please contact us at 800-780-6027 or for more detailed answers.


Trusted Nonprofit Resources

National Association of State Charity Officials (NASCO)

The National Association of State Charity Officials (NASCO) is an association of state offices charged with oversight of charitable organizations and charitable solicitation in the United States.  They have taken a leadership role in promoting uniform state charity registration and filing requirements, amicus briefs, and multistate lawsuits targeting fundraising deception. NASCO members have also participated in drafting the Uniform Law Commission’s Oversight of Charitable Assets Act which is a model for state solicitation law and jurisdictional guidelines for state regulation of charitable solicitation on the Internet.

National Council of Nonprofits (Council of Nonprofits) 

The National Council of Nonprofits (Council of Nonprofits) is a trusted resource and advocate for America’s charitable nonprofits. Through their powerful network of State Associations and the nation’s largest network of nonprofits they serve as a central coordinator and mobilizer to help nonprofits achieve greater collective impact in local communities across the country. They identify emerging trends, share proven practices, and promote solutions that benefit charitable nonprofits and the communities they serve.

Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP)

The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) represents more than 30,000 members in over 230 chapters throughout the world, working to advance philanthropy through advocacy, research, education and certification programs.  The association fosters development and growth of fundraising professionals and promotes high ethical standards in the fundraising profession.

National Association of Attorney Generals (NAAG)

The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) was founded in 1907 to help attorneys general fulfill the responsibilities of their office and to assist in the delivery of high-quality legal services to the states and territorial jurisdictions. The Association’s members are the attorneys general of the 50 states and the District of Columbia and the chief legal officers of the Commonwealths of Puerto Rico (Secretary of Justice) and the Northern Mariana Islands, and the territories of American Samoa, Guam, and the Virgin Islands.

Your Local State Charity Office

We have a blog devoted with a list of the State Charity offices!! Almost all states have an association devoted to nonprofit assistance no matter where your organization is in its life-cycle. Whether you just need a form or something more complex they will most likely have the answer. Most state associations offer online training, research and local events that you can attend to get more familiar with your fellow non-profiteer!


GuideStar encourages nonprofits to share information about their organizations openly and completely. They combine the information that nonprofits supply them with data from several other sources to provide information that advances transparency, enables users to make better decisions, and encourages charitable giving.

Please contact us with any comments, questions or concerns at (800)780-6027 or


3 Factors Affecting Your Nonprofit Registration Timeline

One of the most frequently asked questions we get in our support email is “How long will it take to get my charity registered”.  That depends on 3 factors: organizational paperwork preparedness, number of states registering, and the state office for which you are registering.

Prior to beginning the process you should have all of the following paperwork/information in hand to facilitate completing the questions that are required to fill in the forms. If you look at the left-hand side on the website the navigation bar divides the questions by topic.  The sections will give you a sense of the types of required information you will need. You can even click on the sections ahead before entering information to see what you will need next.

Organizational Paperwork

In addition to the 990, 990-EZ, 990-PF or other financial reporting you will need:

  • Info on the origins of the charity, such as formation date and state, 501(c) designation and date or application date, organization type, purpose, mission, etc.
  • if this is an initial registration in states, you will also need to attach the articles of incorporation and by-laws
  • list of sources of government grants
  • personnel — list of board members with addresses (usually a business address other than the charity), key employees and their salaries and positions, and information about whether any of these people have connections to other related organizations or have any interaction with government agencies or courts
  • list of any paid professional fundraisers used by your charity along with their contracts and terms
  • a list of chapters, branches or offices of the organization
  • a list of resident agents for the states required as explained on the right side of the Resident Agent page

Most of these items are for answering the questionnaire, but some, like the articles of incorporation and by-laws, will need to be copied and attached to the registration form upon submission.

For the data entry, depending on the size of your organization, you should allow a few days just in case you need to contact other administrators in your office for missing information. The next step is proofing and putting the packages together. Add some signatures and stamps and you are on your way.

Number of States

The best part about having an account with is once all the information is in the software printing and preparing each consecutive state application becomes easier and the next year when it is time to renew you only need to review the prior year’s information and add the current financials and you are on your way to knocking this once burdensome process right out of the park!!

States Where Registering

Depending on the time of year and which states you are registering the time for approval can take a couple of business days up to 6 weeks or more.  Take note of the renewal date for each state when registering as you know that will be the time of year the state offices will be the busiest and your initial registration application may take a little longer.

You may also enjoy our new welcome video and our two-part blog on this topic.

Please contact us with any comments, questions or concerns at (800) 780-6027 or

Frequently Asked Questions: What is Charity Registration

About the registration process:

What is charitable solicitation registration?

In order for states to provide their constituents with basic information about charities to whom they might donate and protect them and worthy charities from fraudulent ones, most states require charities soliciting in their state to file certain financial, organizational, and governance information.

Are all charities required to register?

Most states have a list of categories of charitable organizations that are exempt from registration. The State Registration Groups page of our questionnaire will help you determine whether or not you are exempt from registration.

When must I register?

Generally, you are not to solicit in a state until you register in the state or are determined exempt, so you should register prior to solicitation in a state. Most states give a 30-day grace period in which you can register after starting soliciting.

In which states am I required to register?

You will need to register in any state in which you solicit, providing that you do not fit in one of their exemption categories. Arizona, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Indiana, Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, and Wyoming all do not require charitable solicitation registration.

What is solicitation?

States have different definitions, but for the most part it means any oral or written request for funds or services with the promise of the donation going to the support of a charitable purpose. See the definition in the Pennsylvania Solicitation of Funds for Charitable Purposes Act as a sample.

Does my website count as solicitation?

The Charleston Principles: Guidelines on Charitable Solicitations Using the Internet suggest that internet representation of a charity qualifies as solicitation in a state if it is sent directly to an individual or entity in the state, if there are regular donations coming from the state, or if there is follow-up with donors in the state either by direct mail, telephone, etc. or via other regular contact (such as newsletters, announcements, press releases, etc.)

What is the typical registration process?

The typical process involves:

  1. Initial registration
  2. Renewal registration and/or annual reporting (financial reporting)
      • this usually occurs at a point in time following the end of your fiscal year or on the anniversary of registration
        • a couple states, Georgia and DC, renew biannually
    • a few states do not require registration registration renewal, but do require annual financial reporting

What if I am not able to renew on time?

There are three options that states use — our questionnaire will walk you through the state processes:

  1. Extension of renewal
  2. No extension of renewal, but extension of annual financial report
  3. No extensions — usually because they have a later due date

I use paid fundraising services. Are there additional requirements?

Two things you will need to keep in mind:

  1. A paid fundraiser must be registered in a state before you can begin a solicitation campaign in that state.
  2. Most states require that contracts with fundraisers and commercial co-ventures usually need to be filed with states prior to solicitation or within 30 days (or at least attached to registration forms)

Are there other requirements?

  1. Many states also require business registration, even if you are registered or exempt from charitable solicitation registration.
  2. Maintain records for no less than 3 years — most states require it


About how Simple Charity Registration can help:

How does Simple Charity Registration work?

Our service walks you through a series of questions that will fill in the forms required for the states in which you solicit. It will then produce the form and a checklist and instructions of what you need to do to send in your form. Our How it Works tab will guide you.

Does the charity file the forms or is that part of the service provided by Simple Charity Registration?

The charity files, using the auto-filled forms that appear on the bottom of the left navigation area. There is a checklist attached giving information on where to file, what to attach, and how much to pay, along with additional helpful information.

Is the service fee the same as the state fee? Does the fee include state fees or only the use of the application and printable forms?

Our fee is for our DIY software which streamlines the registration process. State fees are separate and are set by the individual states for either initial registration or renewal/annual reporting.

Our service will help you to determine which type of forms and which states that your organization will need to file your charity compliance documents in as well as help you collect, file and store your organization’s information in an efficient time saving manner.  There are also many resources on our site for your organization to take advantage of and we provide reminder emails for your annual compliance deadlines as well as information on changing state filing requirements.

What if I have questions?

Our Customer Support will be glad to help you with technical questions. We can help with some state specific issues, but we are not legal advisers, so we may refer you to the state websites for help.

Please contact us with any comments, questions or concerns at (800) 780-6027 or


June Newsletter – Nonprofit Renewal Deadlines, Audits, & Upcoming Webinar

Summer Salutations

June 30th State Charity Registration Deadlines

Did you know that not only do you need to file an extension with the IRS you need to also file for an extension of time to file with the Secretary of State or the Attorney General’s office for your Charity Registration Renewal or Annual Financial forms?

Eight states have due dates that are 6 months after the fiscal year end so for 67% of our customers they should be preparing to send their state renewals or preparing extensions for Kansas, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico and Tennessee.  

Alaska, North Dakota, and Wisconsin are not far behind with due dates beginning September 1st. If you are waiting for your financials to be ready, sign into your account today to print and send in your extension forms if not file your renewal packages today!!

Other states to be aware of are DC, FL, GA, NV, OK, RI, UT and WV which use the organization’s registration anniversary date as the renewal due date which is dependent on your previous registration.  Those dates can be found on your last registration approval letter from the state or the state’s website.


Did you know that 22 states have audit requirements??  Audit requirements begin at 200K for some state registrations and renewals while most average around 500K for an independent audit.  Total revenue is the trigger for most audits while contributions are the basis for other states and about half have some type of exclusion for government agency fees & grants as well as some “other types” of income.  Read the Blog


If you would like to get to know us better or need a refresher join our webinar on July 6, 2017 at 2:00 EST.  Please register at  Simple Charity Registration – annual state charity registration made easy!

See how it works click here

If you have any comments, questions or concerns, please contact us at 800-780-6027 or for more detailed answers.

Is My Nonprofit Organization Required to Have an Audit?

Is your organization required to submit an audit with your state charity registration or renewal?? Simply stated, “Yes”!! Over half of the states that require state charity registration and annual financial reporting do require audited Financial Statements by a independent CPA in addition to the IRS 990 reporting.

Most states base their requirements on Total Revenue while the others base theirs on Total Contributions while some exclude government agency fees & grants, foundation grants, membership fees and investment income.

State Financial Statements Review Audit
Alabama No Audit Required
Alaska No Audit Required
Arizona Veteran’s Organizations Only – No Audit Requirement
Arkansas Revenue > $500K
California Revenue > $2M
Colorado No Audit Required
Connecticut Revenue > $500K *
DC No Audit Required
Florida $500K to 1M Contributions > $1M
Georgia Revenue < $500K $500K to 1M Revenue > $1M *
Hawaii Revenue > $500K *
Idaho No Charity Registration Required
Illinois Contributions > $300K **
Indiana No Charity Registration Required
Iowa No Charity Registration Required
Kansas Contributions > $500K
Kentucky No Audit Required
Louisiana No Audit Required
Maine No Audit Required
Maryland $300K to $750K Contributions > $750K *
Massachusetts 200K to $500K Revenue > $500K
Michigan $275K to $525K Contributions > $525K *
Minnesota Revenue > $750K
Mississippi $250K to $500K Contributions > $500K *
Missouri No Audit Required
Montana No Charity Registration Required
Nebraska No Charity Registration Required
Nevada No Audit Required
New Hampshire Revenue > $500K to $1M Revenue > $1M
New Jersey Revenue > $500K
New Mexico Revenue > $500K
New York $250K to $500K Revenue > $500K
North Carolina No Audit Required
North Dakota No Audit Required
Ohio No Audit Required
Oklahoma No Audit Required
Oregon No Audit Required
Pennsylvania  $100K to $300K Contributions > $300K *
Rhode Island Revenue > $500K
South Carolina No Audit Required
South Dakota No Charity Registration Required
Tennessee Revenue > $500K *
Texas Veteran’s and Police Organizations Only – No Audit Requirement
Utah No Audit Required
Vermont No Charity Registration Required
Virginia No Audit Required
Washington No Audit Required
West Virginia $100K to $200K Contributions > $ 200K *
Wisconsin $300K to $500K Contributions > $500K *
Wyoming No Charity Registration Required
* These states excluding certain types of revenue such as government agency fees & grants,
foundation grants, membership fees and investment income.
** $25K if professional fundraiser usedAs of 4/30/17

Please contact us with any comments, questions or concerns at (800) 780-6027 or

North Dakota Corporate Registration/Qualification

Out of state charitable corporations must obtain a certificate of authority from the Secretary of State office if they conduct activities in North Dakota which includes soliciting for donations.  A non-profit corporation can do this by filing a Certificate of Authority Foreign Corporation Application (SFN 13100).

A foreign corporation using a name other than its corporate name must also file the Trade Name Registration Form (SFN 13401) and renew annually.

You will need to have a Registered Agent for filing the Certificate of Authority Foreign Corporation Application which can be provided by a service or an individual residing in North Dakota. If your organization is registering nationwide you are going to need registered agents for several states so we recommend using a national agency so that you only have one point of contact for that service. Here is the link to the blog we posted earlier in the year on the role of Registered Agents in state charity registration process.

For more information on corporate registration, review the North Dakota Secretary of State’s website or you could read up on Corporate Registration and Registered Agents on our blog.

Please contact us with any comments, questions or concerns at (800) 780-6027 or

Oregon Corporate Registration/Qualification

Out-of-state charitable corporations must register prior to solicitation with the Department of Justice Charitable Activities Section.  Those forms can be found on SimpleCharityRegistration.

Nonprofit corporations organized in another state which solicit, hold assets or do business in Oregon must also register with the Oregon Secretary of State Corporations Division. They must file an Application for Authority to Transact Business-Nonprofit which can be submitted by mail or online at the Oregon Business Registry.  The annual renewal must be done online by February 1st of each year.

You will need to have a Registered Agent for service of process filing as a Foreign Non-profit can be provided by a service or an individual residing in Oregon. An entity cannot designate itself as its own registered agent.  If your organization is registering nationwide you are going to need registered agents for several states so we recommend using a national agency so that you only have one point of contact for that service. Here is the link to the blog we posted earlier in the year on the role of Registered Agents in state charity registration process.

Please contact us with any comments, questions or concerns at (800) 780-6027 or

DC Corporate Registration/Qualification

Nonprofits must file for a basic business license in DC which in lieu of completing a charity registration application.  This includes completing corporate registration with the FN-1 Form as a foreign entity conducting business in DC. The best way to register in DC is online through the Department of Consumer and Regulator Affairs (DCRA), Corporations Division, CorpOnline Web Portal.

It is best to register through their portal as you can track your progress from the corporate registration to the tax exempt application and then on to registering your non-profit as a business with the BBL-EZ Form.

You will need to have a Registered Agent for filing both as a Foreign Non-profit and for completing the BBL-EZ application both can be provided by a service or an individual residing in DC. If your organization is registering nationwide you are going to need registered agents for several states so we recommend using a national agency so that you only have one point of contact for that service. Here is the link to the blog we posted earlier in the year on the role of Registered Agents in state charity registration process.

If you plan on using a name in DC other than your registered corporate name, you also will need to register that Trade Name.

Please contact us with any comments, questions or concerns at (800) 780-6027 or