Capital/Endowment Campaign Management

Charitable Solicitation Registration

It’s not about our nonprofit’s address. It’s about the addresses to which you send your appeals for support.

Most non-profit organizations solicit donors through the mail at some point over the course of a year, as part of their overall annual campaign. What is often unknown or overlooked by organizations, is that many states have laws regulating the solicitation of funds for charitable purposes and organizations must REGISTER with a state agency prior to soliciting its residents for contributions. Charitable Solicitation Registration is a way in which states protect their citizens by regulating who can solicit donations.  Organizations that solicit charitable donations may need to maintain multiple registrations depending on the states in which they solicit.

Who Requires Registration?

As of August 2013, there are 39 states, including Illinois, which require charitable solicitation registration.  Many of these states also require annual financial reports to maintain this registration.  Thirteen states require nonprofits to notify prospective donors of their registration status by including a statement on solicitation materials.

Are There Exemptions?

Some states exempt religious groups and educational institutions, while others have unusual exemptions.  In some states you need to apply to be exempt.

Where Can I Find More Information?

Below are links to two sites that provide more detailed information.  (The inclusion of these links is not an endorsement of these companies.)   Please consult your attorney to determine if your organization is in compliance.

Foundations Group: Charitable Solicitations Registration:

National Corporate Research:

Watch for more information on this topic in the coming weeks.