What is a charitable solicitation?
Why are charities required to register?
When should a charity register?
Who has to register?
Do all states require registration for a charitable organization?
Is an Internet web site or email which solicits charitable gifts a charitable solicitation?
Currently, none of the states' charitable solicitations laws specifically address solicitation via the Internet. However, several states use broad language in defining a "charitable solicitation," e.g. "through any medium," "each request for a contribution," "request[s] of any kind for a contribution," such that Internet solicitation can reasonably be interpreted to be governed under existing statutes.
The National Association of State Charity Officials (NASCO) generally agrees that a solicitation is a solicitation, regardless of the medium, but acknowledges that the Internet creates some interesting questions that it has debated and attempted to address in its "Charleston Principles." This document amounts to a series of suggestions to state legislatures regarding how best to bring charitable solicitation statutes up to 21st century Internet speed without making it a prohibitively expensive and grossly over-regulated medium for soliciting charitable donations. For instance, the Charleston Principles suggest that, if the website appears to be intended to solicit only from the local community for a local purpose, a national registration filing may not be necessary.
Are any charities exempt from registration?
What is a professional solicitor or professional fundraiser?
Are there any disclosure statements required by the charitable organization conducting solicitations?
How does a state become aware of noncompliance?
What penalties may apply for noncompliance?