The National Association of State Charity Officials (“NASCO”) recently published the Survey of State Laws Governing Registration of Charities as of July 2021.  In general, prior to soliciting donations from the residents of any state, and, in some cases, simply by virtue of holding assets or conducting activities in a particular state, charities must register and make annual filings with that state, and this survey is a useful reference chart for understanding each state’s requirements and exceptions.

NASCO is an association of the state agencies responsible for overseeing charitable organizations and charitable solicitation in the United States.  The requirements and procedures for forming charitable organizations differ from state to state, as do the registration and filing requirements for organizations that conduct charitable activities or solicit charitable contributions.

The survey is intended to assist charities in navigating state registration requirements, and provides state-specific information including: state agency contact information; initial registration requirements; annual registration and renewal requirements; and whether registration can be completed online.

Charities should work with counsel as needed to understand the requirements of each state in which they solicit donations, hold charitable assets, or conduct activities, to ensure a compliance program is in place to satisfy those requirements.  For each donation received, charities should keep track of the amount of such donation and where the donor resides, among other information, so that they can determine if and when registration in a particular state may be required.