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Demystifying State Charity
Registration Laws
The Foundation Center
Delivered by
Tony Martignetti, Esq.
Martignetti Planned Giving Advisors, LLC
March11, 2014
2
Where We’re Headed
• What is Charity Registration
• Why comply with the laws
• Where do you register
• What is a solicitation
• How do you register
• Registration in NY
• Plan for how to get going
• Continuing Education
tonymartignetti.com
3
What Is Charity Registration
Requirements throughout the states and
D.C. that charities register with
authorities--or be exempt--everywhere
they solicit.
tonymartignetti.com
4
Why Comply With The Laws
• IRS Form 990
• Criminal & civil penalties, including
- NY: civil fraud
- NJ: civil fine, $10,000
- CT: criminal; 1 yr/$5000
- PA: misdemeanor; 5 yrs/$10,000
- MD: civil fine, $5000
- DC: civil fines, penalties, fees
- FL: 3rd degree felony; 5 yrs/$5000
- GA: civil fine; $25,000
tonymartignetti.com
5
Why Comply With The Laws
• Board member liability; fiduciary duty
• Gift challenge from donor or heir
- Disgruntled donor hires enterprising
attorney
• Right thing to do; operate within the laws
tonymartignetti.com
6
Where We Are
√ What is Charity Registration
√ Why comply with the laws
• Where do you register
• What is a solicitation
• How do you register
• Registration in NY
• Plan for how to get going
• Resources
tonymartignetti.com
7
Where Do You Register
Everywhere you solicit,
except where you’re
exempt
tonymartignetti.com
8
What Is A Solicitation
• Varies state to state
• A few neat categories
tonymartignetti.com
9
What Is A Solicitation
• Mere existence of website accepting
donations
- “Donate Now” button
- Passive solicitation
- NY, NJ, FL, GA, IL, DC, VA, others
tonymartignetti.com
10
What Is A Solicitation
• Website accepting donations + induce donors to
it
- email, US mail, phone, ads, meetings, events
- Active solicitation
- CT, CA, MD, TX (not email), UT, WA, WI
tonymartignetti.com
11
What Is A Solicitation
• Ask for charitable support by
- Email
- US Mail
- Phone
- Meetings
- Events
- Advertisements
• Active solicitation
• These are a solicitation in nearly every state
tonymartignetti.com
12
Even If You Are Soliciting
• You might be exempt
• Exemptions vary drastically across states
- Mission, with qualifications
- Gross revenue
- Gross fundraising revenue
- Revenue from within the state (kindest)
tonymartignetti.com
13
Charleston Principles
• Uniform definition of solicitation
• National Association of State Charities Officials
(NASCO)
• Not adopted by all states
• Uncertain where adopted
tonymartignetti.com
14
Where We Are
√ What is Charity Registration
√ Why comply with the laws
√ Where do you register
√ What is a solicitation
• How do you register
• Registration in NY
• Plan for how to get going
• Resources
tonymartignetti.com
15
How Do You Register-Forms
• Vary drastically across the states
• Unified Registration Statement (URS)
• A few neat categories
- URS only (+ state idiosyncrasies) (NY)
- URS + state forms
- Non URS
--”foreign corporation doing business”
tonymartignetti.com
16
How Do You Register-Docs
• Typical documents
- By laws & articles of incorporation
- IRS determination letter
- Board list
- Financial report
- IRS Form 990
tonymartignetti.com
17
How Do You Register-Fees
• A few neat categories
- Flat (NY)
- Tiered by gross revenue or contributions
- Tiered by in-state revenue (kindest)
• HI most expensive: $750 for largest
• 32 ≤ $100
• 3 free: KY, MI, NM
tonymartignetti.com
18
How Do You Register in NY
• 2 governing laws
- Executive, EPTL
• Exemptions
- Religious
- Education, with qualifications
- Gross contributions under $25,000 & no
professional fundraisers (incl. employees)
- All or most funding from 1 gov’t agency, with
qualifications
- Veterans, law enforcement, PTA
tonymartignetti.com
19
How Do You Register in NY
• Apply for exemption
• Not exempt
- URS or state form (CHAR 410)
- IRS tax exempt letter, by-laws, articles of
incorp., 990, financial stmnt.
- Indefinite registration for $25
- Annual financial reporting
tonymartignetti.com
20
NY Annual Financial Reporting
• Gross revenue under $100,000
- unaudited report + $10
• Gross revenue up to $250,000*
- fin. stmnt w/CPA review + $10
• Gross revenue over $250,000* or paid
fundraisers
- audited fin. stmnt w/CPA opinion + $25
*changes to $500,000 on 7/1/14
tonymartignetti.com
21
Where We Are
√ What is Charity Registration
√ Why comply with the laws
√ Where do you register
√ What is a solicitation
√ How do you register
√ Registration in NY
• Plan for how to get going
• Resources
tonymartignetti.com
22
Plan For How To Get Going-1
• Charity starts at home
-- enforcement also starts at home
-- FL, GA, WA
-- register there
tonymartignetti.com
23
Plan For How To Get Going-2
• Very high fundraising revenue states, if
any
- dollar amount
- percentage of fundraising revenue
tonymartignetti.com
24
Plan For How To Get Going-3
Web Based Fundraising
• Do you need every state?
- if not, take safe harbor & restrict giving
• Where solicit most
- descending state populations
-- www.census.gov
- work down the list
tonymartignetti.com
25
Plan For How To Get Going-3
Non Web Based Fundraising
• Where solicit most
- query database for constituent
frequency by state
- descending order of frequency
- work down the list
tonymartignetti.com
26
Plan For How To Get Going-4
• Don’t be intimidated or overwhelmed
• Follow a plan
• One to three per month
• May be exempt in some
- need to apply for exemption?
• You can do this
tonymartignetti.com
27
Continuing Education
• tonymartignetti.com
• nasconet.org (state charity officials)
• multistatefiling.org (URS & related
• my book: Charity Registration: State-by-State
Guidelines for Compliance
• site I’m building
-- give me your card for info
tonymartignetti.com

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Demystifying State Charity Registration Laws

  • 1. Demystifying State Charity Registration Laws The Foundation Center Delivered by Tony Martignetti, Esq. Martignetti Planned Giving Advisors, LLC March11, 2014
  • 2. 2 Where We’re Headed • What is Charity Registration • Why comply with the laws • Where do you register • What is a solicitation • How do you register • Registration in NY • Plan for how to get going • Continuing Education tonymartignetti.com
  • 3. 3 What Is Charity Registration Requirements throughout the states and D.C. that charities register with authorities--or be exempt--everywhere they solicit. tonymartignetti.com
  • 4. 4 Why Comply With The Laws • IRS Form 990 • Criminal & civil penalties, including - NY: civil fraud - NJ: civil fine, $10,000 - CT: criminal; 1 yr/$5000 - PA: misdemeanor; 5 yrs/$10,000 - MD: civil fine, $5000 - DC: civil fines, penalties, fees - FL: 3rd degree felony; 5 yrs/$5000 - GA: civil fine; $25,000 tonymartignetti.com
  • 5. 5 Why Comply With The Laws • Board member liability; fiduciary duty • Gift challenge from donor or heir - Disgruntled donor hires enterprising attorney • Right thing to do; operate within the laws tonymartignetti.com
  • 6. 6 Where We Are √ What is Charity Registration √ Why comply with the laws • Where do you register • What is a solicitation • How do you register • Registration in NY • Plan for how to get going • Resources tonymartignetti.com
  • 7. 7 Where Do You Register Everywhere you solicit, except where you’re exempt tonymartignetti.com
  • 8. 8 What Is A Solicitation • Varies state to state • A few neat categories tonymartignetti.com
  • 9. 9 What Is A Solicitation • Mere existence of website accepting donations - “Donate Now” button - Passive solicitation - NY, NJ, FL, GA, IL, DC, VA, others tonymartignetti.com
  • 10. 10 What Is A Solicitation • Website accepting donations + induce donors to it - email, US mail, phone, ads, meetings, events - Active solicitation - CT, CA, MD, TX (not email), UT, WA, WI tonymartignetti.com
  • 11. 11 What Is A Solicitation • Ask for charitable support by - Email - US Mail - Phone - Meetings - Events - Advertisements • Active solicitation • These are a solicitation in nearly every state tonymartignetti.com
  • 12. 12 Even If You Are Soliciting • You might be exempt • Exemptions vary drastically across states - Mission, with qualifications - Gross revenue - Gross fundraising revenue - Revenue from within the state (kindest) tonymartignetti.com
  • 13. 13 Charleston Principles • Uniform definition of solicitation • National Association of State Charities Officials (NASCO) • Not adopted by all states • Uncertain where adopted tonymartignetti.com
  • 14. 14 Where We Are √ What is Charity Registration √ Why comply with the laws √ Where do you register √ What is a solicitation • How do you register • Registration in NY • Plan for how to get going • Resources tonymartignetti.com
  • 15. 15 How Do You Register-Forms • Vary drastically across the states • Unified Registration Statement (URS) • A few neat categories - URS only (+ state idiosyncrasies) (NY) - URS + state forms - Non URS --”foreign corporation doing business” tonymartignetti.com
  • 16. 16 How Do You Register-Docs • Typical documents - By laws & articles of incorporation - IRS determination letter - Board list - Financial report - IRS Form 990 tonymartignetti.com
  • 17. 17 How Do You Register-Fees • A few neat categories - Flat (NY) - Tiered by gross revenue or contributions - Tiered by in-state revenue (kindest) • HI most expensive: $750 for largest • 32 ≤ $100 • 3 free: KY, MI, NM tonymartignetti.com
  • 18. 18 How Do You Register in NY • 2 governing laws - Executive, EPTL • Exemptions - Religious - Education, with qualifications - Gross contributions under $25,000 & no professional fundraisers (incl. employees) - All or most funding from 1 gov’t agency, with qualifications - Veterans, law enforcement, PTA tonymartignetti.com
  • 19. 19 How Do You Register in NY • Apply for exemption • Not exempt - URS or state form (CHAR 410) - IRS tax exempt letter, by-laws, articles of incorp., 990, financial stmnt. - Indefinite registration for $25 - Annual financial reporting tonymartignetti.com
  • 20. 20 NY Annual Financial Reporting • Gross revenue under $100,000 - unaudited report + $10 • Gross revenue up to $250,000* - fin. stmnt w/CPA review + $10 • Gross revenue over $250,000* or paid fundraisers - audited fin. stmnt w/CPA opinion + $25 *changes to $500,000 on 7/1/14 tonymartignetti.com
  • 21. 21 Where We Are √ What is Charity Registration √ Why comply with the laws √ Where do you register √ What is a solicitation √ How do you register √ Registration in NY • Plan for how to get going • Resources tonymartignetti.com
  • 22. 22 Plan For How To Get Going-1 • Charity starts at home -- enforcement also starts at home -- FL, GA, WA -- register there tonymartignetti.com
  • 23. 23 Plan For How To Get Going-2 • Very high fundraising revenue states, if any - dollar amount - percentage of fundraising revenue tonymartignetti.com
  • 24. 24 Plan For How To Get Going-3 Web Based Fundraising • Do you need every state? - if not, take safe harbor & restrict giving • Where solicit most - descending state populations -- www.census.gov - work down the list tonymartignetti.com
  • 25. 25 Plan For How To Get Going-3 Non Web Based Fundraising • Where solicit most - query database for constituent frequency by state - descending order of frequency - work down the list tonymartignetti.com
  • 26. 26 Plan For How To Get Going-4 • Don’t be intimidated or overwhelmed • Follow a plan • One to three per month • May be exempt in some - need to apply for exemption? • You can do this tonymartignetti.com
  • 27. 27 Continuing Education • tonymartignetti.com • nasconet.org (state charity officials) • multistatefiling.org (URS & related • my book: Charity Registration: State-by-State Guidelines for Compliance • site I’m building -- give me your card for info tonymartignetti.com