State Registration for Charities & Religious Organizations

Currently, 39 states and the District of Columbia require charities that solicit funds within their borders to register with the secretary of state. Churches and religious organizations are generally exempt from the registration requirements in most states; however, some states require churches to register if the church is required to file Form 990, and some states require non-church religious organizations to register. Arizona requires to churches to register, but does not require financial information. Charitable solicitation rules vary from state to state and can be complex. Registration is also normally required for any professional fundraising company hired by the charity. In addition to the cost and time required to prepare the registration forms, most states also require a fee for registration. The states that don’t require registration? Delaware, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas (except for public safety charities), Vermont & Wyoming.