Your nonprofit has to register in each state where it solicits. That’s the law in every state and D.C. Why not get extra mileage out of the work you put into your compliance?
- keeps your officers and board from paying fines
- gets your IRS Form 990 filled out accurately (it’s signed by an officer under penalty of perjury)
- protects your organization’s reputation
- avoids civil or criminal penalties
- minimizes the likelihood of a gift challenge
- puts you on the right side of the law
These are important reasons for following state laws, but they’re in the background–which is where you want them. If one of those is all of a sudden front-and-center and capturing your attention, you’ve got a crisis.
To gain extra mileage from your registration work, put it out front on a “We’re Compliant!” web page. List all the states you’re registered in so you get some promotion value out of being on the right side of the laws, operating legally and ethically. Compliance shows you’re protecting your donors from fraud and insuring charitable donations go to charitable purposes. Those are the stated rationales for the web of regulations. So boast about it.
You can’t claim endorsement by states or their officials, that’s crossing the line. But you can certainly brag about your compliance, especially when so few charities are on the right side of the registration laws. You can use the page your organization creates (or one linked to it) to make the mandatory disclosures required by some states.
So shake your tail feathers, flap your wings and crow: “We’re Compliant!”