Approximately 40 states have enacted charitable solicitation statutes. Although specifics vary, state statutes usually require organizations to register with the state before they solicit the state's residents for contributions. In most states, certain organizations are specifically excluded or exempt from the registration requirements. Although most states exempt similar types of organizations, specific exemptions vary from state to state.
For example, in Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Solicitation of Funds for Charitable Purposes Act requires charities to register before they solicit contributions in the state. Bona fide religious institutions and organizations of law enforcement personnel, firefighters, and other persons who protect the public safety are excluded from the state's requirements if they meet certain criteria. In addition, educational institutions, hospitals, veteran's organizations, volunteer firemen organizations, ambulance associations, rescue squad associations, public nonprofit library associations, senior citizens centers, nursing homes, and parent teacher associations are exempt if they meet certain criteria. Finally, organizations receiving annual contributions of $25,000 or less are exempt from the Pennsylvania registration requirements as long as they don't compensate anyone to conduct solicitations.
For more information see Emerson, State Charitable Solicitation Statutes.
Visit your state website to find information on state registration requirements for charities, taxation, information for employers, and more.