Life Cycle of a Private Foundation: State Charitable Registration and Solicitation


Most states require charitable organizations to register with one or more state agencies. Organizations must typically file reports with the supervising agency, including a copy of IRS Form 990-PF. For more information, including how to determine in which states a foundation may be required to register, see the State Links for Exempt Organizations.

Private foundations that solicit funds for charitable purposes should be aware that many states have laws regulating this activity. These laws generally require soliciting charities to register with a state agency before soliciting the state's residents for contributions, but also providing exemptions from registration for certain categories of organizations. In addition, organizations may be required to file periodic financial reports.  State laws may impose additional requirements on fundraising activity involving paid solicitors and fundraising counsel. An IRS training documentPDF describes these requirements in greater detail. Foundations may wish to contact the appropriate state agency to learn more about the requirements that may apply in their state before soliciting contributions. In some states, municipal or other local governments may also require organizations soliciting charitable contributions to register and report.

State regulation of charitable solicitation and registration requirements to hold charitable assets

To determine in which states you may be required to register to solicit charitable contributions or hold assets subject to a charitable trust, see the State Links for Exempt Organizations.

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