How many times have I heard from a charity – we are flying under the radar – no state cares if we are registered to solicit or not. And what is the worst that can happen if we get caught?
President Elect’s Foundation Receives a Cease and Desist Oder from NY Attorney General
Of course, the President Elect of the United States might find it a bit more difficult to fly under the radar than you do, but the New York Attorney General recently issued a Notice of Violation directing the Donald J. Trump Foundation (Trump Foundation) to cease and desist New York solicitations BECAUSE THE NONPROFIT HAD FAILED TO REGISTER WITH THE NY CHARITIES BUREAU AND TO FILE THE REQUIRED ANNUAL FINANCIAL REPORTS. The notice directs the Trump Foundation to “immediately cease soliciting contributions or engaging in other fundraising activities in New York” and “to provide the [AG’s] Charities Bureau with the information specified in Section 172 within fifteen (15) days” of receiving the notice.
To read the notice visit: https://ag.ny.gov/sites/default/files/trump_foundation_notice_of_violation_9-30-16.pdf
Back to the question of what can happen if our nonprofit is soliciting without registering where required? The list is extensive:
- Cease and desist order or loss of right to solicit;
- Civil penalties;
- Fines from small to $1,000 per day;
- Letter of reprimand;
- And even felony charges.
Do the Right Thing
I often close these blogs with the words my husband would say to our son each morning as he headed out for school, “Do Good – Be Good”. State charity registration requirements can be complex, frustrating, and in some cases border on asking for the ridiculous (really – does Georgia need to ask for gender, birth date, and social security number of the control person?), but the state charity registration requirements are the law. Virtually every nonprofit exists to Do Good Things; charity registration is The Right Thing to Do.