Your nonprofit can cross one item of its to-do list. As of September 2013, Arizona will become of the few states without a charitable registration requirement.
Arizona Governor Janice Brewer signed into law last month legislation repealing the requirement for charities to register in the state prior to soliciting donations. The Governor signed the bill even after the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits urged her to veto it. The Alliance argued that the registration requirement protected donors from “sham fundraising and scam artists” and asked Brewer to fix the flaws in the existing law instead of repealing it.
The Arizona Nonprofit Policy Council is now considering whether to seek the introduction of improved registration requirements in the next legislative session.
In the meantime, if your nonprofit is soliciting donations in a foreign state (i.e., any state other than the one in which it was incorporated), remember that it is subject to the charitable solicitation laws of that state. Thus, it is critical that a charity determine the charitable registration requirements of any state prior to commencing solicitations. Charities also must be aware of laws regulating charitable activities. For example, what must your organization do, if anything, prior to holding a bingo, raffle, or poker night fundraising event in a given state?
Failure to comply with charitable solicitation laws can result in sanctions ranging from monetary penalties to misdemeanor charges to outright bans on soliciting donations. Thus, make sure your nonprofit complies with the fundraising laws of each state in which it solicits.