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Simplifying State Charitable Registration for Hospitals, Educational Institutions and Religious Organizations

By: Ron Barrett, COGENCY GLOBAL on Thu, Aug 27, 2020

Simplifying Charitable Registrations and Exemptions for Hospitals, Educational Institutions and Houses of WorshipI’ve discussed in the past how tricky charitable solicitation registration requirements can be to navigate. As a basic rule, most charities soliciting donations nationwide are required to register to solicit in 38 states. However, depending on the cause and type of organization, that number can go up to 42 states.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of finicky details and exemptions involved which can often lead to organizations facing fines due to not registering where they need to or spending a lot of time and money over-registering out of caution.

This complexity compounds further for certain nonprofits like hospitals, educational institutions and religious organizations. State statutes may provide special exemptions from charitable registration for these types of organizations (which can still require a one-time exemption application, a recommended but optional exemption filing or a self-declared exemption) but there are several other exceptions involved that can override those initial exemptions.

Options for Navigating Nonprofit Compliance

Generally, nonprofits have a few options to assist them in determining which states require charitable solicitation registration filings or exemption applications:

  • Hiring an attorney or CPA to review state statutes and rules to provide a professional (and often, costly) opinion.

  • Expending scarce and valuable staff time to do this complex research in-house.

  • Engaging a service company to assist in determining where to register or file for exemptions. (This is usually where COGENCY GLOBAL comes in.)

In the course of our work with nonprofits, we’ve come to understand that there are organizations where these options are just simply out of reach. That’s why we’ve developed CREW.

COGENCY GLOBAL’s Charitable Registrations and Exemptions Wizard

With CREW, COGENCY GLOBAL’s complimentary Charitable Registrations and Exemptions Wizard, in about five minutes a hospital, educational institution or religious organization can get a simple, one-page report that helps to easily determine the states where charitable registration is likely required or where exemptions are available with required or optional filings. CREW accounts for exceptions to exemptions, assisting charities to more fully comply with fundraising registration and exemption requirements for hospitals, colleges/universities, educational foundations and houses of worship (church, synagogue, mosque, etc.).

CREW is also a boon to organizations that are already registered/exempt nationwide but unsure whether they are properly registered. Through a few simple questions, CREW helps identify any applicable gaps in registrations or instances where a charity is registered in a state where an exemption may be applicable.

Getting Started with CREW

If you currently work with a hospital, educational institution or religious organization and feel overwhelmed with determining your organization’s charitable registration needs, I invite you to register an account with CREW below.

Take Me to CREW


This content is provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered, or relied upon, as legal advice.

Topics: Charitable Solicitation Registration, Nonprofit