Many state solicitation laws require the “disclosure” of information about the soliciting nonprofit be on all written materials sent by any method to potential donors and included in all follow-up contact. The required information may include name, address and telephone number of the organization, a description of the charitable purpose or program, or whether the solicited gift (or a portion of it) may be deducted as a charitable contribution.
This collection of required “disclosures” is, for the most part, satisfied in the normal course of creating any written fundraising piece (and adhering to IRS rules). However, a number of states have an additional requirement that prospective donors be provided with information on how they may obtain a copy of the financial filings you made to state officials. These state-mandated required disclosures are listed and modeled on page 2. Many states, such as Florida and New York, now require these disclosures be conspicuously displayed on any webpage that identifies a mailing address where contributions are to be sent, identifies a telephone number to call to process contributions, or provides for online processing of contributions. Below is a list of the required disclosure verbiage followed by a list of special display requirements:
- Florida – A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE, WITHIN THE STATE, 1-800-435-7352 (800-HELP-FLA), OR VISITING www.800helpfla.com. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE. Florida Registration #(INSERT FL #)
- Georgia – A full and fair description of our programs and our financial statement summary is available upon request at the office and phone number indicated above.
- Maryland – For the cost of copies and postage, from the Office of the Secretary of State, State House, Annapolis, MD 21401.
- Mississippi – The official registration and financial information of (NAME OF CHARITY) may be obtained from the Mississippi Secretary of State’s office by calling 1-888-236-6167. Registration by the Secretary of State does not imply endorsement.
- New Jersey – INFORMATION FILED WITH THE ATTORNEY GENERAL CONCERNING THIS CHARITABLE SOLICITATION AND THE PERCENTAGE OF CONTRIBUTIONS RECEIVED BY THE CHARITY DURING THE LAST REPORTING PERIOD THAT WERE DEDICATED TO THE CHARITABLE PURPOSE MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY BY CALLING (973)504-6215 AND IS AVAILABLE ON THE INTERNET AT: http://www.state.nj.us/lps/ca/charfrm.htm. REGISTRATION WITH THE ATTORNEY GENERAL DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT.
- New York – Upon request, Attorney General Charities Bureau, 120 Broadway, New York, NY 10271.
- North Carolina – Financial information about this organization and a copy of its license are available from the State Solicitation Licensing Branch at 1-888-830-4989. This is not an endorsement by the state.
- Pennsylvania – The official registration and financial information of (NAME OF CHARITY) may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll-free, within Pennsylvania, 1-800-732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement.
- Virginia – State Division of Consumer Affairs, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Services, PO Box 1163, Richmond, VA 23218.
- Washington – Secretary of State at 1-800-332-4483 or http://www.sos.wa.gov/charities/.
- West Virginia – West Virginia residents may obtain a summary of the registration and financial documents from the Secretary of State, State Capitol, Charleston, WV 25305
- REGISTRATION WITH A STATE AGENCY DOES NOT CONSTITUTE OR IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL OR RECOMMENDATION BY THAT STATE.
- Florida and New Jersey state that their notice must contain their exact wording (IN CAPITAL LETTERS). Florida must include the charity’s registration number.
- Georgia requires where to obtain a “full and fair” description of charitable program.
- Maryland requires that the words “For the cost of postage and copies” be inserted in the paragraph concerning the availability of the financial statement from the Secretary of State.
- Mississippi and Pennsylvania have notices which the charity “shall conspicuously state verbatim”.
- New York requires a statement of where to obtain a copy of charity’s annual report and must be placed conspicuously with a print no smaller than 10-point bold face type.
- North Carolina The required verbatim statement should be “made conspicuous by use of one or more of the following: underlining, a border, or bold type.” Their notice must be in a minimum of 9-point type.
- Virginia requires all nonprofits include a disclosure stating that financial statements for the last fiscal year are available from the State Division of Consumer Affairs.
- West Virginia was the first state requiring a disclosure paragraph but now only require the words “a summary…”
We have also posted a blog post, which summarizes and lists each of the state disclosure laws. As this was posted a number of years ago a couple of these laws have changed, but most are still up-to-date. So for additional information relating to state state disclosure statutes you can also check out our Public Disclosure Laws post.
Last Revised: 3/7/2017