Many states offer exemption from charitable solicitation registration if a charity raises less than a specific dollar amount. Do these dollar limits apply to funds raised within each state, or do they apply to funds raised in the aggregate in all states?
Thirty-nine states and the District of Columbia have charitable solicitation registration statutes that require many charities to register before soliciting charitable contributions within the state. While generally similar in approach, the statutes are not identical. They generally contain an exemption for charities that raise only a small amount in gifts, but they also generally base that exemption on the aggregate contributions received from all sources and not just the funds raised within the specific state.
Some states have additional conditions as well. In Pennsylvania, for example, a charity need not register if it receives less than $25,000, but only if no person is paid in connection with solicitation. If the organization has a part time paid executive director whose job includes asking for donations, the organization is required to register even if it never raises a penny. The $25,000 safe harbor applies only if no person who is paid by the organization ever asks for contributions.