|The Solicitation of Funds for Charitable Purposes Act, 10 P.S. Section 162.1 et seq ., requires all organizations soliciting funds for a charitable purpose to register with the Department of State's Bureau of Charitable Organizations before they solicit contributions in Pennsylvania unless they are specifically excluded or exempt from the Act.
The Act also requires solicitors to register prior to soliciting for charitable organizations in Pennsylvania, and fundraising counsels to register prior to providing services related to solicitations in Pennsylvania.
A "solicitation" is any direct or indirect request for a contribution where a representation is made that the contribution will be used for a charitable purpose. It includes, among other things, oral requests made in person, by telephone, radio, television, or other communication media; written requests; and sales of advertising space, chances, food, magazines, tickets, or other items of value.
A "contribution" is any promise, grant, or pledge of money, property, or other item in response to a solicitation, including the promise to pay for a performance, event, good or service.
While the Act generally requires organizations soliciting contributions in Pennsylvania to register with the bureau prior to doing so, certain organizations are specifically excluded or exempt from the Act.
If your organization is soliciting contributions from Pennsylvania residents and is not excluded or exempt, it must file a BCO-10 registration statement for its most recently completed fiscal year; a copy of its IRS 990 return; and the appropriate financial statements within 30 days of receiving more than $25,000 in gross national contributions or prior to compensating someone to solicit contributions from Pennsylvania residents.
Organizations receiving more than $25,000 but less than $50,000 have the option of filing internally prepared, compiled, reviewed, or audited financial statements. Compiled financial statements must be prepared by a licensed certified public accountant or licensed public accountant. Organizations receiving between $50,000 and less than $100,000 can file compiled, reviewed or audited financial statements. Organizations receiving between $100,000 and less than $300,000 can file reviewed or audited financial statements, and organizations receiving $300,000 and over must file audited financial statements. Reviews and audits must be performed by an independent, licensed public accountant or an independent, licensed certified public accountant. For a detailed chart concerning the financial filing requirements, please review the Instructions page of the registration packet.
First-time registrants must also submit copies of other official documents, such as their organizational charter and by-laws.
You can access the Solicitation of Funds for Charitable Purposes Act, or download a registration packet through this Web site. You can request clarification about any of these matters by calling or writing the Bureau.