Attorney General Solicitation Registration

Attorney General Registration

The New York Attorney General’s Charities Bureau is responsible for protecting the public’s interest in the assets and revenue of companies that are organized and operated for charitable purposes in the state of New York, or which solicit contributions within the state of New York. This includes 501(c)(3) organizations and other tax-exempt entities. 

Charitable organizations that operate in the state of New York must file the CHAR410 registration with the Attorney General’s office using its electronic platform. The requirement to file the registration with the Attorney General includes all organizations that conduct charitable activities in the state of New York or who have assets held in the state for charitable purposes, or which solicits funds from the public in New York state. The registration includes an online application form, which requires the federal employer identification number, the initial directors’ names and addresses, and uploading of the organizing documents (the Certificate of Incorporation and bylaws). 

Regulation of Fundraising Professionals

In addition to the registration requirements for charitable organizations, fundraising professionals operating in the state of New York must register with the Attorney General’s office, and are required to renew their registration annually. Fundraising professionals that are regulated in the state of New York include Professional Fundraisers, Fundraising Counsel, and Professional Solicitors. Professional Fundraisers include individuals or companies that conduct fundraising activities in exchange for compensation or other benefits, including advertising that the purchase of goods or services, or entertainment, will benefit a charitable organization. A Professional Solicitor is a person who works on behalf of a professional fundraiser, for compensation, to solicit contributions from the public on behalf of charitable organizations. A Fundraising Counsel is a person who, for compensation, consults with charitable organizations for purposes of planning fundraising campaigns and events for the purposes of soliciting contributions in the state of New York. The important distinction is that a Fundraising Counsel does not have access to contributions and does not directly pay expenses associated with a solicitation, nor do they directly make solicitations. It should be noted that an officer of a nonprofit foundation, or a volunteer or employee, or its attorney, are not considered fundraising professionals. 

Claudia Pollak, Esq. is a nonprofit lawyer based in New York.