501(c)(3) non-profit organizations that have secured tax-exempt status from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) often ask for donations from supporters. Under the Maryland Solicitations Act, these organizations must file certain forms with the State of Maryland if they wish to ask people or other organizations to donate money.
Registration Requirement. A charitable organization must annually register with the Maryland Secretary of State, per fiscal year, to raise funds (“charitable solicitations”) if the gifts exceed $25,000 or if the organization use a fundraising service or a professional solicitor.
If an organization's gifts do not reach $25,000 and the organization does not employ a professional solicitor – or if the organization is a religious organization, affiliated with a religious organization, or soliciting contributions only from their members – then the organization is exempt from registering. However, the organizations must still annually file for the exemption.
Initial Registration. An organization that received $25,000 or more in charitable funds, or uses a professional solicitor, must complete the Registration Statement for Charitable Organizations (COR-92).
- You will have to include information about the organization along with the form.
- There is an annual fee for registering. The fee increases based on the level of charitable contributions.
Annual Update. An organization that previously filed the Registration Statement must annually fill out an Annual Update of Registration Form.
- The annual Update form is due within 10.5 months after the end of your fiscal year.
- Failure to file the Annual Update of Registration Form will result in a late fee penalty as well as any applicable fees from the registration fee schedule.
Exemption. An organization that received less than $25,000 in charitable funds, or is otherwise exempt as described above, must file an Exempt Organizations Fundraising Notice. This Exemption Form must be filed within 8 months after the end of your fiscal year. This must be updated annually.
Read the law: Md. Code, Business Regulations § 6-401; § 6-102
Federal Requirements. This article addresses Maryland filing requirements. There may be additional federal requirements. Learn more from the IRS site. In addition, the Maryland Charitable Solicitation Filings require some federal filings, including the organization's annual federal tax return.