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Online Fundraising Might not be a Good Option

Fundraiser Newsletter Article

Many organizations are looking to the internet for help raising funds. While the internet is a wonderful source of opportunities that are nearly endless to help you raise money for your organization Ė there are laws that can cause legal and financial problems for you, if not proper registration and research isnít done.
The basic information you should be aware of is below. The internet is available world-wide and can be viewed anywhere in the world. While this may sound great at face value, it also makes your organization subject to different jurisdictions in different areas that regulate fundraising activity. If you are providing fundraising opportunities online, your site can be viewed by people anywhere which means you can be considered operating and soliciting funds in that country or area.
While some states will not take any action or impose any fines for those not registered in that state, please be sure to check the laws in your state and continue your research beforehand. Registration is required in at least 40 states. In an effort to facilitate an easier method, a Uniform Registration Form exists in 38 states. Even though, these states require extra information or supplemental documentation. The cost for registering in all states can be rather high for a smaller organization so be sure to weigh out the options first.
There is no easy answer to help decide if you should offer your fundraising online, the laws vary to much from place to place. Be sure to research and learn as much as you can about compliance within their jurisdictions where you are most likely going to raise funds. Itís always best to get legal advice before starting, when in doubt call your lawyer!

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