State charity offices have been making rapid responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now concerned with the promotion of public health, these officials are taking steps that impact your nonprofit’s state registrations.
Effective March 20, 2020, both the Georgia Secretary of State and the Pennsylvania Department of State have unveiled new online portals for registration and reporting of annual charitable solicitation filings.
Georgia developed its portal to allow filers to submit documents electronically. From their office:
“It is accessible and easy to use. Payment functionality will be implemented by April 1st, 2020 to allow filing fees to be paid online as well.
GASeamlessGov is secure, ADA-compliant, and user-friendly. We believe our applicants and registrants will benefit directly from this improved service.
We encourage you to join our office in going paper-free as a part of the Georgia Secretary of State’s dedication to go green!”
We remind Users of Georgia’s system that this portal serves mainly to upload documents, which still must be properly completed, signed, and in many cases, notarized.
Pennsylvania developed a new system in rapid succession to COVID-19. Their office is presently closed and is not accepting any paper or mailed applications. All filings must be done online.
All applicants must have a Keystone Login. Organizations that are renewing their registrations by filing BCO-10 must have a passcode, which has been emailed to all existing organizations. Lost passcodes can be requested by emailing ST-CHARITY@pa.gov.
Maryland charitable organizations, professional solicitors, and fundraising counsel have an extended period to file renewal applications, contingent on the state’s declaration of a state of emergency. From the state:
“The Governor of the State of Maryland has proclaimed a State of Emergency and a catastrophic health emergency related to COVID-19. On March 12, 2020, an order was issued extending state licenses and registrations until 30 days after the State of Emergency and catastrophic health emergency is terminated. See notice.
In accordance with the Order, the Secretary of State has issued a Public Notice extending registrations for charitable organizations, professional solicitors, fundraising counsels, and public safety solicitors due during this period are automatically extended until 30 days after the State of Emergency is terminated.
This order only impacts registration due dates from March 12, 2020 until the State of Emergency and catastrophic health emergency is terminated.
If your registration was due before March 11, 2020, it is delinquent.”
Many state agencies are working remotely or are closed altogether, including:
Mailed applications to these agencies will not be processed quickly or may even be returned. Approval letters may be significantly delayed. Where online filing exists, it is generally the better option. Be patient during this time!
From all of us at Harbor Compliance, stay tuned and stay safe during these challenging times.