Released September 12, 2018

Harbor Compliance & Foundation Center Release Grantseeking Guide

Details State Registration Requirements for Grantseekers and More

LANCASTER, Pa. September, 12, 2018 – Today Harbor Compliance and Foundation Center released How Compliance Affects Grantseeking: A Comprehensive Guide for Foundations, Nonprofits, and Fundraising Professionals. This white paper reveals little-known connections between state charitable solicitation laws and common grant-related activities to help nonprofits, foundations, and others in the industry successfully navigate state requirements when seeking and awarding grants.

Nonprofits and foundations are often unaware that grant applications are considered charitable solicitation under the laws of many states, potentially requiring registration. This guide resolves common questions such as:

  • When and where is registration required?
  • Do the requirements apply to all nonprofits, or are there exceptions?
  • How much does registration cost?
  • What steps are involved, and is there an easy way to manage state filings?
  • Must nonprofits register before submitting a grant application, or only if they receive an award?
  • How do state requirements apply to grant writers and other fundraising professionals?

The guide was prepared in response to questions received by Harbor Compliance over the course of registering thousands of nonprofits for fundraising. Readers are invited to download a copy.

Tracy Kaufman, Community Outreach Manager for Foundation Center, said, “Nonprofits often reserve their focus for a few specific regulations surrounding their work, but it’s not uncommon for organizations either to neglect the subject of state-by-state registration, to underestimate its importance, or to become confused by the process. Until a universal registration system becomes available that would be accepted in all 50 states, nonprofits still need to register in every state in which they seek to raise funds. Because nonprofits need to better understand the immense variety in solicitation regulations by state, we want to help clarify the process and the nuances of these regulations, so that organizations can carry on their fundraising work without accidentally running afoul of the law. This guide should be an extremely useful resource for nonprofits as they determine how best to plan their fundraising efforts.”

“While nonprofits aren’t always aware of how state requirements may apply to grant applications, grant makers are aware and might even require applicants to provide proof of registration,” said Brock Klinger, Harbor Compliance Nonprofit Account Executive. “Savvy grant applicants already know they’ll benefit from filing a 990-EZ/990, because the much shorter 990N (a.k.a. “postcard”) might not be an acceptable explanation of finances. In much the same way, lack of charitable licensing can derail a grant writing campaign. Having the proper registrations in place from the start will set would-be grantees up for success.”  

About Harbor Compliance

Founded by a team of government licensing specialists and technology trailblazers, Harbor Compliance is a leading provider of compliance solutions for organizations of all types and sizes. Since 2012, the company has helped more than 12,000 businesses and nonprofit organizations apply for, secure, and maintain licensing across all industries and activities. Its headquarters are located at 1830 Colonial Village Lane, Lancaster, PA. To learn more, visit or call 1-888-995-5895.