Posted on April 9, 2024

Should You Complete Charitable Solicitation Registration In-House, or Utilize a Third-Party Provider?

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Fundraising is an essential activity for many nonprofit organizations, enabling them to gather the necessary resources to conduct their operations and pursue their mission. However, the regulatory landscape that governs charitable solicitation activities can be complicated. Each state has its own rules and requirements, often necessitating extensive paperwork and meticulous compliance efforts. This raises a crucial question for nonprofits: When it comes to charitable solicitation registration, is it more advantageous to work with a professional registration service or handle the process in-house?

At Affinity Fundraising Registration, we have over 30 combined years of experience in nonprofit management, fundraising, and registration services, and it’s our mission to provide organizations with transparent and comprehensive guidance throughout the state filing process. In this article, we’ll delve into the challenges of registration, explore the benefits of both approaches. 

By providing a comprehensive overview of what both paths entail, we aim to equip you with the knowledge to make an informed decision. Our goal is to help you navigate the regulatory hurdles of fundraising, ensure that your organization remains compliant, and legally pursue your fundraising goals. 

Challenges of Charitable Solicitation Registration

Navigating the intricate landscape of charitable solicitation registration is a critical step for any nonprofit seeking to solicit funds legally and effectively. Yet, the administrative side of this important task, particularly compliance with the myriad of state regulations, often presents one of the biggest challenges.

The difficulties extend beyond just understanding and complying with diverse state laws; issues such as determining the most cost-effective approach, ensuring timely submissions, handling legal nuances, and maintaining up-to-date records compound the difficulty. Moreover, it’s important to consider the consequences of noncompliance which can range from financial penalties to reputational damage, both of which can significantly impact an organization’s ability to raise funds and pursue its goals.

When deciding on whether to register in-house or hire a fundraising registration service provider, several key factors must be weighed:

Technical Knowledge

The knowledge that is required for the registration process is significant. Each state has its own set of rules and paperwork, and staying current with these regulations demands a deep understanding of legal requisites that can be difficult (although not impossible) to achieve without a specialized background.  


Managing registrations is notoriously time-consuming, especially when soliciting across multiple states. The responsibilities involved with multi-state registration can quickly become a full-time job, detracting from other essential duties within the organization.

Reporting and Recordkeeping

The intricacies and varying nature of recordkeeping and reporting requirements across different jurisdictions also present a significant hurdle. The challenges are multifaceted and include, among other things, submitting the necessary registration forms and financial statements, meticulously maintaining updated records, paying the required fees, and tracking deadlines to ensure timely and accurate reporting. Keep in mind that this process will likely need to be completed again each year when it’s time to renew.

Increasing Complexity With Growth

The process of charitable solicitation registration will become increasingly complex as your nonprofit grows and seeks to expand its fundraising activities into new geographical areas. Additionally, state laws governing fundraising activities are not static — they can and do change, necessitating continuous monitoring to ensure ongoing compliance.

Benefits of In-House Registration

Many nonprofits choose to handle the fundraising registration process internally. Self-registering can offer several benefits and by managing the registration process themselves, organizations can build valuable knowledge about compliance that can be beneficial in the long run. 

The following are some of the reasons nonprofits choose to self-register: 


By self-registering for state fundraising, organizations maintain control over their compliance efforts. This can give them access to every detail of their registration process and an undiluted confidence in its completion.


Depending on various factors such as the number of states where they’re fundraising and whether they have in-house expertise, organizations may believe it to be more cost-effective to designate one of their payroll-employees to handle the registration themselves, instead of hiring external help.

Familiarity with Regulations

Organizations may already have an understanding of fundraising laws due to prior experience. Self-registration may therefore be the more comfortable choice for them.

Protection of Sensitive Information

Some organizations might prefer to keep control of sensitive data instead of sharing it with a third-party. Self-registration allows them to handle their own information and stay organized internally.

Benefits of Working With a Charitable Solicitation Registration Service 

Many organizations neither have the time nor the expertise to effectively and confidently manage the registration process. Therefore, outsourcing charitable registration filings is a strategic solution that will streamline this process and provide many benefits.

Expertise and Knowledge

Engaging an experienced provider to complete your charitable solicitation registration and renewals ensures that you are working with professionals who have a deep understanding of complex state laws. They will stay informed of any changes in the legal landscape, ensuring compliance with evolving regulations.


Registration across multiple states can be a time-consuming process. Service providers take over this arduous task, allowing you to focus more on your mission and less on detailed administrative tasks.


Using a service provider is often more economical in the long run as it eliminates the need to hire additional staff for this purpose. They also often have relationships with state offices, enabling a smoother and faster registration process.

Reduced Risk of Non-Compliance

Nonprofits can face steep penalties if they fail to register properly or meet filing deadlines. Providers have systems in place to track due dates and requirements, significantly reducing the risk of non-compliance.

Simplified Reporting

Service providers usually have standard reporting measures that keep nonprofits informed about their registration status. This often proves to be more efficient than trying to maintain these records internally.

Renewal Management

Keeping track of renewal deadlines can be a tedious task. Service providers take care of this, ensuring continued compliance with state laws.

Efficient Handling

Providers often have ways of streamlining the registration process — both in collecting information for all states in one platform, and in reporting the information to the states efficiently — resulting in a lower overall time investment by nonprofits. In the event of an audit or state inquiry, having an experienced ally on your side can ensure these matters are handled efficiently and effectively.

Focused Resources

By partnering with a registration service, organizations can better focus their resources on their mission and core competencies while leaving the technicalities of fundraising registration to the experts.

Affinity Fundraising Registration: An All-in-One Solution, No Matter How You Register

When it comes to charitable solicitation compliance, the choice is yours on whether you want to self-register or rely on a service provider to assist in your efforts. Regardless of the method you choose, Affinity Fundraising Registration has the tools and expertise to make the process easier. 

Affinity offers multiple levels of registration compliance services with a cloud-based platform, to either facilitate the self-registration process, or take the majority of the burden of filing, renewing, annual reporting, and more, off of your plate with a full-support service.

As a leading provider of charitable solicitation registration services, Affinity’s expertise in state-specific regulations makes it an ideal choice for those seeking compliance and peace of mind. Transparent, people-focused, and comprehensive registration services will help your nonprofit gain and maintain compliance — while saving time and money along the way.

For more information about Affinity Fundraising Registration or to request an estimate for registration services, please complete the online form.

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