The Solicitation of Contributions Act requires anyone who solicits donations from people in the state of Florida to register with the department and renew annually. This applies to charitable organizations, sponsors, professional solicitors, as well as professional fundraising consultants. The department collects registration fees and has authority to impose penalties for non-compliance. The department provides financial disclosure regarding organizations on the online Gift Givers' Guide or you can obtain information about a specific charity by calling our Consumer Assistance Call Center at 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352), or out of state at (850) 410-3800.
Some exemptions apply. The following entities may use our online registration tool: Charitable Organizations (including Small Charitable/Sponsor Organizations and Charitable/Sponsor Organizations), Professional Solicitors and Professional Fundraising Consultants. Solicitor Individuals are currently not able to use our online registration tool.
Frequently Asked Questions
If the registration applicant does not know the answer to a question on the application form, may it be left blank?
No. When an organization is registering for the first time with the department, law requires that all questions on the registration application be answered. Leaving a question blank will delay the registration process until all questions are answered.
Yes, No, or None are acceptable answers to some questions on the registration application.
What if I did not receive any money in the preceding year?
What is reported to the IRS is to be reported with your renewal. This information is available to the public through the Gift Givers' Guide as required by law. If zeros are submitted on the Statement of Support/Revenue and Expense, zeros will appear in the Gift Givers' Guide.
What if our financials are not yet completed but our license is about to expire? May we wait until these are prepared?
No. If your IRS 990 is not ready, complete and submit the Statement of Support/Revenue included with your application. When the IRS 990 is ready, send it to update your file. The department does not recognize IRS extensions at this time.
What if I need an extension for submitting a financial statement?
Organizations may request a 180 day extension for filing of their financial statement only. A request for an extension can be made by checking the appropriate box under question #26 of the registration application. Failure to file a financial statement within the 180 days will result in automatic suspension of your registration. All registration documents and fees must be filed on or before the expiration date.
How much is the late fee for a licensed organization submitting a late renewal application?
The late filing fee shall be $25 for each month or part of a month after the date on which the annual renewal statement and financial report were due to be filed with the department.
Does grant money need to be reported?
Yes, it needs to be reported on the financial form with proper documentation; however, government grants are not included when calculating the registration fee.
How much is my registration fee?
Fees are based on the immediate preceding year’s financial report submitted by the organization. Newly formed organizations with NO PREVIOUS financial history must file a proposed budget. The Statement of Support/Revenue and Expenses included in the application can be used to submit a budget.
May I use the form from the website to renew our registration?
No. A preprinted renewal application will be mailed approximately 30 days in advance of your expiration date. If you did not receive the renewal application, you may call the department at 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352) calling from Florida, (850) 410-3800 calling from outside of Florida, or you can email your request to CSWebmaster@FreshFromFlorida.com and have your renewal application emailed or mailed to you.
What is the certification of compliance with conflict of interest policy?
Charitable organizations and sponsors are required to adopt a policy regarding conflict of interest (COI) transactions. A copy of the annual certification must be submitted to the department as part of the organization’s annual registration. If the charity or sponsor filed IRS Form 990 and answered “Yes” on Part VI, Section B, lines 12A, B and C, the department will accept the Form 990 in lieu of the COI certification form. Small charities or sponsors are not required to submit a COI certification if it has less than $25,000 in total revenue (including contributions); has no paid staff; does not utilize professional fundraising consultant, professional solicitor or commercial co-venturer.
The conflict of interest policy must be certified annually by all directors, officers and trustees of the organization. A copy of the annual certification must be submitted to the department as part of the organization’s annual registration. s. 496.4055(2), F.S.