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Learn How to Build Supporter Trust with Fundraising Compliance

Whether your nonprofit is newly formed or you’ve been operating for decades, you need trust to move your mission forward. Trust is a powerful tool to attract donations, sponsorships, volunteers, and both corporate and community partners. One way to build trust is to meet state fundraising regulations and message your nonprofit's fundraising compliance to donors, foundation funders, and corporate partners. Your organization's fundraising compliance demonstrates your legitimacy, transparency, and accountability. It reassures the public that your organization is in a position to drive the change you both want to see in your community.   

Harbor Compliance has partnered with thousands of charities to navigate requirements across the nonprofit lifecycle. We’re looking forward to the 2021 Keystone Nonprofit Conference and meeting you at our presentation on Fundraising Compliance: Transparency to Build Trust

We’ll cover the many practical aspects of nonprofit compliance, including state prerequisites, fundraising registrations, exemptions, renewals, and disclosure statements. We’ll also discuss how to leverage compliance to win the trust and investment of supporters.  In the meantime, here’s a preview of four frequently asked compliance questions you can be sure we’ll answer in our conference program. 

1. How do we determine where we need state fundraising registrations, and how does online fundraising figure into the mix? 

Do you know your organization’s fundraising registration footprint? In today’s world, online and social fundraising channels are providing new ways to quickly and efficiently connect, engage, and steward relationships with supporters. As a result, many organizations have enlarged their fundraising footprint. We’ll discuss how this relates to the 41 states that require nonprofits to register to solicit donations from their residents. 

2. What do we need to know about charitable disclosure requirements? 

There are 25 states that require special disclosure language to be included in solicitations. How do nonprofits develop compelling solicitations and campaign materials while meeting the various state requirements? We’ll discuss this and how charitable disclosures can be more than just necessary fine print. Learn how you can make them work to your advantage to build donor trust and giving.

3. How should we prepare for state fundraising registration renewals and 990 filings? 

If your nonprofit runs on a calendar year, you’ll need your IRS Form 990 to renew your fundraising registrations, which are often due at the same time as your IRS Form 990, so it’s essential to plan ahead. Each year, you should check if your state audit requirements have changed to ensure you can submit the required type of financial statements with your state charitable registration renewals. We’ll cover these and other ways you can plan ahead for your renewal deadlines and any extensions you may decide to seek. 

4. Who should educate our board of directors about fundraising compliance? 

You should educate your directors on state registration and reporting requirements and the fundraising activities that trigger them. How do board members’ duties relate to compliance? You might be surprised. We’ll explain how nearly every function fulfilled by your board members can contribute to the overall compliance, good standing, and reputation of your organization. 

We’ll address these four questions in greater detail and cover many more nonprofit compliance topics during our program at the 2021 Keystone Conference. Join us to gain practical tips on the use of nonprofit trust indicators and strategies on how to message compliance to boost trust and giving.


Free Compliance Resources for Nonprofits 

We’re looking forward to meeting you at the conference this fall, but don’t let that be the only time we chat! Whether or not you make it to our presentation, we hope you’ll visit the Harbor Compliance website. Be sure to check out the curated collection of resources available on our Information Center, which offers thousands of pages of free resources, including white papers, email series, webinars, and much more. 

Our goal is to make compliance accessible and worry-free for nonprofits of every size and type. See you soon at the 2021 Keystone Conference!

Sharon Cody is Nonprofit Partnership Manager at Harbor Compliance, a leading provider of compliance solutions. She has more than 30 years of experience as an attorney, charitable fundraiser, foundation executive, donor, and nonprofit board member. She writes and speaks frequently on compliance best practices for tax exempt organizations. Ms. Cody formerly led the philanthropic fundraising team of a public media organization, served as the executive director at a children’s health foundation, and spent 11 years in private law practice. She received her bachelor's degree from Rutgers University and her Juris Doctor from Penn State Dickinson School of Law. She can be reached at or 717-431-9162.


The Nonprofit Partnership's offices at The Susan Hirt Hagen Center for Transformational Philanthropy are open Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM.

Phone 814.240.2490