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Charitable Organization Division

Donor Beware! As the holidays approach, Governor Hogan and Secretary of State Wobensmith warn citizens to beware of deceptive practices. Click here for more....

The first meeting of the Charitable Enforcement and Protection Workgroup created by HB1352/Ch. 654 was held on Tuesday, July 1, 2014. Minutes for the meeting may be found at this link Office of the Attorney General. Please contact Josaphine B. Yuzuik, Co-chair, Assistant Attorney General, at 410-260-3855 should you have any questions.

Charities/Professional Solicitor and Counsel Annual Fee Increase

The Secretary of State and Attorney General - Charitable Enforcement and Protection of Charitable Assets bill was passed during the 2014 General Assembly Session and signed into law thereafter. Effective October 1, 2014, the Annual Charity Registration Fee for non-profits receiving more than $500,000 in charitable contributions will increase from $200.00 to $300.00. Professional Solicitor fees will increase from $300.00 to $350.00; Fund-Raising Counsel fees will increase from $200.00 to $250.00.

Proposed Charitable Organization Regulation Changes

1. New wording for COMAR is as follows: Extension of Time for Filing Annual Fiscal Reports. The Secretary may grant an organization an extension of time to file its annual report. The extension may not exceed the 15th day of the 11th month after the end of the charitable organization's fiscal year.

2. New wording for COMAR is as follows: A private foundation affiliated with a State agency that is required to register with the Secretary of State as a charitable organization shall file with its registration statement and with each annual report an audit prepared in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards if it is required to do so under Business Regulation Article, §6-402(b)(7)(i), Annotated Code of Maryland.

The Charitable Organizations Division annually registers, regulates and renews charitable organizations, Professional Solicitors and Fund-Raising Counsel soliciting charitable contributions in the State of Maryland. This includes the review of a charitable organization's financial and governing documents, as well as the review of all fund-raising contracts.

The Division administers and reviews applications for participation in the Maryland Charity Campaign for Maryland State Employees and Retirees. In order to encourage public confidence in the integrity of charities, current law mandates that charities reveal to the public their financial and programmatic activities, with the view that an informed public will exercise prudence in giving.

Legislation also established a Charitable Giving Information Program comprised of a toll-free line, a speaker's bureau and the production of charitable giving literature. The program is designed to increase public awareness and encourage questions regarding charitable giving, as well as to offer the public a means of voicing concerns and reporting suspected violations of the charitable law.

Statutory Authority: Business Regulation Article, §§6-101—6-701 of the Annotated Code of Maryland.

Many states have solicitation acts similar to the Maryland Solicitations Act. These statutes also generally require registration of charitable organizations soliciting in their states. Click here for the pdf version of the Maryland Solicitation Act. Please be advised that although every effort has been made to reproduce the current text of the Maryland Code for these sections, this office does not warrant the accuracy of this content.

If a charitable organization is soliciting or is planning on soliciting charitable contributions in other states, the organization should contact the state agency responsible for the regulations of charitable solicitations and determine whether registration is required.

In response to the many questions about particular organizations and programs, the Division provides additional information for donors on the organizations and its programs.

Questions: Telephone Numbers:
                   Shawn Estrada (410) 260-3974
                   Tanya Pinkney (410) 260-3862
                   Kim Smith (410) 260-3864
                    or (800) 825-4510