John P. McDonough, Secretary of State    

Disclosure Requirements and Financial Statement Requirements

Under section 6-411 of the Maryland Solicitations Act, a charitable organization is required to include on all written solicitations and receipts a disclosure statement. The statement must be conspicuously displayed on the solicitation and receipt.

Section 6-101(g) specifies the content of the disclosure statement. Each disclosure statement must include:

    (1) A statement that a copy of the current financial statement of the charitable organization is available on request;

    (2) The name of the charitable organization and the address and telephone number where requests for a copy of the financial statement should be directed; and

    (3) A statement that, for the cost of copies and postage, documents and information submitted under the Act are available from the Secretary of State.

The following is a sample disclosure statement which satisfies the requirements of section 6-101(g).

A copy of the current financial statement of [name of charity] is available by writing [address where requests should be directed] or by calling (XXX) XXX-XXXX. Documents and information submitted under the Maryland Solicitations Act are also available, for the cost of postage and copies, from the Maryland Secretary of State, State House, Annapolis MD 21401, (410) 974-5534.

Additionally, the Internal Revenue Code requires that certain disclosures be included on solicitations. The Internal Revenue Service's Publication 557: Tax-Exempt Status for Your Organization includes information on the disclosure requirements of tax-exempt organizations. The Internal Revenue Service can also be reached by calling toll-free 1-877-829-5500.

Financial Statement Requirements

Under section 6-410 of the Maryland Solicitations Act, a charitable organization must mail within 30 days after receiving a request, a current financial statement at no charge to the requesting individual.

The financial statement must contain:

    (1) The name, address, and telephone number of the charitable organization;

    (2) The amount of total revenue, the amount of total revenue received from charitable contributions, and the amount and percentage of total revenue spent for the charity's management and general expenses, fund-raising expenses, and program expenses for the most recently completed fiscal year; and

    • If the charity is a newly formed organization, the financial organization should include the estimated percentage of charitable contributions being sought that will be used for its management and general expenses, fund-raising expenses, and program service expenses.

    (3) If the charity is registered with the Secretary of State, a declaration that the charity is registered but that registration is not and does not imply endorsement of any charitable solicitation.

While this information can also be obtained by searching the Charitable Organizations Division's database or contacting the Division, the charity is not relieved of its obligation to provide this information without cost upon request. Providing within 30 days a copy of an organization's IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ satisfies the financial statement requirement of section 6-410.

The Internal Revenue Service also requires that certain information must be made available to the public upon request. The IRS Publication 557: Tax-Exempt Status for Your Organization includes information on public disclosures and can be obtained by contacting the IRS toll-free at 1-877-829-5500.