A Little Information About Charities
- What is the statutory authority for charities registration?
- Why do we need a charities law?
- What is the Charities Registration and Investigation Section?
- How do I reach the Charities Registration Section?
- Who must register?
- Are any charities exempt from registering?
- Does New Jersey accept the “multi-state” filers form?
- When is a charity’s annual renewal registration due?
- How does a charity request an extension of time to file its registration?
- Which registration form should the charity complete?
- How does the charity obtain a registration form?
- Are there registration fees required?
- When does the charity owe a late fee?
- What are the acceptable methods of payment for registration/late fees?
- Glossary of terms:
What is the statutory authority for charities registration?
. "The Charitable Registration & Investigation Act" also known as the "CRI Act."
Why do we need a charities law?
In creating the Charitable Registration and Investigation Act of 1994, the Legislature declared; "...in order to protect the public from fraud and deceptive practices, it is essential that information concerning charitable fund raising activities of charitable organizations, professional fund raisers, commercial co-ventures and solicitors be readily available to the people of the State." By enacting the law, the Governor and the Legislature intended to make information concerning the financial activities of charitable organizations "more readily available to the citizens by whose generosity such funds are raised. " To make this possible, the Legislature stated, "...it is necessary to require the registration of charitable organizations, professional fund raisers, and solicitors with the Attorney General, and that the Attorney General have the powers necessary to obtain and disseminate to the public data concerning fund raising practices of these persons." Since the law's enactment, more than 24,000 charities have registered with the Division of Consumer Affairs Charities Registration and Investigation Section.
What is the Charities Registration and Investigation Section?
The Division of Consumer Affairs' Charities Registration and Investigation Section registers and regulates charitable organizations, professional fund raisers, and fund raising counsels operating in New Jersey. Each year, these groups must renew their registrations with the Charities Registration Section and submit financial documents relating to their activities as well as fund-raising contracts and reports. The section, in turn, reviews those documents to ensure the charity is in compliance with the law.
How do I reach the Charities Registration Section?
The mailing address is Charities Registration Section, PO Box 45021, Newark, NJ 07101; Telephone is 973-504-6215; The e-mail address is: AskConsumerAffairs@lps.state.nj.us
Who must register?
- Any organization that has been granted a 501(c)(3) tax exempt status by the IRS;
- Charities that is domiciled in New Jersey;
- Those charities that solicit New Jersey residents for a charitable cause, or any cause that a prospective donor may perceive to be charitable; and
- Any fund raiser receiving compensation to conduct fund raising on behalf of a charity or who acts as fund raising counsel to a charity. In addition, copies of contracts between the charity and the fund raiser must also be filed with the Charities Registration Section.
Are any charities exempt from registering?
-Charities taking in less than $10,000 in Gross Contributions if all functions and fund raising activities are done by volunteers.
-Religious organizations and schools that file their curricula with the Department of Education.
-Libraries registered by the State Department of Education who meet their prescribed financial reporting requirements.
Does New Jersey accept the "multistate" filers form?
Yes, as long as the New Jersey initial and renewal registration requirements are met.
When is a charity's annual renewal registration due?
Six months after an organization's fiscal year ends.
How does a charity request an extension of time to file its registration?
Although registration renewals are due six months after the charity's fiscal year-ending, charities whose gross contributions exceed $10,000 may request an extension of time to file. The request should be submitted in the form of a letter addressed to the Charities Registration Section. The request must include the charity's name, charities registration number and the fiscal year-end for which an extension is being requested. The letter request must be postmarked by the original due date of the registration renewal and be accompanied by the registration fee due.
Charities whose gross contributions are less than $10,000 cannot be granted an extension and should file by the original due date. If a charity of this type is late in filing, a $25 late fee should be included with the registration fee of $30.
IRS extensions (of time to file the IRS990) alone are not recognized by the CRI Act in relation to filing the annual Charities Registration Renewal. A separate extension request, as described above, must be submitted.
There are two different levels of registration filings:
Short form filers who receive less than $25,000 in gross contributions from the public should use registration form CRI-200 for both their initial registration and their annual renewal registrations.
Long form filers who receive more than $25,000 in gross contributions from the public should use registration form CRI-150-I for their initial registration and form CRI-300R for their annual renewal registrations.
Registration filers should download their registration form from the Charities Registration Web site indicated below each year to be certain of using the most up-to-date version available.
For fiscal year 2006, each charities registration form includes an addendum which must be completed, signed and submitted along with the other pages of the CRI form, the fee due and any other attachments required.
There are filing fees associated with the annual filings which are based on gross contributions reported:
-Short form filers raising $0-$10,000 = $30 fee
-Short form filers raising between $10,001-$25,000 = $30 fee
-Long form filers raising between $25,001-$100,000 = $60 fee
-Long form filers raising between $100,001-$500,000 = $150 fee
-Long form filers raising over $500,000 = $250 fee
Based on the due date of the registration renewal, late filers are required to submit a $25 late fee with their filing fee. The late fee is the same, regardless of the form used or the gross contributions being reported.
Methods of Payment:
Fees may be paid by check or money order only, which should be made payable to the "New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs".
Glossary of terms
Direct public contributions:
Those funds that are directly received from the donors either in person or by mail.
Indirect public contributions:
Those funds that are received by the charity that were solicited for that charity by another charity. An example of that is the United Way that distributes funds raised to agencies.
the total of Direct Public Contributions and Indirect Public Contributions.
Any funds that are received by the charity that are issued by municipal, county, state or federal governments.
Those funds that are received by the charity that come from other sources of revenue.
Total gross revenue:
The total of direct public contributions, indirect public contributions, government grants and any other support.
The dollars that are spent on the activities or programs for which the charity was founded.
The dollars that are spent running the organization such as salaries, office expenses, etc.
The dollars that are sent raising money to enable the charity to continue to exist.
Payments to affiliates:
The dollars that are spent by national charities to the local or state chapters; conversely, some local chapters pay dues to national offices.
The sum of the expenses catagories.
Report in file:
The most recent filing of financial information.
Return to Registered Charities Database