Louis E. Michelson, A Professional Corporation

Providing Legal and Tax Advisory Services to Nonprofit Organizations

Multistate Registration Filing Portal for Nonprofit Organizations: Request for Information

February 19th, 2016 · No Comments · Charity, Multistate Registration, Request for Information, Single Portal Initiative, state compliance

California is part of a pilot project to simplify registration burdens on nonprofits.  The Multistate Registration and Filing Portal, Inc., a Delaware nonprofit corporation (MRFP), working with the National Association of State Charities Officials (NASCO), and the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) are in the process of developing an online system that will allow nonprofit organizations and their professional fundraisers to comply with all states’ registration and annual filing requirements through a single online portal (“The Single Portal Initiative”).

A single Internet portal for charity registration and renewal has been something the nonprofit sector and professional fundraisers have requested for years.  The Single Portal will simplify the registration burden on nonprofits, make all non-confidential information available to the public in an open data format and improve the overall quality of data available.

The Single Portal system, once it is operational, should:

  • Allow charitable organizations and their professional fundraisers to register and file annual renewals and reports with multiple state charity offices through a single process.
  • Allow population of registration fields with data from electronically filed IRS 990 and 990EZ Tax Returns for tax exempt entities (Forms 990), and allow receipt of electronically filed 990s in machine-readable form from IRS, the user, or other sources.
  • Allow registration service providers to transmit data for multiple registrant/clients electronically.
  • Allow private foundations to file a copy of their IRS Form 990-PF with their state attorney general in machine-readable electronic form, if available, or as a PDF.
  • Make the non-confidential collected registration data public in an open data format. Confidential data and Personally Identifiable Information must be inaccessible to unauthorized users.
  • Allow users to attach supporting documents as necessary.
  • Provide analytic tools for charity regulators to identify outliers that will enable improved response by regulators to potential fraud prevention, negligence or poor governance practices that may lead to loss or waste of charitable assets.
  • Use a transaction-based funding model.
  • Accept payment of state registration fees from applicants and allocate them to the appropriate state(s).

On February 17, 2016 MRFP issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking input from vendors, government officials, technology and public policy professionals and anyone with knowledge of platforms, processes, tools and/or methods to simplify the completion and submission of forms, including the submissions of relevant data and to allow charitable organizations and their professional fundraisers to comply with all states’ registration and annual filing requirements through a unified “one-stop” solution.  MRFP stated that the project goal is to maximize efficiency, customer convenience, data transparency, and information sharing by enabling compliance with the registration and reporting requirements of any state, or any combination of multiple states, via a single online software product, without duplication of data entry.

The one-stop solution should be focused on a user-friendly design. The Beta testing process should include iterative development based on feedback from regulators, and from charities and their professional fundraisers and advisors to further system development.

A copy of the RFI can be downloaded at the following link. The RFI will remain open until April 1, 2016.

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