Registering with the NYS Charities Bureau
professionals are required by law to register annually and file fundraising
contracts with the Attorney General's Office. Additionally, depending on the
nature of their activities, financial reports must also be filed. Grant Writing Consultants are
considered fundraising professionals and are required by the New York State’s
Department of Law’s Charities Bureau to be a registered Fund Raising Counsel
State’s definition of FRC is as follows:
“Any person who for compensation consults with a charitable organization
or who plans, manages, advises or assists with respect to the solicitation in
this state of contributions for or on behalf of a charitable organization, but
who does not have access to contributions or other receipts from a solicitation
or authority to pay expenses associated with a solicitation and who does not
solicit. A bona fide officer, volunteer, or employee of a charitable
organization or an attorney at law retained by a charitable organization,
not be deemed a FRC.”
difference between a Professional Fundraiser (PFR) and Professional Solicitor
(PS) and Fund Raising Counsel (FRC) is primarily that a FRP and PS asks for
money; a FRC does not. FRCs plan,
manage, advise, assist and ghost write for their clients. Special event coordinators and telemarketers
are FRPs because they directly ask for money.
becoming a FRC is not publicized or recommended, for example, when a grant
professional becomes incorporated with the state of New York, it is required by
the State. Ignorance of the law is no
excuse. Registration is NOT required
for employees, volunteers or officers of charitable organizations and employees
of a fund raising counsels who are already registered.
register with the State (CHAR 016B form).
2. Send in a
Contract Certification Form (CHAR 016A) for each client along with a copy of
your signed contract between you and your client.
3. Each time
you renew a contract with an existing client or gain a new client, you need to
send in the new signed client contract along with the CHAR 016A cover
complete CHAR 016B from on your registration date.
Tips regarding the initial registration process
- Applications can
be downloaded from www.charitiesnys.com
- To initially
register, complete form CHARO14 and send it in with an $800 registration
fee and copies of all organizing documents, amendments to organizing
documents, certificates of assumed name and “doing business as” (d/b/a)
- Copies of all current
contracts with charitable organizations are also required to be sent in
along with any contracts you have. However,
it is recommended to first send in your initial application, get approved,
and then send in your contracts with their individual cover sheets at a
- Before you can
begin work for a client you must submit your client contract to the
Attorney General’s office for approval (which takes up to 15 days). So
from the time you agree to do business, send the client a contract, receive
their signature, mail a copy of the contract with cover sheet to Albany,
and get approval, it can take up to a month. By law you are not supposed
to do working for that client during that time.
- The Cover Page
form CHARO16A must always be submitted with every contract submitted to
the Attorney General’s Office.
- Your contracts
must include special “cancellation” language that is found on CHAR016B
form. In lieu of your own contract, you can have your client sign CHAR016B
form. It is recommended however to use your own contract so you can spell
out other information like scope of services provided, cost, reimbursable
correspondence with the Charities Bureau must be done via mail. Faxed or
electronic delivery service is not accepted.
What the law says:
No charity can enter into a contract or employ a PFR or FRC unless
the PFR or FRC is registered.
A PFR or FRC cannot do work
for a charity that is not registered.
No PFR or FRC can do work until their signed client contract is
sent to the State and approved.
Charities have the right to cancel a contract without cost,
penalty or liability for a period of 15 days following the date the contract is
filed with the State.
PFR or FRC must discontinue their service upon receiving notice of
Your client contract must contain certain language (See CHAR 016A
If you do not register and operate illegally
If you operate a business as a grant writer or fundraiser in New York State and are not registered, and
are caught, the Attorney General’s Office can go back for every year you’ve
operated as a grants or fundraising consultant without registering and charge
you $800.00 per year. Violation of the law is also punishable by fines and jail
The bottom line . . . if you are a grant writer or fundraiser in
New York State, you must register.
Two exceptions – Grant writers and fundraisers employed by a
nonprofit organization or grant writers and fundraisers who work for a grant
writer or fundraiser who is registered are exempt. Only independent grant
writing and fundraising consultants need
Benefits of Registration
Many nonprofits view the FRC as a distinction like the GPC or CFRE
and wrongly assume that it qualifies and recognizes the professionalism of
grants and fundraising consultants. Since few grant writers and fundraisers in
New York State are registered, use your registration as a selling tool. Promote your registration; mention it on your
business card, brochure and Web site.
Another important benefit is that you don’t have to fear operating
illegally in New York State.
information is for informational purposes only and only covers a few of the
rules and regulations governing grant writers and fundraisers. For a complete listing of rules, regulations,
forms, etc. visit the New York State Charities Bureau Web site at http://www.charitiesnys.com/charindex_new.html. Any
questions should be directed to the NYS Charities Bureau staff.