The Single Portal Initiative
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) will develop 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”).
The portal will maximize efficiency, data transparency, and information sharing by enabling compliance with registration requirements for all participating states without duplication of data entry. It will make the collected data available to the public in a searchable and interactive format. Academics, policy makers and the public will be able to conduct their own inquiries or download data in machine-readable format. Multistate registrants will realize reduced administrative costs and inefficiencies in complying with 39 states’ different registration requirements, allowing more resources to be devoted to charitable mission. Single state filers will avoid the inconvenience and uncertainty of paper filings. Registration service providers will be able to electronically transmit data for multiple clients. State filing fees will be collected and disbursed to states through the Single Portal.
We intend that the system will enable population of data fields from electronically filed Forms 990, thus avoiding further reentry of data. The system will enable regulators to combine 990 data with state registration data. Analytics will enable regulators to better understand charitable resources and solicitations, to better focus law enforcement and fraud prevention resources, and enable better policy making for protection of charitable resources. Electronic filing will allow states to direct limited resources from processing paper to our core regulatory responsibilities of preventing fraud and abuse of charitable funds and solicitations.
On February 17, 2016, MRFP posted a Request for Information to invite input and proposals for development of this unified “one-stop” portal. The RFI and additional information about MRFP and the project will be available at mrfpinc.org. MRFP anticipates launching an operational website in phases beginning in 2016. Thirteen pilot states, including California, Illinois, Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, Tennessee, and Georgia will participate in initial development of a platform that will then be expanded to include all states that require registration.
After launch, the system will be supported by assessments or the participating states’ filing fees. NAAG, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, and Newman’s Own Foundation have invited grant proposals to fund the system’s development, launch and testing, including Christopher Wong of NYU’s Govlab as our project manager and services by the Urban Institute’s Regulation of Nonprofits and Philanthropy Program to facilitate stakeholder input and system testing. Over 40 assistant attorneys general, state registration and IT managers, Urban Institute Senior Fellow Cindy Lott, The Govlab founder Beth Noveck, NAAG Staff, and other professionals have contributed hundreds of volunteer hours to making unified multistate electronic filing possible. For information, contact Hugh.R.Jones@Hawaii.gov, Karen.Gano@ct.gov, or Bob.Carlson@ago.mo.gov.
* MRFP members are state agencies (Attorneys General, Secretaries of State, or other agencies) with direct oversight responsibility for charitable assets and charitable solicitations.
- New Hampshire