PayPal Donate Buttons Illegal in Florida?

Has it happened to you? Has your non-profit received a warning from the state of Florida for non-compliance with their solicitation laws for displaying a ‘Donate Button’? And what have you done about it?

A non-profit has informed us that the State of Florida deemed the PayPal Donate Button on their website to be in non-compliance with Florida’s Solicitation Laws. (The non-profit is not located in Florida by the way.)

The reason? The Donate Button is interpreted as “an appeal or campaign” to the public of the State of Florida, which means anyone displaying such a button would need to file for a permit with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services that allows them to raise funds specifically in Florida.

If they don’t, they’re in non-compliance with their solicitation laws. The non-profit was also told that anyone who has a ‘Donate Button’ on their website, regardless of whether they are located in Florida or not, and receives an online donation for a charitable purpose from a resident of the state of Florida must file a Solicitation of Contribution Act report and pay an annual fee.

So we ask you, our readers: What are your experiences with having a ‘Donate Button’ on your website? Have you had any problems with the State of Florida or any other state? Also, if your website has a lot of visitors, has it been lucrative to have a ‘Donate Button’ on your site? Is it worth it?

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