This directory offers a starting point for individuals seeking assistance in establishing, operating and managing nonprofit charitable organizations as well as non-Registry resources for researching such organizations. This is an informational resource only. A listing here is not an endorsement of the organization or its web content.

Government Resources

Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
(877) 829-5500

Oversees federal tax-exempt status of charitable organizations and provides a range of resources to assist charities, private foundations and other nonprofit organizations with federal reporting compliance.

California Franchise Tax Board (FTB)
(916) 845-4171

Oversees state tax-exempt status of charitable organizations in California and compliance with state tax reporting requirements.

California Secretary of State
(916) 653-8814
Name Availability Unit
(916) 657-5448

Charities seeking to operate in California must file articles of incorporation with the Secretary of State and a current list of board officers.

Recorded information on how to obtain a name for nonprofit corporations.

California Attorney General
(916) 322-3360 or 1-800-952-5225

Registry of Charitable Trusts
P.O. Box 903447
Sacramento, CA 94203-4470

Charitable Trusts Section - Los Angeles
300 South Spring Street, Room 1702
Los Angeles, CA 90013

Charitable Trusts Section - San Francisco
455 Golden Gate Ave., Suite 11000
San Francisco, CA 94102-7004

Charities operating in California must register and file annual financial reports with the Attorney General's Registry of Charitable Trusts. The Attorney General's Charities website offers resources to help charities with registration and reporting compliance. Compliance and enforcement are handled by the Attorney General's Charitable Trusts Section.

Local Governments

Essential for both attorneys and nonprofits, this is the only law and practice book on forming, operating, and maintaining California nonprofit corporations. Charities should check on local requirements that may require charities and charitable fundraisers to register, certify their tax-exempt status, obtain a license to solicit and file accountings of fundraising proceeds. Compiled by the Continuing Education of the Bar, it is a 2-volume publication, Advising California Nonprofit Corporations.

California Board of Equalization
(800) 400-7115

Administers state tax assessment policies in four general areas: sales and use taxes, property taxes, special taxes and the tax appellate program.

California Employment Development Department
(888) 745-3886

Provides labor market data for the state and by county.

Federal Trade Commission

Information for donors about charities.

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Charity Research Resources

BBB Wise Giving Alliance - The Council of Better Business Bureaus
Charity Navigator
CharityWatch (Formerly American Institute of Philanthropy)
ERI Search Tool

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