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Read about fundraising requirements with respect to grants, the PA Solicitation of Funds for Charitable Purposes Act, the United Way, electronic fundraising guidelines, and links.


If you are applying for any grants for your local program or the state office, please contact Christine Anderson, Director of Foundation Relations at SOPA HQ prior to submitting your application to ensure that there are no duplication of efforts with the state office in requesting funds from a donor. Her contact information is 610-630-9450 ext. 222 or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Bureau of Charitable Organizations Requirement

Pennsylvania’s Solicitation of Funds for Charitable Purposes Act, specifically Section 13 (c) of the act states the following:

(c) Notice on printed solicitation - On every printed solicitation or written confirmation, receipt, and reminder of a contribution, the following statement must be clearly printed verbatim:

“The official registration and financial information of Special Olympics Pennsylvania, Inc. may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll free, within Pennsylvania, 1-800-732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement.”

This act requires that Special Olympics Pennsylvania’s state office and its local programs include this written statement on ALL printed solicitations. Any solicitations which do not contain this disclosure could be considered a willful and deliberate violation of Pennsylvania law and may result in further action by the Office of the Attorney General.

Section 15 of the Act prohibits the following:

“Any charitable sales promotion utilizing any representation that implies a contribution is for a charitable organization, or utilizing any emblem, device, or printed matter belonging to, or associated with, a charitable organization, without first being authorized in writing to do so by the charitable organization.”

Special Olympics Pennsylvania’s Bureau of Charitable Organizations Registration Number is 567.

United Way

Per SOI, an SO Program (state or local) cannot be a Member Agency of the United Way because doing so would require honoring fundraising blackout periods, during which the entity may not do any fundraising/marketing.  Our direct marketing program via SOI does not comply with those criteria.  However, contributions can be made through the United Way to Special Olympics using the Program’s assigned Donor Choice Code.  You are free to contact your local United Way to inquire about having a donor choice number within your county. If you have any questions or need assistance please reach out to Eric or Christine at the State Office. In addition, a local Program may apply for a United Way grant as long as your request meets the criteria of the United Way grant guidelines and does not require that you become a Member Agency.

Electronic Fundraising Guidelines

SOI recently reviewed and updated its electronic fundraising guidelines. Special Olympics Inc. (SOI) for years employed strict restrictions with respect to online fundraising gift processing.  In the past, all general operating gifts had to be processed through SOI’s website as opposed to being managed internally by each state program. Through SOI’s reevaluation, this requirement was adjusted and all programs on a state level are granted permission to process gifts through their own online presence. Local programs are still prohibited from raising general donations online (via a “Donate Now” button for example); however, programs may utilize online giving for various events-related donations such as ticket sales and polar plunge registration. Please contact the state office’s Vice President of Marketing and Development with any questions or to clarify the policy.


Local Programs may link to shopping sites, as long as they register under the Program name (not just Special Olympics) and have done due diligence around receipt of funds, etc.