Registering as a Charity
Organizations that wish to solicit donations regionally or nationally can visit this website for information about the Unified Registration Statement, an alternative to the respective registration forms produced by the cooperating states. At least 35 states and the District of Columbia accept the form. Another source of information is National Association of State Charities Officials, which includes a contact list for all state agencies that have oversight of charitable solicitations.
State Tax-Exempt Status
State laws vary widely and over time, so this subject is outside the scope of this book. To get you started, Nolo Press has a very nice webpage about starting a nonprofit organization, starting with state activities.