For Mari, Laura, Peter and anyone else who commented on my various blog posts or passages in "Climbing the Nonprofit Ladder to Success" concerning whether they have to register and disclose their donors to raise funds in states other than their own:
A recent issue of Don Kramer's newsletter Nonprofit Issues discusses a recent California 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision regarding providing donor information to register in that state.
Unlike myself, Mr. Kramer is an attorney (for more on Mr. Kramer see: http://www.nonprofitissues.com/about-nonprofit-issues), so his information is a lot more credible and up-to-date than mine.
Again, I want to stress that if you only raise funds in your state, this might not concern you unless you are incorporating in one of the states that does require disclosure of major donor information from your 990.
Even then, for most fledgling organizations, the donor disclosure is dependent upon the aggregated amount of the donations, meaning that as a start-up it probably will not affect you.
Still, California courts tend to establish early precedent for other jurisdictions, so should you decide to register there, in New York, or you are conducting broad-based internet appeals it would behoove you to consult your legal team to be sure that you are operating within the applicable law.