Our 501c3 organization in Ohio is spending $3000 per year for storage rental to store printouts of official documents backdating 10 years. This was being done to comply with (assumed) legal requirements for being a 501c3.

In a recent meeting, I was tasked to check to what extent hard copies of organizational documents are required to be available in OH. Knowing this we can digitize documents and reduce the cost of storage rental.

I could not find any leads/info via Google to get an answer to this question. I looked at multiple sites including the official state government pages on non-profit orgs.

Is there any such requirement that a 501c3 have hard copies of specified documents, and if so, where can a list of the requirements be obtained?

  • 501(c)3 is a federal ststus, and any requirements are specified in federal law and federal regulations. OH may have its own tax exempt status, and an OH group would often fit both. There might be requirements under the OH law for its status. Dec 11, 2020 at 21:54

1 Answer 1


Based on a reply from the Charitable Law Office of Ohio Attorney General:


I am in receipt of your inquiry below. Please be advised that there is nothing to prohibit using electronic storage for your organization’s business documents. Many organizations find this method to be a very effective measure as opposed to retaining hard copies.

... it seems electronic storage is wholly permitted.

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