Colorado Fundraising Licensing

Resources for charities, businesses, professional fundraisers, and individuals conducting charitable solicitation activities
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Below, you'll find licensing requirements for a range of fundraising activities. At a glance, you can see requirements, fees, filing instructions, and links to forms for everything from charitable gaming and cause marketing to professional fundraisers and charitable gift annuities.

Make sure your fundraising activities meet the unique requirements of each jurisdiction where you’re soliciting. Feel free to explore, bookmark, and share!

Colorado charitable solicitation license, Colorado fundraising license
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Company Licenses

Colorado Nonprofit & Fundraising Company Licenses

Colorado Bingo, Raffle, and Pull-Tab Licenses

Game Type:

Bingo, raffles, and pull-tabs.

Agency:Colorado Secretary of State
Organization Age Requirement:

5 years of existence in Colorado.

Prize Limits:

The maximum prize for progressive bingo or raffles is $15,000, and the maximum prize for progressive pull tabs is $5,000.

Law:

C.R.S. § 24-21-601 et seq.

Initial Registration

Agency:Colorado Secretary of State
Form:

Application for a Bingo-Raffle License

Filing Method:

Mail or online.

Agency Fee:

$100

Registration Renewal

Agency:Colorado Secretary of State
Form:

Application for a Bingo-Raffle License (Renewal)

Filing Method:

Mail or online.

Agency Fee:

$100

Due:

Annually by December 31.

Colorado Charitable Gift Annuity Registration

Not required



Charitable Gift Annuity licensure is not required on the State level in Colorado.

No filing is required, but charities need to meet certain conditions before issuing charitable gift annuities. Charities that meet the following conditions are also exempt from insurance business regulation: "(a) Meets the definition and standards contained in section 501 (m)(5) of the federal "Internal Revenue Code of 1986", as amended; (b) Contains on its face the following statement: "This annuity is not issued by an insurance company nor regulated by the Colorado division of insurance and is not protected by any state guaranty fund or protective association." (c) Is issued or guaranteed by an organization that at all times during the three years preceding the date of the issuance of such annuity: (I) Was qualified to receive contributions described in section 170 (c) of the federal "Internal Revenue Code of 1986", as amended; and (II) If required as a condition of such qualification by provisions of the federal "Internal Revenue Code of 1986", as amended, was in receipt of notification from the federal internal revenue service that such organization was so qualified.".

Law:

C.R.S. § 10-1-102 and C.R.S § 10-3-903

Colorado Charitable Organization Registration

Agency:Colorado Secretary of State (Charities)
Law:

C.R.S. § 6-16-104

Foreign Qualification is Prerequisite:No
Registered Agent (Special Agency) Required?No

Automatic Exemption

Exemption Eligible Organizations:
  • Charities that do not intent to solicit and receive and do not actually receive more than $25,000 in contributions during a fical year
  • Charities that do not receive contributions from more than 10 persons during a fiscal year
  • Religious organizations that are exempt from filing the IRS 990
  • Below college level educational organizations that are affiliated with a church or operated by a religious order
  • Political organizations
  • Appeals for individuals
Notes:

Exempt charities can file an optional exemption claim to have a public record of their exempt status created in the secretary of state's database.

Initial Registration

Instructions:

Instructions for Registering as a Charitable Organization

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$10

Turnaround:

1 week

Notes:
  • Any charitable organization that (1) solicits contributions in Colorado, (2) has contributions solicited in Colorado on its behalf, or (3) participates in a charitable sales promotion must register in Colorado.
  • Any authorized officer must sign electronically.
  • After approval you will receive a registration number and a printable "certificate of registration".  You can view and print a Certificate of Registration from the summary screen of any registered group.
  • Some Colorado counties and municipalities may require charities that solicit in-person to register prior to fundraising.
Before you Apply:

All Applicants:

  • Check the available exemptions to see if your charity is eligible for exemption from the full registration requirement.
  • Appoint a registered agent to receive legal documents in Colorado.
  • Look through the list of required attachments and make sure that you have each required document in hand before starting the registration application.
How to Apply:

Domestic Applicants:

  1. File entity formation documents with the Colorado Secretary of State.
  2. Create an efile account and submit an online application with all required attachments to the charities section of the Colorado Secretary of State.

Foreign Applicants:

  1. Determine whether or not your charity will need to foreign qualify based on your activity in Colorado. If not required, skip to number 3.
  2. File foreign qualification documents with the Colorado Secretary of State.
  3. Create an efile account and submit an online application with all required attachments to the charities section of the Colorado Secretary of State.
Required Attachments:
  • IRS form 990
  • IRS determination letter
  • List of officers and directors
  • Information for all paid solicitors, professional fundraisers, and commercial coventurers used by or contracted to the organization

Registration Renewal

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$10

Due:
  • Annually by the 15th day of the 5th month after the close of your organization's fiscal year, however, Colorado automatically grants a 3 month extension of this deadline.
  • There is no official start to the renewal period, so renewals may be submitted as soon as financials become available for the most recently completed fiscal year.
Due Date Extension:

Due dates are automatically extended for 3 months after the original due date, but charities needing more time can request an additional 3 months extension by making a request online. For more information and detailed instructions, see this page.

Penalties:

There is a $60 fee for failure to file a renewal.

Notes:
  • Also file your annual financial report
  • Any authorized officer must sign electronically.
  • After approval you will receive a registration number and a printable "certificate of registration"
Required Attachments:

  • List of officers and directors
  • IRS determination letter

Change of Fiscal Year

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$0

Turnaround:

Immediately online

Notes:

Fiscal year can be changed online.

Cancellation

Form:

Charities Registration Withdrawal

Agency Fee:

$0

Notes:

To close out your registration, file a withdrawal form with the Secretary of State.

Commercial coventurer means a person who, for profit, is regularly and primarily engaged in trade or commerce other than in connection with soliciting for charitable organizations or purposes and who conducts a charitable sales promotion.

Colorado Commercial Co-Venturer Registration

Not required



Commercial Co-venturer licensure is not required on the State level in Colorado.

Colorado does not currently have a traditional registration requirement for commercial co-venturers, but there are disclosure requirements when more than 50% of a campaign's proceeds come from within the state.

Paid solicitor means a person who, for monetary compensation, performs any service in which contributions will be solicited in this state by such compensated person or by any compensated person he or she employs, procures, or engages to solicit for contributions. The following persons are not “paid solicitors”:

  • A person whose sole responsibility is to print or mail fund-raising literature;
  • A lawyer, investment counselor, or banker who renders professional services to a charitable organization or advises a person to make a charitable contribution during the course of rendering such professional services or advice to the charitable organization or person;
  • A bona fide volunteer;
  • A director, officer, or compensated employee who is directly employed by a charitable organization which, at the time of the solicitation, had received a determination letter from the internal revenue service granting the organization tax-exempt status pursuant to 26 U.S.C. sec. 501 (c)(3), (c)(4), (c)(8), (c)(10), or (c)(19). For purposes of this paragraph (d), such a determination letter shall not have retroactive effect.
  • Any employee of the department of revenue collecting voluntary contributions for organ and tissue donations under sections 42-2-107 (4)(b)(V) and 42-2-118 (1)(a)(II), C.R.S.;
  • A person whose only responsibility in connection with a charitable contribution is to provide a merchant account to process credit card payments using the internet;
  • A person who prepares a grant application for a charitable organization or purpose, unless the person’s compensation is computed on the basis of funds to be raised or actually raised as a result of the grant application; or
  • A person who provides any service or product to a charitable organization who does not directly solicit for a charitable contribution.

Colorado Paid Solicitor Registration

Agency:Colorado Secretary of State
Bond Requirements:

$15,000 surety bond

Initial Registration

Form:

https://www.sos.state.co.us/pubs/charities/charitableHome.html

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$175

Before you Apply:
  • List all supervisors in charge of solicitation activities 
  • List all organizations and individuals with whom you've contracted services for charitable solicitation activities
  • If your organization is a partnership, corporation, or LLC list all partners, members, directors, agents, employees, and trustees to be covered by the registration. This includes anyone conducting solicitation activities on your behalf in Colorado. 
    • Notate the role for each
  • List the name, title, role, and street address of each owner, officer, and executive.
  • Report the name, title, phone number, and address of the person who acts as the custodian of financial records
  • Report conflicts of interest, such as an officer, director, or employee serving on the board of directors, direction operations, or having a financial interest in a charitable organization for which you solicit contributions. 
  • Report whether your organization, owners, officers, directors, trustees, or employees has had a criminal history or enforcement activities in the last five years. If so, provide additional details. 
  •  
  •  
Required Attachments:
  • A surety bond  of $15,000 must be attached
    • In lieu of a bond, you can include evidence of savings account, deposit, or CD meeting the requirements of section 11-35-101, C.R. S.

Registration Renewal

Form:

https://www.sos.state.co.us/pubs/charities/charitableHome.html

Agency Fee:

$175

Due:

Annually by the registration anniversary date.

Contract Filing

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$75

Due:

File a solicitation notice at least 15 days prior to the start of the performance of the contract.

Financial Reporting

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:

Within 90 days after a campaign has ended and on the anniversary of commencement for campaigns lasting more than a year.

"Professional fundraising consultant" means any person, other than a bona fide officer or regular employee of a charitable organization, who is retained by a charitable organization for a fixed fee or rate under a written agreement to plan, manage, advise, consult, or prepare material for or with respect to the solicitation in this state of contributions for a charitable organization but who does not solicit contributions or employ, procure, or engage any compensated person to solicit contributions. No lawyer, investment counselor, or banker who renders professional services to a charitable organization or advises a person to make a charitable contribution during the course of rendering professional services to the person shall be deemed, as a result of such professional services or advice, to be a "professional fundraising consultant".

Colorado Professional Fundraising Consultant Registration

Agency:Colorado Secretary of State

Initial Registration

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$175

Turnaround:

10 days

Notes:

Contract Requirements: 

Every contract between a professional fundraising consultant and a charitable organization or sponsor shall be in writing and signed by an authorized official of the charitable organization. The professional fundraising consultant shall provide a copy of the contract to the charitable organization prior to the performance of any material services under the contract and shall make a copy of the contract available to the secretary of state upon request. The contract shall contain all of the following provisions:

(a) A statement of the charitable purpose for which the solicitation campaign is being conducted;

(b) A statement of the respective obligations of the professional fundraising consultant and the charitable organization;

(c) Whether the professional fundraising consultant will at any time have custody or control of contributions;

(d) A clear statement of the fees that will be paid to the professional fundraising consultant or, if the fees are to be calculated based on a percentage of contributions or other formula, a clear statement of the percentage or other formula; and

(e) The effective and termination dates of the contract.

Before you Apply:
  • Applications for registration or renewal of registration must be submitted on a form prescribed by the secretary of state, signed and affirmed under penalty of perjury as defined in section 18-8-503, and must include the following information:

    (a) The address and telephone number of the principal place of business of the applicant and the address and telephone number of any office located in this state if the principal place of business is located outside the state;

    (a.5) The form of the applicant's business and, if the applicant is not an individual, the place and date when the applicant was incorporated or otherwise legally established;

    (b) The name, address, and telephone number of the person that has custody of the applicant's financial records;

    (c) If the applicant is not an individual, the names and addresses of the owners, officers, and executive personnel of the applicant;

    (d) Whether the applicant or any of its owners, officers, directors, trustees, or employees have, within the immediately preceding five years, been convicted of, found guilty of, pled guilty or nolo contendere to, been adjudicated a juvenile violator of, or been incarcerated for any felony involving fraud, theft, larceny, embezzlement, fraudulent conversion, or misappropriation of property or any crime arising from the conduct of a solicitation for a charitable organization or sponsor, under the laws of this or any other state or of the United States, and if so, the name of such person, the nature of the offense, the date of the offense, the court having jurisdiction in the case, the date of conviction or other disposition, and the disposition of the offense;

    (e) Whether the applicant or any of its owners, officers, directors, trustees, or employees have been enjoined from violating any law relating to a charitable solicitation or from engaging in charitable solicitation and, if so, the name of such person, the date of the injunction, and the court issuing the injunction;

    (f) Whether the applicant is registered with or otherwise authorized by any other state to act as a professional fundraising consultant; and

    (g) Whether the applicant has had such registration or authority denied, suspended, revoked, or enjoined by any court or other governmental authority in this state or another state.

Registration Renewal

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$175

Due:

Annually by the registration anniversary date.

Contract Filing

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$75

Due:

File a solicitation notice at least 15 days prior to the start of the performance of the contract.

Notes:

Contracts must contain all of the following provisions:

  1. A statement of the charitable purpose for which the solicitation campaign is being conducted;
  2. A statement of the respective obligations of the professional fundraising consultant and the charitable organization;
  3. Whether the professional fundraising consultant will at any time have custody or control of contributions; and
  4. A clear statement of the fees that will be paid to the professional fundraising consultant or, if the fees are to be calculated based on a percentage of contributions or other formula, a clear statement of the percentage or other formula; and (e) The effective and termination dates of the contract.

Individual Licenses

Colorado Individual Nonprofit & Fundraising Licenses

Colorado Individual Professional Fundraiser Registration

Not required



Professional Solicitor licensure is not required on the State level in Colorado.

Solicitors who are not employed by a professional fundraising firm but operate independently may be required to register. Employees of professional fundraising firms are generally not required to register as an individual solicitor in Colorado.

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