Washington D.C. 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!

Washington D.C. charitable solicitation license, Washington D.C. fundraising license
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Company Licenses

Washington D.C. Nonprofit & Fundraising Company Licenses

District of Columbia Bingo License

Game Type:

Bingo

Agency:District of Columbia Office of Lottery and Charitable Games
Notes:

Class A licenses are for games with 500 or more players, Class B licenses are for games with 250 to 500 players, Class C licenses are for games with 250 or fewer players, and Class D licenses are for recreational senior citizen groups.

Initial Registration

Agency:District of Columbia Office of Lottery and Charitable Games
Form:

Regular Bingo License Application

Agency fee:

$500 for a Class A license, $250 for a Class B license, $50 for a Class C license, $0 for Class D license.

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required

Registration Renewal

Agency:District of Columbia Office of Lottery and Charitable Games
Form:

Regular Bingo License Application

Agency fee:

$500 for a Class A license, $250 for a Class B license, $50 for a Class C license, $0 for Class D license.

Due:

Annually by the date of issuance.

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required

District of Columbia Charitable Gift Annuity Registration

Not required



The District of Columbia does not distinguish between annuities issued by charitable and for-profit entities.

District of Columbia Charitable Solicitation License

Agency:District of Columbia, Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA)
Legal Notes:

District of Columbia Code Ann. § 44-1703 et seq.

Registration to Obtain Exemption

Exemption Eligible Organizations:
  • Charities that raise less than $1,500 in contributions per calendar year and do not use paid solicitors
  • Religious institutions
  • Educational institutions
  • Membership organizations
Form:

Basic Business License - Charitable Exempt Category

Filing method:

Mail or online.

Agency fee:

$0

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required

Exemption Renewal

Exemption Eligible Organizations:
  • Charities that raise less than $1,500 in contributions per calendar year and do not use paid solicitors
  • Religious institutions
  • Educational institutions
  • Membership organizations
Form:

Basic Business License - Charitable Exempt Category

Filing method:

Mail or online.

Agency fee:

$0

Due:

Biennially by the end of the month prior to your registration month. If you registered for the first time in September, your report will be due by the end of August two years later.

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required

Initial Registration

Form:

Nonprofit organizations that solicit should apply for a D.C. Basic Business License for the Charitable Solicitation Category

Instructions:

First, you must foreign qualify in D.C..
Then, file the Combined Business Tax Registration Application (Form FR-500) with the Office of Tax and Revenue.
Then, all nonprofits then file the Unified Registration Statement (URS) along with a Basic Business License (BBL). That's right - even though your organization is a nonprofit you will need to obtain a business license in order to fundraise.

Filing method:

We recommend filing online.

Agency fee:

$412.50

Due:

You must register your nonprofit with the DCRA prior to soliciting charitable contributions in D.C. Soliciting includes requesting government grants from the District of Columbia or from the federal government located in D.C.

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required
Notes:
  • Apply for a BBL in the "charitable solicitation" category
  • Carefully ensure you include all required attachments, including:
    • clean hands self-certification
    • tax number / certificate
    • certificate of occupancy (for D.C. premise)
    • formation documents
    • bylaws
    • IRS determination letter
    • certified resolution
    • solicitor information cards (optional)
  • Plan for 30-day turnaround from DCRA
  • Notarized signatures are not required.
  • Some District of Columbia counties and municipalities may require charities that solicit in-person to register prior to fundraising.

Registration Renewal

Filing method:

Online

Agency fee:

$412.50

Due:

Biennially by the end of the month prior to your registration month. If you registered for the first time in September, your report will be due by the end of August two years later.

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required

District of Columbia Commercial Co-Venturer Registration

Not required



District of Columbia does not currently have a traditional registration requirement for commercial co-venturers, but they may need to follow other regulations before and after fundraising events.

Initial Registration

Not required



Registration is not required for commercial co-venturers in the District of Columbia, but other requirements may apply.

Registration Renewal

Not required



District of Columbia Fundraising Counsel Registration

Not required



District of Columbia does not currently have a traditional registration requirement for fundraising counsels, but they may need to follow other regulations before and after fundraising events.

Initial Registration

Not required



Registration is not required for fundraising counsels in the District of Columbia, but other requirements may apply.

Registration Renewal

Not required



District of Columbia Monte Carlo Night Party License

Game Type:

Monte Carlo games

Agency:District of Columbia Office of Lottery and Charitable Games
Notes:

Charities cannot hold more than 2 Monte Carlo events in a calendar year.

Initial Registration

Agency:District of Columbia Office of Lottery and Charitable Games
Form:

Monte Carlo Night Party License Application

Agency fee:

$100 for Monte Carlo Night Party or Monte Carlo and raffle license, $10 for senior citizen group Monte Carlo license, and $500 for a combined Monte Carlo and texas hold'em license.

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required

Registration Renewal

Not required



Monte Carlo Night licenses allow for a single event and cannot be renewed.

More information: District of Columbia Office of Lottery and Charitable Games

District of Columbia Professional Fundraiser Registration

Not required



District of Columbia does not currently have a traditional registration requirement for professional fundraisers, but they may need to follow other regulations before and after fundraising events.

Initial Registration

Not required



Registration is not required for professional fundraisers in the District of Columbia, but other requirements may apply.

Registration Renewal

Not required



District of Columbia Raffle License

Game Type:

Raffles

Agency:District of Columbia Office of Lottery and Charitable Games
Prize Limits:

Class 2 license prizes cannot exceed $100,000, Class 3 license prizes cannot exceed $15,000, Class 4 license prizes cannot exceed $3,000, Class 5 license prizes cannot exceed $500.

Initial Registration

Agency:District of Columbia Office of Lottery and Charitable Games
Form:

Raffle License Application

Agency fee:

$200 for a Class 1 license, $100 for a Class 2 license, $50 for a Class 3 license, $25 for a Class 4 license, $10 for a Class 5 license.

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required

Registration Renewal

Agency:District of Columbia Office of Lottery and Charitable Games
Form:

Raffle License Application

Agency fee:

$200 for a Class 1 license, $100 for a Class 2 license, $50 for a Class 3 license, $25 for a Class 4 license, $10 for a Class 5 license.

Due:

Class 1, 2, and 3 license expire one year from the date of issuance. Class 4 and 5 licenses expire 180 days from the date of issuance.

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required

Individual Licenses

Washington D.C. Individual Nonprofit & Fundraising Licenses

District of Columbia Individual Professional Fundraiser Registration

Not required



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 District of Columbia.

Initial Registration

Not required



Registration is not required for individual solicitors in the District of Columbia, but other requirements may apply.

Registration Renewal

Not required



Learn about fundraising in other states:

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