Illinois 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!

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Company Licenses

Illinois Nonprofit & Fundraising Company Licenses

Illinois Bingo License

Game Type:

Bingo

Agency:Illinois Department of Revenue
Organization Age Requirement:

5 years of continuous existence in Illinois.

Age Restrictions:

Participants must be at least 18 years old.

Prize Limits:

The maximum prize for a single game of bingo is $500. Not more than $2,250 can be awarded in a single day of bingo.

Notes:

Limited bingo licenses allow an organization to host 2 bingo events over the course of a calendar year.

Initial Registration

Agency:Illinois Department of Revenue
Form:

Form RB-3: Application for Bingo License

Agency Fee:

$200 for a regular bingo license or $50 for a limited license.

Registration Renewal

Agency:Illinois Department of Revenue
Form:

Form RB-3: Application for Bingo License (Renewal)

Agency Fee:

$50 for a limited bingo license or $200 for a regular bingo license.

Due:

Annually

Notes:

Organizations must also submit Form RB-32: Expenditure of Funds Earned Through Bingo when renewing.

Illinois Charitable Gaming Licenses

Game Type:

Various games of chance

Agency:Illinois Department of Revenue
Age Restrictions:

Participants must be at least 18 years old.

Initial Registration

Agency:Illinois Department of Revenue
Form:

Form RCG-1: Application for Charitable Games License

Agency Fee:

$400

Registration Renewal

Agency:Illinois Department of Revenue
Form:

Form RCG-1: Application for Charitable Games License (Renewal)

Agency Fee:

$400

Due:

Biennially

Notes:

Organizations must also submit Form RCG-25: Expenditure of Funds Earned Through Charitable Games when renewing.

Illinois Charitable Gift Annuity Registration

Not required



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

No filing is required, but charities need to meet certain conditions before issuing charitable gift annuities. Illinois exempts charities from insurance regulation related to charitable gift annuities if they meet the following conditions: "The insurance laws of this State, including this Code, do not apply to any charitable gift annuity, as defined in Section 501(m)(5) of the Internal Revenue Code, issued by an organization that is described in Section 170(c) of the Internal Revenue Code, if either (i) an insurer authorized to transact business in this State is directly obligated to the annuitant or (ii) the organization has been in active operation for not less than 20 years before the date the annuity is issued and has an unrestricted fund balance of not less than $2,000,000 on the date the annuity is issued. For purposes of this Section, "Internal Revenue Code" refers to the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, and corresponding provisions of subsequent federal tax laws.".

Law:

215 ILCS 5/121-2.10

Illinois Charitable Organization Registration

Agency:Illinois Attorney General - Charitable Trust Bureau
Law:

225 ILCS 460/2 and 760 ILCS 55/5

Foreign Qualification is Prerequisite:Yes
Registered Agent (Special Agency) Required?Yes

Automatic Exemption

Exemption Eligible Organizations:
  • The University of Illinois, Southern Illinois University,Eastern Illinois University, Illinois State Normal University, Northern Illinois University, Western Illinois University, all educational institutions that are recognized by the State Board of Education or that are accredited by a regional accrediting association or by an organization affiliated with the National Commission on Accrediting, any foundation having an established identity with any of the aforementioned educational institutions, any other educational institution confining its solicitation of contributions to its student body, alumni, faculty and trustees, and their families
  • Fraternal, patriotic, social, educational, alumni organizations and historical societies when solicitation of contributions is confined to their membership
  • Persons requesting any contributions for the relief or benefit of any individual if the contributions collected are turned over to the named beneficiary, first deducting reasonable expenses for costs of banquets, or social gatherings, if any, provided all fund raising functions are carried on by persons who are unpaid, directly or indirectly, for such services
  • Any bona fide union, bona fide political organization or bona fide political action committee, which does not solicit funds for a charitable purpose
  • Any charitable organization receiving an allocation from an incorporated community chest or united fund provided certain conditions are met
  • A bona fide organization of volunteer firemen, or a bona fide auxiliary or affiliate of such organization, provided all its fund raising activities are carried on by members of such an organization or an affiliate thereof and such members receive nocompensation, directly or indirectly
  • Any charitable organization operating a nursery for infants awaiting adoption providing that all its fund raising activities are carried on by members of such an organization or an affiliate thereof and such members receive no compensation, directly or indirectly
  • Any corporation established by the Federal Congress that is required by federal law to submit annual reports of its activities to Congress
  • Any boys' club which is affiliated with the Boys' Club of America provided, however, that such an affiliate properly files the reports required by the Boys' Club of America and that the Boys' Club of America files with the Government of the United States the reports required by its federal charter
  • Any veterans organization chartered or incorporated under federal law and any veterans organization which is affiliated with, and recognized in the bylaws of, a congressionally chartered or incorporated veterans organization
  • Any parent-teacher organization that is controlled by teachers and parents of children attending a particular public or private school for which the organization is named and solicits contributions for the benefit of that particular school provided that certain conditions are met
Notes:

Fax a letter to the charitable trust bureau requesting exemption.

One-Time Exemption Registration

Exemption Eligible Organizations:

Religious organizations

Form:

Form CO-3: Religious Exemption Form

Agency Fee:

$0

Notarize:Required
Notes:

Exemptions do not expire as long as the organization continues to qualify under the exemption criteria.

Initial Registration

Form:

Form CO-1: Registration Statement

Filing Method:

Mail

Agency Fee:

$15

Turnaround:

4-6 weeks

Notes:
  • President and CFO or another authorized officer must sign. They must be two individuals. Notarization of signatures is not needed.
  • Some Illinois counties and municipalities may require charities that solicit in-person to register prior to fundraising.
Before you Apply:

Domestic 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 Illinois.
  • If your charity meets the audit threshold, obtain an audited financial report to submit with your registration application.
  • Look through the list of required attachments and make sure that you have each required document in hand before starting the registration application.

Foreign 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 Illinois.
  • Obtain certified copies of your articles of incorporation (including amendments) to file during the foreign qualification process. These documents must be dated within 90 days of the date of application for foreign qualification.
  • If your charity meets the audit threshold, obtain an audited financial report to submit with your registration application.
  • 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 Illinois Secretary of State - Business Services Department.
  2. Submit a Registration Statement and all required attachments to the Illinois Attorney General - Charitable Trust Bureau.

Foreign Applicants:

  1. File foreign qualification documents with the Illinois Secretary of State - Business Services Department (The foreign qualification requirement may be waived by sending a letter to the department notifying them that the charity is not required to register with the Secretary of State).
  2. Submit a Registration Statement and all required attachments to the Illinois Attorney General - Charitable Trust Bureau.
Required Attachments:
  • IRS form 990
  • Audited financials (if applicable)
  • Articles of incorporation (or Constitution and all amendments and By-Laws if an unincorporated association)
  • Bylaws
  • IRS determination letter
  • List of officers and directors
  • Professional fundraising contracts
  • A signed statement indicating no funds were solicited or held in Illinois at any time prior to registration
  • Certificate of authority to do business in Illinois
  • If a representative of a probate estate, Will and Letters of Office. Inventory; Declarations of Trust for any trusts into which the Will pours over and all Amendments thereto.
  • If a charitable trust or a living inter vivos trust, Declaration of Trust, and all Amendments thereto; Inventory and recent accounting.
  • If the organization has been in existence for less than 1 year, also submit Form CO-2: Financial Information Form

Registration Renewal

Form:

Form AG990-IL: Illinois Charitable Organization Annual Report

Filing Method:

Mail

Agency Fee:

$15

Due:
  • Annually 6 months after the close of your fiscal year. So if your fiscal year ends December 31, then renewal is due June 30.
  • 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 can be extended for 60 days beyond the original due date by sending a letter including the name, CO number, and EIN number of the charity to the attorney general's office. If more time is needed, a second extension of an additional 2.5 months is available. When applying for a second extensions, charities must submit an unsigned AG990IL with "draft" written at the top, a letter requesting extension, preliminary income statement and balance sheet, IRS Form 8868, and the $15 renewal fee.

Original Ink:Not required
Penalties:

There is a late fee of $100.

Notes:
  • Include all required attachments, including finanical audit if needed.
Required Attachments:

Change of Fiscal Year

Form:

Form AG990-IL: Illinois Charitable Organization Supplement

Agency Fee:

$0

Notes:

Send a letter indicating change of fiscal year and then draft AG990-IL (unsigned) and letter requesting extension.

Cancellation

Form:

AG990-IL Charitable Organization Annual Report

Agency Fee:

$15

Notes:

To close out your registration, file a final annual report with "FINAL" written across the top and original signatures. Organizations must also provide a letter indicating that they wish to withdraw and proof of dissolution or withdrawal from the Secretary of State.

Illinois Commercial Co-Venturer Campaign Registration

Not required



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

CCVs are not licensed in Illinois, but they must meet contract filing and financial reporting requirements.

More information: Illinois Attorney General - Charitable Trust Bureau

Contract Filing

Form:

CO-1: Registration Statement and CO-2: Financial Information Form

Filing Method:

Mail

Agency Fee:

$15

Turnaround:

4-6 weeks

Due:

Contracts must be filed before fundraising activity begins.

Notes:

For a CCV to partner with a charity, the charity must be registered to solicit charitable contributions or be otherwise exempt from registration.

Contract Amendment

Agency Fee:

$15

Due:

An amendment filing should be made before the expiration date of a campaign in order to extend the campaign.

Notes:

To report an extension of a campaign or another change to a campaign agreement, submit a cover letter describing the change and include a copy of the amended agreement.

Financial Reporting

Form:

AG990-IL Charitable Organization Annual Report

Filing Method:

Mail

Agency Fee:

$15

Turnaround:

4-6 weeks

Due:

Within 6 months after the end of the campaign.

Professional fund raiser means any person who for compensation or other consideration, conducts, manages, or carries on any solicitation or fund raising drive or campaign in this State or from this State or on behalf of a charitable organization residing within this State for the purpose of soliciting, receiving, or collecting contributions for or on behalf of any charitable organization or any other person, or who engages in the business of, or holds himself out to persons in this State as independently engaged in the business of soliciting, receiving, or collecting contributions for such purposes. A bona fide director, officer, employee or unpaid volunteer of a charitable organization shall not be deemed a professional fund raiser unless the person is in a management position and the majority of the individual's salary or other compensation is computed on a percentage basis of funds to be raised, or actually raised.

Illinois Professional Fundraiser Registration

Agency:Illinois Attorney General - Charitable Trust Bureau
Law:

225 ILCS 460/6

Foreign Qualification is Prerequisite:Yes
Bond Requirements:

$10,000

Registered Agent (Special Agency) Required?Yes

Initial Registration

Form:

Form PFR-01: Professional Fund-Raiser Registration Statement

Instructions:

Instructions

Mail to: 
Office of the Attorney General
Charitable Trust Bureau
100 West Randolph Street, 11th Floor
Chicago, Illinois 60601
(312) 814-2595

Filing Method:

Mail

Agency Fee:

$100 + $25 for each contract

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Required
Before you Apply:
  • Names of chief management personnel 
Required Attachments:
  • "Professional Fund Raiser (PFR) List of Charities & Contracts" (Form PFR-06)
  • A copy of all contracts listed on Form PFR-06 along with the $25.00 Filing Fee for Each Contract. Check or Money Order payable to the "Illinois Charity Bureau Fund" attached to Form PFR-06.
  • "Professional Fund Raisers Bond" (Form CS-6)  Note: this form must be filed by all Professional Fund Raisers that have access to or control of funds raised.
  • "Professional Solicitor Registration Statement" (Form PS-01) Note: this form must be filed for each Solicitor employed by the PFR.
  • Partnership Agreement or Articles of Incorporation of Professional Fund Raiser.
  • Certificate of Authority to Transact Business in Illinois. This must be filed by out-of-state corporations only.
  • A list of all business locations used for fundraising. (Attach a schedule indicating the street address, city, state).
  • A list of all principal parties, officers, directors, executive personnel, and owners of ten percent or more of the capital stock. (Attac a schedule for each person as needed indicating their name, street address, title, and percent of interest). 
  • Copies of all FundRaising Contracts with Charities including Amendments, and Extensions.

Registration Renewal

Form:

http://www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/charities/register_report.html

Agency Fee:

$100 + $25 for each contract

Due:

Annually by June 30.

Contract Filing

Form:

Form PFR-06: Professional Fund-Raiser List of Charities and Contracts

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:

Within 10 days of the date of execution of each new contract.

Notes:
  • Any contract between a trust or charitable organization and a professional fund raiser must contain an estimated reasonable budget disclosing the target amount of funds to be raised over the contract period, the type and amount of projected expenses related thereto, and the amount projected to be paid to the charitable organization. In addition, the contract must disclose the period of its duration, the geographic scope for fundraising, describe the methods of fundraising to be employed and provide assurance of record keeping and accountability. If the contract provides that the professional fund raiser will retain or be paid a stated percentage of the gross amount raised, an estimate of the target gross amount to be raised and to be paid to charity must be stated in the contract. If the contract provides for payment on an hourly rate for fund raising, the total estimated hourly amount, as well as the estimated number of hours to be spent in fund raising, must be stated.
  • All professional fund raiser contracts must disclose the amounts of all commissions, salaries and fees charged by the fund raiser, its agents, employees and solicitors and the method used for computing such.
  • If the professional fund raiser, its agents, solicitors or employees or members of the families thereof own an interest in, manage or are a supplier or vendor of fund raising goods or services, the relationship must be fully disclosed in the contract, as well as the method of determining the related supplier's or vendor's charges.

Financial Reporting
Annual Financial Report

Form:

Form PFR-02: Professional Fund-Raiser Annual Financial Report

Agency Fee:

$25

Due:

Annually by April 30.

Notarize:Required

Financial Reporting
Mid-Year Financial Report

Form:

Form PFR-02: Professional Fund-Raiser Annual Financial Report

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:

Annually by September 30.

Notarize:Required

Professional fund raising consultant means any person who is retained by a charitable organization or trustee for a fixed fee or rate that is not computed on a percentage of funds to be raised, or actually raised, under a written agreement, to only plan, advise, consult, or prepare materials for a solicitation of contributions in this State, but who does not manage, conduct or carry on a fundraising campaign and who does not solicit contributions or employ, procure, or engage any compensated person to solicit contributions and who does not at any time have custody or control of contributions. A volunteer, employee or salaried officer of a charitable organization or trustee maintaining a permanent establishment or office in this State is not a professional fundraising consultant. An attorney, investment counselor, or banker who advises an individual, corporation or association to make a charitable contribution is not a professional fundraising consultant as a result of the advice.

Illinois Professional Fundraising Consultant Registration

Agency:Illinois Attorney General - Charitable Trust Bureau
Law:

225 ILCS 460/6.5

Foreign Qualification is Prerequisite:Yes
Registered Agent (Special Agency) Required?Yes

Initial Registration

Form:

Form PFC-01: Professional Fundraising Consultant Registration Statement

Agency Fee:

$0

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Required
Before you Apply:
  • All contracts between the Professional Fundraising Consultant (PFC) and charitable organizations must be in writing and filed by the PFC with the Attorney General. Contracts shall contain the charity's legal name, their registration number, a street address, a contact party and the party's daytime telephone number.
  • All names that you use or operate under
  • List all principle parties, officers, directors, executive personnel, and owners
  • Report ownership interest in vendor firms for all principle parties, officers, directors, employees, family members, and owners
Required Attachments:
  • Attach a schedule reporting all business activities
    • Indicate the activity description, street address, and if the location is temporary, the start and end-use dates. 
  • Attach a list of all the charities that you provide service for
    • Include their charity ID number, legal name and street address, and contract dates
    • Attach copies of all contracts
  • Attach a list of all other fundraising counsel registrations the organization has

Registration Renewal

Form:

Form PFC-01: Professional Fundraising Consultant Registration Statement (Renewal)

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:

Biennially by June 30.

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Required

Contract Filing

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:

Copies of all fundraising contracts must be submitted to Charitable Trust Bureau upon registration. Changes to the registration application, including new contract agreements, must be filed within 10 days of the changes.

Notes:

Contracts must contain the charity's legal name, their registration number, a street address, a contact party, and the party's daytime telephone number.

Amendment

Form:

PFC-01 Professional Fundraising Consultant Registration Statement (Amendment)

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:

If any of the information in the submitted registration statement changes, the Charitable Trust Bureau must be notified in writing within ten (10) days of the changes.

Illinois Pull Tabs and Jar Games License

Game Type:

Pull-tabs

Agency:Illinois Department of Revenue
Age Restrictions:

Participants must be at least 18 years old.

Notes:

Limited pull-tab licenses allow an organization to host 2 pull-tab events over the course of a calendar year.

Initial Registration

Agency:Illinois Department of Revenue
Form:

Form PT-6: Application for Pull Tabs and Jar Games License

Agency Fee:

$500 for a regular license, $50 for a limited license, and $0 for a special license.

Registration Renewal

Agency:Illinois Department of Revenue
Form:

Form PT-6: Application for Pull Tabs and Jar Games License (Renewal)

Agency Fee:

$500 for a regular license, $50 for a limited license, and $0 for a special license.

Due:

Annually

Illinois Raffle License

Not required



Charitable Gaming licensure is not required on the State level in Illinois.

Raffle licenses are issued at the county or municipal level.

Individual Licenses

Illinois Individual Nonprofit & Fundraising Licenses

Illinois Professional Solicitor Registration

Agency:Illinois Attorney General - Charitable Trust Bureau

Initial Registration

Form:

Form PS-01: Professional Solicitor Registration Statement

Agency Fee:

$0

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required

Registration Renewal

Form:

http://www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/charities/register_report.html

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:

Annually by June 30.

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