Maryland 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!

Maryland charitable solicitation license, Maryland fundraising license
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Company Licenses

Maryland Nonprofit & Fundraising Company Licenses

Maryland Bingo and Raffle Licenses

Not required



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

There is no state level licensing for games of chance in Maryland, however, many Maryland counties license charitable organizations for games of bingo and raffles.

Maryland Charitable Gift Annuity Registration

Agency:Maryland Insurance Administration
Law:

MD Ins. Code § 16-114

Organization Age Requirement:

10 years of continuous existence immediately preceeding licensure.

Audit Requirements:

Audited financial statements are required with the annual permit renewal.

Initial Registration

Agency Fee:

$0

Notes:

Maryland requires charities to apply for a permit to receive exemption from state insurance laws. There is no form, but the charity should submit proof that it meets the requirements for exemption. To qualify organizations must have been in existence as a 501(c)(3) for at least 10 years and must maintain a separate fund reserve fund for annuity funds.

Registration Renewal

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:

Annually within 90 days of the charity's fiscal year end.

Notes:

There is no renewal form, but charities should submit the required statements and audit to renew their permit.

Maryland Charitable Organization Registration

Agency:Maryland Secretary of State - Charitable Organizations Division
Law:

Maryland Ann. Code, Business Regulation Article, § 6-401 et seq

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

One-Time Exemption Registration

Exemption Eligible Organizations:
  • A volunteer organization of firefighters or rescue or ambulance personnel for its ambulance, fire fighting, or rescue operations

 

Charitable organizations that do not use a professional solicitor and either:

  • solicit charitable contributions for a named individual and the gross amount is delivered to the individual;
  • are a religious organization, a parent organization of a religious organization, or a school affiliated with a religious organization and have in effect a declaration of tax-exempt status from the government of the United States;
  • solicit charitable contributions only from their members (including accredited educational institutions that limit solicitations to students, former students, parents of a student or former student, present or former board members, and staff members); or
  • only receive contributions from for-profit corporations and organizations determined to be private foundations by the government of the United States

 

Additionally, the Secretary of State may exempt from the requirement of a registration statement or annual report a charitable organization that:

  • is organized under the laws of another state that has a statute substantially similar to this title;
  • has been exempted from the submission of a registration statement by that other state;
  • has its principal place of business outside of Maryland; and
  • gets its money principally from sources outside of Maryland.
Law:

Maryland Ann. Code, Business Regulation Article, § 6-102 and Maryland Ann. Code, Business Regulation Article, § 6-413

Notes:

There is no registration requirement, but charities must submit a letter to the Secretary of State stating their claim of an exemption.

Registration to Obtain Exemption

Exemption Eligible Organizations:

Charities that received less than $25,000 in contributions during their most recent fiscal year

Form:

Exempt Organization Fundraising Notice

Agency Fee:

$0

Renewal to Maintain Exemption

Exemption Eligible Organizations:

Charities that received less than $25,000 in contributions during their most recent fiscal year

Form:

Exempt Organization Fundraising Notice (Renewal)

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:

Annually within 8 months after fiscal year end.

Initial Registration

Form:

Form COR-92: Charity Registration

Filing Method:

Mail or email to dlcharity_sos@maryland.gov.

Agency Fee:

$0-300, depending on charitable contributions

Turnaround:

4-6 weeks

Notes:
  • The nonprofit's president, chairman, or principal office must sign. The signature need not be notarized.
  • Upon approval, you will receive a Certificate of Solicitation.
  • Some Maryland 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • If you will foreign qualify in Maryland, obtain a certificate of good standing from your home state to submit during the foreign qualification process. The certificate cannot be more than 90 days old when filing foreign qualification documents.
How to Apply:

Domestic Applicants:

  1. File entity formation documents with the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT).
  2. Submit a Charity Registration application or URS and all required attachments to the Maryland Secretary of State - Charitable Organizations Division.

Foreign Applicants:

  1. Determine whether or not your charity will need to foreign qualify based on your activity in Maryland. If not required, skip to number 3.
  2. File foreign qualification documents with the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT).
  3. Submit a Charity Registration application or URS and all required attachments to the Maryland Secretary of State - Charitable Organizations Division.
Required Attachments:

  • IRS form 990
  • Audited financials (if applicable)
  • Articles of incorporation
  • Bylaws
  • IRS determination letter (or IRS form 1023 if exemption is pending)
  • List of officers and directors
  • Professional fundraising contracts

Registration Renewal

Form:

Annual Update of Registration

Filing Method:

Mail or email to dlcharity_sos@maryland.gov.

Agency Fee:

$0-300, depending on charitable contributions

Due:
  • Annually within 6 months after the close of your organization's fiscal year. So if your fiscal year ends December 31, then renewal is due by 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 are automatically extended for 4.5 months beyond the original due date.

Penalties:

There is a late fee of $25 for each month that passes after the due date.

Notes:
  • Make sure to include all required attachments, including annual financial report
Required Attachments:

  • IRS form 990
  • Audited financials (if applicable)
  • List of officers and directors
  • Professional fundraising contracts
  • Only if amended: IRS determination letter, articles of incorporation, and bylaws

Change of Fiscal Year

Form:

Maryland Annual Update of Registration

Agency Fee:

Varies

Notes:

Fiscal year can be changed during the standard renewal process.

Cancellation

Agency Fee:

$0

Notes:

To close out your registration, submit articles of dissolution or a letter stating the organization is no longer soliciting in Maryland. Past due filings or fees are not required in order to close an organization's registration.

Maryland Commercial Co-Venturer Registration

Not required



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

Maryland 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.

A Fund-Raising Counsel definition under Business Regulation Article, §6-101(h) is a person who is compensated for advising a charity about a solicitation in Maryland or holding, planning, or managing a solicitation in Maryland. The Fund-Raising Counsel is prohibited from directly soliciting or receiving charitable contributions.

Maryland Fund-Raising Counsel Registration

Agency:Maryland Secretary of State - Charitable Organizations Division

Initial Registration

Form:

Application to Register as a Fund-Raising Counsel

Agency Fee:

$250

Before you Apply:
  • The names of each current officer and employee working in fund-raising.
    • The names of new officers and employees must be submitted within ten days after the individual begins employment.
  • Disclosure of
    • any person holding any financial interest in the applicant, have any interest in any mail house, cashiering, or other business with which it or client charitable organization or public safety organization does business pursuant to or in conjunction with a contract between the applicant and the charitable organization 
    • any officer, director, partner, or employee of the applicant or any person holding any financial interest in the applicant also an officer, director partner, or employee of a charitable organization or public safety organization with which the applicant does business
    • any license, registration, or permit denied, canceled or revoked, or is any such action pending
    • Prior licensure as a professional solicitor, fundraising counsel, or public safety solicitor in any other state(s) either personally or as a principal in another entity
    •  
Required Attachments:
  • A list of all Officers, Directors or Partners
  • A list of all persons having more than a 5% financial interest or ownership
  • A list of the names and addresses of all charitable organizations or public safety organizations with which the applicant has contracts to act as a professional solicitor, fundraising counsel, or public safety solicitor in Maryland
  • Copies of all contracts
  • A list of the names and addresses of all subcontracts and the subcontracting agreement furthers the purpose of the agreement between the
    professional solicitor, fundraising counsel, or public safety solicitor and the charity. Attach copies of all
    current contracts.

Registration Renewal

Form:

Application to Register as a Fund-Raising Counsel (Renewal)

Agency Fee:

$250

Due:

Annually

Contract Filing

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:

A Fund-Raising Counsel is required to submit a copy of each fund-raising agreement by the tenth day after the agreement is made or the start of the charitable solicitation, whichever is earlier.

Maryland Professional Solicitor Registration

Agency:Maryland Secretary of State - Charitable Organizations Division
Bond Requirements:

$25,000

Initial Registration

A Professional Solicitor is a person who is compensated for advising a charity about a charitable solicitation, holding, planning, or managing a solicitation in Maryland, or soliciting or receiving contributions for a charitable organization. The solicitation or receipt of contributions is the distinction between a fund-raising counsel and Professional Solicitor.

Form:

Application to Register as a Professional Solicitor, Fund-Raising Counsel, or Public Safety Solicitor

Agency Fee:

$350

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required
Notes:

ing Agreements
Prior to starting a solicitation, a Professional Solicitor is required under Business Regulation Article, §6-502 to submit a fund-raising notice for each fund- raising campaign. The notice requests information concerning the type of fund-raising method to be used and the dates of the solicitation.

In addition to completing the fund-raising notice, a solicitor is required to submit with the notice a copy of the fund-raising agreement. Business Regulation Article, §6-616 requires that agreements between Professional Solicitors and charities include the names and addresses of the parties, the minimum percentage of the gross receipts from the solicitations that will be used by the charity exclusively to advance its charitable purpose, and the text used in each solicitation.

In addition to submitting a copy of any fund-raising agreements between a solicitor and a charity, the solicitor is also required to submit copies of any subcontracts or other contracts in furtherance of the agreement between the charity and solicitor. This includes the submission of caging agreements, generally defined as an agreement between a solicitor or charity and a person engaged to receive or hold contributions resulting from an agreement between a charity and solicitor.

Before you Apply:
  • The names of each current officer, associate solicitor, and employee working in fund-raising. The names of new officers, associate solicitors, and employees must be submitted within ten days after the individual begins employment.
Required Attachments:
  • A sample fund-raising agreement if the solicitor does not currently have any agreements
  • A copy of any fund-raising agreements between a solicitor and a charity
  • A copy of any subcontracts or other contracts in furtherance of the agreement between the charity and solicitor.
    • This includes the submission of caging agreements, generally defined as an agreement between a solicitor or charity and a person engaged to receive or hold contributions resulting from an agreement between a charity and solicitor.
Bond Amount:

$25,000

Contract Filing

Form:

Fund-Raising Notice for Professional Solicitors

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:

File a fundraising notice prior to starting a public solicitation campaign.

Financial Reporting

Form:

Accounting Report for Professional Solicitors

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:

A final accounting report is required within three months after the end of each fund-raising campaign and must account for all funds received and disbursed during the entire fund-raising campaign.

Maryland Public Safety Solicitor Registration

Agency:Maryland Secretary of State - Charitable Organizations Division
Bond Requirements:

$25,000

Initial Registration

Form:

Application to Register as a Professional Solicitor, Fund-Raising Counsel, or Public Safety Solicitor

Agency Fee:

$100

Notes:

This application must be submitted by a Public Safety Solicitor for each Public Safety Organization with which the Public Safety Solicitor contracts.

Individual Licenses

Maryland Individual Nonprofit & Fundraising Licenses

Maryland Individual Professional Fundraiser Registration

Not required



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

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 Maryland.

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