Massachusetts 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!

Massachusetts charitable solicitation license, Massachusetts fundraising license
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Company Licenses

Massachusetts Nonprofit & Fundraising Company Licenses

Massachusetts Bingo License (Single Event)

Game Type:

Bingo

Agency:Massachusetts State Lottery Commission
Fact Checked:1/10/18

Initial Registration

Agency:Massachusetts State Lottery Commission
Agency Fee:

$50

Notes:

Forms are issued by the commission upon request. Charities can only hold one single event bingo license per year.

Fact Checked:1/10/18

Renewal Not Required

Not required



Single day licenses are only good for a single bingo session and cannot be renewed.

More information: Massachusetts State Lottery Commission

Massachusetts Bingo License (Weekly)

Game Type:

Bingo

Agency:Massachusetts State Lottery Commission
Fact Checked:1/10/18

Initial Registration

Agency:Massachusetts State Lottery Commission
Agency Fee:

$100

Notes:

Forms are issued by the commission upon request. Weekly licenses allow charities to hold a bingo event once a week for a year.

Fact Checked:1/10/18

Registration Renewal

Agency:Massachusetts State Lottery Commission
Agency Fee:

$50

Due:

Annually by the date of issuance.

Fact Checked:1/10/18

Massachusetts Charitable Gift Annuity Registration

Not required



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

No filing is required, but charities need to meet certain conditions before issuing charitable gift annuities. Massachusetts statutes exempt educational, charitable, benevolent, and religious organizations from life insurance company regulation related to charitable gift annuities.

Law:

MA Gen. Law Chapter 175 § 118

Massachusetts Charity Registration

Agency:Massachusetts Attorney General - Non-Profit Organizations/Public Charities Division
Law:

Massachusetts General Laws Ch 12, §8e and 8f; Ch 68 §18 through 35

Foreign Qualification is Prerequisite:No
Registered Agent (Special Agency) Required?No
Fact Checked:4/10/20

Automatic Exemption

Exemption Eligible Organizations:
  • An organization that is primarily religious in purpose and falls under the regulations 940 CMR 2.00
  • An organization that does not raise or receive contributions from the public in excess of $5,000 during a calendar year or does not receive contributions from more than ten persons during a calendar year, if all of their functions, including fundraising activities, are performed by persons who are not paid for their services and if no part of their assets or income inures to the benefit of, or is paid to, any officer or members
Fact Checked:1/16/20

Initial Registration

Form:

Charity Registration Form (and Form PC if filing after the initial fiscal year end date of the charity).

Filing Method:

Mail or email.

Agency Fee:

Initial registration fee of $100 plus:

  • $50 Schedule A-2 fee for organizations registering before their initial fiscal year end date, or
  • $35-$2,000 (depending on gross support and revenue) for organizations registering in subsequent fiscal years
Turnaround:

4-6 months

Notes:
  • As of September 2014, the Short Form PC is no longer being accepted as a registration document.
  • The President and another officer or trustee must sign. Signatures need not be notarized.
  • Some Massachusetts 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 Massachusetts, obtain a certificate of good standing from your home state to submit during the foreign qualification process. The certificate cannot be more than 60 days old when filing foreign qualification documents.
How to Apply:

Domestic Applicants:

  1. File entity formation documents with the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth.
  2. Submit a Charity Registration Form, Form PC (if applicable), and all required attachments to the Massachusetts Attorney General - Non-Profit Organizations/Public Charities Division.

Foreign Applicants:

  1. Determine whether or not your charity will need to foreign qualify based on your activity in Massachusetts. If not required, skip to number 3.
  2. File foreign qualification documents with the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth.
  3. Submit a Charity Registration Form, Form PC (if applicable), and all required attachments to the Massachusetts Attorney General - Non-Profit Organizations/Public Charities Division.
Required Attachments:
  • IRS form 990
  • Audited financials (if applicable)
  • Articles of incorporation
  • Bylaws
  • IRS determination letter
  • List of officers and directors
Fact Checked:4/14/20

Registration Renewal

Form:

Form PC. Even exempt organizations must file.

Filing Method:

Mail

Agency Fee:

$35-$2,000, depending on gross support and revenue.

Due:

Due annually by 4.5 months after the close of your nonprofit's fiscal year. So if your fiscal calendar ends December 31, then the renewal is due May 15.

Due Date Extension:

Due dates can be extended for 6 months beyond the original due date by emailing charitiesextensions@state.ma.us with an explanation of your request for extension.

Notes:
  • Attach a copy of your IRS Form 990
  • Charities raising $200K+ must submit a financial statement
Required Attachments:

  • IRS form 990
  • Audited financials (if applicable)
  • List of officers and directors
  • Only if amended: IRS determination letter, articles of incorporation, and bylaws
Fact Checked:2/4/20

Change of Fiscal Year

Form:

Form PC

Notes:

Send a cover letter explaining the change in fiscal year along with the Form PC and a copy of the amended Articles of Incorporation.

Fact Checked:12/7/18

Cancellation

Agency Fee:

$0

Notes:

To close out your registration, submit a letter indicating the desire to withdraw and include the date Massachusetts solicitations will end. If soliciting took place in a partial fiscal year, submit a renewal for that year.

Fact Checked:7/14/20

Massachusetts Commercial Co-Venturer Registration

Agency:Massachusetts Attorney General - Non-Profit Organizations/Public Charities Division
Bond Requirements:

$25,000

Fact Checked:8/7/19

Initial Registration

Form:

Form 10: Registration Statement to be filed by Commercial Co-Venturers

Filing Method:

Mail

Agency Fee:

$200

Bond Amount:

$25,000

Fact Checked:12/15/16

Registration Renewal

Form:

Form 10: Registration Statement to be filed by Commercial Co-Venturers (Renewal)

Filing Method:

Mail

Agency Fee:

$200

Due:

Annually by December 31.

Bond Amount:

$25,000

Fact Checked:12/15/16

Contract Filing

Form:

Form 10B: Addendum to Registration Statement to be Filed by Commercial Co-venturers

Filing Method:

Mail

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:

Within 10 days of signing and prior to the commencement of any new co-venturing activity.

How to Apply:

The charity must be registered to solicit charitable contributions or otherwise exempt for the contract to be accepted.

Fact Checked:8/1/19

Contract Amendment

Agency Fee:

$0

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.

Fact Checked:8/12/20

Financial Reporting

Form:

Form 11B: Commercial Co-Venturer’s Annual Financial Report

Filing Method:

Mail

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:

Annually by February 28 of the year following the reporting year.

Original Ink:Required
Notarize:Required
Notes:

Annual financial reports need to be filed for every campaign the co-venturer engages in.

Fact Checked:8/5/19

"Professional fund-raising counsel”, any person who is retained for a financial or other consideration by a charitable organization to plan, conduct, manage, carry on, advise or act as a consultant whether directly or indirectly in connection with the solicitation of contributions in this commonwealth for or on behalf of any charitable organization but who actually solicits no contributions and has neither custody nor control of contributions as part of such services. A bona fide salaried officer or regular, nontemporary employee of a charitable organization maintaining a permanent establishment within the commonwealth shall not be deemed to be a professional fund-raising counsel;

Massachusetts Fundraising Counsel Registration

Agency:Massachusetts Attorney General - Non-Profit Organizations/Public Charities Division
Fact Checked:7/5/18

Initial Registration

Form:

Form 10 (RTF): Registration Statement

Agency Fee:

$400

Before you Apply:
  • A list of all employees or agents who will be primarily responsible for conduction or supervision campaigns. Include subcontractors.
  •  
Required Attachments:
  • A copy of each fundraising contract (to be filed with registration or within 10 days of signing).
Fact Checked:7/5/18

Registration Renewal

Form:

Form 10 (RTF): Registration Statement (Renewal)

Agency Fee:

$400

Due:

Annually by December 31.

Fact Checked:7/5/18

Contract Filing

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:

File a copy of each additional fundraising contract within 10 days of signing.

Fact Checked:8/1/19

Massachusetts Professional Solicitor Registration

Agency:Massachusetts Attorney General - Non-Profit Organizations/Public Charities Division
Bond Requirements:

$25,000

Fact Checked:8/7/19

Initial Registration

Form:

Form 10 (RTF): Registration Statement

Instructions:

Any individual or business that is hired by a charitable organization to conduct a fund raising campaign on the charity's behalf is considered a professional solicitor. Individuals or businesses hired by a a non-charity to conduct a fundraising campaign with a charitable appeal are also considered professional solicitors. If an individual or business is working as a subcontractor for another registered fundraiser, that individual or business must separately register with the AGO as a fundraiser. A professional solicitor must file the following:

Agency Fee:

$1,000

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required
Notes:
  • Professional solicitors should ensure that the charities for whom they are soliciting are registered and in possession of a valid Certificate for Solicitation prior to commencing solicitations.
Before you Apply:
  • Additional names by which the registrant is known or conducts business

  • Registrant’s employee(s) or agent(s) who will be primarily responsible for conducting and supervising campaigns at each office listed above.
    • Include ALL sub-contractors
    • Sub-contractors must be registered and bonded with Massachusetts before solicitation occurs
  • Report all states in which you are registered as a professional fundraiser, fundraising counsel or commercial co-venturer
  • Report details about all current and previous license or permit denial, cancellation, revocation or suspension, as well as any legal action taken against you in connection with the solicitation of funds for charitable purposes
  • Report details about all misdemeanor convictions for any employee or agent, including misappropriation, misapplication, or misuse of money of another or felonies. 
  • Report ALL solicitation-related employment from the last five years on another sheet.  
    • Include the name, address, and phone number of the employer, the nature of the employment, and the length of employment
  •  
Required Attachments:
  • A copy of each fundraising contract along with Form 10A (RTF), Registration Addendum (to be filed with registration or within 10 days or signing and prior to the commencement of any solicitation)
    • Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 68, Section 22 states that “Every contract or agreement between a professional fund-raising counsel or a commercial co-venturer or a professional solicitor and a charitable organization required to have a certificate of registration pursuant to [chapter sixty-eight] section nineteen shall be in writing, signed by two officers of the charitable organization, and filed with the director of the division within ten days after such contract or agreement is entered into.  No solicitation shall be conducted prior to the filing of such contract or agreement.”
  • A list including the  name and address of the charitable organization and the dates of the current or planned campaign
Bond Amount:

$25,000

Fact Checked:12/15/16

Contract Filing

Form:

Form 10A: Addendum to Registration Statement to be Filed by Professional Solicitors

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:

Within 10 days of signing and prior to the commencement of any new solicitation contract.

Fact Checked:8/1/19

Financial Reporting

Form:

Form 11A: Professional Solicitor’s Annual Financial Report

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:

Annually by February 28 of the year following the reporting year.

Notarize:Required
Notes:

Annual financial reports need to be filed for every charitable campaign the solicitor works on.

Fact Checked:8/5/19

Massachusetts Raffle and Casino Night Licenses

Not required



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

Raffle and casino night permits are issued at the municipal level.

Individual Licenses

Massachusetts Individual Nonprofit & Fundraising Licenses

Massachusetts Individual Professional Fundraiser Registration

Not required



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

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 Massachusetts.

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