Michigan 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

Michigan Nonprofit & Fundraising Company Licenses

Michigan Charitable Gift Annuity Registration

Not required



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

Michigan statutes do not address charitable gift annuities, however, an attorney general opinion that exempted the Michigan State University Foundation from insurance regulation related to charitable gift annuities is also applied to other charitable organizations so long as the issuance of annuities remains secondary to the object and purpose of the organization.

Michigan Charitable Solicitation Registration

Agency:Michigan Attorney General - Charitable Trust Section
Law:

Michigan Compiled Laws §400.271 through 400.292

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

One-Time Exemption Registration

Exemption Eligible Organizations:

Organizations exempt under both the Charitable Organizations and Solicitations Act (COSA) and the Supervision of Trustees for Charitable Purposes Act (STCPA):

  • An organization that requests contributions only for the relief or benefit of a named individual or family with all fundraising conducted by persons who are unpaid for their service
  • A Michigan educational institution approved by the Michigan Board of Education
  • A veterans organization incorporated under federal law
  • A licensed hospital (Health systems and other affiliates are not exempt even if they include a licensed hospital)
  • A school booster organization operating with the knowledge and approval of an educational institution for the support or promotion of educational, artistic, musical, or athletic programs or events
  • A governmental unit or instrumentality
  • An advocacy or lobbying organization, or an organization associated with an advocacy organization, political party, candidate or committee, that does not have 501(c)(3) status (If the organization's IRS 501(c)(3) determination letter requires it to file a Form 990, 990-EZ, or 990-N, the organization likely does not qualify for this exemption)
  • An organization that will not have 501(c)(3) status and whose principal purpose is not charitable but that solicits from time to time for a charitable purpose (To qualify for this exemption the organization must not have or intend to receive 501(c)(3) status, all fundraising must be performed by members of the organization who are not paid for their services, and all funds must be wholly used for the purposes for which they were solicited)

Organizations exempt under COSA:

  • An organization that confines solicitations to drives solely among members, directors and their immediate families, where the general public is not invited to become a member. This includes a private foundation for IRS tax purposes that receives contributions solely from incorporators, directors, stockholders or their families, or from a sponsoring business
  • An organization whose sole source of contributions is a charitable organization registered with this office to solicit contributions
  • A hospital-based foundation or auxiliary that solicits contributions solely for 1 or more licensed hospitals
  • An organization that does not intend to solicit and receive, and does not actually receive, contributions in excess of $25,000 (Excluding grants from government agencies or restricted grants from foundations) during any 12-month period (All fundraising functions must be conducted by persons, whether staff or contractors, who are not paid for their services and the organization must make a financial statement of its activities of its most recent fiscal year available to its members and the public)
  • A nonprofit corporation whose purpose is the owning and operating of facilities for the aged and chronically ill that is under the sole control of a religious or fraternal society
  • An organization at least 50% of whose activities are licensed by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to serve children and families

Organizations exempt under STCPA:

  • An organization incorporated or organized in a state other than Michigan that will never hold assets in Michigan, including cash, savings accounts, investment accounts, land, building, equipment, etc.
  • An organization that receives operating funds from United Way
  • An amateur theater, band, orchestra, chorale or dance organization
Form:

Form CTS-03: Request for Exemption

Filing Method:

Mail or email to ct_email@mi.gov.

Agency Fee:

$0

Notes:

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

Initial Registration

Form:

Form CTS-01: Initial Solicitation Registration Form

Filing Method:

Mail, email to ct_email@michigan.gov, or online.

Agency Fee:

$0

Turnaround:

4-6 weeks

Notes:
  • One principal officer or director must sign. Signatures need not be notarized.
  • Verify that the attorney general's office received the registration form by searching for the organization at www.michigan.gov/AGCharitySearch
  • Following review if your initial registration or exemption, the Attorney General may instruct your organization to complete additional forms.
  • Some Michigan 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 Michigan.
  • 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 Michigan.
  • 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 Michigan, obtain a certificate of good standing from your home state to submit during the foreign qualification process. The certificate cannot be more than 30 days old when filing foreign qualification documents.
How to Apply:

Domestic Applicants:

  1. File entity formation documents with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) - Bureau of Corporations, Securities & Commercial Licensing - Corporations Division.
  2. Submit an Initial Solicitation Registration Form and all required attachments to the Michigan Attorney General - Charitable Trust Section.

Foreign Applicants:

  1. Determine whether or not your charity will need to foreign qualify based on your activity in Michigan. If not required, skip to number 3.
  2. File foreign qualification documents with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) - Bureau of Corporations, Securities & Commercial Licensing - Corporations Division.
  3. Submit an Initial Solicitation Registration Form and all required attachments to the Michigan Attorney General - Charitable Trust Section.
Required Attachments:

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

Registration Renewal

Form:

Form CTS-02: Renewal Solicitation Registration Form

Filing Method:

Mail, email to ct_email@michigan.gov, or online.

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:
  • Annually within 7 months after the close of your nonprofit's fiscal year. So if your fiscal calendar ends December 31, then the renewal is due by July 31.
  • 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 5 months beyond the original due date by emailing ct_email@michigan.gov with an explanation of your request for extension. A copy of IRS form 8868 must be included when requesting an extension.

Required Attachments:

  • IRS form 990
  • Audited accrual basis 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:

Form CTS-02: Renewal Solicitation Registration Form

Agency Fee:

$0

Notes:

Fiscal year can be changed during the standard renewal process.

Cancellation

Agency Fee:

$0

Notes:

To close out your registration, submit a letter indicating the organization will no longer accept contributions from Michigan sources (including via internet). The process may be different for organizations that hold assets in Michigan.

Michigan Charity Game Ticket License

Game Type:

Pull-tabs

Agency:Michigan State Lottery - Charitable Gaming Division

Initial Registration

Agency:Michigan State Lottery - Charitable Gaming Division
Form:

Annual Charity Game Ticket License

Agency Fee:

$200

Registration Renewal

Agency:Michigan State Lottery - Charitable Gaming Division
Form:

Annual Charity Game Ticket License (Renewal)

Agency Fee:

$200

Due:

Annually by July 31.

Michigan Commercial Co-Venturer Registration

Not required



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

Michigan 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.

Michigan Fundraising Counsel Registration

Not required



Fundraising Counsel licensure is not required on the State level in Michigan.

Michigan no longer requires fundraising counsels to register.

More information: Michigan Attorney General - Charitable Trust Section

Michigan Large Bingo License

Game Type:

Bingo

Agency:Michigan State Lottery - Charitable Gaming Division

Initial Registration

Agency:Michigan State Lottery - Charitable Gaming Division
Form:

Large Bingo License Application

Agency Fee:

$150

Registration Renewal

Agency:Michigan State Lottery - Charitable Gaming Division
Form:

Large Bingo License Application (Renewal)

Agency Fee:

$150

Due:

Annually by February 28th.

Michigan Organization Qualification

Game Type:

Bingo, raffles, and pull-tabs.

Agency:Michigan State Lottery - Charitable Gaming Division
Notes:

Licensing is a two step process in Michigan. Organizations must first apply to qualify as an organization, then qualifying organizations can apply for gaming licenses.

Initial Registration

Agency:Michigan State Lottery - Charitable Gaming Division
Form:

Qualification Information Application

Agency Fee:

$0

Renewal Not Required

Not required



There is no specific requirement to update an organization's qualification, however, charities may be required to submit periodic updates to the information on file with the state.

More information: Michigan State Lottery - Charitable Gaming Division

 "Professional fund raiser" means a person who plans, conducts, manages, or carries on a drive or campaign of soliciting contributions for or on behalf of a charitable organization, religious organization, or any other person in exchange for compensation or other consideration; or who engages in the business of or holds himself or herself out as independently engaged in the business of soliciting contributions for those purposes. The term does not include a bona fide officer or employee of a charitable organization unless his or her salary or other compensation is computed on the basis of funds to be raised or actually raised. The term includes a person that is not a charitable organization and that owns or operates a clothing donation box if any of the following are met:
  (i) The person represents or implies to any person that personal property placed in the clothing donation box or the proceeds of that property will be donated to 1 or more charitable organizations.
  (ii) The person represents or implies to any person that he or she is using the clothing donation box to solicit contributions on behalf of 1 or more charitable organizations.
  (iii) The clothing donation box or any sign near the clothing donation box is marked with the name, logo, trademark, or service mark of 1 or more charitable organizations or is otherwise marked in any manner that represents or implies that personal property placed in the donation box or the proceeds of that property will be donated to 1 or more charitable organizations.

Michigan Professional Fundraiser License

Agency:Michigan Attorney General - Charitable Trust Section
Bond Requirements:

$10,000

Registered Agent (Special Agency) Required?Yes

Initial Registration

Form:

Form CTS-07: Application for License of Professional Fundraiser

Agency Fee:

$0

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required
Notes:
  • Only solicitation/ events contracts must be filed. If you meet the following qualifications for a consultant, a professional fundraiser license is not required.
    • To qualify as a Consultant, all of the following conditions must be met:
      • the consultant must be retained by a charitable or religious organization for a fixed fee or rate that is not computed on the basis of funds raised;
      • the consultant does not solicit funds, assets or property, rather the consultant's activities are limited to advising or consulting for a solicitation or fundraising event in Michigan;
      • the consultant must not receive or control funds, assets, or property solicited in Michigan; and
      • the consultant must not employ, procure, or engage any compensated person to solicit, receive, or control funds,
      assets, or property.
Before you Apply:
  • Provide the names and addresses of the applicant's officers, directors, and all shareholders, members, and others with a 5% or more ownership interest in the entity
  • You must designate a resident agent located in Michigan to receive official mail sent to your organization
  • Provide the street addresses of all call centers and other offices located in Michigan
  • List all assumed names, dba's, and other names used by the entity
  • List all related entities of the applicant and entities owned or operated by immediate family members of officers, directors, managers, or owners of the applicant that provide services to clients of the applicant
  • Complete the Current Contract Schedule
    • Provide a fully completed Campaign Financial Statement for each contract
  • Each individual solicitor who is soliciting funds in the state of Michgan must complete a Registration of Professional Solicitor form.
Required Attachments:
  • Copies of contracts, extensions, and addenda for all charitable or religious organizations currently under contract which intend to solicit contributions or raise funds in Michigan 
  • Surety bond of $10,000
  • Articles of Incorporation
  • REGISTRATION OF PROFESSIONAL SOLICITOR form for each solicitor retained to solicit contributions in the State of Michigan. These forms must be submitted to this office for approval prior to solicitation activity
  • CAMPAIGN FINANCIAL STATEMENTS for all solicitations in Michigan that were concluded over the past year and on which you have not yet reported

Registration Renewal

Form:

Form CTS-07: Application for License of Professional Fundraiser (Renewal)

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:

Annually by June 30.

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required

Contract Filing

Form:

Form CTS-11: Professional Fundraiser Contract Summary Sheet

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:

File a contract summary sheet within 10 days after the date of execution of the contract.

Financial Reporting

Form:

Form CTS-10: Campaign Financial Statement

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.

Michigan Raffle License

Game Type:

Raffles

Agency:Michigan State Lottery - Charitable Gaming Division
Notes:

Charities holding a raffle event at more than one location will need a separate raffle license for each location.

Initial Registration

Agency:Michigan State Lottery - Charitable Gaming Division
Form:

Raffle Application

Agency Fee:

Varies by number of drawings and prizes offered: 1) If the total value of prizes awarded in a day is $500 or less, fee is $15 for up to 3 events + $5 for each additional event. 2) If the total value of prizes awarded in a day is more than $500, fee is $50 for each drawing event.

Renewal Not Required

Not required



Raffle licenses are issued for specific events dates and do not need to be renewed.

More information: Michigan State Lottery - Charitable Gaming Division

Michigan Special Bingo License

Game Type:

Bingo

Agency:Michigan State Lottery - Charitable Gaming Division

Initial Registration

Agency:Michigan State Lottery - Charitable Gaming Division
Form:

Special Bingo License Application

Agency Fee:

$25

Renewal Not Required

Not required



Special bingo licenses cannot be renewed, but an organization can hold up to 4 special license per calendar year.

More information: Michigan State Lottery - Charitable Gaming Division

Individual Licenses

Michigan Individual Nonprofit & Fundraising Licenses

Michigan Professional Solicitor Registration

Agency:Michigan Attorney General - Charitable Trust Section

Initial Registration

Form:

Form CTS-09: Registration of Professional Solicitor

Agency Fee:

$0

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required

Registration Renewal

Form:

Form CTS-09: Registration of Professional Solicitor (Renewal)

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:

Annually by June 30.

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required
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