North Carolina 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!

North Carolina charitable solicitation license, North Carolina fundraising license
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Company Licenses

North Carolina Nonprofit & Fundraising Company Licenses

North Carolina Bingo and Raffle Licenses

Game Type:

Bingo and raffles

Agency:North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation - Alcohol Law Enforcement Branch
Organization Age Requirement:

1 year of continuous existence in the county they intend to operate games in.

Prize Limits:

The maximum prize for a single game of bingo is $500. The prize limit for a single bingo session is $1,500 unless only one bingo session is held that week, in which case the limit becomes $2,500.

Law:

NC Stat. § 14-309.5 et seq.

Fact Checked:1/10/18

Initial Registration

Agency:North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation - Alcohol Law Enforcement Branch
Form:

Form BL-1: Application for Exempt Organization to Operate Bingo Games

Agency Fee:

$200

Notes:

Exempt organizations may also hold as many as 2 raffle events per year, but no license is required for these.

Fact Checked:1/10/18

Registration Renewal

Agency:North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation - Alcohol Law Enforcement Branch
Form:

Form BL-1: Application for Exempt Organization to Operate Bingo Games (Renewal)

Agency Fee:

$200

Due:

Annually

Fact Checked:1/10/18

North Carolina Charitable Gift Annuity Registration

Agency:North Carolina Department of Insurance
Law:

NC Stat. § 58-3-6

Organization Age Requirement:

3 years of continuous existence immediately preceeding licensure.

Minimum Unrestricted Cash or Cash Equivalent Requirement:

$100,000

Initial Registration

Form:

Charitable Gift Annuities Notification Form

Agency Fee:

$0

Notes:

North Carolina charities must provide notice within 90 days of when they first enter into a charitable gift annuity agreement. Notices must identify the organization, certify that the organization is a charity and that the annuities issued are qualified charitable gift annuities, and be signed by an officer or director. Charities must also provide their most recent IRS form 990 upon request from the department.

Fact Checked:12/4/17

Registration Renewal

Not required



North Carolina Charitable or Sponsor Organization Solicitation License

Agency:North Carolina Secretary of State - Charitable Solicitation Licensing Division
Law:

North Carolina General Statutes §§ 131 F-2 to 131f-8. CSL Statute and Rule Reference

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

Automatic Exemption

Exemption Eligible Organizations:
  • Religious organizations
  • Government agencies
  • Any hospital licensed pursuant to Article 5 of Chapter 131E or Article 2 of Chapter 122C of the General Statutes
  • Any noncommercial radio or television station
  • A qualified community trust as provided in 26 C.F.R. § 1.170A-9(e)(10) through (e)(14)
  • A volunteer fire department, REACT (Radio Emergency Associated Communications Teams), rescue squad, or emergency medical service
  • A Young Men's Christian Association or a Young Women's Christian Association
  • A nonprofit continuing care facility licensed under Article 64 of Chapter 58 of the General Statutes
  • Any tax exempt nonprofit fire or emergency medical service organization involved in the sale of goods or services that does not ask for a donation
Fact Checked:1/16/20

One-Time Exemption Registration

Exemption Eligible Organizations:

Educational institutions

Form:

Questionnaire for Exemption Under 131F-3(4)

Agency Fee:

$0

Law:

NC Stat § 131F-3(3)

Fact Checked:1/16/20

Registration to Obtain Exemption

Exemption Eligible Organizations:

Charities with less than $25,000 in contributions in any calendar year

Form:

Request for Exemption Under 131F-3(3)

Agency Fee:

$0

Fact Checked:8/15/18

Renewal to Maintain Exemption

Exemption Eligible Organizations:

Charities with less than $25,000 in contributions in any calendar year

Form:

Request for Exemption Under 131F-3(3) (Renewal)

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:

Annually within 4.5 months after the organization's fiscal year end.

Fact Checked:8/15/18

Initial Registration

Form:

Initial / Renewal License Application for Charities or Sponsors

Filing Method:

Mail or online.

Agency Fee:

$0-200, depending on contributions

Turnaround:

2-3 weeks

Notes:
  • Note the list of attachments required.
  • The CFO / treasurer must sign and it must be notarized.
  • Some North Carolina 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 North Carolina, obtain a certificate of good standing from your home state to submit during the foreign qualification process. The certificate cannot be more than 6 months old when filing foreign qualification documents.
How to Apply:

Domestic Applicants:

  1. File entity formation documents with the North Carolina Secretary of State - Business Registration Division.
  2. Submit an Initial License Application for Charities or Sponsors and all required attachments to the North Carolina Secretary of State - Charitable Solicitation Licensing Division.

Foreign Applicants:

  1. Determine whether or not your charity will need to foreign qualify based on your activity in North Carolina. If not required, skip to number 3.
  2. File foreign qualification documents with the North Carolina Secretary of State - Business Registration Division.
  3. Submit an Initial License Application for Charities or Sponsors and all required attachments to the North Carolina Secretary of State - Charitable Solicitation Licensing Division.
Required Attachments:

  • Either IRS form 990 or audited financials
  • IRS determination letter
  • List of officers and directors
  • Professional fundraising contracts
  • A certificate of good standing from the organization's home state
Fact Checked:4/14/20

Registration Renewal

Form:

Initial / Renewal License Application for Charities or Sponsors

Filing Method:

Mail or online.

Agency Fee:

$0-200, depending on contributions

Due:

Renewal is due annually 4.5 months after the close of your fiscal year. So if your fiscal year ends December 31, renewal is due May 15.

Due Date Extension:

Due dates are automatically extended for 60 days beyond the original due date.

Penalties:

$25 for each month that passes after the due date. Capped at $900.

Notes:
  • Note the list of attachments required (including annual financial report).
Required Attachments:

  • Either IRS form 990 or audited financials
  • List of officers and directors
  • Professional fundraising contracts
  • Certificate of good standing in home state
Fact Checked:2/4/20

Contract Filing

Form:

Fund Raising Disclosure Form for Charities or Sponsors

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:

Charities must submit a disclosure form for each contract they have with fundraising consultants, professional solicitors, and commercial co-venturers during initial charitable registration and with charitable renewal filings.

Notes:

Copies of contracts do not need to be submitted, but the disclosure form asks for a variety of contract details.

Change of Fiscal Year

Form:

Initial / Renewal License Application for Charities or Sponsors

Agency Fee:

Varies

Notes:

Fiscal year can be changed during the standard renewal process.

Fact Checked:12/7/18

Cancellation

Agency Fee:

$0

Notes:

Submit a letter signed by an authorized officer or member of the organization along with an IRS form 990, audited financial statement, or a completed Annual Financial Report Form for the immediately preceding fiscal year.

Fact Checked:7/14/20

North Carolina Commercial Co-Venturer Registration

Not required



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

North Carolina 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.

North Carolina Fund Raising Consultant Registration

Agency:North Carolina Secretary of State - Charitable Solicitation Licensing Division
Fact Checked:7/5/18

Initial Registration

Form:

Fund-Raising Consultant License Application

Agency Fee:

$200

Notarize:Required
Fact Checked:7/5/18

Registration Renewal

Form:

Fund-Raising Consultant License Application (Renewal)

Agency Fee:

$200

Due:

Annually by March 31.

Notarize:Required
Fact Checked:7/5/18

Contract Filing

Form:

Fundraising Consultant Contract Checklist

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:

File a contract checklist at least 5 days prior to the start of each solicitation campaign.

Fact Checked:8/5/19

North Carolina Professional Solicitor Registration

Agency:North Carolina Secretary of State - Charitable Solicitation Licensing Division
Bond Requirements:

Bond requirement ranges from $20,000-$50,000.

Initial Registration

Form:

Professional Solicitor Application Initial/Renewal

Agency Fee:

$200

Fact Checked:12/15/16

Registration Renewal

Form:

Professional Solicitor Application Initial/Renewal (Renewal)

Agency Fee:

$200

Due:

Annually by March 31.

Fact Checked:12/15/16

Contract Filing

Form:

Solicitor Contract Checklist and Solicitation Campaign Notice

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:

File a solicitation campaign notice and contract checklist at least 5 days prior to the start of each solicitation campaign.

Fact Checked:8/5/19

Financial Reporting

Form:

Solicitation Campaign Financial Report Form

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.

Notarize:Required
Fact Checked:8/5/19

Individual Licenses

North Carolina Individual Nonprofit & Fundraising Licenses

North Carolina Individual Professional Fundraiser Registration

Not required



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

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 North Carolina.

Learn about fundraising in other states:

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