Pennsylvania Fundraising Licensing

Resources for charities, businesses, professional fundraisers, and individuals conducting charitable solicitation activities
View Guide Contents

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!

Pennsylvania charitable solicitation license, Pennsylvania fundraising license
Filter LicensesClear Filters
Company Licenses
(1)
(1)
(2)
(1)
(1)
(1)
Individual Licenses
(1)

Company Licenses

Pennsylvania Nonprofit & Fundraising Company Licenses

Pennsylvania Charitable Gaming Licenses

Not required



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

Bingo licenses and small games of chance licenses are issued at the county level in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania Charitable Gift Annuity Registration

Not required



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

No filing is required, but charities need to meet certain conditions before issuing charitable gift annuities. Pennsylvania certain charities from insurance regulation related to charitable gift annuities if they meet the description offered in section 170(c) of the Internal Revenue Code, have been in continuous existence for at least 3 years, and have unrestricted assets of at least $100,000 plus half of the principal value of issued annuities. The charity must also be an educational institution, hospital, senior citizen center, religious institution, or charitable organization registered with the department of state.

Pennsylvania Charitable Organization Registration

Agency:Pennsylvania Department of State - Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations - Charities Section
Law:

10 Pennsylvania Statutes, Chapter 4B, § 162.1 - 162.7

Foreign Qualification is Prerequisite:No
Registered Agent (Special Agency) Required?No
Fact Checked:1/16/19

One-Time Exemption Registration

Exemption Eligible Organizations:
  • Any charitable organization which receives contributions of $25,000 or less annually, provided that such organization does not compensate any person who conducts solicitations
  • Educational institutions, the curricula of which in whole or in part are registered with or approved by the Department of Education, either directly or by acceptance of accreditation by an accrediting body recognized by the Department of Education, and any auxiliary associations, foundations and support groups which are directly responsible to educational institutions
  • Hospitals which are subject to regulation by the Department of Health or the Department of Public Welfare and the hospital foundation, if any, which is an integral part thereof
  • A local post, camp, chapter or similarly designated element or a county unit of such elements of any veterans' organization chartered under Federal law and any service foundation recognized in the bylaws of such organization; a bona fide organization of volunteer firemen; a bona fide ambulance association; a bona fide rescue squad association; or a bona fide auxiliary or affiliate of any of the above mentioned organizations (provided that all fundraising activities are carried on by volunteers, members or an auxiliary or affiliate thereof, and those volunteers, members or affiliates receive no compensation directly or indirectly for the fundraising activities)
  • Public nonprofit library organizations which receive financial aid from State and municipal governments and file an annual fiscal report with the State Library System
  • Senior citizen centers and nursing homes which are nonprofit and charitable and which have been granted tax-exempt status under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 provided that all fundraising activities are carried on by volunteers, members or officers of the Senior Citizen Center and those volunteers, members or officers receive no compensation, directly or indirectly, for the fundraising activities
  • Bona fide parent/teacher associations or parent/teacher organizations as recognized in a notarized letter from the school district in which they are located
  • Any corporation established by an act of Congress of the United States that is required by Federal law to submit annual reports of its activities to Congress containing itemized accounts of all receipts and expenditures after being fully audited by the Department of Defense
Form:

Form BCO-9: Request for Approval of Exemption/Exclusion

Agency Fee:

$0

Law:

10 PA Stat § 162.6

Notes:

If your organization is based in Pennsylvania, it may still be required to file an Institutions of Purely Public Charity Statement.

Fact Checked:1/16/20

Initial Registration

Form:

Form BCO-10: Charitable Organization Registration Statement

Instructions:

Instructions for Registering

Filing Method:

Mail

Agency Fee:

$15-250, depending on gross contributions

Notes:
  • Read the exemptions chart carefully and check to see if you still need to file the Institutions of Purely Public Charity Statement.
  • Note the list of attachments that first-time registrants must attach to the application.
  • Some Pennsylvania counties and municipalities may require charities that solicit in-person to register prior to fundraising.
Fact Checked:2/22/17

Registration Renewal

Form:

Form BCO-10: Charitable Organization Registration Statement

Filing Method:

Mail

Agency Fee:

$15-250, depending on gross contributions

Due:

Due annually 10.5 months after the end of the fiscal year every year.

Penalties:

An organization failing to file a registration by the due date must pay an additional fee of $25 for each calendar month or part of a month after the date on which the registration was due to be filed.

Notes:
  • The renewal due date is indicated on the certificate of registration you receive after your initial filing. It is based on your fiscal year end.
  • You must attach an annual financial report.
  • Even if you are exempt, you still may need to file annually under Pennsylvania’s Purely Public Charity Act.
Fact Checked:2/22/17

Change of Fiscal Year

Form:

Form BCO-10: Charitable Organization Registration Statement

Agency Fee:

Varies

Notes:

Fiscal year can be changed during the standard renewal process.

Fact Checked:12/7/18

Pennsylvania Commercial Co-Venturer Registration

Not required



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

Pennsylvania 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.

Registration Not Required

Not required



Pennsylvania Institution of Purely Public Charity Registration

Agency:Pennsylvania Department of State - Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations - Charities Section
Law:

10 P.S. § 371. et seq.

Notes:

Organizations that are not required to register under the Solicitation of Funds for Charitable Purposes Act but meet the definition of a purely public charity, as defined in The Institutions of Purely Public Charity Act, should register as an institution of public charity instead of registering as a charitable organization.

Fact Checked:1/16/19

Registration to Obtain Exemption

Exemption Eligible Organizations:
  • Bona fide duly constituted religious institutions and such separate groups or corporations which form an integral part of a religious institution and are exempt from filing an annual IRS 990 Return
  • An institution of purely public charity which receives contributions of less than $25,000 per year provided that the institution's program service revenue does not equal or exceed $5,000,000
Form:

Purely Public Charity Registration Statement (Exemption)

Filing Method:

Mail

Agency Fee:

$0

Fact Checked:1/16/19

Renewal to Maintain Exemption

Exemption Eligible Organizations:
  • Bona fide duly constituted religious institutions and such separate groups or corporations which form an integral part of a religious institution and are exempt from filing an annual IRS 990 Return
  • An institution of purely public charity which receives contributions of less than $25,000 per year provided that the institution's program service revenue does not equal or exceed $5,000,000
Form:

Purely Public Charity Registration Statement (Exemption Renewal)

Filing Method:

Mail

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:

Annually within 135 days of the organization's fiscal year end. The due date is May 15th for organizations with a fiscal year end date of December 31.

Fact Checked:1/16/19

Initial Registration

Form:

Purely Public Charity Registration Statement

Filing Method:

Mail

Agency Fee:

$15

Fact Checked:1/16/19

Registration Renewal

Form:

Purely Public Charity Registration Statement (Renewal)

Filing Method:

Mail

Agency Fee:

$15

Due:

Annually within 135 days of the organization's fiscal year end. The due date is May 15th for organizations with a fiscal year end date of December 31.

Fact Checked:1/16/19

Pennsylvania Professional Fundraising Counsel Registration

Agency:Pennsylvania Department of State - Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations
Fact Checked:7/5/18

Initial Registration

Form:

Form BCO-150: Registration Statement for Professional Fundraising Counsel

Agency Fee:

$250

Fact Checked:7/5/18

Registration Renewal

Form:

Form BCO-150: Registration Statement for Professional Fundraising Counsel (Renewal)

Agency Fee:

$250

Due:

Annually

Fact Checked:7/5/18

Contract Filing

Due:

File a copy of the written contract between the charity and fundraising counsel at least 10 days prior to the start of each solicitation campaign.

Fact Checked:8/5/19

Pennsylvania Professional Solicitor Registration

Agency:Pennsylvania Department of State - Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations
Bond Requirements:

$25,000

Notes:

This registration also applies to sole proprietors doing business as professional solicitors.

Initial Registration

Form:

Form BCO-155: Registration Statement for Professional Solicitor

Agency Fee:

$250

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required
Fact Checked:12/15/16

Registration Renewal

Form:

Form BCO-155: Registration Statement for Professional Solicitor (Renewal)

Agency Fee:

$250

Due:

Annually

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required
Fact Checked:12/15/16

Contract Filing

Form:

Form BCO-170: Solicitation Notice

Agency Fee:

$25

Due:

File a solicitation notice at least 10 days prior to the start of each solicitation campaign.

Fact Checked:8/5/19

Financial Reporting

Form:

Form BCO-165: Financial Report

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.

Fact Checked:8/5/19

Individual Licenses

Pennsylvania Individual Nonprofit & Fundraising Licenses

Pennsylvania Individual Professional Fundraiser Registration

Not required



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

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 Pennsylvania.

Registration Not Required

Not required



Learn about fundraising in other states:

Harbor Compliance® proudly partners with the Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations to provide insightful resources and compliance solutions to nonprofits in Pennsylvania.




© 2012 - 2020 Harbor Compliance. All rights reserved. Harbor Compliance does not provide tax, financial, or legal advice. Use of our services does not create an attorney-client relationship. Harbor Compliance is not acting as your attorney and does not review information you provide to us for legal accuracy or sufficiency. Access to our website is subject to our Terms of Use and Service Agreement.