Tennessee 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!

Tennessee charitable solicitation license, Tennessee fundraising license
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Company Licenses

Tennessee Nonprofit & Fundraising Company Licenses

Tennessee Charitable Gaming Licenses

Game Type:

Raffles, reverse raffles, cakewalks, and cakewheels.

Agency:Tennessee Secretary of State - Division of Charitable Solicitations and Gaming
Organization Age Requirement:

5 years of continuous existence in Tennessee.

Age Restrictions:

Participants must be at least 18 years old.

Prize Limits:

The maximum raffle prize for a single location event is $250,000, although real property prizes are exempt from this limitation. Multiple location event prizes are limited to $150,000.

Law:

TN Code § 3-17-101 et seq.

Fact Checked:1/10/18

Initial Registration

Agency:Tennessee Secretary of State - Division of Charitable Solicitations and Gaming
Form:

Form SS-6069: Annual Gaming Event Application

Agency Fee:

$150 for estimated gross game revenue of $5,000 or less, $300 for gross game revenue between $5,000 and $10,000, $450 for gross game revenue between $10,000 and $20,000, and $600 for gross game revenue greater than $20,000.

Notes:

The law allows charities to hold a single gaming event over the course of a year. The application period runs from July 1st through January 31st.

Fact Checked:1/10/18

Registration Renewal

Agency:Tennessee Secretary of State - Division of Charitable Solicitations and Gaming
Form:

Form SS-6069: Annual Gaming Event Application (Renewal)

Agency Fee:

$150 for estimated gross game revenue of $5,000 or less, $300 for gross game revenue between $5,000 and $10,000, $450 for gross game revenue between $10,000 and $20,000, and $600 for gross game revenue greater than $20,000.

Due:

Annually by January 31.

Fact Checked:1/10/18

Tennessee Charitable Gift Annuity Registration

Agency:Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance
Law:

TN Code § 56-52-101 through TN Code § 56-52-111

Audit Requirements:

The submitted financial statements must either be audited by an independent CPA or attested to by two officers of the company.

Initial Registration

Form:

Charitable Gift Annuity Application Packet

Agency Fee:

$675

Notarize:Required
Notes:

Charities must maintain a separate reserve fund that contains either 110% of the reserves required by TN Code § 56-52-104(b) or the total amount of donations for outstanding charitable gift annuities.

Fact Checked:12/4/17

Registration Renewal

Form:

There is no renewal form, instead send a letter of intent to renew to the department along with the renewal fee.

Agency Fee:

$100

Due:

Annually by March 1.

Notes:

In addition to renewing the certificate of authority, charities should also submit an annual report within 90 days after the close of their fiscal year.

Fact Checked:12/4/17

Tennessee Charitable Organization Registration

Agency:Tennessee Secretary of State - Division of Charitable Solicitations and Gaming
Law:

Tennessee Code Annotated §48-101-501 and following

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

Automatic Exemption

Exemption Eligible Organizations:
  • Bona fide religious institutions
  • An organization organized and operated exclusively for educational purposes and which normally maintains a regular faculty and curriculum and normally has a regularly enrolled body of pupils or students in attendance at the place where its educational activities are regularly carried on, and which is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency. Included in such definition are organizations composed of parents of students and other persons connected with the institution, which are organized and operated for the purpose of conducting activities in support of the operations or extracurricular activities of such institutions. “Educational institution” also includes private foundations soliciting contributions exclusively for such organizations.
  • Cooperative scholarship corporations regulated by title 49, chapter 4, part 1
  • Volunteer fire departments, rescue squads or local civil defense organizations
  • Community fairs, county fairs, district fairs and division fairs, as defined in § 43-21-104, that have been qualified by the commissioner of agriculture to receive state aid grants, pursuant to title 43, chapter 21, part 1
  • Political parties, candidates for federal or state office, and political action committees required to file financial information with federal or state election commissions
  • Hospitals and nursing homes that are subject to regulation by the Tennessee Department of Health
  • 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
Law:

Tenn. Code Ann. § 48-101-502

Fact Checked:1/16/20

Registration to Obtain Exemption

Exemption Eligible Organizations:

Charities with less than $50,000 in gross contributions during the preceding fiscal year

Form:

Form SS-6042: Annual Request for $50,000 and Under Exemption

Agency Fee:

$0

Notes:

Charities must register within 30 days if they exceed $50,000 in contributions.

Fact Checked:2/3/20

Renewal to Maintain Exemption

Exemption Eligible Organizations:

Charities with less than $50,000 in gross contributions during the preceding fiscal year

Form:

Form SS-6042: Annual Request for $50,000 and Under Exemption (Renewal)

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:

Annually within 6 months of the organization's fiscal year end.

Fact Checked:2/3/20

Initial Registration

Form:

Form SS-6001: Application for Registration of a Charitable Organization

Instructions:

Filing instructions for registration of a charitable organization

Filing Method:

Online or mail.

Agency Fee:

$50

Notes:
  • The CFO and another officer must sign. Signatures need not be notarized.
  • Note the list of attachments that first-time registrants must attach to the application.
  • Remember to attach the Summary of Financial Activities form. If your nonprofit registers during its first year, it must file a quarterly financial report.
  • Some Tennessee counties and municipalities may require charities that solicit in-person to register prior to fundraising.
Fact Checked:2/22/17

Registration Renewal

Form:

Form SS-6002: Application to Renew Registration of a Charitable Organization

Instructions:

Filing instructions for renewing registration of a charitable organization

Filing Method:

Online or mail.

Agency Fee:

$80-240, depending on gross revenue

Due:

Renewal must be filed annually within 6 months after the close of your fiscal year. So if yoru fiscal year ends December 31, then file by June 30.

Penalties:

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

Notes:
  • The CFO and another officer must sign. Signatures need not be notarized.
  • Remember to attach the Summary of Financial Activities form
Fact Checked:2/22/17

Contract Filing

Due:

Charities must submit copies of every contract they have with professional fundraisers, fundraising counsels, and commercial co-venturers during initial charitable registration and during charitable registration renewal.

Fact Checked:10/9/19

Change of Fiscal Year

Agency Fee:

$0

Turnaround:

1-2 business days

Notes:

Send the state a copy of the short IRS 990 once it is available.

Fact Checked:12/7/18

Tennessee Commercial Co-Venturer Registration

Not required



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

Tennessee 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



Tennessee Fundraising Counsel Registration

Not required



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

Tennessee no longer requires fundraising counsels to register.

More information: Tennessee Secretary of State - Division of Charitable Solicitations and Gaming

Registration Not Required

Not required



Tennessee Professional Solicitor Registration

Agency:Tennessee Secretary of State - Division of Charitable Solicitations and Gaming
Bond Requirements:

$25,000

Initial Registration

Form:

Professional Solicitor Registration

Agency Fee:

$250

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

Registration Renewal

Form:

http://sos.tn.gov/charitable-solicitations-and-gaming/professional-solicitors?page=2

Agency Fee:

$250

Due:

Annually by December 31.

Fact Checked:12/15/16

Contract Filing

Form:

Professional Solicitor Campaign Notice

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:

File a solicitation campaign notice before beginning a new campaign.

Fact Checked:8/5/19

Financial Reporting

Form:

Summary of Financial Activities for a Campaign

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:

Within 90 days after a campaign has ended and within 90 days after the end of the fiscal year for campaigns lasting more than a year.

Notarize:Required
Fact Checked:8/5/19

Individual Licenses

Tennessee Individual Nonprofit & Fundraising Licenses

Tennessee Individual Professional Fundraiser Registration

Not required



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

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 Tennessee.

Registration Not Required

Not required



Learn about fundraising in other states:

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