Washington 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!

Washington charitable solicitation license, Washington fundraising license
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Company Licenses

Washington Nonprofit & Fundraising Company Licenses

Washington Charitable Gaming Licenses

Game Type:

Bingo, raffles, casino nights, amusement games, and other games of chance.

Agency:Washington State Gambling Commission
Organization Age Requirement:

12 months of continuous existence immediately preceeding licensure.

Initial Registration

Agency:Washington State Gambling Commission
Form:

Form GC4-028: Application - Non-Profit Organization

Agency fee:

See fee schedule.

Notes:

Washington allows charities to conduct a number of gaming activities for charitable purposes.

Registration Renewal

Agency:Washington State Gambling Commission
Form:

Form GC4-055: Application - Annual Renewal - Non-Profit Organization

Agency fee:

See fee schedule.

Due:

Annually

Washington Charitable Gift Annuity Registration

Agency:Washington Office of the Insurance Commissioner
Law:

RCW § 48.38.010 through RCW § 48.38.075 and WAC § 284-38

Organization Age Requirement:

3 years of continuous existence immediately preceeding licensure.

Minimum Unrestricted Cash or Cash Equivalent Requirement:

$500,000

Audit Requirements:

Audited financial statements are required within 9 months after the organization's fiscal year end.

Initial Registration

Form:

Charitable Gift Annuity Application Packet

Agency fee:

$25

Notarize:Required
Notes:

Approved organization must establish a separate reserve fund that follows the standards of RCW § 48.74.030.

Registration Renewal

Filing method:

Online

Agency fee:

$25 + $5 per annuity issued during the previous calendar year.

Due:

Annually within 60 days of the organization's fiscal year end.

Notes:

In addition to filing the annual report, charities must also submit a public inspection copy of their IRS form 990 within 15 days of its filing with the IRS.

Washington Charitable Organization Registration

Agency:Washington Secretary of State - Charities Program
Law:

Washington Revised Code Annotated §19.09.020 and following; Washington Administrative Code §434-120-100 through 434-120-175

Automatic Exemption

Exemption Eligible Organizations:
  • Organizations that raise less than $50,000 from the public in any accounting year when all the activities of the organization, including all fundraising activities, are performed by volunteers
  • Appeals for individuals
  • Religious organizations
Notes:

Exempt organizations can file an optional registration with the secretary of state.

Initial Registration

Form:

Charitable Organization Registration / Renewal (Including the WA State Combined Fund Drive)

Instructions:

Washington Charitable Organization Registration Instructions

Filing method:

Mail or online.

Agency fee:

$60 + optional $50 expedite fee for 2-3 business day processing. ($0 if exempt)

Notes:
  • The URS is no longer accepted as of September 12, 2014.
  • Note the list of attachments that first-time registrants must attach to the application. This includes disclosing contracts with professional fundraisers.
  • Some Washington counties and municipalities may require charities that solicit in-person to register prior to fundraising.

Registration Renewal

Form:

Charitable Organization Registration / Renewal

Instructions:

Washington Charitable Organization Registration Instructions

Filing method:

Mail or online.

Agency fee:

$40 + optional $50 expedite fee for 2-3 business day processing

Due:

Renewal is due annually 11 months after the close of your fiscal year. So if your fiscal calendar ends December 31, then renewal is due by November 30.

Notes:
  • The late fee is assessed by the received date, not the postmarked date. The state accepts overnight/express mail at a different mailing address.
  • Attach your annual financial report.
  • The URS is no longer accepted as of September 12, 2014.

Change of Fiscal Year

Form:

Charitable Organization Amendment

Filing method:

Mail or online.

Agency fee:

$0 by mail or $20 online.

Turnaround:

1-2 business days

Washington Commercial Co-Venturer Registration

Not required



Washington 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.

Initial Registration

Not required



Registration is not required for commercial co-venturers in Washington, but other requirements may apply.

Registration Renewal

Not required



Washington Fundraising Counsel Registration

Not required



Fundraising counsels are exempt from Washington's registration requirements.

Initial Registration

Not required



Registration is not required for fundraising counsels in Washington, but other requirements may apply.

Registration Renewal

Not required



Washington Professional Fundraiser Registration

Agency:Washington Secretary of State - Charities Program
Bond Requirements:

$25,000

Financial Report Requirements:

Included in the annual renewal.

Contract Filing Requirements:

File a fundraising service contract prior to the start of the performance of a contract with a charity. There is a $20 fee.

Registration Renewal

Form:

https://www.sos.wa.gov/charities/AllForms.aspx#commercial

Agency fee:

$225

Due:

Annually

Individual Licenses

Washington Individual Nonprofit & Fundraising Licenses

Washington Individual Professional Fundraiser Registration

Not required



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 Washington.

Initial Registration

Not required



Registration is not required for individual solicitors in Washington, but other requirements may apply.

Registration Renewal

Not required



Learn about fundraising in other states:

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