Massachusetts Fundraising Registration Requirements

Massachusetts State Fundraising Registration

Resources for charities, businesses, professional fundraisers, and individuals conducting fundraising activities

 

Massachusetts Nonprofit & Fundraising Company Licenses

Labyrinth provides the state fundraising regulations below as a guide to help you apply for and maintain your ability to fundraise. Need help? We can manage your state registrations for you. Contact us today to learn more.


Massachusetts defines requirements for:

•  Charitable Organization Registration

•  Commercial Co-Venturer Registration

•  Professional Fundraiser Registration

•  Individual Nonprofit & Fundraising Licenses

•  Charitable Gift Annuity Registration


Need a different state? Visit our 50-state Compliance Guide


Massachusetts Charitable Organization Registration

Agency:  Massachusetts Attorney General - Non-Profit Organizations/Public Charities Division

Law:   Massachusetts General Laws Ch 12, §8e and 8f; Ch 68 §18 through 35

Foreign Qualification is Prerequisite:  No

Registered Agent (Special Agency) Required? No

Automatic Exemption

Exemption Eligible Organizations:

  • An organization that is primarily religious in purpose and falls under the regulations 940 CMR 2.00
  • An organization that does not raise or receive contributions from the public in excess of $5,000 during a calendar year or does not receive contributions from more than ten persons during a calendar year, if all of their functions, including fundraising activities, are performed by persons who are not paid for their services and if no part of their assets or income inures to the benefit of, or is paid to, any officer or members
  • Initial Registration

    Form:   Charity Registration Form (and Form PC if filing after the initial fiscal year end date of the charity).

    Filing Method:   Mail or Online

    Agency Fee:  Initial registration fee of $100 plus:

  • $50 Schedule A-2 fee for organizations registering before their initial fiscal year end date, or
  • $35-$2,000 (depending on gross support and revenue) for organizations registering in subsequent fiscal years
  • Turnaround:  4 - 6 Months

    Notes:

  • The President and another officer or trustee must sign. Signatures need not be notarized.
  • Some Massachusetts 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 Massachusetts, obtain a certificate of good standing from your home state to submit during the foreign qualification process. The certificate cannot be more than 60 days old when filing foreign qualification documents.

  • - How to Apply -

    1. Determine whether or not your charity will need to foreign qualify based on your activity in Massachusetts. If not required, skip to number 3.

    2. File foreign qualification documents with the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth.

    3. Submit a Charity Registration Form, Form PC (if applicable), and all required attachments to the Massachusetts Attorney General - Non-Profit Organizations/Public Charities Division.


    Foreign Applicants:

    1. Determine whether or not your charity will need to foreign qualify based on your activity in Alabama. If not required, skip to number 3.

    2. File foreign qualification documents with the Alabama Secretary of State.

    3. Submit the online form or Charitable Organization Registration Form and all required attachments to apply for registration with the Alabama Attorney General - Consumer Interest Division.


    - Required Attachments -

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

    Form:   Form PC

    Filing Method:   Mail

    Agency Fee:  $35-$2,000, depending on gross support and revenue.

    Due:

  • Annually within 4.5 months after the close of your nonprofit's fiscal year. So if your fiscal calendar ends December 31, then the renewal is due by May 15.
  • 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 6 months beyond the original due date by emailing charitiesextensions@state.ma.us with an explanation of your request for extension.

    Notes: Charities raising $200K+ must submit a financial statement

    Required Attachments:

  • IRS form 990
  • Audited financials (if applicable)
  • List of officers and directors
  • Only if amended: IRS determination letter, articles of incorporation, and bylaws
  • Contract Filing

    Form:  Form 10B: Addendum to Registration Statement to be Filed by Commercial Co-venturers

    Filing Method:  Mail

    Agency Fee: $0

    Due:  Within 10 days of signing and prior to the commencement of any new co-venturing activity.

    Notes: Every contract or agreement between a professional solicitor or a commercial co-venturer and a charitable organization must include:

    1. A statement of the charitable purposes to be described in the solicitation; and

    2. A statement of the guaranteed minimum percentage of the gross receipts from fund-raising which will be utilized exclusively for the charitable purposes described in the solicitation.


    Change of Fiscal Year

    Form:  Form PC

    Notes:  Send a cover letter explaining the change in fiscal year along with the Form PC and a copy of the amended Articles of Incorporation.

    Cancellation

    Agency Fee:  $0

    Notes: To close out your registration, submit a letter indicating the desire to withdraw and include the date Massachusetts solicitations will end. If soliciting took place in a partial fiscal year, submit a renewal for that year.


     
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    Massachusetts Commercial Co-Venturer Registration

    Commercial co-venturer means any person who for profit or other commercial consideration, conducts, produces, promotes, underwrites, arranges or sponsors a performance, event, or sale to the public of a good or service which is advertised in conjunction with the name of any charitable organization or as benefiting to any extent any charitable purpose. Any such person who will benefit in good will only shall not be deemed a commercial co-venturer if the collection and distribution of the proceeds of the performance, event or sale are supervised and controlled by the benefiting charitable organization.

    Agency:   Massachusetts Attorney General - Non-Profit Organizations/Public Charities Division

    Law:   11 MGL Ch. 68 § 24

    Bond Requirement:  $25,000

    Initial Registration

    Form:  Form 10: Registration Statement to be filed by Commercial Co-Venturers

    Filling Method:  Mail

    Agency Fee:  $200

    Bond Amount:  $25,000

    Registration Renewal

    Form:  Form 10: Registration Statement to be filed by Commercial Co-Venturers

    Filing Method: Mail

    Agency Fee:   $200

    Due: Annually by December 31.

    Bond Amount: $25,000


    Contract Filing

    Form:   Form 10B: Addendum to Registration Statement to be Filed by Commercial Co-venturers

    Filing Method:   Mail

    Agency Fee:   $0

    Due: Within 10 days of signing and prior to the commencement of any new co-venturing activity.

    Notes: Every contract or agreement between a professional solicitor or a commercial co-venturer and a charitable organization must include:

    A statement of the charitable purposes to be described in the solicitation; and

    A statement of the guaranteed minimum percentage of the gross receipts from fund-raising which will be utilized exclusively for the charitable purposes described in the solicitation.

    How to Apply: The charity must be registered to solicit charitable contributions or otherwise exempt for the contract to be accepted.

    Contract Amendment

    Agency Fee:   $0

    Due:   An amendment filing should be made before the expiration date of a campaign in order to extend the campaign.

    Notes: To report an extension of a campaign or another change to a campaign agreement, submit a cover letter describing the change and include a copy of the amended agreement.


    Financial Reporting

    Form:   Form 11B: Commercial Co-Venturer’s Annual Financial Report.

    Filing Method:   Mail

    Agency Fee:   $0

    Due: Annually by February 28 of the year following the reporting year.

    Original Ink: Required

    Notarize: Required

    Notes: Annual financial reports need to be filed for every campaign the co-venturer engages in.


     
    Labyrinth has taken the stress out of ensuring our organization is current with all state requirements. Their knowledgeable staff are always available to answer questions and provide guidance giving me peace of mind. I can’t say enough about the value they bring to our organization.

    Beth Lyons, Director of Development, Homes for Our Troops



    Massachusetts Professional Fundraiser Registration

    Agency:   Massachusetts Attorney General - Non-Profit Organizations/Public Charities Division

    Law:   11 MGL Ch. 68 § 24

    Bond Requirements: $25,000

    Initial Registration

    Form: Form 10 (RTF): Registration Statement

    Instructions: Any individual or business that is hired by a charitable organization to conduct a fund raising campaign on the charity's behalf is considered a professional solicitor. Individuals or businesses hired by a a non-charity to conduct a fundraising campaign with a charitable appeal are also considered professional solicitors. If an individual or business is working as a subcontractor for another registered fundraiser, that individual or business must separately register with the AGO as a fundraiser. A professional solicitor must file the following:

    Agency Fee:   $1,000

    Original Ink:Not Required

    Notarize: Not Required

    Notes: Professional solicitors should ensure that the charities for whom they are soliciting are registered and in possession of a valid Certificate for Solicitation prior to commencing solicitations.


    Before you Apply:

  • Additional names by which the registrant is known or conducts business
  • Registrant’s employee(s) or agent(s) who will be primarily responsible for conducting and supervising campaigns at each office listed above.
  • Report all states in which you are registered as a professional fundraiser, fundraising counsel or commercial co-venturer
  • Report details about all current and previous license or permit denial, cancellation, revocation or suspension, as well as any legal action taken against you in connection with the solicitation of funds for charitable purposes
  • Report details about all misdemeanor convictions for any employee or agent, including misappropriation, misapplication, or misuse of money of another or felonies.
  • Report ALL solicitation-related employment from the last five years on another sheet.
  • Required Attachments:

  • A copy of each fundraising contract along with Form 10A (RTF), Registration Addendum (to be filed with registration or within 10 days or signing and prior to the commencement of any solicitation)
  • Bond Amount:  $25,000


    Registration Renewal

    Form:  http://www.mass.gov/ago/doing-business-in-massachusetts/public-charities-or-not-for-profits/soliciting-funds/professional-fundraiser-guide.html

    Agency Fee:   $1,000

    Due: Annually by December 31.


    Contract Filing

    Form:   Form 10A: Addendum to Registration Statement to be Filed by Professional Solicitors

    Agency Fee:   $0

    Due: Within 10 days of signing and prior to the commencement of any new solicitation contract.


    Financial Reporting

    Form:   Form 11A: Professional Solicitor’s Annual Financial Report

    Agency Fee:   $0

    Due: Annually by February 28 of the year following the reporting year.

    Notarize: Required

    Notes: Annual financial reports need to be filed for every charitable campaign the solicitor works on.


     
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    Massachusetts Individual Nonprofit & Fundraising Licenses

    NOT REQUIRED

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


    Massachusetts Charitable Gift Annuity Registration

    NOT REQUIRED

    Charitable Gift Annuity licensure is not required on the State level in Massachusetts.
    No filing is required, but charities need to meet certain conditions before issuing charitable gift annuities. Massachusetts statutes exempt educational, charitable, benevolent, and religious organizations from life insurance company regulation related to charitable gift annuities.


     
    Thank you, you truly are amazing! And frankly we would be lost in all of this if it wasn’t for you.

    Lisa Strand, Operations Coordinator, Life is Good Playmakers



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