Minnesota Fundraising Registration Requirements

Minnesota State Fundraising Registration

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

 

Minnesota 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.


Minnesota 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


Minnesota Charitable Organization Registration

Agency: Minnesota Attorney General - Charities

Law:   Minnesota Statutes Annotated §309.50; 309.515; 309.52; 309.53. A Guide to Minnesota's Charities Laws

Foreign Qualification is Prerequisite:  No

Registered Agent (Special Agency) Required? No

One-Time Exemption Registration

Exemption Eligible Organizations:

  • Organizations that did not receive and do not plan to receive total contributions in excess of $25,000 from the public in or out of the State of Minnesota during any accounting year and the organization’s functions and activities are performed wholly by volunteers and the organization does not employ a professional fundraiser (the direct cost of prizes given to the public in connection with charitable gambling may be excluded in determining the total amount of contributions)
  • Religious societies or organizations that are exempt from filing a federal annual informational return pursuant to Internal Revenue Code, section 6033(a)(3)(A)(i) and (iii) and Internal Revenue Code, section 6033(a)(3)(C)(i)
  • Educational institutions which are under the general supervision of the commissioner of education, the Board of Trustees of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, or the University of Minnesota or any educational institution that is accredited by the University of Minnesota or the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, or by any other national or regional accrediting association
  • Fraternal, patriotic, social, educational, alumni, professional, trade, or learned society organizations which limit the solicitation of contributions to persons who have the right to vote as a member (the term “member” does not include those persons who are granted membership upon making a contribution as the result of a solicitation)
  • Organizations soliciting solely for a named person and all of the contributions received are transferred to the named person with no restrictions on the person’s expenditure of the contributions and with no deductions whatsoever
  • Private foundations, as defined in section 509(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, which did not solicit contributions from more than 100 persons during their last accounting year
  • Form:   Charitable Organization - Exemption Form

    Filing Method:  Mail or email to charity.registration@ag.state.mn.us.

    Agency Fee:  $0

    Law:   Minn. Stat. § 309.515

    Notes:

  • Charities that are exempt under the $25,000 or less in contribution clause or membership organization clause are not eligible for exemption if they employ a professional fund-raiser to solicit or assist in the solicitation of contributions.
  • Exemptions do not expire as long as the organization continues to qualify under the exemption criteria.
  • Initial Registration

    Form:   Charitable Organization Initial Registration & Annual Report Form

    Instructions:   File initial registration or exemption. See Initial Registration Instructions and Information for Charitable Organizations and Trusts.

    Filing Method: File by mail or email to charity.registration@ag.state.mn.us.

    Agency Fee:  $25

    Turnaround:  2 - 3 weeks

    Notes:

  • Before signing, the board must adopt a resolution approving and certifying the contents of the application. Two officers must sign the application. Signatures need not be notarized.
  • Some Minnesota counties and municipalities may require charities that solicit in-person to register prior to fundraising.
  • - Before you Apply -

    All 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.

  • - How to Apply -

    Domestic Applicants:

    1. File entity formation documents with the Minnesota Secretary of State.

    2. Submit a Charitable Organization Initial Registration form and all required attachments to the Minnesota Attorney General - Charities Section.


    Foreign Applicants:

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

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

    3. Submit a Charitable Organization Initial Registration form and all required attachments to the Minnesota Attorney General - Charities Section.


    - Required Attachments -

  • IRS form 990
  • Articles of incorporation
  • IRS determination letter
  • List of officers and directors
  • Professional fundraising contracts
  • A list of officer and director compensation
  • Trust the #1 Choice for State Charitable Registration
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    Registration Renewal

    Form:   Charitable Organization Initial Registration & Annual Report Form

    Filing Method:   Mail or email

    Agency Fee:  $25

    Due: Annually within 6.5 months after the close of your nonprofit's fiscal year. So if your fiscal calendar ends December 31, then the renewal is due by July 15.

    Due Date Extension: Due dates can be extended for 4 months beyond the original due date by submitting a request for extension through the online portal.

    Penalties: There is a $50 late fee.

    Notes:

  • Note the list attachments required, including a financial statement and IRS Form 990. Larger organizations may need to attach an audited financial statement.
  • Required Attachments:

  • IRS form 990
  • Audited financials (if applicable)
  • List of officers and directors
  • A list of officer and director compensation
  • Change of Fiscal Year

    Notes: Fiscal year can be changed during the standard renewal process.

    Cancellation

    Agency Fee:  $0

    Notes: To close out your registration, send a letter indicating that your organization wishes to cancel its registration. No final report or renewal is required.


     
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    Minnesota Commercial Co-Venturer Registration

    NOT REQUIRED

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

    Minnesota 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.


     
    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



    Minnesota Professional Fundraiser Registration

    A professional fundraiser is any person who, for compensation or profit, performs for a charitable organization any service in connection with which contributions are, or will be, solicited. This includes any person who plans, manages, advises, consults, or prepares material for or with respect to the solicitation of contributions.


    Solicitor vs. Consultant. Professional fundraisers are treated differently depending on whether they are involved in soliciting contributions or only consult or assist a charity without soliciting. Soliciting professional fundraisers are those who request, either directly or indirectly, a contribution to the charity. The terms “solicit” and “solicitation” are very broadly defined under Minnesota law. They include not only written and verbal requests for contributions, but also advertising for charitable events and the sale of goods or services that benefit a charity (among other things). See Minn. Stat. § 309.50, subd. 10. A consulting professional fundraiser is not involved in soliciting contributions in any manner. A consulting professional fundraiser instead, for example, advises the charity on how to run its own solicitation campaign or prepares materials that the charity will use to solicit on its own.

    Agency:   Minnesota Attorney General - Charities

    Bond Requirements: A $20,000 surety bond is required for entities with custody of or access to contributions.

    Initial Registration

    Form: Professional Fundraiser Registration Statement

    Instructions:   Email to charity.registration@ag.state.mn.us

    Filing Method:   Email

    Agency Fee:   $200

    Original Ink: Not required

    Notarize: Not required

    Notes:

  • Initial registrations are not accepted without a copy of a contract the counsel has entered into with a charitable organization.
  • Documents must be in PDF format and named in an identifying manner (e.g., PFR Registration Statement).
  • Each contract must:
    • Be in writing;
    • Contain information which will enable the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office to identify the services the professional fundraiser is to provide, including whether the professional fundraiser will at any time have access to or custody of contributions; and
    • The contract must disclose the percentage or a reasonable estimate of the percentage of the total amount solicited from each person which will be received by the charitable organization
    • For example, a professional fundraiser and a charitable organization estimate that a solicitation campaign will yield $10,000 in contributions. The charitable organization agrees to pay the professional fundraiser a flat fee of $2,500. In this example, the estimated percentage of funds received by the charitable organization from the campaign is 75%. Unless a charitable organization pays a professional fundraiser nothing, the estimated percentage retained by the charitable organization is unlikely to be 100%.
    Before you Apply:

  • List all other names and addresses under which this Professional Fundraiser has been known or operated or is known or operates
  • List the name and home address of all organizers, owners, members, partners, or shareholders holding 25% or more of the ownership shares or stock in the registered entity
  • Names, addresses, and titles of all officers, directors, and key employees
  • Details about any criminal or civil action involving claims of fraud, conversion, mismanagement of funds, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, or any other claim involving dishonesty
  • Details about any instances where your right to solicit contributions ever been denied, suspended, limited, revoked, or enjoined by any state or by any court or are there any proceedings requesting such relief
  • Required Attachments:

  • A list of all other states in which you are registered
  • A list all charitable organizations for which registrant is currently obligated to act as a professional fundraiser.
    • For each, provide the complete legal name, EIN, and address, and indicate whether the contract is currently on file or attached with the application
  • A list of all employees, officers, or directors ever been employed by and/or affiliated with any of the organizations identified in your list of charitable organizations within the last five (5) years
  • A surety bond if you will have custody of or access to either property and/or money from solicitation at any time
  • A copy of every contract between each charitable organization and the professional fundraiser.
  • A completed solicitation notice on the appropriate form, if the professional fundraiser or any person the professional fundraiser employs, procures, engages, or solicits contributions in Minnesota
  • A financial report for previous campaigns in Minnesota if the professional fundraiser previously solicited contributions in Minnesota, unless the report has already been filed.
    • The financial report should be on the form available at the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office’s website

    Bond Amount: $20,000

    Registration Renewal

    Form: Professional Fundraiser Registration Statement (Renewal)

    Agency Fee:   $200

    Due:   Annually by April 30.

    Original Ink: Not required

    Notarize: Not required

    Contract Filing

    Form: Professional Fundraiser Solicitation Notice

    Agency Fee:   $0

    Due:   File a solicitation notice before beginning a new campaign.

    Financial Reporting

    Form: Professional Fundraiser Solicitation Campaign Financial Report

    Agency Fee:   $0

    Due:   Within 90 days after a campaign has ended and within 90 days after the anniversary of commencement for campaigns lasting more than a year.

    Notarize:  Required




    Minnesota Individual Professional Fundraiser Registration

    NOT REQUIRED

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

    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 Minnesota.


     
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    Jacquelyn Bussotti, Human Resources Manager, Parkinson’s Foundation


    Minnesota Charitable Gift Annuity Registration

    NOT REQUIRED

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

    No filing is required, but charities need to meet certain conditions before issuing charitable gift annuities. Minnesota statutes exempt religious, educational, benevolent, fraternal, charitable, social, athletic, and reformatory organizations from security regulation related to charitable gift annuities.

    Law: MN Rev. Stat. § 80A.45(7)


     
    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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