Wisconsin Fundraising Registration Requirements

Wisconsin State Fundraising Registration

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

 

Wisconsin 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.


Wisconsin 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


Wisconsin Charitable Organization Registration

Agency:  Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) - Division of Corporate and Consumer Services - Charitable Organizations and Fund Raisers Section

Law:   Wisconsin Statutes Ch.202; Wisconsin Administrative Code, Chapter RL 5

Foreign Qualification is Prerequisite:  No

Registered Agent (Special Agency) Required? No

Initial Registration

Form:   Form 296: Charitable Organization Registration Application

Filing Method:   Mail

Agency Fee:  $15

Turnaround:  4 - 6 weeks

Notes:

  • Note the list of 17 attachments that first-time registrants must attach to the application. This includes disclosing contracts with professional fundraisers.
  • Some Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin, 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 -

    Domestic Applicants:

    1. File entity formation documents with the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) - Corporation Section.

    2. Submit a Charitable Organization Registration Application and all required attachments to the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions - Division of Banking.


    Foreign Applicants:

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

    2. File foreign qualification documents with the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) - Corporation Section.

    3. Submit a Charitable Organization Registration Application and all required attachments to the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions - Division of Banking.


    - Required Attachments -

  • Articles of incorporation or organization
  • A copy of any agreement of association, instrument of trust, constitution, or other organizational instrument
  • A copy of the bylaws adopted by the applicant
  • Organizational Charter
  • IRS determination letter
  • List of officers and directors including phone numbers and addresses
  • Trust the #1 Choice for State Charitable Registration
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    Registration Renewal

    Filing Method:   Online

    Agency Fee:  $54

    Due:

  • Annually by July 31. An organization that files an initial registration on or after June 1 does not need to renew their registration until the following calendar year. If an initial registration is filed before June 1, renewal must be filed by July 31 of the same calendar year.
  • Renewals can be filed online as early as June 1.
  • Due Date Extension:

    Wisconsin does not grant extensions for charitable organization registration.

    Notes:

  • There are two renewal filings for charitable organizations: charitable registration renewal and charitable organization annual report.
  • This annual renewal is different than the corporate annual financial report filed with DFI.
  • The renewal period closes September 30th. After this date, you must file a new initial registration.
  • You may not file for an extension of the due date.
  • Required Attachments:

  • List of officers and directors
  • Only if amended: IRS determination letter, articles of incorporation, and bylaws
  • Change of Fiscal Year

    Agency Fee:  $0

    Turnaround:   1-2 business days

    Notes: Submit the short year financials during the standard renewal process.

    Cancellation

    Agency Fee:  $0

    Notes: To close out your registration, send a letter including the charity name, FEIN, date of closure, and reason for closure in writing.


     
    I’ve had great experiences with Labyrinth across two organizations, I definitely recommend their services!

    Killjan Anderson – USA BASKETBALL


    Wisconsin Commercial Co-Venturer Registration

    NOT REQUIRED

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


    Wisconsin Charitable Gift Annuity Registration

    NOT REQUIRED

    Charitable Gift Annuity licensure is not required on the State level in Wisconsin.
    No filing is required, but charities need to meet certain conditions before issuing charitable gift annuities.


     
    I highly recommend this company for any organization that needs help with state filings. They have excellent customer service, have exceptional pricing, and have a true passion for helping organizations with this service. They are FANTASTIC!!

    Jacquelyn Bussotti, Human Resources Manager, Parkinson’s Foundation



    Wisconsin Professional Fundraiser Registration

    Agency:   Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) - Division of Corporate and Consumer Services - Charitable Organizations and Fund Raisers Section

    Bond Requirements: $5,000 for fundraisers that do not have custody of contributions and $20,000 for fundraisers that do have custody of contributions.

    Initial Registration

    Form: Form 294: Application for Registration as a Professional Fund-Raiser or Fund-Raising Counsel

    Agency Fee:   $50

    Original Ink: Not Required

    Notarize: Not Required

    Required Attachments:

  • A List of States that have issued the applicant a license, registration, permit, or other formal authorization to solicit contributions.
  • A professional fund-raiser is required by ss. 202.14(3) and (4), Stats., to file a completed solicitation notice and copies of all contracts with the department before performing services under a contract with a charitable organization which is required to be registered under s. 202.12(1), Stats. If the applicant does not currently have a contract with a charitable organization that is required to be registered in Wisconsin, please so indicate in the cover letter you submit with the application.

  • Registration Renewal

    Form:  Form 294: Application for Registration as a Professional Fund-Raiser or Fund-Raising Counsel (Renewal)

    Agency Fee:   $107

    Due: Annually by August 31.

    Original Ink: Not Required

    Notarize: Not Required


    Contract Filing

    Form:   Form 1941: Professional Fund-Raiser Solicitation Notice

    Agency Fee:   $0

    Due: File a solicitation notice prior to the start of the performance of a contract with a charity.


    Financial Reporting

    Agency Fee:   $0

    Due:Within 90 days after the close of a fundraising contract and by the anniversary of the signing of a contract lasting more than 1 year.

    Notes:A final accounting of each fundraising event should be kept for 3 years and presented upon request.


    Wisconsin Individual Professional Fundraiser Registration

    NOT REQUIRED

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


     
    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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