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Charitable Organizations

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Charitable Organizations

Giving During the Holiday Season

During the holiday season, many Michiganders generously contribute their time, money, or other goods to charities that do important work in our communities. But we need to make sure we are donating wisely – and not lining the pockets of some scam artist.

Giving During the Holiday Season Video

Registration Requirements

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Does the organization solicit or receives contributions in Michigan?

The Charitable Organizations and Solicitations Act, MCL 400.271 et seq., requires an organization to register if it solicits or receives contributions in Michigan. 

The Solicitations Act also requires licensing and bonding for professional fundraisers before soliciting, planning, or carrying out a solicitation campaign in Michigan for a charitable organization.  

Registrations & Exemptions

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Exemptions

The Solicitations Act exempts some organizations from registration. For exemption details, see MCL 400.283. For example, the Solicitations Act exempts organizations that raise funds exclusively using volunteers and receive less than $25,000 a year. 

Other exemptions include certain educational institutions, certain hospitals, and unpaid solicitations for the benefit of individuals. If you believe your organization is exempt, confirm this with the Charitable Trust Section by submitting the CTS - 03 Request for Exemption

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Registering for the First Time

If registering for the first time, submit the CTS - 01 Initial Solicitation Form and all requested attachments:

  • Out-of-state corporations must submit copies of their articles of incorporation and all amendments and bylaws; copies must show that they were filed with the appropriate state agency. Michigan corporations must submit bylaws, if any;
  • Unincorporated entities should submit constitutions, bylaws, or other organizing documents;
  • Organizations with tax exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) should provide a copy of the IRS determination letter;  (For more on obtaining tax exempt status, see the IRS website.)
  • Organizations that have had any financial activity should provide a recent financial accounting.

 

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Organizations that Solicit in More Than One State

Organizations that solicit in more than one state may file the Unified Registration Statement (URS) that is accepted by many states. When filing the URS, ensure appropriate responses to state-specific requirements, such as Michigan's resident agent requirement.

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Expiration and Renewal

The charitable solicitation registration must be renewed annually. 

  • Each registration includes its expiration date, which is seven (7) months after the end of the organization's fiscal year.
  • To renew, the organization should submit a CTS - 02 Renewal Solicitation Form at least thirty (30) days prior to the expiration date.
  • The renewal registration must include all required attachments.
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Dissolutions

The Dissolution Act provides that charitable purpose organizations, except for religious organizations, shall not be dissolved without obtaining approval from the Attorney General.

Learn More About Dissolutions, Mergers, Conversions, & Withdrawals

How to Submit Forms

Required forms can be submitted to the Charitable Trust Section by Efilingemail, mail or fax (517-241-7074).

Efiling

Efile forms to (1) initially register as a charity, (2) renew your registration, (3) request exemption from registration, or (4) submit your annual accounting statements, if you are only registered as a charitable trust. Efiling may result in expedited processing.

Note - this Efiling service is provided by a third-party vendor, which will also prepare and file your Form 990 with the IRS (there is a small fee for organizations with gross receipts over $100,000) at the time of submission - if you choose. If you have already prepared and filed your Form 990, you may simply enter your information from it and attach the form as a PDF. There is no fee for Efiling the Michigan forms.

If you have any technical questions regarding Efiling, you must direct them to the vendor. You may contact them via a link at the bottom of their webpage. The Charitable Trust Section cannot assist you with technical issues. 

Efile Forms

Email

You may send any of the forms and documents by email.

Provide your organization/trust's name in the subject line of the email and, if already given to you, your Attorney General file number (this begins with a prefix CS, CT, PFR, PS etc. and can be found in the subject line of any correspondence from our office or on the registration or license issued by the office). 

Be sure to save your form as a PDF before attaching to email.

Email Your Forms

Mail

Please print, sign, and mail the forms to:

Charitable Trust Section
P.O. Box 30214
Lansing, MI 48909-7714

Address for overnight mail:

525 West Ottawa Street
3rd Floor Williams Building
Lansing, MI 48933