Charities and Fundraisers FAQs

Contents
Account Management
Contract Elements Required by Law
Definitions
Disclosure Requirements
Donors and Consumers
eFiling and Other Filing Questions
Fees and Payment
Filing Notice Schedule
Public benefit corporations & benefit corporations
Registration

 

Definitions

Authorized officer

The authorized officer is the person who is responsible for signing forms on behalf of an organization, paid solicitor or professional fundraising consultant.  The person must be an officer of a nonprofit organization, a trustee of a charitable trust, or a senior manager of any other organization that must file under the Colorado Charitable Solicitations Act [1].  

The authorized officer is also considered the account manager.

 

Charitable organization

"Charitable organization" refers to any organization or person who is or claims to be established for charitable purposes.  It is not limited to specific tax-exempt categories used by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

The definition of a charitable organization is very broad, and includes anyone who makes a charitable appeal or who suggests that there is a charitable purpose for any solicitation. [2]

 

Container

When discussing solicitations by container, "container" means a box, carton, package, receptacle, canister, jar, dispenser, or machine.

 

Fair market value

The normal or average price that a good or service would ordinarily command in the marketplace.

 

Grant writer

A grant writer is an independent contractor who writes grant proposals for charitable organizations. The grant writer is not making a charitable appeal, he or she is only writing a proposal that will be used by the organization to pursue a grant.

 

Interactive website

"Interactive website" means a website that allows a contribution or product purchase through an electronic transaction. A website is considered interactive if it has this capability, whether or not donors actually use it.

 

"Other offices"

"Other offices" usually share the federal employer identification number (FEIN) of the parent organization.  These are different than chapters, branches, affiliates or other offices that have their own FEINs.

 

Paid solicitor

A paid solicitor is a person who is paid to solicit contributions in Colorado.  This includes any services connected to soliciting contributions, such as those who employ or contract with other paid persons to solicit for contributions.
There are a few exemptions [3], including bona fide volunteers and officers or employees of certain types of tax-exempt organizations [4].  Lawyers, investment counselors, or bankers who advise a person to make a charitable contribution are also exempt.  Anyone who mails fundraising literature is considered to be a paid solicitor, unless that person's only responsibility is the printing and mailing of the literature. This exemption is intended to cover people in the printing industry.

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Professional fundraising consultant

A professional fundraising consultant:

  • Is a person who is hired by a charitable organization to plan, manage, advise, consult, or prepare material for the purpose of soliciting charitable contributions in Colorado.
  • Does not directly solicit or employ anyone to solicit contributions.
  • Is not an officer or regular employee of a charitable organization.

A professional fundraising consultant only needs to register if he or she has custody or control of contributions from a solicitation campaign at any time. [5]

 

Registered agent

A registered agent is a person or entity who is responsible for receiving service of process for a business or organization.  The registered agent must be located in Colorado. [6]

A registered agent must be on file for every registered charity, paid solicitor and professional fundraising consultant. [7] 

You cannot appoint government offices or officials as your registered agent.

See the registered agent FAQs for more information.

 

Repeated and ongoing basis

"Repeated and ongoing basis", in relation to an interactive website, means 50 or more online contributions in any fiscal year.

 

Subordinate organizations

Subordinate organizations are also known as chapters, branches, or affiliates.  Subordinate organizations are related to the parent organization, but have separate federal employer identification numbers (FEINs). 

 

Substantial basis

"Substantial basis", in relation to an interactive website, means $25,000 or 1% of total contributions, whichever is less, in online contributions in a fiscal year.

 

 

[1] See 8 CCR 1505-9, rule 1.3
[2]
6-16-103(1), C.R.S.
[3]
6-16-104(7), C.R.S.
[4]
26 U.S.C. § 501 (c)(3), (c)(4), (c)(8), (c)(10), (c)(19)
[5]
6-16-104(3), C.R.S.
[6] 7-90-701, C.R.S.
[7] 6-16-114, C.R.S.

 

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