Colorado Secretary of State logo - cube with a C in it

Colorado Secretary
of State Jena Griswold

Colorado Secretary of State logo - Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold

Picture of Secretary of State Jena Griswold

Colorado Secretary of State logo - cube with a C in it

Secretary of State
Jena Griswold


Charities and Fundraisers FAQs

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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]


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

Fair market value

The price that property would sell for on the open market. It is the price that would be agreed on between a willing buyer and a willing seller, with neither being required to act, and both having reasonable knowledge of the relevant facts. There are no fixed formulas or methods that always applies when determining the value of property.

With respect to donated clothing, for example, the FMV is the price that buyers pay for clothing of that age, condition, style, and use in used clothing stores, such as consignment or thrift stores. A good resource on vehicle and boat donation issues is IRS Publication 4302, “A Charity’s Guide to Vehicle Donations.”

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.

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]

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
6-16-103(1), C.R.S.
6-16-104(7), C.R.S.
26 U.S.C. § 501 (c)(3), (c)(4), (c)(8), (c)(10), (c)(19)
6-16-104(3), C.R.S.