Colorado Charitable Solicitation Requirement – Selected Statutes

TITLE 6. CONSUMER AND COMMERCIAL AFFAIRS CHARITABLE SOLICITATIONS

ARTICLE 16. COLORADO CHARITABLE SOLICITATIONS ACT

6-16-104. Charitable organizations – initial registration – annual filing – fees

(1)  Every charitable organization, except those exempted under subsection (6) of this section, that intends to solicit contributions in this state by any means or to have contributions solicited in this state on its behalf by any other person or entity or that participates in a charitable sales promotion shall, prior to engaging in any of these activities, file a registration statement with the secretary of state upon a form prescribed by the secretary of state. Each chapter, branch, or affiliate of a charitable organization that is required to file a registration statement under this section either shall file a separate registration statement or shall report the necessary information to its parent charitable organization, which then shall file a consolidated registration statement.

(2)  The registration statement must be signed and affirmed under penalty of perjury as defined in section 18-8-503 by an officer of the charitable organization, which may include its chief fiscal officer, and must contain the following information:

(a)  The name of the charitable organization, the purpose for which it is organized, and the name or names under which it intends to solicit contributions;

(b)  The address and telephone number of the principal place of business of the charitable organization and the address and telephone number of any offices in this state, or, if the charitable organization does not maintain an office in this state, the name, address, and telephone number of the person that has custody of its financial records;

(c)  The names of the officers, directors, trustees, and executive personnel of the charitable organization;

(d)  The last day of the fiscal year of the charitable organization;

(e)  The place and date when the charitable organization was legally established, the form of its organization, and its tax-exempt status;

(f)  A financial report for the most recent fiscal year, upon a form prescribed by the secretary of state, or, in the discretion of the secretary of state, a copy of the charitable organization’s federal form 990, with all schedules except schedules of donors, for the most recent fiscal year. If, at the time of the initial registration, the charitable organization does not have the required financial report or form 990 for the most recent fiscal year, the charitable organization shall submit a financial report or form 990 for the most recent fiscal year in which such information is available. An organization that was first legally established within the past year and thus does not have financial information or a form 990 for its most recent fiscal year shall provide to the secretary of state a financial report based on good faith estimates for its current fiscal year on a form prescribed by the secretary of state. Any organization that files a good faith estimate for its first fiscal year shall amend its initial registration statement to report actual financial information on or before the earlier of the fifteenth day of the eighth month after the close of the organization’s first fiscal year or the date authorized for filing a form 990 with the internal revenue service.

(g)  The names and addresses of any paid solicitors, professional fundraising consultants, and commercial coventurers who are acting or have agreed to act on behalf of the charitable organization. If the paid solicitor, professional fundraising consultant, or commercial coventurer is a partnership, corporation, limited liability company, or other legal entity, the charitable organization shall list only the name and address of the legal entity.

(3)  The secretary of state may promulgate rules concerning the acceptance of a uniform multistate registration statement, such as a unified registration statement, in lieu of the registration statement described in subsection (2) of this section. As soon as practicable, the secretary of state shall take steps to cooperate in a joint state and federal electronic filing project involving state charity offices and the internal revenue service to enable and promote electronic filing of uniform multistate registration statements and federal annual information returns.

(4) 

(a) A charitable organization’s registration is valid until the day on which the financial report required in subsection (2)(f) or (5) of this section is due and may be renewed upon application to the secretary of state and payment of the registration fee and any assessed fines.

(b)  A charitable organization that withdraws its registration or allows its registration to expire must, on or before the date of withdrawal or expiration, file a final financial report, in a form prescribed by the secretary of state, that includes information through the last date on which the organization solicited contributions in Colorado.

(c)  A charitable organization shall report any changes of name, address, principals, corporate forms, tax status, and any other changes that materially affect the identity or business of the charitable organization to the secretary of state within thirty days after the change.

(5) 

(a) Every charitable organization required to register under this section shall annually file with the secretary of state a financial report for the most recent fiscal year on a form prescribed by the secretary of state, or, in the discretion of the secretary of state, a copy of the charitable organization’s federal form 990, with all schedules except schedules of donors, for the most recent fiscal year. The financial report must be filed on or before the earlier of the fifteenth day of the eighth calendar month after the close of each fiscal year in which the charitable organization solicited in this state or the date authorized for filing a form 990 with the internal revenue service. A charitable organization that is unable to file a copy of its form 990 return or the secretary of state’s financial form by the prescribed deadline may request an extension of the filing deadline from the secretary of state. The secretary of state, upon receipt of an application to extend the filing deadline, may grant a three-month extension of time to file the financial report. All requests for extension of time must:

(I)  Be in a form prescribed by the secretary of state;

(II)  Include a statement describing in detail the reasons causing the delay in filing the financial report;

(III)  Include an affirmation that the charitable organization has filed with the internal revenue service an application for a corresponding extension of time to file the organization’s form 990; and

(IV)  Be signed and affirmed under penalty of perjury as defined in section 18-8-503.

(b)  Upon request, the charitable organization shall provide the secretary of state with a copy of its application for extension of time to file with the internal revenue service in order to verify the date authorized for filing its form 990 with the internal revenue service.

(6)  The following are not required to file a registration statement:

(a)  Persons that are exempt from filing a federal annual information return pursuant to 26 U.S.C. sec. 6033 (a)(3)(A)(i), (a)(3)(A)(iii), or (a)(3)(C)(i) or pursuant to 26 CFR 1.6033-2 (g)(1)(i) to (g)(1)(iv) or (g)(1)(vii);

(b)  Political parties, candidates for federal or state office, and political action committees required to file financial information with federal or state elections commissions;

(c)  Charitable organizations that do not intend to and do not actually raise or receive gross revenue, excluding grants from governmental entities or from organizations exempt from federal taxation under section 501(c)(3) of the federal “Internal Revenue Code of 1986”, as amended, in excess of twenty-five thousand dollars [$25,000] during a fiscal year or do not receive contributions from more than ten persons during a fiscal year. The exemption authorized in this paragraph (c) shall not apply to a charitable organization that has contracted with a paid solicitor to solicit contributions in this state for the organization. [(emphasis added)]

(d)  Persons exclusively making appeals for funds on behalf of a specific individual named in the solicitation, but only if all of the proceeds of the solicitation are given to or expended for the direct benefit of the specified individual.

(7)  Filing fees for the annual registration of a charitable organization and for amendments thereto shall be established by the secretary of state in an amount that reflects the costs of the secretary of state in administering the provisions of this article. All such fees collected shall be deposited in the department of state cash fund created in section 24-21-104 (3)(b), C.R.S.

(8)  The secretary of state shall examine each registration to determine whether the applicable requirements of this section are satisfied. The secretary of state shall notify the charitable organization within ten days after receipt of its application of any deficiencies therein, otherwise the registration shall be deemed approved as filed. The secretary of state shall issue each approved applicant a registration number.

(9)  A charitable organization that is required to register under this article 16 shall not:

(a)  Prior to registration or renewal of an expired registration, solicit contributions in this state by any means, have contributions solicited in this state on its behalf by any other person or entity, or participate in a charitable sales promotion; or

(b)  Aid, abet, or otherwise permit any paid solicitor to solicit contributions on its behalf in this state unless the paid solicitor soliciting contributions has complied with the requirements of this article.

(10)  All information filed pursuant to this section, except for residential addresses and telephone numbers of individuals, account numbers at banks or other financial institutions, and schedules of contributors listed on the federal form 990 or its equivalent, is a public record for purposes of the public records law, part 2 of article 72 of title 24, C.R.S.

 

Source: L. 88: Entire article added, p. 352, § 1, effective July 1.L. 89: (1)(d), (1)(e), and (2) amended and (5) and (6) repealed, pp. 364, 367, § § 2, 8, effective July 1.L. 2001: Entire section R&RE, p. 1237, § 2, effective May 9, 2002.L. 2002: (2)(f), (4), and (5) amended, p. 948, § 1, effective June 1.L. 2003: IP(2) and (6)(a) amended, p. 2496, § 2, effective June 5.L. 2005: (2)(f), (3), and (6)(c) amended and (2)(g) added, p. 1287, § 2, effective June 3.L. 2009: (6)(a) amended, (SB 09-292), ch. 369, p. 1986, § 133, effective August 5.L. 2012: IP(2), (2)(f), (5), IP(6), and (6)(b) amended and (6)(d) added, (HB 12-1236), ch. 133, p. 457, § 2, effective January 1, 2013.L. 2013: (6)(a) amended, (HB 13-1300), ch. 316, p. 1663, § 7, effective August 7.L. 2014: (2)(c), (9), and (10) amended, (HB 14-1206), ch. 118, p. 420, § 1, effective August 6. L. 2017: IP(2), (2)(c), (4), (5), IP(9), and (9)(a) amended, (HB 17-1158), ch. 160, p. 592, § 1, effective October 1, 2018.

The foregoing article is provided for informational purposes only and is not legal advice or a legal opinion, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It may not apply to your specific facts or circumstances, and you should not act or rely on any information contained in this article without first seeking the advice of an attorney licensed to practice in your state.

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