North Dakota allows for the formation of charitable organizations (NDCC ch. 50-22). A charitable organization is a type of nonprofit that operates for the benefit of the public or a specific cause and participates in solicitation for charitable purposes. 

Charitable organizations may be formed to serve the public good, such as for philanthropic, religious, educational, cultural, or other public service reasons. Charitable organizations are:

  • Nonprofit organizations that have 501(c)(3) tax exemption
  • Typically community-driven and supported, with funds raised going back into the community
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What is not considered a charitable organization?

What is Not Considered a Charitable Organization?

  • An organization that solicits funds for an institution of higher learning, such as a college or university. 
  • An organization that uses unpaid volunteers to solicit funds for a political subdivision or other government entity or for a civic or community project in which the contributions received are used solely for the project and none of the contributions pass on to the benefit of any individual. 
  • A private or public elementary or secondary school. 
  • A charitable organization or person that solicits contributions for a specific person if all contributions received are transferred within a reasonable time after receipt to the person named or that person’s parent, guardian, or conservator with no restriction on expenditure of the contributions and with no deduction. 
  • A religious society or organization that is exempt from filing a federal annual information return pursuant to Internal Revenue Code section 6033(a)(2)(A) (i) and (iii) [26 U.S.C. 6033(a)(2)(A)(i) and (iii)] or Internal Revenue Code section 6033(a)(2)(C)(i) [26 U.S.C. 6033(a)(2)(C)(i)]. 
  • Any candidate for national, state, or local elective office or political party or other committee required to file information with the federal election commission, a state election commission, or an equivalent office or agency.
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How do I register as a charitable organization?

Register as a Charitable Organization

You may register your charitable organization by filing a Charitable Organization Registration Statement form in the FirstStop Portal. You must register your organization as a nonprofit with the Office of the Secretary of State before filing a Charitable Organization Registration Statement. 

A charitable organization cannot operate and solicit contributions until the registration has been approved and is on file with the Secretary of State.

Information about what needs to be included in the Charitable Organization Registration Statement can be found in the Begin & Maintain a Charitable Organization Guide.

A financial report detailing the organization’s operation for the 12 months immediately prior to filing the registration statement must be included with the registration.  If no financial information is available, a statement stating that the information is not available is required.


  • Charitable Organization Registration - $25
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What are solicitations and contributions?

Solicitation and Contribution Descriptions


Solicitation of contributions refers to requests for contributions that will be used for a charitable purpose by the organization. This may include advertising using various media, recordings, or announcements.


A contribution is provided in response to a solicitation and includes cash or the promise, grant, or pledge of any money, credit, assistance, or property of any kind or value, including the promise to pay. 

If a charitable organization offers goods and services to the public as a method for obtaining contributions, the contribution is considered the difference between the cost of the goods and services to the charitable organization and the price at which the goods or services are resold to the public. 

A contribution does not include fees, dues, or assessments paid by members of an organization if:

  • Membership in the organization is not in exchange for a contribution.
  • The contributor’s membership does not have any additional benefit other than the right to vote or otherwise participate in the organization and the right to receive written information.
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Can a charity use a professional fundraiser to solicit contributions?

Using a Professional Fundraiser to Solicit Contributions

Your organization may choose to hire a professional fundraiser to assist with fundraising activities. Visit Professional Fundraisers to learn more about their requirements for registering.

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How do I file my charitable organization registration annual report?

Charitable Organization Annual Report

Charitable organizations must file an annual report and keep organizational information up-to-date with the Secretary of State. The annual report must be filed on or before September 1 of each year. If the initial charitable organization registration is filed in July or August, the first annual report is due September 1 of the following year. The annual report must be completed online through the FirstStop Portal

Information about what needs to be included in the annual report can be found in the Begin & Maintain a Charitable Organization Guide. A charitable organization's annual report must include a financial statement covering the 12-month period immediately before the end of its previous fiscal (accounting) year. The information provided in the annual report must either be at the close of the business on :

  • December 31 prior to the annual report filing deadline
  • Last day of the fiscal (accounting) year prior to the filing deadline of the annual report

If you cannot meet the deadline to file your charitable organization’s annual report, you may submit an extension request to the Secretary of State through the FirstStop Portal. The application for extension must be received by the Secretary of State prior to the filing deadline. 

An extension may be granted for 1 year, or it may be granted permanently as a standing extension. A standing extension may only be granted to a charitable organization that has a fiscal (accounting) year that ends in June, July, or August.  The filing deadline may not be extended past December 1.


  • Annual Report - $10

NOTE: The Nonprofit Annual Report and Charitable Organization Report are 2 separate reports. A nonprofit with a charitable registration needs to file 2 reports each year with the Secretary of State - a Nonprofit Annual Report and a Charitable Organization Annual Report.

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What happens if a charitable organization doesn't file an annual report?

Failure to File Annual Report

If a charitable organization fails to file its charitable organization annual report, the charitable organization registration will become inactive and the organization may not solicit in North Dakota. 

To become a registered charitable organization again, you must:

  • File an annual report that includes the most recent financial statement and pay a $10 filing fee 
  • File a Charitable Organization Reregistration Statement that includes the most recent financial statement and pay a $25 filing fee
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Does a charitable organization registration expire?

Registration Expiration and Revocation

A charitable organization’s registration does not expire, but it can be revoked. The Secretary of State may deny or suspend a charitable organization’s application for registration if the organization fails to file the required annual report information, fails to maintain its business registration as active and in good standing, or if the charitable organization violates state law.

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What happens if solicitation laws are violated?

Violation of Solicitation Laws

The Secretary of State or the Office of Attorney General may examine the accounts of any charitable organization soliciting funds within North Dakota. Every charitable organization must maintain complete and accurate records of its accounts that can be provided if requested by the Secretary of State.

Any solicitation violation or failure to properly file any report, tax return, or other information as required by state law regulating charitable organizations is considered a class A misdemeanor. Conducting a solicitation after a registration is revoked is a class C felony. 

Penalties for these violations include civil penalties up to $5,000 per violation and the denial of registration for a period of up to 5 years. 

For more information, contact the Consumer Protection and Antitrust Division at:

Office of Attorney General Consumer Protection and Antitrust Division 
1720 Burlington Drive, Suite C 
Bismarck, ND 58504-7736 
Phone: 701-328-3404  

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How do I cancel a charitable organization registration?

Cancel Charitable Organization Registration

Disclaimer: Consultation with an attorney, tax professional, or business advisor is recommended to ensure appropriate consideration of all the legal implications when dissolving, canceling, or withdrawing your charitable organization registration

Charitable organizations may file a Charitable Organization Cancellation in the FirstStop Portal to cancel their registration. 



Disclaimer: Content provided on this website is for informational purposes and not intended as advice. Consultation with legal, tax, and/or business professionals is recommended to ensure appropriate consideration of the implications of your decisions.