Charities, Nonprofits & Fundraisers
Most organizations that have charitable assets or engage in charitable activities in New York or solicit charitable contributions (including grants from foundations and government grants) in New York are required to register with the Charities Bureau, via the online portal below. If an organization believes it is exempt from registration requirements, there is an opportunity to claim an exemption through the registration portal.
Schedule B announcment
Due to clerical error, a small number of charitable organizations’ Schedule B to IRS Form 990 or IRS Form 990PF were inadvertently posted publicly on the Office of the Attorney General’s registry of charities for a limited period of time. The affected organizations are being contacted directly by the Charities Bureau. If you are not contacted, your organization has not been identified as being affected by this error. The Charities Bureau takes its obligations to protect the confidential information of the charities it regulates very seriously and has taken additional prudent steps to safeguard this information. If you have any concerns or questions, please contact the Charities Bureau by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Checklist item||Additional information|
|Email address and phone number to create an account with the Office of the New York State Attorney General||
|Employer identification number (EIN) issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)||
If the organization has federal tax exemption, the organization’s tax status, e.g. 501 (c) (3), 501 (c) (4), etc.
|Previous New York state registration number for amendments or re-registrations||
If you are not sure whether your organization is already registered, you can look for it on the charities public registry.
|Information about the organization’s officers, directors, trustees, and key employees or key persons||
Note: For organizations incorporated in New York, you must provide at least three of the above (does not apply to trusts).
|Information about the professional fundraisers hired by the organization (if any) in connection with solicitation in New York||
|Description of the organization’s charitable purposes||
|Two authorized officers’ signatures — completed forms will be sent to signatories via email||
Note: At least one signature is required for trusts.
|All pages of two mandatory documents||
Documents should be in PDF format only.
If you have these documents in other formats, convert them to PDF before uploading. View our instructions on how to convert a document to PDF.
Note: Each upload should be smaller than 4 MB. If you have bigger file sizes, compress the document before uploading. View the instructions on how to compress document to PDF.
|Registration fee payment||
Our online system accepts:
Most organizations that hold property of any kind for charitable purposes or engage in charitable activities in New York or solicit charitable contributions (including grants from foundations and government grants) in New York are required to register with the Office of the New York State Attorney General’s Charities Bureau.
Under New York law, charity is defined very broadly to include purposes such as:
- relief of poverty
- cultural programs
- promotion of health and research to cure disease
- many other purposes that benefit the community
Although most charitable organizations are required to register, the law exempts some, including religious organizations, from registering. If you believe that your organization may be exempt from the registration requirements, you will have an opportunity to claim an exemption when you fill out the online registration application.
- employer identification number (EIN)
- certificate of incorporation or other organizing document
- bylaws or other rules document
For a complete list, consult the online checklist detailing what is required to register prior to starting the application.
Please note that the form requires two signatories:
- organization’s president or other authorized officer
- chief financial officer, treasurer, or other person with fiscal responsibility.
- Our registrant will require emails for both of the above so the application can be sent for their review and e-signature.
Among the organizations exempt from registration are religious organizations (houses of worship) and other charitable organizations run by religious organizations, membership organizations that do not solicit from the public, parent-teacher associations, educational institutions that file annual reports with the New York State Department of Education, and governmental agencies.
Often members of a community collect money for a friend or neighbor who is ill or who has suffered a tragedy. Such funds are not charities and are exempt from registration as long as all of the contributions collected are paid to (or for the benefit of) the person for whom the money was collected.
You may designate up to three alternate beneficiaries, in case the person for whom you are collecting cannot use all of the funds collected. If you designated an alternate beneficiary, complete form CHAR017 (Charitable Solicitation for the Relief of an Individual, which is posted on our Forms page. After completing the form, submit it to the Charities Bureau.
Designating alternate beneficiaries will simplify the distribution of excess funds and avoid a possible court proceeding to determine to whom such funds should be distributed. If you file form CHAR017, you must advise potential contributors that the form has been filed with the Attorney General.