Mar 25

Petition for Small Non-Profit Relief in DC

The Board of the United Neighborhood Coalition has been struggling with a difficult problem. In the District of Columbia, non-religious non-profits that earn more than $1,500 per year are required to obtain a business license that costs $412.50 (paid every two years).

The UNC was once very small, but as we grow we run the risk of exceeding the $1,500 threshold. Paying the $412.50 licensing fee would be a poor use of our limited member donations that are intended to improve our community, but we have limited options if we are to grow as an organization.

DC’s licensing requirement is the most burdensome of any US jurisdiction (it charges the highest fee, and exempts only the tiniest non-profits). Recognizing this, we reached out to Ward One Councilmember Brianne Nadeau and DCRA for help, resulting in the drafting of the Charitable Solicitations Relief Amendment Act of 2016. When fully implemented, the bill would exempt non-profits with incomes less than $25,000 per year from the charitable solicitation licensing requirement and associated fees.

However, the bill has not been introduced, mainly because it would cost an estimated $250,000 in lost licensing fees to DCRA. While cost is important, this is a small amount in relation to the important work done by non-profit volunteers across our city.

We are therefore urging the UNC membership to sign a petition being circulated in support of the bill:


Please support the work of small non-profits in our communities by urging city leaders to pass this important piece of legislation!