Fundraising, Management Issues/EIN for an individual fundraiser?


I am hosting a fundraiser for my mother, who has a serious illness. She is so sick that she is unable to open a bank account in her name for the donated funds. Is it possible to obtain an EIN for banking purposes only, in order to open an account for a fund in her name? I realize there will be no dedcutibility to donors, and the money will still go to pay all of her medical expenses. Also, what is the best option to select on the online EIN form for this - Volunteer group?


Thanks for your question, Tracy.

You do not need an EIN for the type of fundraiser you describe. You may open a bank account in your mother's name if she is able to sign a signature card. The bank will give you a signature card you may take to your mother for her signature.

Her signature would be needed only if she plans to sign checks. If you plan to sign checks, you may open a bank account in your name only. Or, you could open an account in both your names and indicate either of you as signers, in which case your mother's signature would need to be on the signature card. All of the money raised must be reported to your state department of revenue and to the IRS as personal income. If the bank account is in both your names you may declare one-half of the income to her and one-half to you.

The most important thing about your fundraiser is accountability to donors. Thank them in writing, let them know how much money was raised, and inform them how it was used. This is courteous and is respectful of donors; the IRS does not require this type of accountability.

Here is a link to the IRS on whether you need to obtain an EIN:

Best wishes for every success.

Fundraising, Management Issues

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Wayne E. Groner


I can answer questions regarding annual funds, capital campaigns, endowment programs, asking for the major gift, volunteers, board development, nonprofit management, church fundraising, prospect research, prospect cultivation, and fundraising techniques.


Fundraising executive for 27 years, including nine years as a vice president. Presenter at national and regional workshops and conferences of Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), Council for Resource Development (CRD), and Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). Workshop presenter to nonprofits and churches. Co-author of the book The Pastor's Guide to Fund-Raising Success. Writer of Sunday school lessons for adults and study resources for youth. Articles and book reviews on nonprofit fundraising-and-management issues published in national magazines and on the Web. Volunteer hospice chaplain. Board member and volunteer for community organizations.

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