Nonprofit Law/501 c3


QUESTION: I have a few questions about a non profit sporting association.

#1-Are they required to let anyone that ask see their league rules, by laws, constitution and financial statements?
If so how long do they have to provide them?

Is there a website I can go and read exactly what a non profit sporting organization can and can not do?

ANSWER: I have in my profile that this free forum is only for relevant IRS federal exemption issues of 501(c)(3) organizations. If a nonprofit has received IRS exemption determination or files
annual returns (Form 990) with the IRS it has an obligation to provide anyone with certain copies. See FAQs About the Exempt Organization Public Disclosure Requirements

The exempt organization is required, upon request to provide copies of the exemption application that it filed with the IRS along with supporting documents required with those applications, which includes articles of incorporation and bylaws as they existed at the time the exemption application was filed with the IRS.

Your issues are also controlled by state law and states may differ somewhat with how they would treat such issues. Even though this forum is not for such state law issues, if you give me your state I may be able to direct you. Make sure you also inform me whether the a 501(c)(3) organization is incorporated in that state under the State's Nonprofit Corporation law or whether it is unincorporated.

As for referring you to a site about "what a non profit sporting organization can and can not do", please first inform me whether substantially all of the participants are under the age of 19 and, if not, what the activities of the organization is and then, after you give me that information I will reply further.

Harvey Mechanic, Attorney at Law -

P.S. This response is intended to be a general statement of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship.    

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: The is Arkansas, all participants are under the age of 19 and it is a Youth Football League. I am not sure if it is incorporated or not.

As for your state law on Open Records and Open Meetings, the
Reporter's Committee for Freedom of the Press has links to each
state's laws at:
specifically read at 1.B.4.a Open Records for "Nongovernmental
bodies receiving public funds or benefits" and the sections B5-B7
nearby have the applicable discussion. If none of those apply to
the organization., then the state open records law does not apply
to the organization.

Most states give more access to records to members of the nonprofits. The Arkansas Nonprofit Corporation Act is available at and, if the organization is such a corporation, see:

--- Start of Excerpt ---
4-28-218.  Books and accounting records.

 (a) Each corporation shall keep correct and complete books and
records of account.

(b) All receipts of moneys and expenditures shall be properly
recorded according to accepted accounting principles.

(c) A record of the proceedings of its members, board of directors,
and committees shall be kept.

(d) A record of the names and addresses of its members entitled to
vote shall be maintained at the principal office or place of
business of the corporation.

(e) All books and records of a corporation may be inspected by any
member for any proper purpose at any reasonable time.
--- End of Excerpt ---  

See IRS Publication 557 "Tax Exempt Status for Your Organization"
which is available at:
which gives information about a 501(c)(3) organizations which would include youth sporting organizations.

Harvey Mechanic, Attorney at Law -

P.S. This response is intended to be a general statement of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship.  

Nonprofit Law

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Harvey Mechanic


DO NOT GIVE ME INFORMATION THAT YOU WANT KEPT CONFIDENTIAL. I am an attorney and I volunteer time to answer general questions about U.S. Federal income tax issues of nonprofit 501(c)(3) public charities only. Those questions could be about establishing and maintaining legal requirements for such non-profit organizations in the United States, including Internal Revenue service filings and requirements. I will not be working on this free forum to answer questions about Nonprofit's possible unrelated or for-profit businesses or how to fill out forms. This forum is only for general questions about federal tax law, not as the law applies to your specific situation. If you do not make your question public then I will not be spending much of my donated time on answers that would not benefit the public. If you have other questions, please contact me at I will reply from my email. In any case, do not reveal confidential information to me until after I have contracted with you to provide personal legal services. My responses on this forum are intended to be general statements of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice, and do not create an attorney/client relationship. For me to consider your individual situation and how the law applies, I would need to gather extensive information about the situation. To search my previous answers you can do a Google search by "" without the quotes and then add your search terms before hitting enter.


I have been practicing law and especially the law of nonprofit organizations since 1990 when I was admitted to the New York Bar and I have maintained my status with the Bar since that time.


B.S. Columbia University in New York City, 1970

J.D. (Law Degree) Brooklyn Law School, 1990 -- Cum Laude.

©2017 All rights reserved.