Nonprofit Law/Fundraisers



I would like to start promoting fundraiser for my church and as an entrepreneur to help individuals and 3 families in need each month. This is a grassroots project and I have been somewhat successful with the first attempt last year. I put on a skating event to raise monies, but the overhead got the best of us and we were in need of more advertising, but didn't have the funds.

So if this is something I would like to do annually, what's the best route? I am currently a sole prop Massage Therapist. I use my social as my tax Id. My church is not a 501 c3. If this is something I want to see grow into a future project to serve others, through fundraising what are my next steps. I receive two donations, but I'm running into roadblocks getting funding without 501c3 status. Can you give me some insight?


First I should direct you to See the instructions to Application for Exemption
in the right column on the first page under "From 1023 not
necessary" discusses who does not need to file and among those is
are churches.  Therefore as long as the church is properly
established for IRS purposes as a church (for example the
congregation is not just one family), then donations to the church
are deductible.  The church would also need to operate according to
IRS requirements for 501(c)(3) organizations as specified
throughout Publication 557 "Tax Exempt Status for Your
Organization" which is found at:

I would need to review the church's organizational document and its mode of operation, but, if those are fine, then you might be able to work out an arrangement with the church. I would be willing to work on your matter further, but I would need to spend a substantial amount of time in reading the church's organizational document and operation and that would be beyond the scope of my offer of free services.  If you want to inquire about hiring me for such work, please contact me directly to the email address below.

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.  

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Harvey Mechanic


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.

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