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Nonprofit Law/mandatory chance selling


I have a general question. My daughter plays varsity softball for my local district.  Her coach has told them they will need to sell all their chances, 20 @ 10 each to get their softball clothing. If they don't, they will not be getting all their clothing.  Is this legal?  Can she withhold the clothing?  My daughter has sold at least half but cannot sell anymore and is worrying over this.  I cannot afford to buy the remainder, but don't want her to be penalized. Thank you.

I have in my profile that this free forum is only for general questions relating to IRS federal exemption issues of 501(c)(3) organizations.  I am assuming by "local district" that are you referring to a public school district.  The IRS has no regulations relating to the public school districts.  However, you can check with the New York Education Department
and your local school board to see if they have regulations prohibited such.

Note that games of chance are highly regulated by the State of New York and that licenses with the State are generally required for the conduct.
--- Start of Excerpt ---
S 189. Restrictions upon conduct of games of chance. The conduct of games of chance authorized by local law or ordinance shall be subject to the following restrictions irrespective of whether the restrictions are contained in such local law or ordinance, but nothing herein shall be construed to prevent the inclusion within such local law or ordinance of other provisions imposing additional restrictions upon the conduct of such games:
1. No person, firm, partnership, corporation or organization, other than a licensee under the provisions of section one hundred ninety-one of this article, shall conduct such game or shall lease or otherwise make available for conducting games of chance premises for any consideration whatsoever, direct or indirect.
---End of Excerpt---

You would also check with your municipality to see if the proper licensing has been obtained
--- Start of Excerpt ---
1. The common council or other local legislative body of any municipality may, either by local law or ordinance, provide that it shall be lawful for any authorized organization, upon obtaining a license therefor as hereinafter provided, to conduct games of chance within the territorial limits of such municipality, subject to the provisions of such local law or ordinance, the provisions of this article, and the provisions set forth by the board.
---End of Excerpt---

Even if that raffle is properly licensed, the school may not require such fees. The New York State Commissioner of Education wrote in a decision of 1991, "Respondent [public school board] does not have authority to require parents of those children who wish to participate in interscholastic athletic activities to pay a fee or to make  a required donation to support such activities. The minutes of respondent's August 1, 1990 meeting seem to indicate that such a
fee schedule "was actually contemplated. Such action by respondent, if properly substantiated, would be improper and would be cause for me to grant appropriate relief against the board of education." and the third
bullet (Commissioner's Decision 12,505) on page 3

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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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