Nonprofit Law/nonprofit


Dear Harvey!

We want to stage a children's theatrical at a local Community center in NJ. They ask for a free-hundred hourly rate("reduced for nonprofit organization") renting fee for using their stage. Under the condition that we don't sell tickets. Now, all our theatricals are free! We work on pure volunteering base, we serve the community, we pay our own money for kids' costumes and decorations, and we never charge anyone a cent. Now we have to pay for a free performance for the community out of our pocket? Or charge our young artists to pay for the stage? Notwithstanding the fact that as local residents we pay huge taxes to the city. How does this all make sense, legally?
Thank you.

I don't see it as a legal issue as the local Community Center, even if a 501(c)(3) organization or governmental entity, can charge for their rentals, especially when that is not their main activity -- renting out. I suggest you look for alternative sites, even outdoors.

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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