Nonprofit Law/501c3 Host Gifts


I work for a 501c3 organization. Are there any limits as to how much and how often someone in our organization can give a host/hostess to stay in their home while traveling?
Thank you,

No limit for the individual to give to the host/hostess but that would not be reimburseable by          the organization, nor would the 501(c)(3) organization be allowed to gift directly to the host/hostess. A 501(c)(3) organization may only gift items to a charitable beneficiary. If the recipient is not in a charitable class (for example, the poor) such gifts are considered to violate section
501(c)(3) which provides that a 501(c)(3) organization  must be
"operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific,
testing for public safety, literary, or educational purposes."

A 501(c)(3) organization is supposed to not use its funds except for its exempt purposes. Now a small gift would not cause problems but it is the better practice to not have the organization pay, but have the individuals give the gift directly from their own funds.

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


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.

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