Nonprofit Law/Private Benefit?


I am on the board of a non-profit booster club supporting amateur competitive athletes.  Within our booster we are currently splitting fundraising opportunities and benefits as follows:

Girls team does its own fundraising and those funds are divided over the girls team population (regardless of participation) but to the exclusion of boys team families (in both participation and benefit).

Boys team does its own fundraising and those funds are divided over the boys team population (regardless of participation) but to the exclusion of girls team families (in both participation and benefit).

To me this seems to violate the spirit of the law in terms of private benefit, but others do not feel the same.  Is this legal?


The benefits are to charitable beneficiaries (the youth in sport) and, as long as the team is not only a few persons, then it would not result in the IRS analyzing the fundraising as it does when a 501c3 organization allows individuals to raise funds for their own use.  I have not found any cases where the IRS treated negatively teams raise funds for the team and not for everyone who is funded by the particular 501c3.  

The real problem would be if the 501c3 booster organization requires individuals to raise funds as a prerequisite to being on the team that is funded.  I am assuming that is not an issue in your case, so I will not go into the details, but, if you do have such a problem, let me know and I will elaborate.

Harvey Mechanic
Attorney at Law

Nonprofit Law

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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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