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Nonprofit Law/donations to church in foreign country


I'm with a 501(c)3 public benefit corporation in California. Our main program is an after-school program that teaches the Chinese language to kids as well as provide child care for working parents. We do receive donations but most of our income is from tuition.

We would like to partner with a church in another country (Taiwan) to provide a similar after-school program there, but this program will be for poor families and will not charge tuition. Would it be legal for our organization to use our funds to support this program? If so, would we report this simply as donations on our 990? We would be wiring the funds directly to the church in Taiwan.

Thank you for your time.

That is fine. See the IRS publication at for details about
international grants to and international activities of U.S. exempt
organizations. Note Rev. Rul. 63-252 provides an example of a domestic charitable
organization that furthers its own purposes by granting funds to foreign charitable organizations and makes such grants for purposes which it (the domestic charitable organization) has reviewed and approved.  The grants are paid from the domestic charitable organization's general funds and are subject to control by the domestic organization.  No special funds are raised by a solicitation on behalf of the foreign organization nor are contributions earmarked in any manner.  In this example, the contributions by individuals to the domestic charitable organizations are considered to be deductible.

On your form 990 the money you sent to the church in Taiwan is an expense called "grants" and specifically reported as a grant to a foreign organization.

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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