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Nonprofit Law/Qualifation of a 501(c)3 Public Charity


The US Air Force installation currently has a Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Program which provides a sport opportunity to military members, dependants, civilians, and contractor.  The non-appropriated funds Government entity is no longer able to maintain the facility and provide the services due to budget cuts.  The users and advocates of the sports complex are interested in leasing/operating the sports facility in order to maintain the capability and reduce the burden of government.  The organization would be a non-profit for the public good.  This military installation is located in California.

Would a 501(c)3 Public Charity be the correct approach or would this only qualify as a 501(c)4?

I generally suggest going for 501(c)(3) organization status first, and, if that fails, the IRS will offer 501(c)(4) organization status (if the organization qualifies under that section).  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 would be willing to work on your matter further, but I would need to spend a substantial amount of time in reading the details of the operation and whether it would actually, reduce a burden of government, according to IRS regulations and that would be beyond the scope of my offer of free services.  If you want to inquire about hiring me for such work, please contact me directly to the email address below.

But you can read what the IRS Manual has as to "reducing the burdens of government" at

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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