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Nonprofit Law/Non- Profits charging fees


If a non-profit organization requires a vendor food vendor for example) to pay them 30% of their earnings, off the top; on top of the registration/set up fee, can the vendor write that amount off as a charitable donation?

As to charitable deductions, see IRS Publication 526 "Charitable
Donations"  which is available at:

on page 6 middle column under the heading "Contributions
You  Cannot Deduct" is "3. The part of a contribution from which
you receive or expect to receive a benefit".  The vendor expects a benefit (sales) and, therefore, anything required in the contract can not be a donation. In an Internal Memorandum from the year 2000,"Fund Raising Issues" the IRS explained further, "where a payment is made in return for an item or benefit, the presumption is that such payment is the purchase price and not a gift." on page 12

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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