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Nonprofit Law/Youth Lacrosse Organization


QUESTION: I represent a local youth lacrosse organization that is registered as a non profit. Any child from 2nd to 12th grade can register for our program. However, we also are recognized by the school district as having a high school club team. The school pays for buses to take the kids to games, but that is it.  Since we are new, the parents of the high school age students felt the next step was to form a booster club to support those kids. They feel as though it is also best to form their own non profit for tax purposes.  However, the kids are still registering under our name through US Lacrosse and covered by our insurance policy. Our organization holds the lease for the facilities where the kids will conduct practice. Is it necessary for them to form a non profit or even incorporate? Can they not just operate as an entity under the umbrella of our youth organization?

ANSWER: Your youth lacrosse organization may have different divisions, one being for the youth on the high school team.  That division would be able to be authorized by your organization to solicit funds on behalf of its division. Your organization would make sure that it does not establish any division which includes only a very small number of youth.  See pdf page13 of under the heading
"Charitable Class
--start of excerpt  ---
The group of individuals that may properly receive
assistance from a charitable organization is called a charitable
class. A charitable class must be large or sufficiently indefinite
enough that the community as a whole, rather than a pre-selected
group of people, benefits when a charity provides assistance.
--end of excerpt  ---
More details are found starting at pdf page 6 of

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.    

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you for the response. So instead of just forming a separate non-profit, they are safe to just open their own checking account and operate under the umbrella of the youth organization as a "sub group"? The indefinite portion of the charitable class would just mean that there is no limit to the number of kids it could benefit at the high school kids, even though in reality it would be around 50 players?

I would not describe it that they would "open their own checking account".  Your organization's board would pass, by resolution, a statement that the corporation would open a bank account for the high school division and specify who would be the signers on that account. Your organization must include all of the funds going into and out of that account in its own consolidated financial statement.

I suggest that you do not use the term "umbrella" as that word is vague and often refers to two different organizations.

You are correct as to your understanding as to the indefinite nature of the class of persons who are to be benefited in the division and it is good that the number is around 50 players instead of some much smaller number, like 2 (a toboggan team).

You are welcome.

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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