Nonprofit Law/501(c)(3)



Can a 501(c)(3) that's purpose of preservation of land with historical value accept the donation of a conservation easement (land that contains structure with historical value) along with a cash donation intended to cover the repair of the structure on the easement.  The donor wishes to obligate the 501(c)(3) to use the cash donation for repair of the structure and also to instruct the 501(c)(3) to use a well known charitable organization that repairs similar structures in the area to repairs the structure on the easement(neither donor nor donee are related to the charitable organization that does the repairs).

Thank you!

ANSWER: I don't see any problem with the preservation 501(c)(3) organization accepting the donation. If you think that there is some issue, let me know specifically what you think the problem could be and I will comment further.

Harvey Mechanic, Attorney at Law -
from Shaker Heights, Ohio

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: Thanks!  The issue I wondered about was if the donor wants the donee organization to agree to use the cash donation to repair easement as well as to use a certain organization to do the repairs.  There are no private interest issues that I see as everyone is completely unrelated; donor just prefers donee use specific repair organization.

The organization that would be doing the repairs is, as you wrote, a charitable organization, and, therefore, there is no issue as to whether the 501(c)(3) organization may accept the donation on the donor's terms.

That does not, however, mean that the full amount of the donation is deductible by the donor, but you did not ask that question and it is not the concern of the preservation organization anyway.  If you do want some information about that, let me know whether the owner is going to be using the structure that is being repaired.

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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