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Nonprofit Law/Can 501c(3) organizations only donate from one bank account?


I am president of a 501c(3) nonprofit organization at my university. The founder of the organization has graduated and left me in change of running the club this year.

She gave me a very difficult time this year and did not provide me basic information to run the club (even e-mail passwords and login information for our website and paypal account!). I was able to get just about everything I needed through running to her and asking for it, but the one essential thing she will not provide me is access to our bank account so I can donate the funds we have raised.

She is extremely uncooperative and is demanding I hand her the money so she can donate it, when she did not do any of the work to raise it.

She is the only one who has access to the bank account registered with the IRS. I do not want to give her the money because she did not do anything to help us earn it.

Can I donate the funds we have raised through a bank account for our student organization at the University? It is not registered with the IRS, so I'm not sure if I am able to do that.

I would like to donate the money legally and on my own if possible. I was thinking I could donate the cash through the student bank account and mail her the checks to donate through the national bank account because the people who wrote the checks are expecting their donations to be tax-exempt.

Would this be a legally viable solution? If it is, what information am I required to provide the founder for her records?

She is also claiming I am required to provide donors with a tax-exempt letter. Am I legally allowed to do this? Or do I have to give the contact information of the donors to her?

I just want to donate the funds on my own without legal consequences.

I'm open to any advice I can get!

Thank you so much!

Sorry for the delay in the answer to your questions on this site. has, for the last 10 days not been sending
me the questions to answer.  I answered you directly to your email.

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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