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Nonprofit Law/501c3 Booster Club and equal disbursement


If a private 501c3 booster club decides to support only the mandatory competitions for a dance team at a private dance studio, and each level of the dance team has an unequal number of mandatory dance competitions to attend (which is out of the control of the 501c3), is the booster club required to support each dance team member equally by the number of mandatory competitions only, or are you limited to supporting only the level with the fewest competitons to keep from supporting the other teams more with more competitons? Example:
If #1 team has only two competitions, and the #2 team has four competitions, do you support each dancer on the #1 team equally for two competitons and each dancer on the #2 team equally for their four competitons? Or are you limited to equally supporting the #1 and #2 teams equally, meaning the #2 team cannot benefit more than the #1 team overall just because #2 has more competitons to attend?  Essentially, if the $$ benefit need to be the same for each member of the #1 and #2 teams, then the #2 team is always at a disadvantage because they can't benefit more than #1 even though #2 is required to attend more competitions.  Also, #2's competition fees may be more than #1 because of their age level, experience level, etc. Does that mean the 501c3 can't fully pay the fees for #2 because they are by definition more than #1, even though the 501c3 can afford to fully pay the fees for both #1 and #2? It seems to me you can't penalize supporting the #2 team just because it'is competition fees are more expensive.  Please help! Thanks in advance and I appreciate everything you're doing educating the public about 501c3's.  Thanks again!

A 501(c)(3) booster organization is not required to support each dancer equally.  The 501(c)(3) organization may use different criteria, such as financial need, number of competitions, level of competitor, but may not use certain criteria such as race, religion or the amount of money that the family fundraises for the 501(c)(3) organization.

My summary of IRS regulations relating to 501c3 booster organizations is at: you may be interested to read that.

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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