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Nonprofit Law/Question about funding for new nonprofit


I am in the process of applying for 501c3 status for my nonprofit, which is a registered corporation in Missouri.  We provide assistance to unsheltered homeless individuals and families.  We have been in existence for almost 2 years.  For the first year and a half, I (the founder) funded it almost totally out of my own pocket; we received very few donations.  Only this year (2014) have we begun growing and soliciting more public donations.

Taking that first year and a half into account, we won't meet the 33-1/3% public support test, or even the 10% public support test.  How should that be addressed in our application for 501c3 status, to show that now and in the future we ARE soliciting public donations, even though that wasn't true at first?

I usually give the IRS a description, in Part IV, "Narrative Activities", Part VIII, 4a (Fundraising) and in the proposed budget, to show, in the future years that the organization would be obtaining donations from the public. See IRS publication at starting on page 33 that the IRS gives:
--- Start of Excerpt ---
Consideration  also  will  be
given to the fact that an organization may, in its
early  years  of  existence,  limit  the  scope  of  its
solicitation to persons who would be most likely
to provide seed money sufficient to enable it to
begin its charitable activities and expand its solicitation program.
--- End of Excerpt ---

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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