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Nonprofit Law/501c3 requiring volunteer time


Is it legal for a 501c3 to require members to volunteer?  My daughter is a member of a youth organization and they require parents to volunteer for the end of year competition and also the yearly fundraiser.  
Thank you

If some work is required then it is not, by definition, voluntary, under tax law considerations.
The organization you are referring to appears to not be a booster organization but actually an organization that conducts the youth sporting activities. Such a 501(c)(3) organization, like schools that are 501(c)(3) organizations, may charge tuition and require work but then the value of the work is considered taxable as any other employment.

The U.S. Department of Education discusses taxable benefits "a graduate student who is required to teach in exchange for a scholarship is taxed.

Note that the organization would have had to reveal the work requirements before accepting any member who was paying fees.  Otherwise, the organization would be trying to breach an earlier agreement to provide services for certain money fees.

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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