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Nonprofit Law/503(c) fund raising monies


Thank you for your time.  We are a 503 (c) organization who raise funds for different 503 charities. We did a Fundraiser for a police memorial fund for widows of fallen law enforcement persons. the particular event we were raising funds for disbanded before we could get them our funds. Question is can we donate that money to another 503(c0 organization even though we advertised it as a police memorial fund raiser.

You are welcome.  I am assuming by "503(c)" that you are referring to "501(c)(3)", because section 503(c) addresses some issues that could not be what you are referring to.

It appears that you did not solicit or advertise to request funds for any particular organization or purpose after the time that you received notice that the "police memorial fund for widows of fallen law enforcement persons" was disbanding or otherwise was becoming inactive.  Therefore, your organization did not do anything intentionally to misrepresent where the proceeds of the fundraiser were going.

But some states, like California have a specific code section. That section for California is:
---Start of Excerpt--
    (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this part to the
contrary, when property, received by a corporation, covered by this
part from a person directly affiliated with that corporation has
been contributed based upon an affirmative representation that it
would be used for a specific purpose other than the general support
of the corporation's activities and has been used in a manner
contrary to the specific purpose for which the property was
contributed, an action may be brought by the contributor or by any
person listed in paragraph (1), (2), or (3) of subdivision (a) of
Section 9142, if that person, before bringing an action, notifies
the corporation, in writing, that an action will be brought unless
the corporation takes immediate steps to correct any improper
diversion of funds.

    (b) In the event that it becomes impractical or impossible for
the corporation to devote the property to the specific purpose for
which it was contributed, or that the directors or members of the
corporation in good faith expressly conclude and record in writing
that the stated purpose for which the property was contributed is
no longer in accord with the policies or best interests of the
corporation, the directors or members of the corporation may, in
good faith, approve or ratify the use of the property for the
general purposes of the corporation rather than for the specific
purpose for which it was contributed.    (c) A public officer may
not bring an action in an official capacity under this section even
on behalf of a private person.
---End of Excerpt--
California Corporations Code 9143

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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