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Nonprofit Law/Funding a nonprofit


I am affiliated with a non profit and their means of being funded is coming under some scrutiny.  They are charging schools to visit those schools.  In a perfect world they would apply for a grant and use that grant money to pay for the visit to the school.  They are also accepting money to act as a recruiting tool for the US Army.  My understanding of the laws makes me question whether or not it is legal to accept money from the military to recruit or assist recruiting as it is not in the foundations mission statement. I am also concerned this close association with recruiting at schools could alone create issues.  My understanding is that a non profit cannot profit, all monies come from donations, gifts and grants.  Before I proceed I would like to know if I am correct.

I have in my profile that this free forum is only for general questions about IRS federal exemption issues of 501(c)(3) organizations. Therefore, I am assuming you are referring to such an organization. Such an organization may have a mission statement, but unless there are some weird restrictions in the articles of incorporation or bylaws, that organization may engage in any activities that are allowed for 501(c)(3) organizations.

Many nonprofits receive funds from the government on contracts, for example contracts with the Veterans Administration to provide services to veterans.

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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