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Nonprofit Law/misuse of donation


Hello, almost a year ago, I donated sports equipment (outrigger canoe plus accessories) to a non-profit group with the intended purpose of the equipment being used for a "wounded warrior/disabled athlete) program.  It was to my understanding through various correspondence that a program was already in place.  Suffice it to say, almost a year later, I do not believe the equipment is being used for the intended charitable purpose.  A contract was drawn up and agreed upon by myself and the charitable group that if in fact the equipment was not being used for the intended charitable purposes, that the "group" would pay me the posted purchase price.  I would then intend to donate a majority portion to the intended charity (though this intention was not mentioned in the original contract.).  How should I proceed?  FYI the financial amount in question is roughly $5000.

I suggest you send a demand letter to the organization (for the $5000) and specify that if they do not pay you would take legal action that would prove more expensive to them.  If you live in the same county as them you would find it easy in small claims court.

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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