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Nonprofit Law/Church building fund

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Question
I attend church in California.  We have a large fund for a future building.  Many feel this is a futile plan as the church is not socio/economically able to support this.  Many members think this money should be used for spreading the word of Jesus.  Can the donors, who are on a list known to the treasurer, have their money refunded or placed into the general treasury, whichever is their choice?

Answer
I have in my profile that this free forum is only for general questions about IRS federal exemption issues of 501(c)(3) organizations. Your matter is controlled by state law and states may differ somewhat with how they would treat such issues. Even though this forum is not for such state law issues, I will try to give you some leads.

Much depends upon the wording of the particular solicitation of the church to the congregation in their appeal for funds for the future building. If you send me that text I will be able to comment further. But, in any case, I suggest that a member or members write a letter to the church in which they make the demand (either demanding that the church refund the money donated or demanding that the church place the funds in the general treasury, whichever is their choice) and you can send me the answer that the church gave or, if they do not reply within 2 weeks, you can still get back to me at that time with the report of no reply, but I would still need the text of the solicitation.

Harvey Mechanic
Attorney at Law
Harvey108@hotmail.com

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. For me to consider your individual situation and how the law applies, I would need to gather more information.

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Harvey Mechanic

Expertise

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 Harvey108@hotmail.com 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 "site:allexperts.com/q/nonprofit" without the quotes and then add your search terms before hitting enter.

Experience

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.

Education/Credentials

B.S. Columbia University in New York City, 1970

J.D. (Law Degree) Brooklyn Law School, 1990 -- Cum Laude.


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