Can I earmark a donation for a specific purpose?

Asked over 1 year ago - New York, NY

I recently heard that when making a donation to a tax-exempt organization, in order the get a tax deduction, the donor cannot earmark the funds for a particular purpose. I don’t believe this is true as I have heard of it as a customary practice among donors. Is it true?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. 2

    Lawyers agree


    Answered . Yes you can and it is still tax deductible.

    If this answer is helpful, then please mark the helpful button. If this is the best answer, then please indicate... more
  2. 2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . It depends on what the earmark benefits. If it is for something general, but related to the operation of the charitable mission, then yes. If it is limited to benefit the donor, or the donor's friends or family, then no. Please consult an attorney before accepting. Also, when in doubt call the IRS.

    No legal advice or research upon which one can rely is being provided here. The author assumes all inquiries on... more
  3. 1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Donors are allowed to "restrict" their gifts to a charity for a specific purpose. The charity - if run well - will have a gift acceptance policy that will give them guidance on whether or not to accept your restricted gift and an appropriate accounting system to distinguish between unrestricted and restricted donations.

    As to tax deductibility, if the charity accepts your gift, it should be tax deductible. As a previous attorney posted, there are exceptions for self-dealing transactions, but in general any cash donation made to a 501(c)(3) public charity is deductible on the donors' personal income taxes.

    The information that has been provided on this website, including information contained in any link or... more

Related Topics

Small business taxes

Small business taxes include state and federal income taxes and employment taxes, self-employment taxes, and excise taxes.


Business law covers topics such as business structures, common documents, business taxes and finances, insurance, real estate, and government regulations.

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask a Lawyer

Get free answers from experienced attorneys.


Ask now

34,166 answers this week

3,827 attorneys answering

Ask a Lawyer

Get answers from top-rated lawyers.

  • It's FREE
  • It's easy
  • It's anonymous

34,166 answers this week

3,827 attorneys answering