Is it legal to use someone else's 501c3?

Asked 6 months ago - Norcross, GA

I am working with an individual to obtain my own 501c3 for a non profit organization that I am starting. They offered the use of their own 501c3 until mines is secured. Can I do this? Is this legal?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Steven M Zelinger


    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You don't give nearly enough detail or any really so no one can answer this. Are you "using their" 501c3 so that donors to you can deduct donations? Otherwise if you have a not for profit corporation or entity you can still operate, but your donors can't deduct their donations (although your status may end up being retroactive). I would also be concerned about transparency with the people you are dealing with - both outside and between the two organizations. The bottom line is there are a lot of questions and you need specific legal advice you cannot get here.

    This is not legal advice nor intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided here is... more
  2. Ruth Elaine McMahon

    Contributor Level 18


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . No, you cannot use someone else's 501 c 3. You would both get in trouble.

  3. May Lynn Harris

    Contributor Level 10


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . What you are describing is a potential "fiscal sponsorship" relationship between your program/entity and an existing 501(c)(3) charity. This is completely legal as long as it's done correctly to ensure compliance with IRS provisions. I suggest contacting an exempt organization's attorney well-versed in fiscal sponsorship for nonprofit, exempt organizations.

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

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