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Does food pantry need (c)(3) to receive donations?

Your Legal Questions Answered

Does food pantry need (c)(3) to receive donations?

Does a very small, rural food pantry need a 501(c)(3) for the public to donate small amounts of cash or food? We have donors who would like to take their $25 donation as a charitable deduction on their income tax return.

You don’t need a (c)(3) recognition to accept donations, but you need it to allow donors to claim a charitable contribution deduction on their federal income tax returns. Some people will give without being able to claim the deduction (and some will claim the deduction without being allowed to), but if you are in business for the long haul, it makes sense to apply for recognition as a 501(c)(3) charity so the rules are clear to everyone and contribution deductions are available and legitimate.

Monday, February 1, 2010

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