To whom should a charitable contribution check be made out if a nonprofit organization has not yet received its letter from the IRS recognizing its charitable exempt status—the individual who founded the organization or the organization itself?
If the donor wants to be able to claim a charitable contribution deduction for the gift, the check should be made out to the organization, not the individual. If an organization files its Form 1023 requesting recognition of charitable exemption within 27 months of the last day of the month in which it was formed, the exemption, once recognized, will be retroactive to the date of organization. Therefore, the donor will be able to claim a deduction. A gift to an individual, even if given for charitable purposes, is not deductible.