speaking from some experience in dealing with freenode which is a 501c3, when it comes to large donations, it tends to present a lot of problems, especially if the donations are a regular thing. You can fail certain tests if the donation makes up so much of your incom, among other things. I don't really know all of the details behind it, but this particular topic came up a while back when I was talking to lilo about donations.
Carpaski is right, this is something I think should be braught up with a lawyer.
On Tue, 29 Jun 2004, Nicholas Jones wrote:
> Date: Tue, 29 Jun 2004 17:43:46 -0500
> From: Nicholas Jones <email@example.com>
> Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> To: email@example.com
> Subject: Re: [gentoo-trustees] Bylaws & 501(c)(3) filing
> > I thought we were filing for 501c6?
> > As I recall, that's what we were set up to do?
> That is what Daniel began the filings for, yes.
> c6 is a trade association, while c3 is a charity or something
> to that effect. The trade associate does not have any tax
> benefit for donations and thus doesn't lend to much interest
> in massive donations. The ability to write off a product at
> it's marketed price for tax purposes is nice.
> I believe the reasons Daniel stated for getting C6 as opposed
> to C3 was that it is more legitimate. There are a lot of filing
> for C3 status that are not legitimate, but do get approved
> even without being a for-charity association.
> Seeking more legal opinion on our chances of this is WELL
> worth the cost, in my opinion. We are _far_ more legitimate
> than many of the types of groups that are appoved of regularly.
> Strictly speaking, Gentoo isn't a charity, but if we are
> approved and don't pose a for the status to be removed
> from us, I don't see a problem with it.
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