If the cost of an event is more than $75 and it is partly a contribution and partly for goods and services you must provide a written statement. The written statement must indicate that you can only deduct the amount of the payment that is more than the value of the goods or services received. It must also give you a good faith estimate of the value of those goods and services. You can put the statement on the invitation or send something when you receive payment.

Per IRS Publication 526 Charitable Contributions

A charitable organization must provide a written disclosure statement to donors of a quid pro quo contribution in excess of $75. A quid pro quo contribution is a payment made to a charity by a donor partly as a contribution and partly for goods or services provided to the donor by the charity. For example, if a donor gives a charity $100 and receives a concert ticket valued at $40, the donor has made a quid pro quo contribution. In this example, the charitable contribution portion of the payment is $60. Even though the part of the payment available for deduction does not exceed $75, a disclosure statement must be filed because the donor's payment (quid pro quo contribution) exceeds $75. The required written disclosure statement must:

  • Inform the donor that the amount of the contribution that is deductible for federal income tax purposes is limited to the excess of any money (and the value of any property other than money) contributed by the donor over the value of goods or services provided by the charity, and

  • Provide the donor with a good faith estimate of the value of the goods or services that the donor received.

The charity must furnish the statement in connection with either the solicitation or the receipt of the quid pro quo contribution. If the disclosure statement is furnished in connection with a particular solicitation, it is not necessary for the organization to provide another statement when the associated contribution is actually received.

No disclosure statement is required when:

  • The goods or services given to a donor meet the standards for insubstantial value set out in Revenue Procedure 90-12, 1990-1 C.B. 471, and  Revenue Procedure 92-49, 1992-1C.B. 987 (as updated);

  • There is no donative element involved in a particular transaction with a charity (for example, there is generally no donative element involved in a visitor's purchase from a museum gift shop); or

  • There is only an intangible religious benefit provided to the donor. The intangible religious benefit must be provided to the donor by an organization organized exclusively for religious purposes, and must be of a type that generally is not sold in a commercial transaction outside the donative context.

A penalty is imposed on a charity that does not make the required disclosure in connection with a quid pro quo contribution of more than $75. The penalty is $10 per contribution, not to exceed$5,000 per fund-raising event or mailing. The charity can avoid the penalty if it can show that the failure was due to reasonable cause.

Example from the Detroit Chapter


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