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How do I write a charitable contribution letter to a donor from a not-for-profit

According to the IRS I must list any goods or services that a donor received in exchange for their charitable contribution. So if I hold an charitable dinner /dance and charge $100 per plate and a donor purchases an entire table of ten for $1,000, do I need to list the meals for all ten at the table on thier contribution acknowledgement letter? Are these meal considered a good or service in exchange for the donation and if so, isn't it personal benefit received, so since the donor only ate one meal of the ten, do I list one meal? Does anyone know the correct way to do this?


(Agent, JKS Solutions, Inc.) |

On page 9 of IRS Publication 1771 the following statement appears.

"written acknowledgment —
Detailed rules for contemporaneous
written acknowledgments are contained in Section
170(f)(8) of the Internal Revenue Code and Section 1.170A-13(f)
of the Income Tax Regulations. The “low-cost article” rules are
set forth in Section 513(h)(2) of the Code. This information can
be found on the IRS Web site at"

Hope this helps!

Topic Expert
Karoline Mello
Title: Director, FP&A
Company: Apollo Group
(Director, FP&A, Apollo Group) |

If the donor purchased $100 for a dinner that would cost $35 the portion of the charitable giving is the difference, $65. I would provide the figures, and let the donor’s CPA decide if they will claim receiving one $35 benefit or ten.

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, |

BTW, on many of the invites I receive, in small print on the acceptance/payment form is a line stating the "cost" of the meal/plate, etc. Thus, you've saved yourself a lot of time in providing the information up-front.


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