Question: Appropriate giving?

I am a member of a PTO that is wanting to give a large financial gift to a family in our school community with a sick child (non-student). We have already had a fundraiser specifically for them and given this family almost $200. Now the board has decided to give almost 3 times that amount out of our normal funds, although this money was not budgeted? What are your opinions on this type of spending, which does not benefit the school and/or students?

Asked by Anonymous



Advice from PTO Today

Craig writes:
It's great that the PTO wants to help and that the group is so generous. There is a note of caution to be sounded here, though. The IRS has rules against charities using a significant amount of money to benefit a single person, especially if that benefit is for something that falls outside of the organization's mission. Whether $600 is significant depends on how big your annual budget is, and whether helping a sick child is outside your mission may be debatable. But it is a risk. The way groups typically get around this is to hold a fundraiser (bake sale, for example) organized outside of PTO time and publicized as a benefit rather than a PTO activity, or to simply collect donations for the family.

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