Carol,Our homeschool group is a 501c3 organization. A parent member of our group recently approached me and asked if we could start a scholarship program. (This would not be a college scholarship program.) The parent’s hope is that a parent (or any individual) could give a donation to the organization to be used for scholarships for families who were facing financial hardship to attend our classes.The scholarship would only be used to reduce a needy family’s tuition at our co-op. The parent that asked this question was hoping to get a tax deduction for his gift. I know that there could potentially be an issue with private inurement* for the families receiving a “scholarship” in this situation.I would greatly appreciate your input. I am happy to schedule a phone consult with you.Thanks!Sharon in PA
I wrote a blog post about it: http://homeschoolcpa.com/do-not-call-a-fee-discount-a-scholarship/
- the board, or a committee decides on the criteria to grant a tuition discount for a hardship (consider creating a policy)
- the family receiving the benevolent discount has no vote or decision in granting the discount
- the donation is not “ear marked” for a specific family. The board gets to decide who gets a benevolent discount, not the donor.
*Inurement is when the earnings of the organization are used for the advantage of a specific individual instead of the purpose of the organization. Inurement is forbidden for 501(c)(3) organizations.
I hope that helps,
Carol Topp, CPA