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Public Charities May Face Scrutiny If Too Frugal

Question of the Month: How much money can a public charity keep in the bank? Technical answer: As much as it wants, and there is no law saying otherwise, state or federal. Real world answer: It depends.

It defies most people's common sense, but public charities (the organizations exempt from federal tax under IRC 501(c)(3)) are under no legal obligation to spend any particular amount of their resources on charitable activities, as long as they spend some. In contrast, private foundations are required to spend at least 5 percent of their endowments every year. Many non-profit


Bruce D. Collins

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