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Should my CAP Unit donate or sponsor another charity?

While Civil Air Patrol units may wish to donate to a qualified nonprofit organization, CAP units should always be good stewards of donated funds.  The perception/optics of raising money and then giving it to another organization can cause an incorrect perception and/or loss of trust from our donors and community.

The correct analysis and response to this query must be based on CAP being a 501(c)(3) under the IRS Code. Therefore, in order for this type of donation to be permissible we must consider the following:
  • Does the transaction advance CAP’s charitable mission (if the local unit meets at church facilities without a charge then under those circumstances a small donation may be permitted as a token of appreciation).
  • There must be no COI (conflict of interest) for any CAP person involved in the donation transaction.
  • There must be no violation of CAP donor restricted funds previously given to the local CAP unit.
  • There must be no misuse of funds by the receiving organization due to potential bad publicity from CAP supporting a failing entity.
  • No question that donating these funds will imperil CAP’s financial health.
  • It is prudent to consider all of this before being able to answer that it is acceptable for a local unit to donate funds or resources to another charity.

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