Ensuring Your Donors Can Take Their Charitable Deductions Part II: Quid Pro Quo Rules

January 23, 2015Articles Nonprofit Roundup Blog

This series discusses the documentation rules that a charity should follow to ensure an individual donor can take his or her charitable deduction for the donation. Part I of this series set forth the written acknowledgement rules that apply when an individual donor does not receive goods or services in exchange for his or her donation. In this installment, we will discuss the quid pro quo rules.

The quid pro quo rules are the documentation rules that apply when an individual donor receives goods or services in exchange for his or her donation. For example, these rules should be followed when a charity hosts a fundraising dinner to raise funds for its mission. An individual who purchases a ticket to the dinner is not entitled to deduct the full amount of his or her ticket. Instead, the individual may only deduct the difference between the ticket price and the fair market value of the dinner.

The charts below are meant as a quick reference guide to help ensure your charity is complying with the quid pro quo rules. Use Chart I for cash contributions and Chart II for contributions of property other than intellectual property and vehicles. Note, the contribution amount is the amount of money donated (whether in the form of a donation, a ticket or a sponsorship) and not the difference between the amount of the donation and the fair market value of the goods or services received.

Chart I:

Contribution Amount (Cash)

Required Disclosure

Under $75

No written disclosure is necessary.

$75 and up

The charity must provide the donor with a written disclosure statement that includes: (1) the charity’s full legal name; (2) the name of the donor; (3) the date of the contribution; (4) the amount of cash donated; (5) a declaration that the deduction for the contribution is limited to the excess of the cash contributed over the value of the goods and services received by the donor; and (6) a good faith estimate of the value of the goods or services received by the donor; and (7) a description of the goods or services received by the donor.


Chart II:

Contribution Amount (Most Property)

Required Disclosure

Under $75

No written disclosure is necessary.

$75 to $499

The charity must provide the donor with a written disclosure statement that includes: (1) the charity’s full legal name; (2) the donor’s name (3) the date of the contribution; (4) the location of the contributed property, if real property; (5) a description of the property, including the fair market value of the property; (6) a declaration that the deduction for the contribution is limited to the excess of the value of the property contributed over the value of the goods and services received by the donor; and (7) a good faith estimate of the value of the goods or services received by the donor.

$500 and up

The charity must provide the donor with a written disclosure statement that includes: (1) the charity’s full legal name; (2) the donor’s name (3) the date of the contribution; (4) the location of the contributed property, if real property; (5) a description of the property, including the fair market value of the property; (6) a declaration that the deduction for the contribution is limited to the excess of the value of the property contributed over the value of the goods and services received by the donor; and (7) a good faith estimate of the value of the goods or services received by the donor.

Additionally, a donor must complete IRS Form 8283 for donations with a net deductible value over $500. A donor must also obtain a qualified appraisal for donations with a net deductible value over $5,000. The charity may be required to complete Part IV of IRS Form 8283 if the donor so requests.


Again, special rules apply when intellectual property or vehicles are contributed, or when a contribution of property is made by a C corporation. Additionally, there are exceptions to these quid pro quo disclosure rules.