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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Lawyer
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I had donated few amount of money to a church building fund

Customer Question

I had donated few amount of money to a church building fund and now the church itself is not buying a church and going to merge with other church nearby, i requested for a building fund refund and they refused it. Is there any possibility in receiving it to a charitable organization also they transferred the money to the same church as donation with 90percent members moved to the other church which is against the bylaws
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Legal
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Will I win if I hire a lawyer
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Moving fund to the merged church is against the bylaw it is written that it should go back to dioceses.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 11 months ago.

Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.

Members of the board of an organization have an obligation to act in the best interests of everyone, and they have an obligation to follow the bylaws. If you donated money to the building fund in good faith, knowing the bylaws required them to return the money to you if the building didn't occur, then they need to return your money because you relied upon those documents.

As long as the donation clearly stated that it was for the building fund, it was a conditional gift. "I am giving you this money as long as you use it to build a new church building." When they decided not to build, the condition on your gift failed, which means it legally must be returned.

You can sue them for violating the bylaws and conversion if they refuse to return your money. Another option is to have a local attorney send them a letter giving them an opportunity to return the funds to you (and any other members who donated for the same purpose), to avoid a lawsuit from all of you. If you can get a few people together to share the costs, that might help, but a demand letter typically only costs a few hundred dollars.

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Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 11 months ago.

Did you have any other questions about this?