How you can use a gift is generally controlled by donor restrictions written into a gift instrument; the instrument can be as simple as an email or a memo line in a check. If there is no restricting language in the gift instrument, the terms of the solicitation (i.e. whatever the charity advertises as the purpose of their solicitation) will govern what you can or cannot do. As to the length of the restriction, any donor restrictions that use the word endowment are considered to create a fund of permanent duration unless other language in the gift instrument limits the duration of the fund.
How to Keep your Non-Profit Compliant in All 50 States
Most states require you to register your organization if you solicit donations from their residents. Many states also require registration if your organization collects substantial or ongoing donations from their residents, even if you aren’t specifically targeting donors in that state. Download our comprehensive list of each state’s requirements.