Nonprofit organizations are not restricted to “for donation only” event entry fees. Like other organizations, they may establish a ticket price for an event and sell tickets at that price. Insisting that the wording “suggested donation” be placed on a ticket implies that a person may obtain a ticket for less than the amount of the “suggested donation” as well as implies that the ticket price might be a donation. Depending on the circumstances, both impressions may be misleading.
The primary concern for nonprofit organizations of all types is to determine if the event furthers the organization’s exempt purposes. If this link can be proven, then the organization may price attendance to the event at a reasonable amount to recover all of the fixed as well as the soft costs associated with the event.