Fundraising Events: Advice for Donors

Fall is approaching , and many of us look forward to time spent outdoors with family and friends. As the variety of fundraising events varies from one charitable organization to another, donors have more opportunities to choose. These include walkathons or races, concerts, raffles as well as other games, auctions, and galas.

But before you go, there are a few things to consider when handing over your cash.  Here are some helpful questions and answers you might ask:

Q: What charity or charities does the event sponsor?

A: Some events are sponsored by a single charity; others may involve several different organizations partnering for a shared cause.

Q: What activities or programs do the benefiting charities provide?

A: Don’t assume you can tell what the charity does from the name alone. Check out the nature of the charity’s program service activities. How is it specifically addressing the problem or need the event is promoting?

Q: How much of the money collected will go to the benefiting organization(s)?

A: This depends on how the event is organized. Is the charity one among a number of benefiting groups for the event? Did they organize it themselves or hire an outside fund raising firm? Whatever the circumstances, the charity should be able to clearly explain its answer to this question to all participants and donors.

Q: Is my participation fee or donation tax-deductible?

A: IRS Publication 526 explains that, for a charity event such as a banquet or ball, you can deduct only the amount that is more than the fair-market-value of the benefits you receive. For example, if you pay $100 for a ticket to a charity fund raising dinner at a hotel, and the usual price for a similar meal at the hotel is $25, then only $75 of the ticket would be deductible. In most instances, the charity will disclose the amount of the purchase that is deductible on the event information.

Remember to research the organization with the BBB first. Visit BBBDenverNonprofits.org to find local BBB Accredited Charities.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado Named March Nonprofit of the Month

Congratulations to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado for being named our March BBB Nonprofit of the Month! Currently operating out of offices in Denver and Colorado Springs, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado has helped young people overcome tremendous obstacles to become stable, successful adults.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of America has been the national leader in youth mentoring since its founding in 1904 in New York City. In Colorado, the history began in 1918 with Claude Blake, chief probation officer in Denver, who watched wartime conditions cause an increase in lawlessness among boys in his community. Recognizing that these boys needed guidance more than critics, Blake established Big Brothers of Denver.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado has been a BBB Accredited Charity for 12 years, meeting all 20 Standards for Charity Accountability. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado won the BBB Torch Award for Marketplace Trust in the nonprofit category in 2013.

BBB Serving Denver/Boulder charity review program was developed to help donors make informed giving decisions and to promote high standards of conduct among organizations that solicit contributions from the public. BBB reviews 501(c)(3) tax exempt organizations using the BBB Standards or Charity Accountability. These standards go beyond the requirements of local, state, and federal laws and regulations and cover four areas:

  • Governance and Oversight
  • Measuring Effectiveness
  • Finances
  • Fund Raising and Informational Materials

“Through their continued mission of providing youth with mentoring relationships to help them to improve their sense of self, form positive relationships and achieve educational success, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado is a shining example of a nonprofit that is truly impacting the future of our community and the generations to come,” says Adriana Carmona, BBB Denver/Boulder Nonprofit Program Director

In recognition of the Charity of the Month honor, BBB compiled a short video about Big Brother Big Sisters of Colorado. The video can be found on the BBB Denver/Boulder YouTube page at https://youtu.be/7GwJaTT74MQ.

For more information on Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado, visit http://www.biglittlecolorado.org/ or call 303.433.6002. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado is located at 1391 Speer Blvd Ste 450 in Denver, CO 80204.

OUR Center Named BBB’s Nonprofit of the Month for February

BBB serving Denver/Boulder is pleased to congratulate Outreach United Resource (OUR) Center for being named the February Nonprofit of the Month. OUR Center was founded in 1986 and grew out of the Longmont Ministerial Association when church leaders agreed that uniting community resources would give better help to those who needed it.  The OUR Center works closely with many other agencies in the community to assist those in need, especially those in emergency situations. In 2014, the OUR Center served 120,696 meals and distributed 934,700 pounds of emergency groceries to 16,392 households.

OUR Center has been a BBB Accredited Charity since 2004, meeting all 20 Standards for Charity Accountability. OUR Center won the BBB Torch Award for Marketplace Trust in the nonprofit category in 2012.

BBB Serving Denver/Boulder charity review program was developed to help donors make informed giving decisions and to promote high standards of conduct among organizations that solicit contributions from the public. BBB reviews 501(c)(3) tax exempt organizations using the BBB Standards or Charity Accountability. These standards go beyond the requirements of local, state, and federal laws and regulations and cover four areas:

  • Governance and Oversight
  • Measuring Effectiveness
  • Finances
  • Fund Raising and Informational Materials

“The OUR Center is truly a community-based agency which aligns perfectly with the mission and vision of BBB. Not only does the OUR Center help provide people with clothing and food, but with shelters, child care, transportation, job assistance and more. The OUR Center is a wonderful example of how an organization can impact thousands of people’s lives through community passion, dedication and faith; we are proud to be able to honor them,” says Adriana Carmona, BBB Denver/Boulder Nonprofit Program Director

For more information on OUR Center, visit http://ourcenter.org or call 303.772.5529. OUR Center is located at 303 Atwood Street, Longmont, CO 80501.