Empowering our community members to have safe and healthy relationships is a job for the long haul. Your contribution represents more than just a check or online cash transfer; it means you are committed to the journey of improving your community. (See picture: A drawing by an 8-year old girl, one of the thousands of survivors we’ve served.) In turn, by accepting your commitment, we make a promise to you and our community to continue pursuing our mission .
We are honored to receive your support. We want you to know what your contribution means in terms of community benefit. We also want you to be certain we match your charitable interests. Together, we can make a difference!
The Donor Bill of Rights
“Philanthropy is based on voluntary action for the common good. It is a tradition of giving and sharing that is primary to the quality of life. To assure that philanthropy merits the respect and trust of the general public, and that donors and prospective donors can have full confidence in the not-for-profit organizations and causes that they are asked to support, we declare that all donors have these rights:
I. To be informed of the organization’s mission, of the way the organization intends to use donated resources, and of its capacity to use donations effectively for their intended purposes.
II. To be informed of the identity of those serving on the organization’s governing board, and to expect the board to exercise prudent judgment in its stewardship responsibilities.
III. To have access to the organization’s most recent financial statements.
IV. To be assured their gifts will be used for the purposes for which they were given.
V. To receive appropriate acknowledgment and recognition.
VI. To be assured that information about their donation is handled with respect and with confidentiality to the extent provided by law.
VII. To expect that all relationships with individuals representing organizations of interest to the donor will be professional in nature.
VIII. To be informed whether those seeking donations are volunteers, employees of the organization or hired solicitors.
IX. To have the opportunity for their names to be deleted from mailing lists that an organization may intend to share.
X. To feel free to ask questions when making a donation and to receive prompt, truthful and forthright answers.”
The Donor Bill of Rights was created by the American Association of Fund Raising Counsel (AAFRC), Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP), the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). It has been endorsed by numerous organizations.
Note: The following information is courtesy of Charity Navigator, America’s premier independent charity evaluator. You can learn more about Charity Navigator at http://www.charitynavigator.org. Please note that in an effort to reflect our focus on empowerment (“hand up”, instead of “hand out”), rather than ‘charity’, we at Domestic Violence Resource Center refer to ourselves as a ‘nonprofit organization’.
Tax Benefits of Giving
The following is a brief summary of certain federal income tax laws for informational purposes only. We urge you to consult your tax adviser for the federal, state, and local tax consequences of a charitable contribution.
* A gift to a qualified charitable organization may entitle you to a charitable contribution deduction against your income tax if you itemize deductions.
If the gifts are deductible, the actual cost of the donation is reduced by your tax savings. For example, if you are in the 33% tax bracket, the actual cost of a $100 donation is only $67 ($100 less the $33 tax savings). As your income tax bracket increases, the real cost of your charitable gift decreases, making contributions more attractive for those in higher brackets. The actual cost to a person in the lowest bracket, 15%, for a $100 contribution is $85. For a person in the highest bracket, 35%, the actual cost is only $65. Not only can the wealthy afford to give more, but they receive a larger reward for giving.
* A contribution to a qualified charity is deductible in the year in which it is paid. Putting the check in the mail to the charity constitutes payment. A contribution made on a credit card is deductible in the year it is charged to your credit card, even if payment to the credit card company is made in a later year.
* Most charitable organizations, including Domestic Violence Resource Center, qualify for a charitable contribution deduction. You can deduct contributions only if they are made to or for the use of a qualified recipient. No charitable contribution deduction is allowed for gifts to certain other kinds of organizations, even if those organizations are exempt from income tax. You are generally allowed a 50% ceiling on your adjusted gross income for contributions.
An organization could lose its charity status if it devotes a substantial part of its activities to formulating propaganda or otherwise trying to influence legislation. However, an organization, other than a church, may qualify as a charity and still perform some of these activities by keeping its political expenditures to an “insubstantial” part of its activities. Furthermore, donations to individuals are not deductible.
* There are limits to how much you can deduct, but they’re very high. For most people, the limits on charitable contributions don’t apply. Only if you contribute more than 20% of your adjusted gross income to charity is it necessary to be concerned about donation limits. If the contribution is made to a public charity, the deduction is limited to 50% of your contribution base. For example, if you have an adjusted gross income of $100,000, your deduction limit for that year is $50,000. If you are giving to organizations other than those mentioned above, first consult with your tax adviser to determine whether these other ceilings will apply. If you give an amount in excess of the applicable limitation to charity in one year, the excess is carried over for the next five years.
* Rules exist for non-cash donations. If you contribute property owned for more than one year, the value of the deduction is normally equal to the property’s fair market value. You have an advantage when you contribute appreciated property because you get a deduction for the full fair market value of the property. You are not taxed on any of the appreciation, so, in effect, you receive a deduction for an amount that you never reported as income.
You should clearly contribute, rather than throw out, old clothes, furniture and equipment that you no longer use. However, bear in mind the condition of your donated goods. The IRS only permits deductions for donations of clothing and household items that are in “good condition or better.” If you bring $1,000 in clothes or furniture, make sure that you get a receipt. Never throw such contributions into a bin where no receipt is available. If you are in the 25% bracket, that receipt may be worth $250 in tax savings to you. And remember that the IRS requires a qualified appraisal to be submitted with your tax return if you donate any single clothing or household item worth more than $500.
* Remember to document. No deduction is allowed for a separate contribution of $250 or more unless you have a written confirmation from the charity. A canceled check alone is not enough. All other contributions of cash require the charity to estimate the fair market value of any goods or services given to you in exchange for your contribution.
The IRS requires written documentation to substantiate deductions for all monetary donations - including cash. In case of an audit, you must have a canceled check, credit card statement or a written acknowledgment from the charity (showing the charity’s name, the date of the donation and the amount given). You will no longer be able to deduct those few dollars you dropped in a charity’s collection bucket without a receipt from the charity to back up your claim.
Remember, it’s always better to give than receive. The glory of charitable donations is that you give and receive at the same time.
Consider becoming one of our donors or renew your support. Here. Now. Thank you for your support!