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Pennies From Heaven – True Fundraising Story
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Pennies From Heaven – True Fundraising Story

This is a fundraising opportunity that was presented to several nonprofits with a chance for each to make up to $1,000 and amazingly both turned the donor down!

Let me start at the beginning. The donor is a coin collector and for fun collects pennies and feels that eventually the penny will be discontinued for circulation.

So getting back to the story! What does this have to do with nonprofits? It is simple really, a donor told several nonprofits that if they had a penny drive that he would not only buy the pennies from them i.e. count them and pay for them but also give a matching donation up to $1,000. Meaning if the organization raised $1,000 in pennies he would write a check for $2,000 and take all the pennies off their hands. Also, he informed them that if after their penny drive they did not reach the goal they could go to the bank and get the extra pennies so they could take advantage of his offer.

Ok so you understand, the potential donor, can and does go to the bank weekly and order as many pennies as he wants without costing him a dime. Yet he viewed this was one way to help several favorite charities while support his hobby with hopes of finding some older pennies. Also he figured that this fundraiser would generate some publicity in the community for the nonprofits letting people know in effect they have a matching contribution opportunity up to $1,000!

Surprisingly, however, the two nonprofits contacted both ended up declining the offer basically telling the potential donor that it was a bad time and felt it might be too much work on their part!

Was this the right thing to do or did the nonprofits make a mistake telling the donor no thanks? Honestly, the correct answer really depends on the nonprofit itself and what they see as the value of their time and energy. Likewise what is their relationship with the potential donor. Does the nonprofit have the ability to make $1,000 easier or with less effort? Still you have to wonder, how hungry were those nonprofits?

DISCLAIMER: This information is not intended to provide legal or accounting advice, or to address specific situations. Please consult with your legal or tax advisor to supplement and verify what you learn here.