As a consultant for nonprofits my website www. continues to generate a lot of requests from people worldwide, sometimes asking the strangest of questions! Many honestly are not nonprofit related at all but I realize it is still coming from someone looking, many times, desperately for an answer and I try to help anyway! Again, that is why I’m here.
Sometime ago a man emailed, relating that he was disabled, but had managed to start a small farm in the Midwest. Yet, due to previous drought conditions, he had lost most of his crop. He was wondering if I knew anyone who would donate to him a “water buffalo!”
Oh, yes, I’m sure I have one of those in my garage somewhere, it’s probably next to the chemical suit, extra tarps and duck tape… you’ve got to have plenty of duck tape. While I’m poking some fun at all this, I’m truly honored to get these questions, but I have to chuckle sometimes!
Another case in point: Again, I got a question concerning the legality of accepting a “donation” which was really not a donation but more like advertising. In a nut shell, and this is a good analogy, the pitch was: Make a donation, get a producer credit and help an independent filmmaker produce their film. Ugh! First, as I have mentioned before, when asked a question concerning if something is legal or not or a question asking, “What would the IRS say?” I quickly tell folks I’m not a lawyer nor a CPA and before moving forward they should seek help from them directly and yes realize more than likely they are going to have to pay for it!
In my email back I told the guy his “idea” reminded me of the folks granting “royal titles” or the people giving you a deed for a square inch of land, so someone could have bragging rights with his buddies. i.e. “Well, you do know that I own property in Hawaii, don’t you? No honestly, I do, and well you can too!” http://www.ownapieceofamerica.com Alas, it might be only a square inch.
My, oh my, it does seem that people’s minds are working overtime but it sure does keep this job interesting.
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.