There once was a donor who made three gifts. Each gift was a contribution of sterling silver jewelry to three different nonprofits. Each of the nonprofits received hundreds of pieces of jewelry worth thousands of dollars absolutely free. All they were required to do was to acknowledge the gift with a letter going back to the donor so they would have a record for their taxes.
The first gift was made to a turtle rescue organization that was located only a few hours away from where the donor lived. Literally 843 pairs of sterling silver earrings and 769 sterling silver pendants were given. A board member gladly drove to pick up the donation in person. However, after repeated email attempts no receipt was ever given until over a year had passed. The donor is confident that if the repeated attempts had not been made no receipt would have ever come.
The second gift was given to a dolphin research and rescue organization. Literally 328 pairs of sterling silver earrings and 685 sterling silver pendants were priority mailed and insured to Hawaii. Several email exchanges took place and while there was an acknowledgment that the package arrived no receipt or thank you note was given for this contribution.
The third gift of jewelry was given to a wildlife rehabilitation center. Literally 345 pairs of sterling silver earrings and 389 sterling silver pendants were sent priority mail and insured to Florida. The donor received a phone call about how wonderful the jewelry looked and how thankful the organization was to receive such a nice gift. The donor was told that within a few weeks the board would meet and everyone would be informed of this donation and a receipt would be sent out as soon as possible. A few years have passed and he still gets a newsletter and an occasional email giving updates on what is going on with the nonprofit.
So three “little” gifts with three very different outcomes! If you were the donor how would you feel and which organization would you likely to continue to donate to?
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.