All Articles Tagged "charitable donations"
(Huffington Post) — Jean Edmonson still remembers how Herman Cain came to the rescue of her quadriplegic husband and the inner-city youth center he founded in Omaha, Neb. It was the late 1980s and the then-CEO of Godfather’s Pizza and self-made multimillionaire brokered a deal with the YMCA of Greater Omaha to merge with the struggling Edmonson Youth Outreach Center so that its founder could get health insurance. Joe Edmonson was a beloved wrestling coach in the community who, despite being a quadriplegic, inspired a generation of underprivileged black youth. Cain had joined the board of the sports and after-school program in predominantly-black north Omaha after a young wrestler whose mother worked as a janitor at Godfather’s headquarters approached him to help sponsor a team trip to a national tournament. So when the local YMCA approached Cain, one of Omaha’s most prominent African American business leaders, for help to raise funds for a new neighborhood branch, he agreed. But only if the Y merged with the Edmonson Center.
(AP) — As Boeing lobbied against a rival aerospace company to win a $35 billion government contract, its activities included a curious donation: $10,000 to the Johnstown, Pa., Symphony Orchestra. The orchestra was a favorite cause of Rep. John Murtha, the late Pennsylvania Democrat who, as a gatekeeper for the Defense Department’s budget, held a lot of influence over Pentagon contracting. Boeing ultimately won the contract to build a new military refueling tanker, after the company and its competitor donated to organizations held in favor by key Pentagon generals and lawmakers like Murtha. The payments were disclosed under a 2007 law that opened a window into more than $50 million in previously hidden spending by lobbyists and their clients, according to a compilation by the nonprofit Sunlight Foundation. Most money spent in 2009 and 2010 went to nonprofit groups that were connected to government officials or honored them.
(Wall Steeet Journal) — Get the letter. Get the letter. Get the letter. That should be the mantra of taxpayers who make charitable gifts of $250 or more. ”The letter” refers to the charity’s missive acknowledging your donation, and it must say certain things by a certain date for the gift to be deductible. There isn’t any room for error here, as an Internal Revenue Service chief counsel memorandum from May demonstrates. In that case a donor who didn’t have a valid letter went to extreme lengths to correct the problem and still was denied. ”If you don’t have the correct paperwork, there’s no way to fix the problem,” says Laura Peebles, a director at Deloitte Tax in Washington. She once saw a six-figure deduction for a gift to a university denied because of no valid letter. In Jan Van Dusen’s case, the judge denied some of her larger foster-cat-care deductions because she didn’t have a proper letter from the charity she was doing volunteer work for.
(Wall Street Journal) — After this month’s crisis in Japan, the Red Cross raised tens of millions of dollars via credit-card donations. In response to the tragedy, Visa, MasterCard and American Express waived their credit-card fees, bringing the organization more than $1 million in additional funds.This goodwill gesture masks an ugly reality: Our growing love affair with credit cards, especially rewards cards, carries a real cost for our charities, which wind up footing the bill for our card fees. Retailers can adjust their prices to cover fee expenses. That isn’t an option for charities, religious groups and other nonprofits, which usually can’t pass along the fees because of rigid credit-card rules. Card transaction fees have long been embroiled in controversy. The Federal Reserve, prompted by last year’s Dodd-Frank financial-overhaul law, has proposed capping debit-card fees at 12 cents a transaction from an average of 44 cents now. Banks are up in arms over the proposal, saying that cutting the fees will lead to limits or new consumer charges on debit-card use.
(The Grio) — The amount of money raised for Haiti earthquake relief has reached a staggeringly high $1.4 billion in less than one year from the United States alone. Everyone from celebrities to regular people held telethons, bake sales and dinner parties whose proceeds went to help Haiti earthquake victims. A year later, people who opened their purse strings and wallets so generously are asking where the money went and how well was it spent. According to a survey by the Chronicle of Philanthropy of 60 major relief organizations,only 38 percent of that money has been spent to provide recovery and rebuilding aid. By comparison, in New Orleans, about 80 percent of the money raised for Hurricane Katrina victims has been spent.
(Afro) — For many people, it’s a way of giving thanks, of acknowledging a sacred season by means of giving back to the community. But philanthropy should not be confined to just the end of the year, advocates say. “It’s a day to day for us, not just Thanksgiving and Christmas, and it’s a lifestyle,” said Gwen Pope, manager of the SHABACH! Emergency Resources and Empowerment Center at the First Baptist Church of Glenarden in Landover, Md. And it’s needed more than ever before, Pope and others say. The tentacles of the two-year recession—high unemployment and underemployment, leading foreclosure rates and depleting wealth— continue to have a stranglehold on many Black communities in the area, creating a new class of indigent people.
(New York Times) — With the federal government struggling to regain control over the nation’s deficit, a debate is emerging over the charitable deduction and other tax policies that support nonprofit groups. What began as a proposal by the Obama administration in 2009 to reduce the deduction has become a wide-ranging discussion of what was once considered a sacred cow. Three blue-ribbon panels have proposed tinkering with the charity deduction, as has Robert B. Reich, the former labor secretary.