Early last year, my roommate wanted to donate some of his year end bonus to good cause and started a micro-financing foundation for third world countries.
He personally started it last year with $1000 seed money and funded about 40 different business ventures in India, and other developing countries.
This year he wanted my advice on how to expand the operation, especially with increasing the size of seed money. He wanted a plan to gather people to donate money but wasn't sure how since his foundation isn't well known.
this is what we did based on my tax expertise from my taxation days.
First, we registered his foundation with IRS. This way, whoever donates money to his foundation can legally deduct this contribution from their federal taxes.
Secondly, now that he was registered with IRS, we were able to take advantage of Corporate foundation matching gifts. For example, if my roommate decided to donate $1000 again....rather than donating it himself, he would separate $1000 to forty distinct payments of $25. He would give this $25 sum to a friend/family who works at a company with matching gift program and donate in their name. In turn, each individual would report to their company that they donated $25 so the company can match the donation to the charity. Therefore, each $25 donation of his own money) becomes $50....GENERATING 100 PERCENT return.
Thirdly, to prep for next year's donation campaign...we decided to add list of all companies (that made matching companies) in promo materials for publicity. This way, it legitimizes the charity to people who aren't familiar with the charity (potential new donors).
Also, every time someone sends hima thank you note etc, he would save it so he can publish them on his website (which is still currently under construction).
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