Author Topic: Raising money for TransAm trip, half donate to charity  (Read 2021 times)

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Offline gregorysans

Raising money for TransAm trip, half donate to charity
« on: March 16, 2010, 11:51:53 am »
Hey.

I'm leaving May 1st for my first cross country and am pretty tight on cash.  Have any of you ever raised money via your bike trip?  I unfortunately have had a few family members die from lung disease so I was thinking of getting in touch with the American Lung Association. Any ideas on fundraisers or events to hold / advice on holding these events?

Thanks!
-Greg

Offline mucknort

Re: Raising money for TransAm trip, half donate to charity
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2010, 12:55:40 pm »
The homepage of this website you are now reading has a great "how to" section. Here's an article on Charity rides: http://www.adventurecycling.org/features/cyclingforcharity.cfm

Offline indyfabz

Re: Raising money for TransAm trip, half donate to charity
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2010, 01:03:52 pm »
One problem it sounds like you will face is that "donations" must be made to the charitable organization itself to be tax deductible.  Money given to you which you use to fund your trip will not be deductible by those giving.  That may discourage people.  Also wonder if  you could conceiveably be subject to tax liability if you were to hold an event that put money in your pocket to fund your trips, but I will leave that up to any accountants here.

That aside, I kow of people who have held "beef and beer" events to raise money for charity bike events.  You make a deal with a restaurant and charge attendees for, say, 3 hrs. of free draft beer and sandwiches.  But the ultimate "profit" goes towards the fundaising requirement of the ride, not into the organizers' pockets to fund personal expenses asscoiated with the ride.

Offline Spokey

Re: Raising money for TransAm trip, half donate to charity
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2010, 05:03:51 pm »
Not an accountant but in a former life (15 years ago) I did write tax software.  True it was the GUI side but you can't be a decent developer without getting to know a little.

Anyway pushing beyond my phoney baloney creds, you would probably need to make sure that your customers thoroughly understand that 1/2 goes to charity and 1/2 goes to you otherwise you may find some AG breathing down your neck.  I'd be really leery in NY.  They have a history of making names for themselves on this sort of stuff and the current AG Cuomo is no exception particularly given he's running for gov.

That being said, I'm guessing 1 or 2 possibilities.  They get half the donation or you do.  Think about it.  Big corps do this all the time.  Buy xyz and we'll donate 1 cent to cause abc.  They get the writeoff and not you.  But that issue probably really needs some expert advice.

As for taxes, I would guess it is not income.  You aren't providing anything of value in return so it isn't sales.  Anyone can give anyone a gift up to $13,000 per year (I think that is the current figure would need to look it up for sure).  That is every person.  So a husband and wife could give you $26,000 but of course those amounts aren't likely an issue.  Again not an issue but above the figure we're now talking gift taxes.

I think we allocated several thousand per person for xcountry in 2003.  That was fully supported mostly camping and our own cooking.  Not counting the airfare to get out to the west coast. 

Offline John Nelson

Re: Raising money for TransAm trip, half donate to charity
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2010, 05:27:22 pm »
I would recommend that you completely separate your two fundraising activities. Have one endeavor to raise money for your trip, and a completely separate endeavor to raise money for the charity. Money raised in the latter effort would go 100% to the charity. If necessary, postpone the trip until you have raised or earned enough money to fund it.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Raising money for TransAm trip, half donate to charity
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2010, 04:06:46 am »
Hey.

I'm leaving May 1st for my first cross country and am pretty tight on cash.  Have any of you ever raised money via your bike trip?  I unfortunately have had a few family members die from lung disease so I was thinking of getting in touch with the American Lung Association. Any ideas on fundraisers or events to hold / advice on holding these events?

Thanks!
-Greg


Personally I find it pretty sleazy when folks fund their trips with money donated for a charity.  I would advise doing as John suggested and have all charity money go directly to the charity and if you want to accept donations for your expenses make that a separate thing.

I don't understand why would anyone think that their vacation should be paid for by others donations.  If I knew a rider was using any of my donation to fund their personal expenses I wouldn't donate.  If I found out after I made a donation I would feel like my money was stolen.

Offline tonythomson

Re: Raising money for TransAm trip, half donate to charity
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2010, 05:21:49 am »
Yep I go along with Staehpj1 - if you want a holiday then save up your money.  I always work 24/7 take extra jobs and when I have the cash only then do I contemplate travelling. 

Never been a fan of these other organised events where riders get sponsorship and get to go free, again just means that people donating their hard earned cash are paying for someone to have a holiday, any left over I guess gets to go to the charity.

Off my soap box now.
Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com

Offline Spokey

Re: Raising money for TransAm trip, half donate to charity
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2010, 08:16:06 am »
Don't agree.

I'm sure there is a bit of variety here, but I don't mind if less than 100% goes to charitable work. 

I've often donated / sponsored for walk-a-thons and such things.  The person I give to usually gets lunch and the like so some of my money is going to them.  Sometimes the person has had to kick in and sometimes not.   I have given to multi-day events where the participants get bused back to the start, get meals, etc. 

Yes, some of my money went to that administration and support.  But some of my money goes to similar stuff if I just give it directly.  Many organizations run 50% and more of the money going to stuff other than what I intend.  Yes, when I can I try to make sure I give to organizations that are 80% or higher but it is hard to find this stuff out.

I don't see any reason why people can't try to raise money and have some fun doing it.  Yes, I'm thinking more of the events I reference above than a single person going on holiday but I don't see any intrinsic difference.  In my opinion, the important thing is that people are up front about it.  If someone says they are going to use x% to support their trip, I may or may not contribute, but I don't have any problem with the idea.

Offline jimbo

Re: Raising money for TransAm trip, half donate to charity
« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2010, 07:05:56 pm »
hey greg....you'll get  varied opinions on this so here's another...my view comes after only reading ACA and CGOAB forums for 3-4 years. Your question comes up every year... and what I recall is that "almost all"  forum participants responding to that issue do not support mixing raising funds for charity and paying for the trip. doesn't mean some people won't support you for both, but just not seen as a very good practice.
"warm showers.org" and "couchsurfing.org"  are sites that have members that offer free rooms for cyclist.  (one way to beat some costs and meet people)
good luck...
jk

Offline tonythomson

Re: Raising money for TransAm trip, half donate to charity
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2010, 04:24:47 am »
Spokey, I don't disagree with you, I was thinking of the events that seem popular here in UK - free cycling along The Great Wall of China, Cycling round India etc all you have to do is raise minimum of £2,500 ( $3200) this is to cover your flights, expenses etc any more goes to a charity.  Somehow it's the trip/holiday that comes first with the charity tagged on as a way of raising money that doesn't sit quite right.

Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com

Offline gregorysans

Re: Raising money for TransAm trip, half donate to charity
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2010, 08:20:53 am »
Hey guys, well thank you for all of your responses! A lot of valid points were brought up and I hope nobody thinks that I'm trying to get a free vacation out of this. I'm glad there were both negative and positive responses because now I have a more well-rounded view of the..ethics?...behind it all. I think the option to fundraise and 100% of that goes towards charity is great. Then if family/friends want to simply help me out on my way they can just give me some spare change. I hope I didn't get on anybody's bad side, and thank you all!

Offline staehpj1

Re: Raising money for TransAm trip, half donate to charity
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2010, 09:05:16 am »
Good luck and have a great tour.