Q. What is Hudson Valley Gives?
Hudson Valley Gives is a day of giving fueled by passion, collaboration and the power of social media. You can think of it as a type of digital telethon that benefits hundreds of much-deserving nonprofits in our area. Hudson Valley Gives is an initiative of the Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan, in association with other great organizations that support the nonprofit community.
Q. When is Hudson Valley Gives?
Hudson Valley Gives is on May 17, 2017 from midnight to 11:59 PM.
Q. Which organizations can participate?
Organizations that are an IRS recognized nonprofit located or provide services in the following New York counties: Orange, Ulster, Sullivan, Rockland, Dutchess, Putnam and Westchester.
Q. Who can donate?
Anyone! Contributions may be made via credit and debit card only. GiveGab, the online portal provider for Hudson Valley Gives, will automatically provide an immediate on-screen acknowledgement of the donation and will email a receipt to the donor that has the necessary documentation for income tax purposes. Don’t worry, any receipt can easily be retrieved after the day in case it gets misplaced!
Q. What is GiveGab?
Q. How will donations be distributed?
Each donation will be disbursed automatically to the nonprofit donated to by GiveGab’s credit card partner, Stripe, via a direct deposit to the nonprofit’s bank account within three (3) days. GiveGab never has access to the donated funds, the donor’s credit card or the nonprofit’s bank account. Stripe is an industry leader in securely processing online payments, and has the highest level of PCI compliance. GiveGab performs rigorous checks to ensure that the nonprofits participating in Hudson Valley Gives are verified IRS recognized nonprofits, and Stripe ensures they meet US Patriot Act requirements.
Q. How much of my donation goes to the nonprofit?
Good news! The fees for Hudson Valley Gives 2017, have been reduced by 45% this year to 4.2%+$0.30 from 7.7%+$0.30. GiveGab listened carefully to the feedback from HVGives 2016, and became even more efficient from the experience gained from lots of giving days all over the country (they’re the market leader now!).
GiveGab reduced their platform fee by 60% this year, down to 2% (capped at $20) and convinced Stripe to reduce their credit card fee to 2.2%+$0.30, matching PayPal’s lowest nonprofit rate.
Even better, all donors are given the option to cover these fees (about $4.50 on a $100 donation), and if elected, 100% of the intended donation will go to the receiving organization. Most donors – 72% last year – elect to cover the fees!
To understand this better, you can take a quick read of the following blog posts:
While it is true that the platform and credit card fees can be avoided by donating offline (mail a check, cash, etc), there are costs associated with offline donations. Time spent handling offline donations is time that nonprofit personnel cannot be spent advancing the mission by either providing services or engaging with funders. These immeasurable costs can have a significant impact on the abilities of the nonprofits. Additionally, all participating nonprofits are eligible to win matching funds and other incentives based on the donations made online via the platform.
All donations are final and cannot be refunded.
Q. Who will receive my contact information?
The organization(s) you choose to support will have access to your name and email address. This information is used solely to send thank you messages, provide the option to receive future notifications, and to notify you of future activities. Information will not be shared amongst nonprofits or anyone else, and GiveGab and Stripe will never reach out to you directly.
Q. Do I need to create an account with GiveGab?
No. You do not need to create an account to make a donation. The are many benefits of creating an account on GiveGab, some of which include having a central donation receipt repository accessible from anywhere at any time (making tax time easy!), the ability to track your donations, follow the charities you support, engage in future volunteering and even fundraise for your favorite nonprofits. Your donation receipt is emailed immediately upon processing your donation. To claim a donation as a deduction on U.S. taxes, you should retain the donation receipt as an official record.
Q. Can I make donations via a mobile device?
Yes! Simply visit hvgives.org or your favorite nonprofit’s HVGives page on any mobile device. Easy is good!
Q. Can I pre-schedule a donation for Hudson Valley Gives?
Sorry, unfortunately you cannot pre-schedule your Hudson Valley Gives gift, but you may make multiple donations throughout the day as well as before or after Hudson Valley Gives. However, in order for your donation to be counted towards prize incentives awarded on Hudson Valley Gives, it must be made between 12:00 AM at 11:59 PM on May 17, 2017 via the platform.
Q. What if my preferred organization is not listed?
Q. What portion of a donation made on GiveGab is tax deductible?
Now that our lawyers can breathe, here’s how we think about this. First off, only IRS recognized nonprofits can raise funds using the GiveGab portal. If an organization is not a registered IRS 501(c)(3), they’ve got to prove they are indeed a nonprofit (ie churches, etc). The folks at GiveGab perform stringent verification procedures which prevent an organization from even having the ability to collect donations until they pass. No pass, no donations, no exceptions, period.
In our view, tax deductibility is a concept based on the entity receiving the donation (ie a nonprofit); it's not a function of how that nonprofit uses the funds. On GiveGab, the nonprofit incurs processing fees, regardless if the donor elects to cover. GiveGab allows donors the option to increase their intended donation by an amount equal to the fees the nonprofit will incur. When a donor elects to cover the fees (and most do!), the nonprofit then realizes the full amount of the intended donation after deduction of the fees. In our view, just because the donor is given this option does not alter the tax deductibility of the amount given. Recipient, not use, is the basis for deductibility.
Outside of using GiveGab, nonprofits do not typically provide their donors a breakdown of what portion of their donation is deductible, unless the donor receives something of value in return (such as a dinner, etc). That's because deductibility is based on giving to a nonprofit, not how that nonprofit chooses to use the funds. If it were the opposite, nonprofits would have to provide a full accounting to each and every donor how every penny of each donation was used - that is obviously impractical and would increase nonprofit administrative expenses exponentially.
Ultimately, whether a donor decides to deduct the fees as a deduction on their tax return is their choice. The most conservative approach would be to not take a deduction for the fees when they file their taxes.
As always, you should consult a tax professional about what portion of the full donation can be claimed as a charitable contribution.