Dont wana look stupid........ - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 08-27-2011, 10:59 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus MI
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Dont wana look stupid........

I am putting together a dontion drive trail ride for my area. The plan is to pick 2 or 3 local rescues to divide the donations up between. I have people suggestin shelters to donate to, but I would like to check them out and make sure they are doing what they say they are, not just riding on their non-profit status to fund their own frivolities. So can anyone give me advice on exactly what I should be asking when I call? A formal copy of their financials? Is there a special form? One lady said her suggested rescue even has a board of director? I dont want to call up sounding like this is my first rodeo (which is exactly what it is lol) Thanks
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post #2 of 9 Old 08-27-2011, 11:26 PM
Green Broke
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Personally I can not offer any advice, however I would like to applaud you on putting your own time and effort into helping out horses & rescues.

Also, thumbs up for actually put in the work to find a rescue which deserves the donation and will use it wisely.
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post #3 of 9 Old 08-27-2011, 11:47 PM Thread Starter
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Hey, can YOU think of ANYTHING better than riding with your friends to raise money for the shelters? I sure couldnt lol I just wish we could do something with more impact, like getting a breeding law in place to discourage all the backyard breeders Its the huge over abundance of horses in a poor market that keep our shelters and kill pens full.But their legal status as livestock makes it impossible so moven on to the next best thing!
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post #4 of 9 Old 08-28-2011, 12:36 AM
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Local rescues are likely not engaging in any frivolity. I've been involved in a lot of dog rescues(though no horse) and most barely make enough to fund what they are trying to do. Most nonprofits have a board of directors. You can ask for a copy of their ... its either 403(c) or (b) I think. My brain is failing me but basically their tax form stating they are a non profit org. You can ask for a copy of their financials but I think that's going a bit far assuming you aren't going to raise thousands? Anyway, just checking out their facility and talking to their volunteers should give you a really good idea of what they are doing and where their money goes.

If they are truly hiding funds to use it on their own stuff, they will be hiding it in their financials also. That's fraud for a nonprofit and they will NOT be accurately reflecting that in any form they can give you. I used to work in auditing. There's no way without funding an audit etc to assure yourself of that. If I were you I would check out the non profits and go on your gut, what you see etc.
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post #5 of 9 Old 08-28-2011, 04:54 AM
Green Broke
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Unless you are going to raise a substantial amount of money I think it is a bit strange to split it between charities, because the amount they will get in the end is probably going to be inconsequential when you consider how much horses cost. If this ride is successful you could always plan for more in the future, and donate to a different charity each time.

Maybe instead of donating money, you can find out what the charities need (ie. food, rugs, buckets etc.) and either use the money gained from the ride to purchase these things, or people can donate the actual items. If you used the money donated from the ride perhaps you can get a slight discount with one of the feed stores or something. That way everyone knows where the money has gone, and I don't know, to me it sounds better. I'm always hesitant to give money, especially if the event isn't run by a popular charity, but if I were asked to donate a bag or two of chaff, or some hay or something I'd feel a lot better doing that. Maybe some businesses would also be willing to donate some money if you hung up some signs of theirs.
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post #6 of 9 Old 08-28-2011, 05:54 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus MI
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I have unfortunatly seen some very poor behavoir exhibited by a local rescue- we are still trying to bring this wench down and somehow she keeps spinning it to look as though she is innocent (buying old "rescues" that she barely fed and then leasing them out ).But it does make sense that the financial records may be doctored to hide it I actualy AM hoping to raise at least 1500-2000 by doing the event pledge-style. Instead of riders paying a fee or donating, Im asking them to raise pledges for themselves (would every friend you have not give you AT LEAST $10 to pledge for your cause?) so if one person can get 10 ppl they know to pledge for them, they could raise upwards of $100 per person. I also have some great ideas for how to promote it (like going PERSONLAY to local barns to get riders comitted, since I know I would be much more likely to get involved in something if it were being presented by the people running it, not just seeing a fliar) and a couple other methods
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post #7 of 9 Old 08-29-2011, 03:51 AM
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That's a good idea, but $1500 divided between 3 rescues is only $500 a rescue and that is NOT a lot of money- even $1500 isn't a huge amount and would probably be better suited to be put toward one rescue.
Just my opinion.
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post #8 of 9 Old 08-29-2011, 05:44 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by alexischristina View Post
That's a good idea, but $1500 divided between 3 rescues is only $500 a rescue and that is NOT a lot of money- even $1500 isn't a huge amount and would probably be better suited to be put toward one rescue.
Just my opinion.
Had a meeting with my barn team yesterday and decided on 2 rescues, one horse one dog/cat. Hopen t raise at least 2000 and had one of the boarders offer to donate a saddle she boght that didnt fit her horse as an incentive for the highest pledge raiser.Based on the group we have just from my barn we may break 1000 lol I think it will be a success
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post #9 of 9 Old 08-30-2011, 02:34 PM
Green Broke
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All US nonprofit organizations have received their formal 501c(3) tax-exempt status through a formal application process, which includes having a board of directors in place.

It's isn't a bad idea to ask for their letter with their formal 501c(3) tax information, as this is what individual and corporate donors must submit for their own tax purposes if they are hoping to deduct nonprofit donations. This is a very common document for nonprofits to supply to donors. The reason why you'd like to have a copy of this is so that, if you do get financial donations or big-ticket items, you can provide the person who gave you the money/item with an acknowledgement that the donation went to a particular nonprofit. There are a lot of requirements in order to actually take advantage of charitable contributions at tax time (high level overview is here), so not everyone will care about this, but it is still nice to have as an option for those who do.

As an aside, I agree that choosing 1-2 organizations is plenty given your target fundraising goal. When you notify these organizations that you plan to pass along the proceeds, I would get them involved in helping you promote the event, whether it's on their Facebook page, by putting up flyers, etc. This sort of thing is a lot of work, and its much more rewarding to have a good turnout rather than just a couple of people. Good luck!
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