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Old 25-06-12
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Default Doing things for charity?

I was wondering what your thoughts are for doing charity work for your business?

Outside of business I'm involved with a lot of charitable causes and do a significant amount of work pro bono. (The problem is the more I do, the more I get asked to do lol).

Though I think more lately, it's starting to hit home - that everyone needs to eat and pay their bills.. I love contributing to the community, but also my business is suffering because I spend most of my time doing this - is there a way that you could make it a win-win?

Have you done work for charity? How to do make it beneficial for both parties?

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Old 25-06-12
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Default Re: Doing things for charity?

Ive found myself wondering the same thing and only recently I came up with an idea that may soften the load.

Charge the charity at full rates, then donate the money back to them.
Then I can at least declare it as a tax deduction.
I would still get to support causes - but I would at least realise a tax benefit.

I'll get back to you and let you know if its allowable.
Cant see why not tho - perhaps a tax expert from the forum could enlighten us.

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Old 25-06-12
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Default Re: Doing things for charity?

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Originally Posted by Divert To Mobile View Post
Charge the charity at full rates, then donate the money back to them.
Then I can at least declare it as a tax deduction.
I would still get to support causes - but I would at least realise a tax benefit.
Isn't the net effect the same as doing it for free? You have to declare the income you receive from them. And if you donate the income you receive rather than the profit you make, won't you actually make a loss?

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Old 25-06-12
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Default Re: Doing things for charity?

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Originally Posted by gen Y advantage View Post
is there a way that you could make it a win-win?
Yes. The win for them is that you are helping them. The win for you is that you are helping them.

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Have you done work for charity? How to do make it beneficial for both parties?
Yes. The whole point of charity is that you are giving without getting anything in return. Anything else is not charity.

Wendy

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Old 25-06-12
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Default Re: Doing things for charity?

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Originally Posted by Divert To Mobile View Post
Charge the charity at full rates, then donate the money back to them.
Then I can at least declare it as a tax deduction.
I would still get to support causes - but I would at least realise a tax benefit
Simply invoice the full amount - the advantage is that they realise the value of your work - less "donation" as a credit line. The invoice total is nil, your sales reflect the work you have done, the donation goes in as an expense.

Wendy

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That's actually a great idea. I understand Victors observation in that the result is the same but this is more about creating a greater understanding of the relation an the value of your work. It may create a greater respect for your contributions and also gives them a real dollar value.

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Old 26-06-12
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Default Re: Doing things for charity?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gen Y advantage View Post
Though I think more lately, it's starting to hit home - that everyone needs to eat and pay their bills.. I love contributing to the community, but also my business is suffering because I spend most of my time doing this - is there a way that you could make it a win-win?
As Wendy said, you're getting nothing for it. So while it may be a win-win in many ways, unless you shamelessly market your charity work, it will never be a financial winner for you. You just have to work within those parameters.

I have one organisation I treat as one of my tier 1 clients, even though they never pay a cent. They do however pay all travel expenses and incurred costs. They get scheduled when work is required, and other jobs don't take priority. I do it because I personally believe in their mission, and they appreciate the assistance I give them. They see me as a partner, rather than someone who can give them something for free.

I know that the work I do could be so beneficial to a lot of organisations who can't afford my services, but by helping them all, I will end up in a position not able to help anyone.

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Default Re: Doing things for charity?

I've found that the best approach to charity work and donations is to set a budget for them at the start of the financial year and decide for yourself who you will support.

If someone asks for help and you've used up all of your budget, you have a really understandable excuse to turn them down.

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Default Re: Doing things for charity?

I really like the idea of setting a target/budget at the beginning of the financial year - that would give you more discipline, as well as an avenue to prioritize and learn to say 'no'.

Also the idea of showing the value of what your time is worth by getting them to pay, and then reinvesting - that's brilliant! I often ask other people to contribute their services to charity if I didn't know how to do it, however this idea may be more appealing - I think recognising and respecting people's value and contribution is very important.

If I had the choice, I'd do everything for charity without questioning if there is anything in it for me (just the small issue of mortgage and bills I need to solve).

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Old 26-06-12
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Default Re: Doing things for charity?

Linda I love what you're about.

The pro-bono thing can be difficult because as you said - the more you do, the more you are needed. If you are doing a lot of it, it can be difficult to strike a balance with this and the work that you actually get paid for.

When I was putting in a lot of hours for my 'Yell, Don't Whisper' initiative, it was often difficult to find the motivation to spend hours every day working on design projects that didn't get me anywhere financially. But I feel like I got a lot out of it in so many other ways. For example, the process of working for free reshaped my values of money, helping me to realise that I certainly don't need as much of it as society tells me I do, living in a highly affluent consumerist country. So there's a lot more to it than the elation you feel when you know you are 'doing good'.

I think a budget is good, or perhaps you can just pledge to yourself that you will work on X number of pro-bono projects in a year when you have time for them along with your other work. If the person or org you are working for ends up more in need than you bargained for, perhaps you could facilitate finding someone else in your field who might also like to do some work for them. This way you are spreading the charitable vibe and making others aware of their own position as a possibility for assistance.

Sonja

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