Donating — A Rant

Every so often we donate things. Time, money, objects — the usual.

We’re typical in that we want the government to pay part of it. Where we’re atypical is we really, really go for the official charitable donation tax receipts.

I’ve been told by other storytellers that, once you’ve been paid a few times for telling and established the value of your time, you can claim free or discounted concerts as a donation. I like that!

What bugs me, though, is how hard it is for a branch of a major charity to give a tax receipt.

When the school sells chocolate bars, I ask how much profit they make per carton, and hand them a cheque. They get the same money, we avoid the calories, and it’s not my problem if the fundraising company is short a few young slaves. You’d expect the principal to be able to write me a receipt, right? Nope. Only the board can write charitable receipts. So, I have to get a form from the board website, fill it out, attach my cheque, and make very sure that the fundraising committee knows they should get the money. The form was new two years ago, and for the first year you couldn’t specify a specific school or fundraising event. Now you can, although the principal has to formally ask for the board to give it back to them.

The Tai Chi group was the same. All money was sent to head office, which paid our rent, and the we got our accounting statements several months later.

Girl Guides did it, too. The unit leader could reimburse you for the hot dogs you bought for the camp, and for your milage, but couldn’t do a thing if you donated money. That was dealt with at the city level.

The school librarian told me today that, yes, she’d be delighted to take some old primary readers off our hands, but she hoped we wouldn’t expect to see them in the actual library. She’d have to send them to central processing, where they would spend a few months being catalogued, and they often reject books that have evidence of being enjoyed. She’ll give them directly to the primary teachers instead, which I’m just as happy with. Adding them to the book sale would also make me happy. I can see them being rejected if they were unsuitable material for a school library, or if there were already enough similar books. But it really irks me that the board, which is yelling for more money, might refuse them simply because my family actually read them!

My theory is that they don’t want to admit the library is so desperate they’ll take used books. No, they’d rather have books they bought themselves decades ago, that are falling apart, or no books at all.

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2 Responses

  1. library donations

    It was always neat to see our library donations ending up on the shelves. But what infuriated me was when I donated a set of VHS tapes of a certain series, half of which had been opened and watched and half of which had not. They sold the ones that had been opened and kept for their shelves the ones that had not.

    Which is dumb when you consider the ones that had been opened had probably been watched once. Single-use video tapes? :-b

    • Re: library donations

      Maybe they don’t want to risk that the opened ones might have been damaged? They still have to trust that the rest of their patrons will be careful.

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