What to Know Before you Donate
Hey everyone! Welcome to our #POPOP Blog! PoPo Pitbulls is a charity dream come true for me, and when it comes to these awesome animals, there is no end to the questions that I get. However, the first issue that came to my attention wasn't necessarily about the POPups... it was about me.
Apparently, another dog rescue charity that was pretty successful in my area had been misappropriating funds, and it had all just been exposed in the news and media. I'm a busy attorney and I was just starting POPOP on the side, so I wasn't exactly up to date on the news.
When we found a pitbull on the side of the road, I thought that this might be our first pup to train and donate. I was super excited, so after posting him on all of the 'lost dog of ____<--insert city) site, I started a 10day countdown (mandatory before re-adopting a dog in order to give the true/original owner time to find the dog)and started posting requests for donations. You may remember this from our Facebook site. The dog was deemed "Tucker the Trucker" (named because he was not neutered, and he reminded me of those fake brass male genitalia that hang from the back of pickup truck tow hitches....)
So here were the results of this post: I got some interest. In fact, I received a lot of interest. But some of it wast what I was expecting. I was messaged by people who were interested in donating, but wanted certificates of our tax exemption (which I hadn't received yet because it takes a few weeks). I also got some feedback from people who couldn't find us on Sunbiz. These two issues combined created a weird forum for couch-sleuths who thought the were uncovering some grand ploy to steal money on behalf of "charity" while really pocketing it for themselves. And in the light of the aforementioned scandal with the other major rescue that was misappropriating funds, who could blame the?m? I realize then that I would have to have all of my paperwork in before people would trust where their hard earned donations were going.
And that brings me to the point of m post. WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU DONATE. And really, there are three biggies:
#1- Find them on Sunbiz. Make sure the charity is registered in your state and that they are active.
#2- Make sure they have an EIN #. This means, more than anything, that you can declare any donations you make to the charity as a deduction on your taxes. For the record, ours is 81-5292122 .
#3- Make sure that they are an actual 501 (c) 3. This means the charity is not paying taxes on the money you give, so every dollar should be going to the cause your supporting.
#4- In Florida, charitable organizations have to have permission from the Consumer Services Division of the Department of Agriculture to solicit donations from the public. o get this certification, you must show income, expenses and expected profit, as well as exemplify a true charitable purpose.
#5- Finally, know and believe in your donations power. Every dollar donated to #POPOP counts double, because it goes not only towards rescue and training a dog in need, but also to the member of the community who is going to reap the benefits that animal has to offer, be it a veteran, a child in court or a hospital, a sexual violence victim, a police officer or a guard at a local prison. Be involved and be a part of the organization! See the good that you donations and time are doing! Check out our event page for upcoming ways to be involved, and thanks for checking out our first blog!
Nikki Turner, Founder