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General Category => Homebrew Clubs => Topic started by: dls5492 on September 02, 2014, 11:31:42 PM

Title: Accepting Donations
Post by: dls5492 on September 02, 2014, 11:31:42 PM
I have an interesting situation here I would like to get some feed back on.

I am the President of a homebrew club. We are not a 501c group. But we do several festivals in which the proceeds go to charity. A couple of weeks ago, some of us served our home brew at event where the proceeds go to charity. I got the following email from the organizer:

"...In addition to a thank you  we would like to send a donation to your group to show our appreciation for your participation in our event.  We did well and look forward to making a generous donation to our charity partner.  What address should we send something to?"

I am nervous about accepting it because, for me, it gets too close to the line of selling beer. Besides, we do these events to support the charity, not to get a donation. I want them to send "our potion" to the charity also.

Have any of you heard of this going on? If a club were to accept this, are they breaking the law?

Thank you very much for your time in this matter.
Title: Re: Accepting Donations
Post by: Gary Glass on September 03, 2014, 01:37:48 AM
Accepting anything of value in return for homebrew is federally illegal, and is almost certainly against your state's law as well, though there are a few exceptions.

In most states it is illegal to serve homebrew to the public, so if the fundraiser was a public event you may have been operating in excess of what the law allows there as well.  Most likely this would not be as much of an issue for you or your club members, but it might be for the venue or whomever holds the license for the event.
Title: Re: Accepting Donations
Post by: kramerog on September 03, 2014, 02:25:00 AM
I'm not sure that it is illegal if it isn't quid pro quo.  Anyway, the donation could be honorary in recognition for your hard work; the email says "something."  In any case, I would politely refuse any monetary gift by donating it back.
Title: Re: Accepting Donations
Post by: phunhog on September 03, 2014, 05:42:13 AM
Here in CA it is legal to donate beer to a charity event.  In the past the charities have sent out nice letters thanking us for the donation of beer and providing us with their tax i.d. number so that we can take a legal tax deduction. I always felt better about doing that than accepting a monetary donation from the charity we were helping.
Title: Re: Accepting Donations
Post by: dls5492 on September 03, 2014, 11:37:04 AM
Thank you for your response.
Title: Re: Accepting Donations
Post by: Jimmy K on September 03, 2014, 12:14:24 PM
That's kind of weird. I would not be thrilled to learn that a charitable organization/event was just giving revenue away to non charitable and unrelated organizations. All events have expenses, but this is different. Maybe I'm just being overly judgmental.

Either way, I think a polite letter explaining that you want to support the charity and would rather see money go to them is fine. If they balk at that I would quickly find a new event to support.
Title: Re: Accepting Donations
Post by: theDarkSide on September 03, 2014, 12:17:18 PM
We have an event coming up in NH this weekend, The New England Homebrewer's Jamboree, where area clubs are pouring homebrew.  We have to pay for camping sites, but it specifically says a donation is included.  People attending the day of are encouraged to pay a $10 donation to attend the event.  All the proceeds from this and the homebrew comp fees go to the Make a Wish Foundation.
Title: Re: Accepting Donations
Post by: reverseapachemaster on September 03, 2014, 02:29:47 PM
That's kind of weird. I would not be thrilled to learn that a charitable organization/event was just giving revenue away to non charitable and unrelated organizations. All events have expenses, but this is different. Maybe I'm just being overly judgmental.

Either way, I think a polite letter explaining that you want to support the charity and would rather see money go to them is fine. If they balk at that I would quickly find a new event to support.

It seems like a strange idea but it is extremely common to send gifts to donors because it actually improves the flow of future donations. Donors like to be recognized and the gift is a nice reminder that this is a charity that they have supported in the past. My wife and I donate to the ASPCA and they are always sending us small stuff like shirts and stationary with requests for more money. I wish they would stop sending it because we send them the same amounts regardless but it does work on a lot of people.
Title: Re: Accepting Donations
Post by: Jimmy K on September 03, 2014, 03:33:57 PM
That's kind of weird. I would not be thrilled to learn that a charitable organization/event was just giving revenue away to non charitable and unrelated organizations. All events have expenses, but this is different. Maybe I'm just being overly judgmental.

Either way, I think a polite letter explaining that you want to support the charity and would rather see money go to them is fine. If they balk at that I would quickly find a new event to support.

It seems like a strange idea but it is extremely common to send gifts to donors because it actually improves the flow of future donations. Donors like to be recognized and the gift is a nice reminder that this is a charity that they have supported in the past. My wife and I donate to the ASPCA and they are always sending us small stuff like shirts and stationary with requests for more money. I wish they would stop sending it because we send them the same amounts regardless but it does work on a lot of people.
I completely get the idea of thank you gifts and if they were sending T-Shirts or swag or whatever, I wouldn't blink. Sure that stuff costs money too, but it has a different feel to it.
 
I'm probably just being too picky anyway.
Title: Re: Accepting Donations
Post by: smkranz on September 07, 2014, 07:12:23 PM
I am nervous about accepting it because, for me, it gets too close to the line of selling beer. Besides, we do these events to support the charity, not to get a donation. I want them to send "our potion" to the charity also.

Have any of you heard of this going on? If a club were to accept this, are they breaking the law?

Thank you very much for your time in this matter.

Late to the game on this question, but:

1.  I don't think there is anything close to selling beer involved with this. 

2.  If the organizer has funds to disperse back to your club, that means they clearly met their donation target plus expenses, and want to throw you some bones to show you guys some appreciation.  If you don't take it, they'll no doubt find someone/something else to spend it on.

3.  I would graciously accept it, and if you have no use for it, make a club donation to the target charity yourselves.