Author Topic: Donating for non-profit fundraise  (Read 511 times)

Offline David Tapke

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Donating for non-profit fundraise
« on: November 05, 2018, 06:12:49 PM »
I can't seem to find any information as to the legality of donating homebrew to non-profit fundraising events. I'd like to donate some quantities of my home brew to raise funds for various fundraisers, allowing the fund raising organization to charge whatever they deem appropriate for the beer by the glass.

I'm in Wisconsin, if anyone has any clues as to the legality of this, if I can write it off as a donation on my taxes, etc.? I tried searching through the forum and also looking over the legislature in my state and couldn't find any specifics regarding this.

Offline kramerog

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Re: Donating for non-profit fundraise
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2018, 06:45:55 PM »
Selling homebrew by the glass is illegal under federal law and perhaps under Wisconsin law.  There is a gray area when charging admission to an event in which things other than homebrew are offered for free like food, commercial beer, and entertainment.  Even then permits may still be required for the event and there could be limits on free samples.

I can't imagine that taking a writeoff on something you are not allowed to sell is a good idea, but I suppose that maybe an in kind donation of malt and hops is OK.  Just my personal, non-tax-attorney, uniformed opinion as to writeoffs.

Offline johnny_mo

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Re: Donating for non-profit fundraise
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2018, 07:02:59 PM »
Here is the Wisconsin statute from the AHA website: https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/homebrewing-rights/statutes/Wisconsin/

There is no specific call out for donations of homebrew in the Wisconsin statute, which usually means it'd be considered illegal.

As already pointed out, donating homebrew to then be sold by way of a non-profit organization at an event is federally illegal and likely illegal in Wisconsin. The statute says in each section homebrew is permissible that no fee may be charged for consumption of the homemade wine or fermented malt beverages at the exhibition, demonstration, judging, tasting, sampling, contest, or competition.

For a more concrete answer on donations of homebrew to non-profits to raise funds, you could reach out to the Wisconsin State Department of Revenue, Tobacco and Alcohol Enforcement section.


Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Donating for non-profit fundraise
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2018, 07:05:02 PM »
I suggest that you consider a raffle prize of, say, brewing for the day where the finished product is given to the raffle winner who comes over to experience a “how to brew” session or similar.  You can then donate the ingredients to the charity as part of the fundraiser and (perhaps) justify a deduction for income tax purposes of the cost of those items.  The ingredients could be given as a contribution to the charity in advance of the raffle with the commitment to provide equipment usage and guidance as part of the prize...I would not try to claim your time or the value of the finished product as a charitable contribution, however.

Cheers.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2018, 07:08:36 PM by ynotbrusum »
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Offline David Tapke

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Re: Donating for non-profit fundraise
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2018, 07:18:13 PM »
Johnny You've kind of hit on my points, there's no specific call out stating I can, or cannot, therefore it may be in my best interest to do as you suggested and contacting the WI body regarding the legality of the issue. As everyone has pointed out, it is illegal to sell homebrew, which we all are aware of.

However as a donation to a charity, where does the law sit on that? and can a charity then sell the product considering they are not the brewer, or perhaps an event ticket allowing them to use as they please such as on a beer or something of the sort.

Honestly I could care less about deducting it from my taxes, it was just something i thought of as i was drafting this posts

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Donating for non-profit fundraise
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2018, 07:26:56 PM »
FWIW, it’s the lack of taxation that typically gets the State involved in these things.  If all beer is donated and homebrew is available without separate payment, it is okay with the State of WI.  My homebrew club participates at a charitable fundraiser for a Racine based drum and bugle Corps and they have an area dedicated to homebrew (Homebrew Island).  Since there is no separate admission charge to homebrew island and all beer is donated (commercial and homebrew), it is permissible.

In contrast, where one Illinois event had beer tickets and no separate admission, the State of Illinois shut it down as being the functional equivalent of selling the homebrew. 

I hope this helps....
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Offline RC

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Re: Donating for non-profit fundraise
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2018, 11:23:34 PM »
Here is the Wisconsin statute from the AHA website: https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/homebrewing-rights/statutes/Wisconsin/
As already pointed out, donating homebrew to then be sold by way of a non-profit organization at an event is federally illegal and likely illegal in Wisconsin.

I don't think it's correct to say that it's "federally illegal." In California (where I live), you can donate homebrew to a 501(c)(3) and they can sell it or auction it off at a fundraising event.

Offline garyg

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Re: Donating for non-profit fundraise
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2018, 11:41:46 PM »
I don't think it's correct to say that it's "federally illegal." In California (where I live), you can donate homebrew to a 501(c)(3) and they can sell it or auction it off at a fundraising event.

California is one of the few states to have explicitly legalized using homebrew for charity fundraising.  But that does not overrule the federal statute that does not allow for any sale of homebrew.  I don't foresee any crackdown on this from the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) in the near future, but it could happen.
Gary Glass
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Offline David Tapke

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Re: Donating for non-profit fundraise
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2018, 02:06:02 PM »
I think Gary hit an excellent point there, as we can all see many states "legalizing" cannabis, and yet it is "federally illegal"

I've digressed, I'll hit up the appropriate state office and see what their response is! Seems like Ynotbrusom has had some luck, although its more specifically at an event.

Offline Kevin

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Re: Donating for non-profit fundraise
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2018, 05:28:54 PM »
Rather than relying on the advice of strangers in an internet forum I think you should contact your state liquor commission.
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Donating for non-profit fundraise
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2018, 05:52:59 PM »
I think Gary hit an excellent point there, as we can all see many states "legalizing" cannabis, and yet it is "federally illegal"

I've digressed, I'll hit up the appropriate state office and see what their response is! Seems like Ynotbrusom has had some luck, although its more specifically at an event.

I would agree that if you have a specific thing you want to do with homebrew, you should contact your state (and local) liquor control authority before you do anything.  They are not always helpful, though...just sayin'.  Many states have relaxed the rules for homebrew, but uniformly, as far as I have heard, none allow the outright sale of homebrew, whether by the homebrewer or charity, but perhaps in the setting of a raffle prize, it could be permissible somewhere.

Good luck and Cheers.
Hodge Garage Brewing: "Brew with a glad heart!"

Offline denny

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Re: Donating for non-profit fundraise
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2018, 05:55:56 PM »
Rather than relying on the advice of strangers in an internet forum I think you should contact your state liquor commission.
.

THIS^^^...although the advice from Gary and John is likely spot on.
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