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Frequently Asked Questions by Donors

Updated: Mar 10, 2023

Many people donate to charitable organizations when considering ways to give back to their communities. Donors have many questions about their donations, from where the money will go to the impact it can have on others.

This article will answer the most commonly asked donor questions about their donations and the organizations they are giving to. It will help potential donors understand the donation process. From understanding the use of funds to exploring the impact of their donations, readers will learn how important and meaningful a donation can be.

Here are some of the most common questions donors ask about their donations to non-profits and fundraising:

1. What are the RiteCare Childhood Language Centers of California?

The RiteCare Childhood Language Centers of California are a non-profit organization that provides free or low-cost speech and language services for children with communication disorders.

The organization has centers throughout California and serves thousands of children annually. Donations from individuals, corporations, and foundations fund the organization. The RiteCare Childhood Language Centers of California are a 501(c)(3) organization; donations are tax-deductible.

2. What are the Funds of the Scottish Rite Foundation Used For?

The Scottish Rite Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization that uses its funds to support education and research on the history, philosophy, and practice of Freemasonry. The foundation provides grants to educational institutions and organizations and awards scholarships to students studying Masonic philosophy and history.

Fundraising by the foundation has been used for research projects and to support Masonic educational activities such as conferences, lectures, classes, and seminars. In addition, the foundation funds scholarships for college and university studies related to Freemasonry. The foundation also provides support for educational programs and services to encourage Masonic education and research.

3. What is the Difference Between a Donation and a Grant?

Many people need clarification on these two terms since they mean different things:

What is a grant?

A grant is a sum of money given to an individual, organization, or government agency to support a specific project or cause. Grants are typically provided by foundations, corporations, or government sources and are typically awarded based on the merit of the project or cause they are meant to fund.

Grants can provide funding for research projects, educational initiatives, and community development projects, among other things. Grants can also be used to provide financial assistance to individuals and organizations in need, such as those affected by natural disasters.

What is a donation?

A donation is a gift of money or other valuable items given to an individual, organization, or institution. Donations are usually given with no expectation of return and may be made in the form of cash, property, or services.

Donations are usually tax-deductible, making them a valuable source of financial support for nonprofits, charities, and other organizations. Donations may also be used to support causes such as environmental conservation, medical research, or disaster relief.

Comparing Donations and Grants

A donation is when someone gives money or items to a charity, organization, or cause. A grant is when an organization or government agency gives money, scholarships, or other kinds of support to an individual or group. So, the difference between a donation and a grant is who is giving the money or support--either an individual or organization, a group, or a government entity.

Grants and donations are both forms of philanthropic giving, but there are some critical differences between them.

Grants are typically awarded to organizations or individuals for a specific purpose, such as research, education, or the development of a program. Grants are usually awarded after an application process, and the money is typically used to fund a specific project or program.

Donations, on the other hand, are usually given without any specific expectations or conditions attached. Donations are typically unrestricted, meaning the recipients can use the money for whatever purpose they choose. Grants are usually much larger than donations and typically require more oversight and reporting on how they used the money.

4. What Tax Benefits do Donors Receive?

Donors can receive a tax deduction for their contributions to a public charity, including a donor-advised fund. The tax deduction is usually limited to 30% of a donor’s adjusted gross income (AGI) for cash donations and 20% of AGI for contributions of long-term capital gain property. Additionally, donor-advised funds may offer other benefits such as tax-free investment growth and estate planning advantages.

Tax write-offs:

Donations to registered charities and non-profit organizations are eligible for deductions in most countries. Taxpayers can deduct any donation that is made in cash, securities, or property. Depending on the size of the donation, donors receive a percentage of the total donation as a tax write-off. For example, in the United States, donations of up to 50% of the taxpayer's adjusted gross income can be deducted.

Donations to specific individuals are not eligible for tax write-offs, but donations to organizations that provide assistance to individuals, such as food banks, homeless shelters, and educational institutions, may be eligible. Certain donations, such as donations of cars, boats, and planes, may also be eligible for tax write-offs. Donors need to obtain a tax receipt for any donation to act as proof for the tax deduction.

Charitable gifts:

Charitable gifts are eligible for tax benefits, depending on the type of gift and the organization they are donated to. Generally, cash donations to a public charity are eligible for a tax deduction of up to 30% of the donor's adjusted gross income (AGI). Contributions of long-term capital gain property to public charities may be eligible for a tax deduction of up to 20% of AGI. Gifts to a donor-advised fund may provide additional tax benefits, such as tax-free investment growth and estate planning advantages.

Because the RiteCare Childhood Language Centers of California, a program of the California Scottish Rite Foundation, is classified by the Internal Revenue Service as a not-for-profit, charitable, tax-exempt organization with 501(c)(3) status, contributions to the Foundation may be considered deductible for income tax purposes in accordance with IRS regulations.

The receipt you receive for your contribution will identify any specifics needed to determine the tax treatment of your contribution. The information on this site is not intended as legal, tax, or investment advice. Please consult an attorney, tax professional, or investment professional for such advice.

5. How can Donors Ensure their Donations Go to the Right Cause?

To ensure that donors' donations are going to the right cause, it is vital to do research and due diligence. Donors should look into the organization they are donating to, their mission and goals, their financials, and their track record in terms of results. Donors should also look for transparent organizations and have clear expectations for how the funds will be used.

It is also essential to ensure that the organization is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, as donations to non-registered organizations may not be tax-deductible. Finally, donors should look for organizations that are committed to using their donations responsibly and effectively and regularly report back to donors on the impact their donations have had.

You can research the California Scottish Rite Foundation on our website. You can see the programs we run for children with special needs and how they use donated funds.

To follow up on donations, donors should reach out to the organization they donated to and ask for updates on the use of their funds. The organization should be able to provide information on how their donation was used and its impact.

Additionally, donors should make sure to keep records of their donations, including receipts and bank statements. This will help ensure that donors can claim any applicable tax deductions.

6. What types of Donations can I Make?

Donors can make various donations, including cash donations, in-kind donations (such as goods or services), and donations of appreciated securities or property. Additionally, donors can make donations through a donor-advised fund or private foundation or set up a Charitable Remainder Trust. All of these types of donations are incredibly important to many organizations' success and are greatly appreciated.

The Scottish Rite Foundation accepts cash gifts with a credit card, marketable securities, and other appreciated assets. Planned gifts, such as life insurance, annuities, trusts, and bequests, are also ways to contribute significantly to the RiteCare Childhood Language Centers of California, a program of the California Scottish Rite Foundation.

7. What is an Endowment?

An endowment is a type of donation in which the donor makes a contribution to a charitable organization, and the funds are invested for the long term, with the principal of the donation remaining intact. The purpose of the endowment is to provide a perpetual source of income to the organization, which is usually used to fund programs or scholarships.

Endowments may also provide tax benefits to the donor, depending on the type of donation and the organization it is donated to.

A financial endowment is a transfer of money or property donated to an institution, usually with the stipulation that it be invested and the principal remains intact in perpetuity or for a defined period. This allows the donation to have a much greater impact over a long period of time than if it were spent all at once.

A permanent endowment allows the RiteCare Childhood Language Centers of California, a California Scottish Rite Foundation program to plan confidently for the future.

An Endowment seeds new programs not typically funded through donations provide support for new ventures in established programs and makes it possible to attract and retain the best and brightest employees.

8. Why Should I Trust Your Online Donation Form?

Donors can trust the Scottish Rite Foundation online donation form because it is secure and encrypted. The form is encrypted and meets all of the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standards, so donors can rest assured that their personal and financial information is safe.

A third-party secure payment processor processes all donations, and the Scottish Rite Foundation never stores or sees donors’ payment information.

Donors will receive an email confirmation of their donation and a receipt for tax reporting purposes. Additionally, the online donation form is designed to be easy to use and understand, so donors can be sure that their donations are being processed correctly and efficiently.

9. Why Should I Give Monthly (And How Can I Do it Easily)?

Donating to the Scottish Rite Foundation is a great way to help support valuable programs that benefit children with language-based learning disabilities. Not only does your donation help support these programs, but it also has a lasting impact on the lives of children and families across the country.

Recurring donations are an easy way to ensure your support continues throughout the year and are a great way to make a significant difference. To make a recurring monthly donation, donors simply need to select “Recurring” and change the tab at the Scottish Rite Foundation website when making the donation.

Donors then enter their payment information, the amount of their donation, and their desired payment frequency. Donations will continue until donors decide to cancel or suspend their donation.

By choosing the recurring donation, donors are ensuring that the Scottish Rite Foundation can continue to provide vital support to children and families. It also makes giving more convenient since donors don’t have to worry about making a donation every time – they can simply set it and forget it.

Donating to the Scottish Rite Foundation is a great way to make a difference in the lives of children and families. Donors can make recurring weekly or monthly donations easily and conveniently, ensuring their support continues throughout the year.

In conclusion, the Scottish Rite Foundation is committed to assisting donors in any way they can. From financial to charitable donations, they are dedicated to providing the necessary resources to help improve our communities.

With a thorough explanation of the frequently asked questions by donors, we know that the Foundation is here to help us all. With their dedication to the community and hard work, the Scottish Rite Foundation will continue to positively impact our society.


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