Talk:Resolution:Update of Gift Policy - January 2008

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Copied from the mailing lists after announcement of the update of the policy

PublicSupportTest: What does that mean ?

This refers to US tax code. This site is easier to understand: http://www.sharinglaw.net/npo/PublicSupportTest.htm

Basically if a donor gives more than 2% of your income the portion of that donors donations over 2% are treated as business income (like selling t-shirts), rather than public support (donations).

Part of the reason for the existence of this rule is keeping non-profits from being a front for private interests while still enjoying tax-exempt status. Monies from government sources, and other qualifying non-profits are considered automatically to be public support by the nature or their source.

I've brought up concerns related to public support (e.g. http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikien-l/2007-October/084183.html), and excessive influence from large donors (e.g. http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikien-l/2007-October/084251.html) in the past and I am thrilled to see the foundation doing something to address this area.

What is an "applicable test for public support"? Why are donations from other charities exempt ?

The idea is that other non-profits (large foundations, for example) should be free to support the mission of the organization, but are obligated to the same standards under the US code. Is there a difference between the Gates Foundation giving $ versus Bill Gates, individually, or Microsoft, as a company? The government thinks so. The point of the gift policy is to put the consideration of such gifts in the sound discretion of the Board. Now the policy is explicit.

Last modified on 8 May 2008, at 22:53