The charitable hand of Firefighters First
Our fire department wants to support a member in need. Should we start a crowdfunding campaign to help cover mortgage, medical expenses, funeral costs, etc.?
Online crowdfunding sources are popular and many organizations – including fire departments – set up campaigns to show support for an individual (or family member) who is injured or sick. But take a closer look at crowd funding. Additional and/or unexpected fees can take up as much as 45% of donations. Monies received from the donations are considered taxable income. Likewise, for anyone who donates, their donation is not tax-deductible.The work of setting up and running a campaign, only adds mental “weight” to those dealing with a crisis situation. But everyone uses crowdfunding platforms these days! Yes, crowdfunding is popular if you want to start a business or get sponsorship, but for altruistic reasons, it can be a poor choice. For example: Some crowdfunding platforms stipulate funds raised from your campaign are only released when 100% of your funding goal is reached; others seem more generous and allow you to get the funds earned for projects even if you don't meet your projected goal. But here's the catch: While it's free to sign up, there are fees tacked onto crowd-sourced funds if the project reaches its goal and fees to funds if it does not. Additionally, there are often 3-5% credit card processing fees per transaction.It's important to also note that funds collected and donated to an individual through crowdsourcing are considered taxable income for that individual.What's my alternative? Consider a partnership with Fire Family Foundation. As the charitable hand of Firefighters First Credit Union, the Foundation can help you raise money and make your life a bit simpler. If my organization partners with Fire Family Foundation, what can I expect? As an assistance-based nonprofit, Fire Family Foundation exists for these kinds of situations, providing you with accountability along with personalized attention and sensitivity that crowdfunding platforms just can't do. Unlike crowdfunding campaigns, Foundation donors get a tax-deductible letter with every donation. By tracking all individual donations and keeping our overhead expenses at a bare minimum, we are able to offer direct assistance with no middlemen, credit card processing charges or extra fees. What kind of ways can I or my organization work with the Foundation? Individuals, fire departments, organizations, families and friends can collect funds, sponsor engagement and raise awareness of a specific issue. When you work with the Foundation, we can: • Accept funds in honor of an individual or group• Create a Community Fund with fire departments• Partner for a charitable event What types of support are offered through a Caring or Recovery Fund? The Foundation assists individuals and communities in crisis situations. We can provide directly-paid funds for: • Housing needs by paying mortgages/rents or the cost of temporary shelter;• Living and transportation costs;• Medical expenses due to a serious injury or illness not covered by insurance;• Funeral or memorial services when a loved one dies unexpectedly.The Foundation also similarly supports communities experiencing tragedies, especially fire-related. What are the benefits for my fire department with a Fire Family Foundation Community Fund? Look at the example of the Rialto Fire Department Community Fund. Like other fire departments, the department organizes fundraisers throughout the year to support local worthy causes. Sometimes however, a need arises suddenly and there's no time to organize a fundraiser. By establishing the Rialto Fire Department Community Fund early on with the Foundation, the department has been able to raise funds to help with specific community causes – whether it's to support a local soccer team or to financially assist those who are battling cancer. How can my organization partner for charitable events? Organizations can team up with Fire Family Foundation to sponsor an event much like our Annual Fire It Up BBQ, co-sponsored by the African American Firefighter Museum. Nonprofit and for-profit groups work together to create an event that showcases community-involvement. Take action: Contact the Foundation at 323-550-2208 and tell us what's going on and how we can help. We will have you fill out a simple form about your need. It's easy to get started.
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The charitable hand of Firefighters First Credit Union