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Have you reduced your gift certificate donations for 2010?

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The Farmers Daughter

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I have been unindated with fund raiser and donation requests. I get calls/emails/letters nearly dailly. This afternoon I was visited by a woman and her little daughter (who's mommy released to run amuck in my parlor) who wanted a gift certificate for an elementary school fundraiser to help buy laptops for the students. I said no. It especially bothered me because I live in a state with taxes so high, they are lengendary and the township claims most of them go to the school system. (That is another rant entirely)...sorry, I drifted.
Anyway, what are you doing about donation requests this year?
 

JBloggs

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Telling them to take a hike...I mean, saying thank you for thinking of us, and can I have at job at your company or school?
 

muirford

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We reduced ours to zero starting last July. All my expirations will run out by April. I had already changed them about two years ago to only be BOGOs - no more donations. Local ones get no money at auction - I found out one went from our fire department for $25. We decided then to give money to them directly (and other charities we felt worthwhile and could afford) and no more local donations. I still get calls and emails - we just say no.
 

Don Draper

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I just had a request last week from a woman who said a friend of hers stayed with us and gave a glowing review. She not only asked for a donation, she proceeded to detail how I could "write off" this expense.
So, I not only declined and told her that unfortunately we've had several negative experiences with donated GC's, but that she might want to reword her "spiel" because that was incorrect information. She thanked me but I doubt she'll change the spiel.
 

Morticia

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Same as always. I have my favs and will continue to support them. They are ALL in-state. I do not send anything to schools around the country who need my help. Sorry, we have our own bake sales here, too.
If they call, which most don't (the callers all want cash), I tell them local charities only. If it's a letter, I flip it over and use the reverse side for scrap paper.
I will say that I used to donate to my g-son's school auction in Beantown because that's my target market and he went to a VERY nice public school. The auction items there were dinner with pro ball players, high end spa getaways, etc. No one ever came here, so it didn't cost me a dime.
I always do the expiry 6 months from the date of the auction so they don't even stay on the books very long. Had one woman want to cash in 2 GC's she won in separate years. Sorry, no dice. The one was 18 months past due. The other she was skating pretty close to the deadline.
A short list:
  • G-son's school auction (2 years)- never used
  • Radio station in target area (2 years)- never used
  • Local Navy base (4 years)- used every time
  • Local museum (5 years)- used 2x
  • Public TV (2 years)- never used
  • CofC auction (1 year)- used immediately
  • Habitat for Humanity (1 year)- used immediately
No one has ever come back. That doesn't mean they didn't mention us to friends & family. No one has ever extended their stay.
 

Morticia

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We reduced ours to zero starting last July. All my expirations will run out by April. I had already changed them about two years ago to only be BOGOs - no more donations. Local ones get no money at auction - I found out one went from our fire department for $25. We decided then to give money to them directly (and other charities we felt worthwhile and could afford) and no more local donations. I still get calls and emails - we just say no..
I won't go to the auctions, I don't want to know!
 

The Farmers Daughter

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Same parameters here. I have a whole file full of expired GC's from years past that were donated to local causes that have never been redeemed.
The only local cause I continue to support is the riding for the handicapped programs. I have donated everything from $ to GC's to used saddlery and equestrian equipment. They are always so appreciative and grateful for the items they recieve. Its an expensive program to run and the students results are wonderful and inspiring. Supporting it warms the cockles of my heart and I encourage anyone to consider supporting their local programs too.
 

Morticia

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Same parameters here. I have a whole file full of expired GC's from years past that were donated to local causes that have never been redeemed.
The only local cause I continue to support is the riding for the handicapped programs. I have donated everything from $ to GC's to used saddlery and equestrian equipment. They are always so appreciative and grateful for the items they recieve. Its an expensive program to run and the students results are wonderful and inspiring. Supporting it warms the cockles of my heart and I encourage anyone to consider supporting their local programs too..
I also donate all of our used linens to the homeless shelter. They never ask for anything else.
 

gillumhouse

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I have cut back drastically. Nothing out-of-State and very few in-State. Just turned down a K of C that had been coming to the well every year - used twice but generated nothing I can tie to it. Told the friend in Illinois this is the last for them (because I WAS going to be putting the B & B on the market until DH threw in the monkey wrench).
 

muirford

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Same parameters here. I have a whole file full of expired GC's from years past that were donated to local causes that have never been redeemed.
The only local cause I continue to support is the riding for the handicapped programs. I have donated everything from $ to GC's to used saddlery and equestrian equipment. They are always so appreciative and grateful for the items they recieve. Its an expensive program to run and the students results are wonderful and inspiring. Supporting it warms the cockles of my heart and I encourage anyone to consider supporting their local programs too..
I also donate all of our used linens to the homeless shelter. They never ask for anything else.
.
Animal shelters will also take them - the used linens, I mean
 

EmptyNest

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JUST SAY NO...simple as that....or "Sorry, due economic conditions we are unable to contribute anything.Or our marketing $$$ have been depleted."
When we were in business we just pitched the requests after getting nothing from them our first year in business. Everyone has their hand out. There were only a few charities we supported and we did so with our $$$ not gift certificates.
 

EmptyNest

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I just had a request last week from a woman who said a friend of hers stayed with us and gave a glowing review. She not only asked for a donation, she proceeded to detail how I could "write off" this expense.
So, I not only declined and told her that unfortunately we've had several negative experiences with donated GC's, but that she might want to reword her "spiel" because that was incorrect information. She thanked me but I doubt she'll change the spiel..
You are right...gift certificates are not tax deductible :-(
 

JBloggs

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There are days when I live in this house and business and the people who ONLY consider us a business get under my skin. Those days I tell them "We have our own charities thank you" and hang up. I get two or three requests a day. Last week I had a letter from PA and a call from PA in one day - they solicit every B&B in every state? Not enough B&B's in PA to beg from?...Oh there is the phone again...right now 75% of our calls are BEGGING for a "free" weekend. The machine gets the calls. Otherwise I get too frustrated especially when they tell YOU how it will bring you so much business.
 

Innkeeper To Go

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There are days when I live in this house and business and the people who ONLY consider us a business get under my skin. Those days I tell them "We have our own charities thank you" and hang up. I get two or three requests a day. Last week I had a letter from PA and a call from PA in one day - they solicit every B&B in every state? Not enough B&B's in PA to beg from?...Oh there is the phone again...right now 75% of our calls are BEGGING for a "free" weekend. The machine gets the calls. Otherwise I get too frustrated especially when they tell YOU how it will bring you so much business..
Joey Bloggs said:
I get two or three requests a day.
JB, that's just ridiculous. No wonder you're frustrated by them.
 

Hangfive

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We only discount room nights sold to the charity for auction. The way it works is someone pays for the gift certificate on behalf of the charity, we give them a discount and the charity auctions off the gift certificate with other items that have been donated. We have had several that have extended their stay.
 

gillumhouse

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There are days when I live in this house and business and the people who ONLY consider us a business get under my skin. Those days I tell them "We have our own charities thank you" and hang up. I get two or three requests a day. Last week I had a letter from PA and a call from PA in one day - they solicit every B&B in every state? Not enough B&B's in PA to beg from?...Oh there is the phone again...right now 75% of our calls are BEGGING for a "free" weekend. The machine gets the calls. Otherwise I get too frustrated especially when they tell YOU how it will bring you so much business..
Joey Bloggs said:
I get two or three requests a day.
JB, that's just ridiculous. No wonder you're frustrated by them.
.
Tis the season! They come from all over via e-mail and snail mail and phone.
 
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