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Author Topic: Fundraiser losses....  (Read 3527 times)

Debbie Dunkley

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Fundraiser losses....
« on: September 09, 2019, 01:18:50 pm »

We are booked to run sound and lights for an outdoor fundraiser next month. We have done this event a few times and we are charging a fraction ( a very SMALL fraction) of what we would normally charge to help the non-profit organization. This has been on the books since last year. No contracts.....
I just got a call from the event organizer asking us to drop our fee even more and pointed out we are the only ones getting paid.  I politely pointed out that this is a 14 hour day for us ( plus travel) and is brutal as we do this with just the 2 of us - different bands and acts and break music etc. If all I had to do was turn up, set up my backline and play through a provided PA for a couple of hours, then I would play for free for a good cause too but it isn't like that for us. ( No disrespects to musicians - I am one too most weekends)
Our donation is already huge considering what we are asking just to cover costs. 
I have asked him to let us know right away if he chooses to use someone else so we can attempt to fill that date.

If we do end up doing the show, is there a way to show this loss as a tax right off and if so do I need to get something in writing to be able to do that?

One more thing - he mentioned that the musicians in the bands don't and can't know that we are being paid.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2019, 01:24:57 pm by Debbie Dunkley »
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Helge A Bentsen

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Re: Fundraiser losses....
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2019, 01:25:24 pm »

What I do if I'm doing shows for a reduced fee, is to issue an invoice with the normal fee and a discount so they can see what my normal fee is and how big their discount is.

This also gives me the right to deduct any cost associated with the show.

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W. Mark Hellinger

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Re: Fundraiser losses....
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2019, 01:37:12 pm »

Two things Debbie:

1)  You're already likely going to show (account for) the loss/cost of providing the service under your costs of doing business... it's your cost of doing business regardless of what you get paid, reflected in your depreciation, mileage, labor, insurance, property taxes, repairs, shrinkage, utilities, rent, etc...  However, having the paperwork on file per an invoice (even if it's for $1) and issuing a receipt for whatever payment you receive CYA as far as having proof that you did the job and thus justifies your expense deductions that may be specific to the event.

2)  My personal opinion on "getting beat-up on the price" because "it's for a good cause":  My reply when I've really been pressed is:  "Show me your list of contributors and if you have even one contributor on that list of the relatively same as myself financial means and vested interest who's making an equitable contribution to your event as what you're asking me to do, then I'll consider it."
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Fundraiser losses....
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2019, 02:11:00 pm »

The quick answer is NO, you cannot deduct "in kind" donations and discounts.  The longer answer is that such is sometimes possible but difficult to document and unlikely to survive an IRS audit.

The way we handle this is to invoice the "good cause" for the full amount.  They hand us the cheque for that price and we give them a cheque for a donation that reduces their out of pocket expense to the agreed amount.

Your donation is now documented.

Since the income tax laws changed, it's possible that your donations and other deductions do not exceed the now-higher "standard deduction" and therefore will not be separately deductible.
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Steve Crump

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Re: Fundraiser losses....
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2019, 02:34:58 pm »


2)  My personal opinion on "getting beat-up on the price" because "it's for a good cause":  My reply when I've really been pressed is:  "Show me your list of contributors and if you have even one contributor on that list of the relatively same as myself financial means and vested interest who's making an equitable contribution to your event as what you're asking me to do, then I'll consider it."

The best reply that I have heard was from a sound/staging company that was quoting these services for a festival that I was working. He said, " Fundraisers are a large part of my business and if I start discounting prices for non-profits I will be out of business".




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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Fundraiser losses....
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2019, 02:45:48 pm »

We are booked to run sound and lights for an outdoor fundraiser next month. We have done this event a few times and we are charging a fraction ( a very SMALL fraction) of what we would normally charge to help the non-profit organization. This has been on the books since last year. No contracts.....
I just got a call from the event organizer asking us to drop our fee even more and pointed out we are the only ones getting paid.  I politely pointed out that this is a 14 hour day for us ( plus travel) and is brutal as we do this with just the 2 of us - different bands and acts and break music etc. If all I had to do was turn up, set up my backline and play through a provided PA for a couple of hours, then I would play for free for a good cause too but it isn't like that for us. ( No disrespects to musicians - I am one too most weekends)
Our donation is already huge considering what we are asking just to cover costs. 
I have asked him to let us know right away if he chooses to use someone else so we can attempt to fill that date.

If we do end up doing the show, is there a way to show this loss as a tax right off and if so do I need to get something in writing to be able to do that?

One more thing - he mentioned that the musicians in the bands don't and can't know that we are being paid.

Tim already gave the correct "in kind" donation answer.

My witty retort for these requests is what discount is the venue, generator (if applicable), catering, seating and soft good and porta-potty vendor giving?  They usually shut up at that point.

We walked away just last week from one.  They made the comment we wanted more than the musicians were asking, my thought was they can devalue themselves all they want but I didn't say that.  Then after 5 minutes of talking she says that we were already they second lowest quote! 

The ended up begging the band who brought a pair of ZLX 12's to try and cover a 20' ceiling 10,000+ square foot ballroom.

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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman

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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: Fundraiser losses....
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2019, 02:57:11 pm »

If you feel guilty maybe write them a donation check for $50 and walk away, if you don't feel guilty just walk away.

JR 
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Mal Brown

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Re: Fundraiser losses....
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2019, 03:20:37 pm »

I live in smallville...  so I do some pro bono.  My wife and as do considerable other charitable work and make contributions here. Itís important to give if we can.  If it requires crew I am simply not available...
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Fundraiser losses....
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2019, 04:24:36 pm »

I live in smallville...  so I do some pro bono.  My wife and as do considerable other charitable work and make contributions here. Itís important to give if we can.  If it requires crew I am simply not available...

They all require crew, if you take on two roles you are just hastening your demise. 

Being able to conentrate on my artist or presenter.  Opto the system, properly prep FOH (or wherever it may be) can all be done with low stress when I have a crew to stack the PA and pin the stage.

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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman

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Mark Scrivener

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Re: Fundraiser losses....
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2019, 04:44:41 pm »

We all do what we can to support the community, but there are limits. Who else is bringing $20K+ worth of gear, hauling it out there, setting it up, operating it all day for the benefit of others, then packing it up and hauling it home (to then move into storage)? Show them your full, non discounted price, and compare that to the deal you are offering. I doubt anyone else is making that big a donation.

Also, musicians are getting the "joy" of performing and some "exposure" to their fan base. Yeah, as a musician myself I know this don't pay the bills, but performing music for free is an entirely different experience than being the sound guy for free. Bottom line, I don't do sound for free, period.

ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Fundraiser losses....
¬ę Reply #9 on: September 09, 2019, 04:44:41 pm ¬Ľ


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