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View Diary: Donations to 501(c)4's are not tax-deductible. Good. Why are those to 501(c)3's? (88 comments)

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  •  People are not as good as you hope. (9+ / 0-)

    People are helped to decide to do a good thing if they also see some practical advantage.  They are not usually saints doing everything without regard to self interest.

    I started, and for about 5 years ran, a land trust that helped individuals and developers get conservation easements for natural areas on their property. Giving land in this way is no small thing, and the people who did it were generous and wanting to do the right thing, but their decisions were not easy to make, and I am sure that if they were able to get any tax advantages from it, that factored in.  As for the finances of our organization itself, we ran on a shoestring, with fundraisers helping us scrape by.  We were all volunteers, and in addition to lots of educational work, with workshops and publications, we were hands-on stewards of lands we worked to save, nurturing the native plants and clearing invasives.  I hope you are not thinking that a group like that really should be paying taxes on the money we got that barely stretched to keep us functioning.

    Just to finish this scenario, the easements we got then are still protected, but under a much richer land trust, with wealthy donors; some years after I moved from the area, our original trust, which had grown to have one paid employee, was merged into the larger neighboring trust, for the sake of the security of the saved land.  I am very sure that the donors to this larger trust wanted whatever tax benefits they received.

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