Updates to Donation Check and Receipt Processing

A note from Deidre Pribula, our bookkeeper

Hello Binky Patrol Area Coordinators.

I wish the bookkeeper could bring good news and rejoice but somewhere I am always left delivering the tough news.  As we enter into the fourth quarter of  2007 we’re really going to make Binky Patrol Bullet proof and assure it will always be around for the betterment of the kids receiving our binkies! I Below is a letter from Jeff King (Tax Man) so that you might know why we are tightening the ropes. I know you feel the gain of doing your good works and we want to ensure it for years to come.
There are three things that will need to be done to keep us bullet proof..

  1. Filing of Quarterly reports,
  2. Receipts,
  3. Receipts,
  4. Receipts…

I know that is four it’s just to make it stick.
There have been quite a few chapters who have not filed a quarterly report again for June and September is now on it’s way!  We need to have your reports every quarter even if it’s all zeros.  We use this as a way to stay current and to check in with you to make sure you are still active.  Quanities are not judged, but we need to have the reports each quarter.
PLEASE help me out by filling out your paperwork.
To ensure we are getting all the receipts there will no longer be a percentage(i.e. 80%) check cut to the heads of each chapter.

Instead, we will check the mail twice a week cut a check immediately and send the next day for reimbursement.
We will set aside your future 80% and keep track of it for you but when it runs dry we won’t have excess to cut.
I know that it is hard sometimes not having the money up front but we will do everything in our power to make sure you are not with out the reimbursement money.

You could priority mail receipts to assure we have them in three business days and then we will cut a check upon receipt. I hope you have noticed the speedy turn around and we all owe a thank you to Susan and Tom for that!
Second, any of you who may still have money stashed in a drawer for the next big fabric sale please go out and spend it and mail in your receipts with your chapter report due in September or send it back to us for safe-keeping.  It needs to be spentwith matching receipts by September 1or returned to us to hold for you and reimbursement.

(You could send it with June’s as well if you’re finishing it up!)
We need to have receipts for everything and I plan on spending the next week matching what chapters have received funds and how many receipts we have with their chapter reports. This will not be fun for any of us at first but you will soon feel most of the financial process lifted from you when you are just turning in receipts and checks are being cut.   Your paperwork time will be simpler and you’ll just have to have an idea of what is left that you can be reimbursed for.  You should have that on your copy of the chapter report you keep for your records.
I need to tell you all that I appreciate your hard work and willingness to work with me. Change is always very difficult yet you women are a pleasure to work for. I can not wait to know that Binky has done it’s financial requirements so that we can all get back to changing the world one small binky at a time.
Thank you ladies!

Note from Jeff King our Tax Preparer
The important thing is that you are working on tightening up the program so if someone asks Binky is prepared.
The IRS is looking at individual donations and non-profits (990 filings) to find those who are not acting according to their charter.  Binky Patrol does good work and should be proud of their efforts, but that does not insure it will not be caught in the IRS net.
Because you do not want to loose your right to receive tax-deductible donations it is imperative that the system is
tightened up and made accountable.  All donations need to be documented (name and address) and money sent to the head office.  This documentation includes in-kind donations.  Checks will be issued once receipts are sent in to reimburse those expense receipts.  Chapters will retain their 80% in our bookkeeping and sent out as receipts come in against the chapter’s "account".
BPHQ alreay has a donor receipt that is required to be issued for the tax deduction to be allowed. 
It should allow for less time spent on paper and more time spent on "binkies".  Unfortunately the government has a way of making voluntarism into a full time job.  I will be working with Susan Finch to tighten up the process but make it as easy as possible. 

If the donor doesn’t want a copy that is fine.  You still need to create one for the report to "cover" everyone (no pun intended). They need it in order to confirm the deduction if it ever came up and we are to provide one. 

From our side if we have a copy then we have the information to show the source of donations and the amount.  Believe it or not but one of the undercurrents of all of these rules is 9/11 and the PATRIOT Act.  Every where you look the Government is looking for money laundering.  I know it has nothing to do with Binky Patrol but the paranoia is out there. Between my LTC, EA, Securities and Insurance license there are more strange reporting requirements then you can believe.

Quick overview:

We need to show where the money came from,
Where and how it was used and the amount. 

In Binky Patrol’s case we also want to show (as you are already doing) how many items have been sent/delivered out as a result of these donations.  Because of the large labor input there is a great amount of good done for each dollar of donation.
Jeff King
Enrolled Agent

A few notes from Susan:

As much as I would like to have a chapter report from each chapter, it doesn’t happen.  Some chapters only make one or two binkies each period and deliver them locally without wanting any type of tax receipts, etc.  These are not the chapters of concern here.

Our biggest concern are those of you who do the bang-up job of fundraising, but your reciepts don’t match up and you have a lot of carry-over money from year to year.

The Home Group has been going with this reimburse with receipts method for a few years.  We earmark their money in the account and don’t touch it.  They submit original receipts and we turn it around the next day.  It’s been working out well and keeps their paperwork to a minimum.

Tom and I have taken over the mail and check duties.  He checks the box twice a week.  If there are checks, I scan them that night and have been sending out checks the next day.  It will happen similarly as of August 1:

  1. Send in your donation right away – with or without the receipts for reimburse.  Reimburse will happen faster with original receipts.
  2. We scan, deposit and earmark it in accounting.
  3. When you send in receipts, I’ll issue the check the next day.
  4. If you sent in the receipts with the check, we will send the check the next day.
  5. If you need it faster, we can take out FedEx from the 80% and send it right away.

We’re sorry for this new change, but it is the only way to ensure that we can continue with what we do as a group.
I can’t assume liability, and as it stands, I’m on the hook for anything that doesn’t match up.  Too scary for me.

I will be asking Deidre for a quarterly summary for each chapter so we know what is left for each of you in your "account."

As of July 20, 2007 – these are all official requirements. 
You must read this online. 
I will follow up with a hard-copy.
We do require that you give us a valid email for these types of notices.  This will also be posted on the website.. 

As of September 1, 2007 – we are requiring one of two things:
Either send your "leftover" funds in for holding, or spend them and submit matching receipts for your chapter reports.  One or the other needs to happen.

As changes come, we will keep you posted and do our very best to simplify as we update.

Please understand, when I started this organization, I only wanted to make blankets and give them away. I never knew it had to get so complicated.

Thank you for your help with this.


Susan Finch, Founder.