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Fundraising FAQ

General FAQ

What is a grassroots event?

A grassroots event is a fundraiser to benefit Drugfreepa.org that is completely sponsored and organized by an individual, company or organization other than Drugfreepa.org. Since you are the event architect, you plan all the details, front expenses, and enlist the help of friends, family, and coworkers to organize and staff the event. Grassroots fundraisers are a great way to have fun and help raise funds so that all young people will be able to live a life free from drug and alcohol abuse.

Why host a grassroots event?

When you host an event, you spread the word about the work Drugfreepa.org does as well as financially contribute to the critical work we do for children and families. Organizing a fundraising event can be a fun, empowering and rewarding adventure. Your efforts enable us to work on our common cause where all young people will be able to live their lives free from drug and alcohol abuse.

Do I need to establish a 501(c)(3) to organize an event?

No. When fundraising and putting on an event, it is not necessary to be a 501(c)(3) or to use another organization’s 501(c)(3) status. As an individual, you can set up a bank account under the name of your event. In order for there to be no tax implications, the balance of the account at the end of the year must be a zero balance. You also must have receipts of event expenses and proof that money was donated to Drugfreepa.org and we will provide a tax receipt for the donation.

How can Drugfreepa.org help me in my efforts?

While we are limited in the staff resources we can provide to you, we are “experts” in the event field and are happy to lend our expertise, suggestions and support on your endeavor. We can share our experience on what works and what does not.

We will help you publicize the event on the Events of our website or even on our Facebook page. We will allow you the use of our logo, with pre-approval. We will also recognize those who contribute.

How do I get started?

First, complete the Fundraising Application, it is available here. We will then be in touch shortly. Here are a few important points to consider:

• Will you need volunteers to help on the day of the event? A general rule for volunteer commitment is that on the best day you should expect about 50% of your planned volunteers to show up.

• Will you need a permit for your event?

• How much money do you plan on raising?

• What unexpected costs might you encounter? (Please remember that you are responsible for underwriting any expenses or obtaining sponsors to help with expenses associated with your event.)


How will I know if my event is approved?

We will do our best to respond to your application within one week. Please do not move forward until you have heard from us.

Can Drugfreepa.org help with funding, planning or executing my event? Unfortunately, we do not have the resources to assist with funding, planning or executing your event.

Can Drugfreepa.org arrange for a celebrity to participate in my event? Unfortunately, we cannot arrange for celebrities to participate in your event.

Can you promote my event on Drugfreepa.org’s website?

Absolutely. We have an Events portion of www.drugfreepa.org where we can post your event. We may even be able to promote it on our Facebook page.

Event Proceeds FAQ

What is the right way to communicate where the money is going?

Appropriate wording for any promotion is as follows: “The net proceeds from (event name) will benefit Drugfreepa.org.”

Can I use Drugfreepa.org’s tax-exempt status when purchasing goods or services for my event? Federal tax law prohibits grassroots fundraisers from using Drugfreepa.org’s tax-exempt status when purchasing goods or services for their Events.

Who should I make my check out to?

Please make all checks payable to: Drug Free Pennsylvania

Where do I mail donation checks?

All donations should be mailed to the address below:

Drug Free Pennsylvania

Attn: Fundraising

3901 Hartzdale Dr. Suite 110

Camp HIll, PA 17011.

How do you know that a donation is for me?

Please attach some documentation with the check so we can be in touch with you once we receive it.

What if a check is made out to me, not Drug Free Pennsylvania?

If a donor makes the check out to you, simply endorse the check with your signature and “Payable to Drug Free Pennsylvania” and submit it with the donation form. Please note that the account holder on the check will receive the tax receipt from Drug Free Pennsylvania.

Can I accept the bulk of the donations and write Drug Free Pennsylvania one check?

We do not recommend this method of donation acceptance. If you collect all of the donations and deposit them into your account so that you can write one check, two things will happen: 1) The IRS will consider that deposit income in your account and you will be taxed on the amount, and 2) because the check is from your account, you, and not your donors, will receive a tax receipt from us.

If a business donates goods or services for my event will they receive a tax receipt from Drug Free Pennsylvania?

When a business donates goods or services to your event it is considered an “in-kind” donation to your event. The business did not donate the goods or services directly to us; therefore, we cannot issue them a tax receipt.

Can I mail a cash donation?

No, please do not mail a cash donation with a donation form. We cannot accept cash donations. For any cash donation you receive, please convert the cash to a cashier’s check and mail it with a completed donation form. Please be sure to include the donor’s personal information on the donation form so that an accurate receipt can be generated for tax purposes. Please do not deposit the cash into your own account and write a check for that amount; the IRS regards this as income and in addition, if a check is written from your account, you would then receive the tax receipt. It isn’t possible to have a check written from your personal account credited to another donor. However, if you have several cash donations from different donors and want to convert them to one check, you can accompany one cashier’s check with multiple donation forms to indicate the amount that each donor contributed. Each donor will receive a tax receipt for the amount specified on their donation form.

A donor is requesting a 501(c)(3) letter. What is that and how can I get a copy?

The 501(c)(3) letter is proof Drug Free Pennsylvania is recognized as a nonprofit organization by the federal government. Contact [email protected] to obtain a copy of this form.

Will Drugfreepa.org reimburse me for the costs of my event?

We are not able to reimburse a fundraiser for event expenses. We suggest you find a local sponsor to underwrite the costs of the event as the presenting sponsor. This will not only allow you to host an event with all proceeds supporting the critical work we do for children and families, but businesses can get community-based advertising as well as tax deductions with their receipts.

I already had my event and didn’t have an underwriting sponsor. I need to pay for my expenses out of the proceeds of the event, but want the donors to receive tax receipts. What options are available to me?

Unfortunately, if you keep money raised from the event to cover expenses, not all the donations will receive a tax receipt. We can only provide tax receipts for the actual dollars received. With all grassroots events, you must provide a spreadsheet with the event donation stating how much each donor contributed along with their name and email address. The total on the spreadsheet must equal the amount of the net proceeds check. For example, if your event raises $10,000 and you keep $2,000 to offset costs, you must provide a document including each donor name, email address, and amount donated totaling $8,000. Each donor on the spreadsheet will receive a tax receipt for the amount they donated.

I want to accept donations under the event name—how is this possible?

To accept donations under a name other than your legal name, you can file for a “Doing Business As” (DBA) name. Rules and registration for DBAs vary by state so you must check with your local government agencies to find state specific information.

I do not see the donation form online, how do I obtain that?

Once we approve your event, we will send it to you!

Logos and Assets FAQ

Can I use Drug Free Pennsylvania’s logo on printed materials to promote my event? When your event is approved, you will be granted permission to use Drug Free Pennsylvania’s logo on printed materials for the sole purpose of promoting the approved event. Promotional materials including Drug Free Pennsylvania’s logo must be reviewed and approved prior to publication or distribution in any manner. You may not use the logo to create Drugfreepa.org merchandise. The logo may not be altered in typeface, color, configuration and/or position and must adhere to established graphic standards.

I found some great videos on your website and want to use them at my event. Can I? Yes! Most of our videos can be found on our Facebook and Vimeo for sharing purposes.

Share your event with us!

My event was a success! Can I send you pictures or video from my event? Yes! We want to hear all about it and encourage you to send us any photos, video and all the details to [email protected].

Contact Us

I have a question that isn’t answered here. What do I do? For all additional questions, please contact us via email at [email protected].