no payments from a donor advised fund can be used to satisfy a legally binding pledge.

The Town of White Springs decided to pay Ms. Bea Cokers Charity $3,000.  Although the Town construed Dr. Calder’s donation as a charitable pledge which is enforceable and legally binding as a contract, It does not appear that it is.  NO “PLEDGE NOR PROMISE NOR CONTRACT WAS MADE.
There are some problems relating to the charges relating to Dr. Calder’s as being a “Pledge” OR CONTRACT.  Helen Miller was told that $13,000 was required for the White Springs Children.  Dr. Miller advised Dr. Calder that she wished $13,000 for the White Springs Children to attend Ms. Coker’s charitable programs for Children.   There was NO PROMISE by Dr. Calder because Dr. Calder’s funds were Donor Advised Funds.  Dr. Calder could make no such promise or pledge because it was up to J.P. Morgan, who makes the determination of funds.

 

Therefore, and not only in my opinion, this was not a legally binding contract.  Initially Dr. Miller was told $13,000 was necessary for the White Springs Children so Dr. Miller prepared a budget stipulating the following:  You see this is a DAF, and there is a “Grant” stated but no where is there a “Pledge
BUDGET
Source of Funds:  JP Morgan – H.B. Calder Family Trust
Amount of Grant:  $13,000
Beneficiary:  About My Efforts, inc for 2018 Summer Program elements
To Benefit Community Members of the Town of White Springs
May 21, 2018

 

 In her Budget, above, Dr. Miller stated she desired a stipend of $4,000 for an Adult Coordinator who the Children in White Springs were familiar with ($2,000 per session).  Dr. Miller Also required Scholarships for Children/Participants from White Springs – $250 per scholarship for 20 children/participants/interns from White Springs for a total of $5,000. AT THIS POINT AND WHEN MS.COKER PROVIDED HER OWN BUDGET WHICH INCLUDED SOME $9,000 FOR COKER AND HER EXPENSES, DR. MILLER’S BUDGET NO LONGER WAS VALID.  THEREFORE DR. MILLER’S BUDGET COULD NOT BE CONSIDERED A PLEDGE NOR DID SHE HAVE THE RIGHT NOR DID SHE DO SO TO PLEDGE ON BEHALF OF J.P. MORGAN.  DR. CALDER ALSO COULD NOT MAKE SUCH A PLEDGE UNDER A DAF.

 

Most Charities charge a fee of 3-4% for their expenses, of the amount of the donation.  Ms. Coker charged 69.23% just for herself and the building and electric she is using.  That doesn’t seem right for a viable Charity.  Plus the fact that instead of nicely saying, we really needed the money and it came late, and can you see whether we can get the $3,000, SHE USED EXTORTION TO GET THE MONEY.  SHE THREATENED LAWSUITS, ARRESTS, COMPLAINTS TO THE COMMISSION ON ETHICS, AND COMPLAINTS TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL AND SHE STATED THIS WOULD HAPPEN EVEN IF THE AMOUNT WAS PAID.  This is EXTORTION.

 

Then there may be a problem because the Donor Organization as well as the Donor are located in another state other than Florida which may have different laws pertaining to “Pledges” However, no where did Dr. Miller use the word “Pledge” so no promise contractually was made.   Here is the law relating to DAF’s:

 

Can a Donor Advised Fund pay a pledge?

For donors, the best way to ensure that your grants are received in a timely manner by your favorite charitable causes are: Recognize that no payments from a donor advised fund can be used to satisfy a legally binding pledge. Avoid the use of the word “pledge” or “pledging” within your grant recommendation form.  AND Helen MIller did not stipulate “PLEDGE” IN HER BUDGET.  THEREFORE, THE TOWN’S GANG OF THREE WAS WRONG TO PAY MS. COKER SINCE THERE WAS NO PROMISE, NO PLEDGE NOR CONTRACT INVOLVED.  I CAN SAY THIS AFFIRMATIVELY SINCE I HAVE THE E-MAILS AND BUDGETS.

Karin for the blog

 

Consumer Protection

How to Protect Yourself: Charitable Solicitations

Source: The Florida Attorney General’s OfficeEveryone receives countless solicitations by mail and telephone asking for donations to what may seem like worthy causes. The problem is how to distinguish between the legitimate charitable causes and the scams. If a solicitor asks you for a donation, consider the following:

Be sure you know that the charity soliciting funds is legitimate.

In Florida, charities must register with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and you are entitled to obtain a copy of registration documents and a financial statement. To obtain this information, you may call the Department at 1-800-HELP-FLA or visit their website at www.800helpfla.com. Additionally available from the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is the Gift Givers’ Guide. The Guide offers information on a charity’s spending, including how much the charity spends on administrative and fundraising expenses as opposed to the actual work of the charity. Access the Gift Givers’ Guide at www.800helpfla.com and click on the Gift Givers’ Guide.

In addition to being registered with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, most tax-exempt organizations are also required to file an annual return or notice with the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS requires automatic revocation of a charity’s tax-exempt status if it fails to file a return for three consecutive years. Publication of an organization’s name on the Auto-Revocation list on the IRS website helps potential donors determine the status of a charity. To learn more about the tax-exempt status of a charity, go to www.irs.gov/Charities-&-Non-Profits.

You may also want to contact the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance at www.give.org or (703)-276-0100, as well as the Attorney General’s Office in the state in which the charity is based, to determine if the charity you are donating to has any outstanding complaints.

Know what paid solicitors can and cannot do.

Solicitors requesting donations for a law enforcement or emergency services group cannot claim to be a member of such a group if they are not. Solicitors are frequently paid hourly or receive a percentage of the amount of donations they collect and may not be affiliated or associated with the group on whose behalf they are collecting. Solicitors are prohibited from stating that if you fail to donate to a law enforcement group you may receive reduced services.

Know that scam artists will seek to profit from your goodwill.

While the law does not require that charities expend a certain amount or percentage of donations on the charitable purpose, you are always entitled to request information on the amount of money spent on the purpose, as well as how much is spent on salaries and other expenses. If you don’t receive a satisfactory response, it may be wise to donate to a different organization.

Copycat organizations may use names similar to a well-known charity in order to confuse you. Before you donate, make sure the charity to which you are giving is the charity you think it is.

After a natural disaster, such as a devastating earthquake or hurricane, numerous disaster-specific charities crop up. While many of these charities are legitimate, some may not be. In these instances, it may be wise to donate to a well-known disaster relief organization and specify the disaster relief efforts you would like your donation to fund.

Don’t feel pressured into sending money right away. Ask for information about the charity in writing before donating. Many scam organizations will offer to send a courier to your house or office for immediate pick-up of the donation. Tell them you would like to think about it or that you will mail a check to them yourself. Additionally, never give your credit card number or bank account information to a caller on the phone or someone who sent you an unsolicited email. If you are interested in donating to a charity that has initiated contact with you, ask them to send you a pledge form and information about the charity in the mail. Legitimate charities should have no problem with this request.

File a complaint.

If you feel that you have been a victim of a charity scam, file a complaint with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services online at www.800helpfla.com or by phone at 1-800-HELP-FLA. Additionally, you may file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office online at www.myfloridalegal.com or by phone at 1-866-9-NO-SCAM. You may also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission online using their complaint assistant portal at www.ftc.gov/complaint.

Leave a Reply