My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for Michael J Fox Foundation For Parkinsons Research, New York, NY, USA
MJFF systematically provides receipts which say no goods or services were provided in exchange for donations which are actually made in exchange for live auction and silent auction items at events held by members of the Team Fox organization of the MJFF. They train and encourage people to say that all donations are tax-deductible even if goods and services are provided in quid pro quo exchange or for purchase of raffle tickets.
The Team Fox members are provided training and benefits by MJFF in order to encourage donations to the MJFF Foundation on behalf of their personal team. They are specifically told that all donations will be tax deductible. I sent in checks on behalf of a Team Fox member and sent documentation of the amount of goods and services that were provided in exchange for specific donations. I was among those getting a benefit (goods and services) for my donation and when I got the receipt saying I had not gotten any goods and services, I called to ask for a corrected receipt. After repeated calls and discussions with the CFO, and 2 others, they did not send an updated receipt and insisted that because the donations were made to them at events that were organized by their volunteers that they were legally correct in sending receipts showing no goods or services were exchanged. In this event the MJFF organization actually subsidized the cost of the dinner and sent 2 staff members to attend the dinner. So they observed the silent and live auction as well as the raffle. The program listed the value of goods and services and the silent auction sheets listed the value of goods and services. The values were reasonable. Checks to the MJFF were collected after the auctions and items were exchanged in a quid pro quo exchange. Raffle tickets were sold at the event and I believe that tax-deductible receipts were sent for those donations as well.
I was assured that the "false" receipts would not trigger an audit for the donors or event organizers, but I think it could jeopardize the non-exempt status and rating of the MJFF organization. My advice to MJFF: give true and accurate receipts showing value of goods and services. People will still support a good cause.
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
ask that they give true and accurate reciepts reflecting value of goods and services and that they not give reciepts for raffle ticket purchases.
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What specific problem, purpose, priority, or project prompted your gift?
a friend who has Parkinson's Disease.